Mallaby v Rainhill Town

3pm  17 March 2018

West Cheshire League, Division One
Mallaby 3 Rainhill Town 3 (att 15)

I had a choice of afternoon games after the day's earlier match at Liverpool Baltic, and eventually settled on a visit to the Wirral Tennis Centre in Birkenhead to recomplete the West Cheshire League's three divisions.

Tennis may be the main sport here, but the newish 3G football pitch is home to both Mallaby and Mersey Royal, who play in the league's third tier. With top flight Mallaby struggling, and Mersey Royal going well, they could be meeting in division two next season.

Mallaby earned a welcome point in their battle against relegation, but it'll feel like two points dropped after they twice conceded equalisers as the game moved into stoppage time.

The game's early exchanges did little to suggest a thrilling finish was likely. Rainhill looked the better side and deserved their 1-0 half time lead. They should have doubled their advantage in the opening moments of the second half, but missed a sitter and within a minute Mallaby were level.

The home side edged in front with less than 10 minutes remaining, and looked like holding on for a win until they conceded in the 90th minute. Amazingly, as I walked towards the exit and the welcome warmth of my car, Mallaby went back in front.

But Rainhill weren't finished and just two minutes later, five minutes into stoppage time by my watch, a corner was headed in to make it 3-3. After that there was barely time for Mallaby to kick off, but a shot direct from the restart forced a save from the Rainhill keeper, and then the final whistle blew.

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