North West Counties Football League Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport 1

Litherland REMYCA 1

Whitchurch Alport’s profligacy in front of goal cost them two points against basement boys Litherland REMYCA at a freezing Yockings Park on Monday evening.

The side propping up the rest defended for their lives but enjoyed a good chunk of lady luck on their way to earning what could be a very precious point.

Goalkeeper Ben Morrow was comfortably the visitors’ man of the match and on another day the Reds would have won handsomely.

It all started so well for Matt Burton in his first match in charge but the longer the game went on the more desperate REMYCA’s defending became and the more nervous was Alport’s approach.

Joe Cuff tormented the Merseysiders’ back line all night long and a stunning goal in the early stages should have settled the home side down.

Cuff danced past a number of defenders, showing great agility before crashing the ball high past the flailing arm of Morrow.

With just 11 minutes on the watch it was the perfect start but 10 minutes later the away side levelled.

Terrible defending from a corner left player manager Phil Stafford with time to dig the ball out and poke it past a helpless Dave Parton.

It was a shocking goal to concede and Whitchurch became jittery for the remainder of the half.

That said, an unbelievable miss just past the half-hour provided the biggest let off of the evening for Litherland. Cuff was once again at the heart of things and a vicious low cross into the back post was begging to be finished.

Dave Howarth slid in but could not get any contact on the ball only for Alex Hughes to come in right behind him at full stretch.

Somehow, the striker managed to spoon the ball over the crossbar from little more than two yards out.

Alport would come close again with just four minutes of the half remaining when Morrow made his best save of the night.

Jud Ellis took aim for the far corner but the keeper got a strong arm on the ball to deny Ellis whose first half performance wasn’t far behind that of chief tormentor Cuff.

In the opening 10 minutes of the second 45 it was all Alport but they couldn’t find a way past Morrow.

Cuff and Hughes were both thwarted by the glovesman and then Howarth cushioned a volley over the bar after yet more trickery down the left side by the outstanding Cuff.

He was virtually unplayable and at the very heart of everything from a creative point of view.

It was like the Alamo at times in the defensive third for REMYCA but there was always that nagging doubt that they might spring a counter and punish Alport late on.

The more the Reds threw bodies forward, the more they looked vulnerable at the back.

But it was that man Morrow who single-handedly kept his side afloat with arms and legs akimbo to frustrate the home side’s attackers.

You could argue that Litherland’s youngsters deserved a share of the spoils for their heroic defending, but really this was a night that should have yielded three points.

A season’s low crowd of just 127 braved the elements and the vast majority of them would have left the stadium frustrated and disappointed.

Alport sit sixth in the division and face a trip to Burscough in the league on Saturday.