Formby 0 – Maine Road 0
Had Formby been offered a point going into Boxing Day’s game against Vodkat League high flyers Maine Road then they would have taken it, however they will be disappointed with a draw after dominating the game and should have won this match easily but were denied by resolute defending from the visitors.
With illness sweeping through the squad, Formby were forced to play without influential striker Paul Lamb and clearly lacked his clinical finishing which has seen him rise to the top of the Vodkat League scoring charts this season. Paul Jones was given his full debut upfront alongside Ian Turner, and although both did well, they were unable to penetrate the Maine Road defence.
Formby made a good start to the match, putting Maine Road under pressure from the start with Craig Howard, John Morley and Ian Turner having good chances in the opening stages.
Turner had the ball in the back of the net on 11 minutes when he found himself free in the area but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Howard had further chances before the break, testing goalkeeper Greg Hall on two occasions.
Maine Road’s first real chance of the game came on 36 minutes when Chris Smith found room inside the Formby area but goalkeeper Lee Gunnion did well to turn his effort past the post.
Smith missed a golden opportunity moments later when he latched onto a mistake in the Formby defence but turned his shot over the bar.
Striker Ian Turner won the ball on the edge of the area just before the break but could only turn his shot into the side netting.
The second half started badly for the visitors when they were reduced to ten men when midfielder Colin Marshall was given his marching orders for foul and abusive language towards the match officials. It was an incident that Formby took full advantage of as they dominated the game from that point onwards.
Turner went close again on 51 minutes when a Martyn Wilson corner dropped at his feet but the ball bounced off his foot and went wide of goal.
It was Maine Road goalkeeper Greg Hall who kept his side in the match minutes later when he turned an Anthony McMullen shot from 30 yards over the bar.
Some good build up play between Paul Jones and Ian Turner almost led to an opening which finished his Jones flashing a shot across the face of the Maine Road goal.
Hall was lucky not to turn the ball into his own net on 66 minutes when he spilled a Darren Jones shot from 25 yards but luckily for the keeper the ball went wide of his goal.
Formby’s best opportunity of the half came with twenty minutes remaining when Craig Howard was put through on the visiting goal but his drive was tipped over the bar by Hall.
John Morley was also denied by Hall in the final moments of the match when the keeper once again turned a shot over the bar to earn his side a point.
The Squirrels will be disappointed not to take all three points from this match given their dominance, and will look to return to winning ways this Saturday when they travel to Flixton after drawing their last two matches.
FORMBY: GUNNION, ROSE, D.JONES, GARNELL, KERR, McMULLEN, MORLEY, HOWARD (Sub. DUTTON 85mins), P.JONES, TURNER, WILSON (Sub. ROBINSON 89mins). SUBS NOT USED: ATHERTON, LLOYD.
MAINE ROAD: HALL, McGREGOR, RODGERS, MASON, McGEE, CHEETHAM, JONES (Sub. JAY 88mins), SMITH, BECKFORD (Sub. CROOKES 72mins), MACK, MARSHALL. SUBS NOT USED: O’NEIL, STRUMINSKY, UDDIN.
REFEREE: MR D.C.HOLLOWAY (FLEETWOOD).
MAN OF THE MATCH: MARTYN WILSON.