FROM the first whistle Maghull under-9s looked composed, confident and ready for the game against Moorside.
They allowed the opposition through in the first minute to have a shot at goal but that was the only time in the half.
From then on it was all Maghull, winning first and second balls all over the pitch. The players were knocking the ball around with ease and confidence, teaming up four at a time in some moves.
The pressing from the attackers was constant and at a good tempo which unsettled the Moorside players. Maghull also got back in position very maturely when they didn't have the ball.
Kirby, de Asha and Harris at the back were untroubled and dealt with dangerous situations calmly.
Johnson and Church were a real combination in the middle of the park by complimenting each other greatly. The ball was being won and Lewis-Smith was available each time. He was on top of his game and caused Moorside’s right hand flank major problems by beating his man every time and either crossing into the box or pulling the ball back for shots on goal.
Howard, who had been ill with tonsillitis and should not have really played but was adamant he did not want to miss playing, was a real handful with his clever running and determination. He forced a number of corners and saves. Warwick, when on the pitch, kept the tempo up and should have scored on a few occasions but was unlucky with his final shot.
Maghull were being kept out by some good goalkeeping by Moorside, last ditch defending and a lady luck but they kept on plugging away, believing the goal would come.
West was working hard on the right hand side but was being denied by determined tackling.
This was followed by a series of corners within a few minutes which Thomas expertly headed home on two occasions giving Maghull a 2-0 interval lead.
Maghull continued to boss the game in the second period but conceded a goal towards the end through a mix-up in their defence.
However, they brushed themselves down and ended the game on the ascendancy with possession and chances.
A corner was forced late on, swung in by Lewis-Smith and Thomas again pulled away from his marker to give himself room, looping his header over the keeper and into the net. As it landed, the referee blew for full time – there's no way you can deny an eight-year-old a hat-trick of headers.