Magic McShane Helps Moles Sparkle

by Andrew Finch

Molesey 1-0 North Greenford


Molesey’s recent revival gathered pace on Tuesday evening with a hard fought and ultimately deserved victory over high-flying North Greenford United.

A James McShane goal as early as the third minute proved to be the difference between the sides, and in his free role behind the front two the young Scotsman was once again unplayable at times, racking up his fifth goal in the past three games.

It was the quick thinking of Lewis Ackerman that set up the goal, as he received a lay off from Owen Bent and played a first time pass into McShane’s path.  McShane skipped clear of the defence and calmly placed his shot beyond Babacarr Jallow.

Molesey went on to dominate the remainder of the half.  Sam Lampard created half a yard of space in the box but just failed to get his shot away, before an effort from McShane bounced awkwardly in front of Jallow but the keeper did well to hold on to the ball.

A rare foray into the Molesey half saw the prolific Dave Lawrence expose a gaping hole between Joe Yeates and Ross Defoe, however he shot weakly at Colin Harris, whilst visiting skipper Chris Hibbs went into the book for protesting too vehemently when the ref ignored pleas that Moses Spencer had handled in or around the box.

The impressive Aaron Cole-Bolt - making his home debut - thought he’d doubled Molesey’s lead on the half hour mark, and was extremely unfortunate to see his terrific free kick from 30 yards clip the outside of the upright with Jallow not even in the same postcode, whilst the same player then shot wastefully over after McShane had driven at the heart of the Greenford defence and cleverly picked him out.

Andy Graves had to be alert to head clear Lawrence’s goalbound effort, before the Moles countered and great link up play between McShane and Graves sent Bent clear on the right, and with Jallow favourite for the ball Ackerman nipped in front of him and was unfortunate to see his effort land just the other side of the post.

The last action of the half saw Cole-Bolt booked for a lunging tackle on Hibbs.

The visitors’ - who started the evening in second place - came out stronger for the second half, and Harris did well to claw away an effort from Lawrence, however the best chance of the half fell to Yeates, who latched on to Spencer’s flick on at a corner and saw his left footed drive hacked off the line by Jack Lisi.

A tense final 15 minutes saw the visitors throw themselves at the Moles, and came close to levelling when Luc Kenny’s drive from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection and clipped the top of the bar.  From the resulting corner substitute Ricky Pither flicked a near post header across goal that just cleared the far post, with Moles fans expecting the net to bulge.

Ryan Welsh saw another shot sail just wide when well placed, however the Moles held on for their third win in a row, and came close to adding a late second when substitute Tony Furneaux saw a drive just clear the post.

Having snuck up from second bottom to eleventh - last season’s final position - the Moles now appear within striking distance of the top 6, and the opportunity to gain further ground on the leading clubs after their disastrous start will present itself on Saturday with a trip to Epsom&Ewell.

Line-up:  Colin Harris, Andy Graves, Ross Defoe, Joe Yeates [C], Moses Spencer, Dan Coombes, Sam Lampard, Aaron Cole-Bolt, Owen Bent (Tony Furneaux 61), James McShane.  Subs (not used) Phil Dexter, Rob Lewis, Luke Elliott, Wester Young