Smith Pulls Strings As Hooley Start Off With A Victory

August 27, 2012

Martyn Bennett celebrates his winning goal

Marcus Smith revelled in his new role as Hooley Bridge Celtic skipper, producing a magnificent performance as they recorded an opening day 3-2 victory over Hazel Grove in the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League Premier Division.

Smith pulled the strings for his side from midfield, scoring the first and providing perfect passes for the other two.

It was a quiet first half at Heywood Leisure Centre, although most of the threats came from Hooley, mainly through Ellis Ridsdale and the abundant skills of Martyn Bennett.

However, it wasn’t until just after the break that Hooley opened the scoring and it was Smith who struck, driving home a free-kick from just outside the box.

While Hooley are a real threat going forward, they are vulnerable to the big man up front and playing the offside trap without linesmen is asking for disaster.

It was from a corner that Hazel Grove equalised. Hooley failed to make the clearing header and they conceded after a bit of a melee in the box.

Smith then got his side back into the lead with a fabulous pass from the centre of the field.

He picked out Ridsdale from full on 40 yards. The ball curled perfectly for him and Ridsdale headed back across the keeper for a memorable goal.

Again Hazel Grove equalised, this time through a great strike from the left of the area, before Smith pulled out another rabbit from his hat.

He picked out new signing Johnny Lynch on the left flank. The long-haired front man controlled the ball well, and sent over a pinpoint cross to the impressive Bennett. He swivelled and fired home the goal that took his side a well-deserved victory.

It was an excellent performance all told by a very young and very talented Hooley team.

They wont have any problems scoring goals and it will take a good team to hold them. In Bennett they have a player born to run and they have a great goalscorer in Ridsdale.

And in Smith they have a playmaker and captain who leads by example.

But they will struggle against the bigger sides and should stop playing an offside trap sooner rather than later.

All in all, if Hooley keep this team together they should do well in the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League Premier Division, and are a match for any side in the league.

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