UNSWORTH'S recent good run came to an abrupt halt at Whalley Range's Kings Road ground on Saturday. How and why is still a bit of a mystery. No disrespect to the home side but Unsworth have beaten and had better results against far better teams.

There may lie the answer in that good sides bring out the good parts of a team's game, standards rise as does the play, The major factor of Unsworth's afternoon was that they were 2-0 up after half-an-hour and looking forward to a good win with, hopefully, a few more goals.

However, on the half-hour, an ugly late tackle on full-back Mark Rushton caused a melee with at least one Whalley Range player raising his fists, which is a sending off offence. Referee Mr Friedlander thought differently and allowed a caution to be given, which set the stall out for the rest of the afternoon.

Unsworth were now rattled and began to lose their composure and grip on the game. Beforehand, the visitors had started brightly and Mike Hunter gave his side the lead after only five minutes, by hammering home a low cross inside the box.

More chances went begging as Whalley Range's cavalier approach caused them all sorts of problems. Good work by Paul Lyons down the right, and his low cross, was converted with ease by Phil Smith from close range.

All was well and going to plan, then came that incident on 35 minutes. Minutes before half-time, slack defending allowed Levi Adams to sneak in and drill a low shot past the despairing Karl Hassall in the Unsworth goal -- not a good time to lose a goal.

The home side came out of the blocks with their tails up and if Unsworth could have ridden this little storm, everything would have been all right, but a mix-up between Truelove and Hassall allowed Campbell to sneak in and equalise.

The referee, Mr Friedlander, was not having one of his best afternoons, as he allowed a lot of things to go unpunished. His decision to award a penalty on the hour mark was not just a surprise to Unsworth, but also to the Whalley Range players. It was an awful decision but penalty taker, Otutu, was not complaining as he put his side in front to complete a remarkable come-back.

Unsworth laid siege to the home side's goal for the rest of the game, but it was just not their day. A disappointing end to a good run but in the long run, it may do more good than harm, but the progress on the field is still forward and looking good -- a bad day at the office!

UNSWORTH: Hassall, Rushton, (Brimelow), Gallagher, Morley, Truelove, Whitby, Hannan, C. Lyons, Smith, P. Lyons, Hunter, (Kitson). Subs: Ashton, (Whitby), Healey, Welch.

Manager Nick Woods was not downhearted and said: "It certainly won't ruin my Christmas", but warned of a potential banana skin.

"We should have gone on and won comfortably after going two goals up, but took out foot off the gas and lost concentration".

"We will learn from this, myself and Tony Welch are delighted with the progress so far and everything is still going in the right direction for next year".

On Saturday, Unsworth face a Breightmet United side looking for revenge of a recent defeat by their hosts. Kick-off 2pm on what looks like being a heavy Hillock pitch. Please telephone for details on 07950 102307.

DOBBIES U-15...1


ANOTHER great result for Charlie Lynch's table-topping side as they thumped Radcliffe Dobbies for nine at Ainsworth Hall last Sunday.

Goal machine, Brendan Cranshaw, hit a hat-trick, as did come-back player Luke Smith. Five goals to Smith's credit in two games, after a lengthy lay-off due to injury.

It was also a good day for the three substitutes, Darren Evans, John Hunter and Kieron Kelly, who all scored.

But it was no mystery why that other top scorer Nathan Kennedy did score as he helped out in defence, but it was Michael Lynch who gained the man-of-the-match award.