City v St Helens


There has been a rush of late-season games and there are some tired bodies around the City camp, even affecting the younger members of the squad, and Ben Palmer was rested to the bench for this game with David Renyard playing despite suffering from a sore back.

The first shot of the game saw Renyard fire well over and the first response from the visitors was a shot off target from Diggle , who then missed a fine opportunity as his attempted lob was saved easily by Newton. It has been the pattern lately for City to score first and it happened again in the 9th minute as Renyard’s well-struck low shot from 20 yards flew past Williams.

Diggle was prominent in the early exchanges and he again saw a shot saved by Newton. The weather was warm and yet it was something of a surprise to see a drinks break called midway through the half which rather disrupted the flow of the game. A 25th-minute corner to St Helens dropped to Smith but his shot was saved by Newton.

A late tackle by Diggle on Allison prompted an ugly flare-up in front of the dug-outs with an unnecessary intervention from the City bench, with surprisingly the only caution going to Diggle. The St Helens striker was not to be denied as he equalised in the 34th minute although it must have been a tight decision for the linesman as Diggle squeezed in behind Allison, and fired past Newton.

Renyard was close again with a shot in the 36th minute before St Helens went ahead five minutes later when Greene’s shot beat Newton at his near post, with the keeper appearing to dive under the ball.


It was just three minutes into the second half when City equalised as Addison’s cross from the right was fumbled into his own net by Williams. However, parity did not last for sixty seconds as the away side once again received the benefit of a tight offside call, and Smith finished well past Newton.

There were a couple of penalty appeals from City players in the second half, and Palmer probably had the best of these when his legs appeared to be taken away as he prepared to shoot.

In the 54th minute, it was 3-3 as Renyard scored his second, although again it looked as if Williams was beaten by an attempted cross. The visitors were always sharp on the break, and Presho fired wide after one quick counter. The second half was also interrupted by a drinks break, with the referee looking as much in need as any of the players.

City made a double change as Armstrong and Shiel were replaced by Simpson and Ben Palmer. In the 75th minute, St Helens were ahead once again and, not for the first time, there was a tinge of controversy as two away attackers looked suspiciously offside with the linesman hesitating with his decision. Play continued and the finish from Presho was decisive past Newton.

This fascinating game once again saw two goals in a minute as Renyard completed his hat-trick to make it 4-4 on 76 minutes, with a good strike past Williams for his 14th of the season. Simpson’s shot might well have been goal-bound but Jordan Palmer’s deflection looped the ball just over the bar. In the 82nd minute, a disastrous attempted back-header by Allison was seized on by Weaver and he easily beat Newton to put the visitors 5-4 up.

There was a booking for Heath after a silly hand-ball offence. The two Palmer brothers linked well and Jordan came very close to an equaliser, but the visitors held on for their first-ever league win over City at the sixth attempt.
TEAMS- CITY- Newton, Addison, Heath, Allison, Greenslade, Armstrong, Shiel, Earl, McCartney, J Palmer, Renyard SUBS- B Palmer, Simpson, Douglas, Townsley, Graham
ST HELENS- Williams, Presho, Robinson, Whelan, Webster, Smith, Furlong, Atkinson, Diggle, Greene, Weaver SUBS- Hope-O’Connor, Mangan, Evans

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