Rylands came into a home contest against Bootle looking for a return to winning after back-to-back away defeats against Hanley Town last Saturday and again at Longridge Town on Wednesday night.
Early morning rain made the conditions on the pitch slick on a sunny but breezy afternoon at Gorsey Lane. Rylands edged the earlier interchanges, pressing high up the pitch, forcing the early pressure. Their industrious start was undone however on 8 minutes when Bootle broke forward quickly and a perfectly placed through ball to Carl Peers was stabbed home by the Bootle striker to give the visitors the lead.
Rylands dug in to regain control of the game in the first half with Freddie Potter and George Lomax coming close with speculative efforts, Wolhuter and Scarisbrick, with the ball zipping around made some well-timed first touches and layoffs that caused problems for the Bootle back four. The pair gave good distribution to the forwards and wingers, creating a solid period of pressure. However, Bootle’s rearguard held firm and they went in at half time with their one goal lead in tact.
HALF TIME - Rylands 0 v 1 Bootle
In the second half, the blues pushed forward again in the search for an equaliser but, as they found at Longridge, committing men forward left gaps at the back which were exploited by a fine Bootle move with Kieron Halligan finishing off the move for the visitors on the hour mark with a well worked move leaving McCall stranded in the Rylands goal while Halligan finished it off to double the Bootle lead.
Undeterred, Rylands stuck to their high tempo style and continued to pressure McGovan in the Bootle goal. They got a glimmer of hope on 72 minutes when George Lomax tapped in to finish off a move that was typified by relentless pressure applied by the home side. Lomax ran into the net to grab the ball and sprinted back to the centre circle with it under his arms. Game on!
180 seconds later, the fight back was brought to life with an absolute peach of a goal from experienced striker, Freddie Potter. A ball floated in from the right wing was met by Potter’s head at the penalty spot. His firm header was guided over the outstretched hands of McGovan and into the corner of the net to make the score 2-2.
Rylands continued to press, searching for a winning goal. Then came the heartbreak as the home side were caught on the counter with some clinical work from Bootle. Halligan fed substitute, Cameron Dalton who hit a first-time shot from the edge of the box that almost broke the net to take all the points for Bootle.
Rylands now go into a home fixture against Northwich Victoria this Tuesday evening before welcoming Bootle back to Gorsey Lane next Saturday for the Buildbase FA Vase.
FULL TIME - Rylands 2 v 3 Bootle
Rylands: 1. Graeme McCall, 2. Callum Lees, 3. Tom Parry, 4. Gary Kenny (C), 5. Joe Denman, 6. Andy Scarisbrick, 7. Warren Gerrard, 8. Ste Wolhuter, 9. Freddie Potter, 10. George Lomax, 11. Tom McNamara
Subs used: 14. Harry Molyneux, 16. Adam Jones, 17. Kane Drummond
"We didn’t start the game well again, which is frustrating. I think we gave them a little bit too much respect early on as well as us suffering a bit of a hangover from Wednesday's performance and result.
"Second half, I thought we were exceptional and deserved to get back into the game. From that point, I thought we looked the more likely to get the winner but fair play to Bootle, who was brilliant throughout, they managed to get the late goal and took the three points."
Report by Dave Burley / Photos by Mark Percy