West’s unbeaten run in the league came to an emphatic end with a 4-2 loss at home to an impressive Bootle side. West were hit by late injury blows as both Matty Kay and Mark Rogers were removed from the line up through injury handing Rick Gleave and Scott Mason starts with the latter in the unfamiliar position of centre back.
West almost took a first minute lead as a Ben Steer cross almost found Gleave at the far post with Martyn Andrews dragging the rebound just wide of the post. On 5 minutes Jonny Poizer played in Ash Woods but he was denied by a superb tackle.
On 15 minutes Bootle were handed a penalty when Potts, clearing a cross with a fine header, was adjudged to have committed a foul. It was a controversial decision, however Bootle failed to punish West as Josh Hamilton stepped up only to be denied by a superb save from Hayden Buckley-Smith saving a hard shot to his right; his fifth penalty save in a West shirt. It would be worse for Hamilton as he blazed the rebound over the bar from two yards out.
The missed penalty seemingly galvanised Bootle who gained the upper hand and Halligan was only denied a certain goal thanks to a superb Richmond Botchey block at the far post after an excellent pass across the box on 30 minutes. It would get worse on the injury front for West as Steer was forced out of the game with a twisted ankle leaving West forced into a re-shuffle with Ben Woods coming on at left back and Lee Gavin moving into the midfield.
West’s best move came on 36 minutes when Botchey burst down the right hand side playing in Andrews whose lay off found Joe Shaw but he curled just over the bar. A minute later Bootle led as low cross to the near post came loose inside the six yard box allowing Steve Jones to fire home.
However West would head into half time level when Rick Gleave latched onto a flicked on header, drove forward playing in Shaw who curled an unstoppable effort into the top corner; it was an absolutely terrific strike. The second half was just five minutes old when Bootle retook the lead as a Bootle cross from the right hand side landed on the head of Scott Mason who could only divert it into his own goal.
It was 3-1 on 69 minutes as Steve Jones added his second when West failed to deal with a corner and the Bootle striker fired home at the near post. West were handed a lifeline two minutes later as a superb Poizer cross was curled into the penalty area and Gleave reacted quickest firing an unstoppable volley past Ryan Jones in the Bootle goal.
The points were wrapped up with 11 minutes remaining when Ryan Cox collected the ball 30 yards out and fired an unstoppable effort into the bottom right hand corner giving Buckley-Smith no chance. West didn’t give up and a terrific Botchey cross almost found Gleave at the far post but it was headed clear and West experienced defeat at home for the first time since the South Manchester Derby.