City of Liverpool again left it late to salvage a point against Daisy Hill on Saturday. The visitors had gone 2-0 up with 11 minutes to go. But Declan Gregson came off the bench to score a goal that sparked hope in the purp's and Joe Comozzi equalised with a marvellous volley with virtually the last kick of the game.
Simon Burton stuck with a 4-3-3 formation. There we 2 changes to the line up, one being the return of Tony Dunne taking the place of Allen Weston. Ant Daniels also made way for Tuesday nights debut hero, Matty Williams. Weso and Daniels did make the bench though alongside new boy Michael Roberts, Declan Gregson and the returning Kev McEllin. Leon Williams was also warming up with the team again, it now being glaringly obvious he is nearing a return to action.
The game started with a very high tempo from the home side. City of Liverpool flew out the blocks and tested a Daisy Hill goalkeeper who must have washed his gloves in butter, as he couldn't catch anything in that came into his area. This was on display when he spilled a Michael Smith corner, which he was lucky enough to see fall at the feet of one of his own defenders before Tom Peterson could convert. However, despite a rapid start and having 3 or 4 clear cut chances in the first half, the game became very scrappy and Daisy Hill began to get their midfield on the ball.
On 34 minutes though, City of Liverpool were punished for not taking their chances. Ashley Stott was brought down 30 yards from goal. At first the referee let play go and Daisy Hill got a shot on goal which went wide - it was only at this point, when the away side had wasted their advantage, that the ref blew for a free kick. Jake Foster stepped up as the wall was only about 8 yards away and still organising itself and curled the ball into the bottom corner of Bartosz Kowalczyks goal, the diving Pole's fingertips only helping it into the side of his net. A controversial goal, but a goal nonetheless - and one that put the home side behind.
The Purp's responded well. Andy Fowler was put through on the Daisy Hill goal and could only fire wide, and a Chris Lester cross was too high for Tom Peterson who could only divert it over. As the ref blew for half time, Simon Burton and Tom Spearitt marched across the pitch towards him and let rip on the underperforming match official. Apparently though, the lads in purple didn't get off lightly when they got back into the changing room either.
The Purps came out and again started on the right foot. Some neat work from Andy Fowler was followed by a one-two with Tom Peterson. Fowlers first touch was excellent and, as he bore down on goal, it looked harder to miss, but he managed to drag his shot wide of Grant Mitchell, sorry, the Daisy Hill keepers goal. It was at this point that the opposing keeper started to receive the obligatory piss taking from the partisans. Addams Family and Eastenders theme chants could be heard coming from the shed, to which the shot-stopper couldn't help but laugh.
City of Liverpool continued to press forward, but were now being easily contained by the visiting back line. Matt Knowles had Tom Peterson in his back pocket and, for as much as Peterson tried to shake off the plus size centre half, he couldn't escape his attentions all afternoon. However, in a game where the only other highlight was becoming an injury to Danny Dalton (a dead leg which he is likely to return from before the short trip to Litherland REMYCA on Wednesday), the points looked to be sealed for the away side on 79 minutes.
Foster played in Ashley Stott on the left side edge of the area. Stott shrugged off Weso, who should've done better to hold up the striker, and fire into the bottom corner of Kowalczyks goal in front of the Dodge Kop end. The Lancashire side now looked home and dry against a City of Liverpool team that been easily stopped in this second half. But that wasn't the case. City of Liverpool had been awoken and began to find holes in the Daisy Hill defence.
First Matty Williams showed lovely control of the ball to take on 3 players and arrow one over the Daisy Hill bar. But not long after, the central midfielder got down the away sides left and chipped one into the box. Substitute Declan Gregson got in front of his defender at the near post to put the ball in the roof of the net and pull one back for the COL's. With 9 minutes plus stoppage time left, there was more than enough time for more goals.
Simon Burton instructed his side to go to a 3-3-4 formation, with Weso and Williams joining Peterson and Gregson up front. Gregson had certainly made a difference since coming on, getting on the ball in dangerous positions and pulling the Daisy Hill defence apart with threatening runs. But the hero of this game was not a super sub, but a truly fantastic full back.
With seconds left in the game, Matty Williams again tore the Daisy Hill left back apart and put the ball in the box from the byline. Weso's flick on was met on the corner of the 6 yard box and volleyed into the back of the net by none other than Joe Comozzi. The left back, who had had a typically solid and reliable game, bounded towards the shed to celebrate his first goal in 4 years and an equaliser for a home side who had looked dead and buried. Daisy Hill restarted the game, but the ref blew the full time whistle seconds later. They collapsed to the floor, knowing they had let 3 points slip through their fingers. The purps went in happy enough but you could see they knew this was 2 points dropped as opposed to 1 gained.
With this dramatic point, City of Liverpool stay top of the table with 32 points in 15 games. Charnock Richard are second with an identical record thanks to their 6-1 hammering of Cheadle Town. Whitchurch Alport sit 3rd, a point behind in as many games, after their 1-0 away win at Atherton LR. Alsager Town's 3-1 victory over St Helens Town puts them 4th, 2 points off top spot with 3 games in hand. Litherland REMYCA have slid to 4th with 26 points from 12 games.
So definitely an opportunity missed for the COL's today to maintain a 2 point lead at the top of the league and to go into the derby on Wednesday night on the back of 3 straight wins. But hopefully the headlines - if there were any - would not all be about a poor team performance. They would deservedly be reserved for an unlikely, delightful, late, goalscoring hero.
Attendance - 559