4 games played, 4 games won……its not bad is it ?
COLFC sit proudly top of the Hallmark Security League First Division this morning, and following local rivals Litherland REMYCA loss at home to St Helens Town later today we are all alone in top spot and are also the only team in both divisions of the league to have a 100% record just the third weekend into the season.
The first Friday night fixture of the season was going to be a test both on and off the field. Throughout the season the committee are going to try to switch weekend games to Friday nights where they would normally clash with one or both of our Premier League big names on Saturday afternoon. Its a bit of a risk, would the fans be dragged away from the traditions of chippy tea night and the end of the working week blow out down the pub ?......they needn’t of worried, the Purple Partisans turned out in numbers once again to set a new record
home crowd of 435.
Having made a number of changes midweek, manager Simon Burton again confirmed his commitment to a full squad game by making a number of switches. Back in came Daley Woods upfront, whilst Nathan Martland replaced the injured Billy Webb. Todd Blayney came in for Ant Daniels in midfield and Bradley Williams was rewarded for his stunning substitutes performance last weekend with a start on the left wing.
1 Ste Longrigg
2 Chris Lester
3 Joe Camozzi
4 Todd Blayney
5 Danny Dalton
6 Allen Weston
7 Mike Smith
8 Chris Dykes ©
9 Daley Woods
10 Nathan Martland
11 Bradley Williams
12 Rob Abelwhite
14 Leon Williams
15 Ant Daniels
16 Michael Chojnicki
17 Anthony Dunne
Stockport finished last season as one of the play off finalists so deserved a bit of respect and the Purps started off with the same 4-4- 2 formation that had worked so well in the previous 3 matches. The visitors kicked off and it took no more than 30 seconds for the ball to be booted out of the ground sending our very own Usain Bolt, Ian Pickstock on the first of many journeys of the night to fetch it.
An early corner was cleared by Woods before the big striker was called upon again to defend a free kick in the 4th minute. But it was quickly turn for City to flex their muscles with Dykes setting up Smith for a shot on 6 minutes which forced a corner of their own.
Todd Blayney’s corner was floated perfectly over the penalty spot where Daley Woods was on hand to bullet a header past the Stockport keeper…..1-0 !
A minute later the visitors go close to an equaliser as Graham crosses for Latham who heads over from 10 yards Another chance falls to Stockport on 8 minutes but a great tackle by Bradley Williams (who I mistakenly keep calling Bradley Walsh……well he never gives up on The Chase ) ends the danger.
On 15 minutes the visitors were forced into an early change as Armstrong had to go off, on came Murphy.
Then on 23 minutes it was the turn of Ian ‘the pick man’ Pickstock to exercise his lungs and his legs again as another two balls left the ground and we were temporarily left without one to play with. The titanic Taxidriver perhaps needs to lay off the pre match Warsteiners however as this time the delay was too much and we had to borrow a ball from our visitors to get the game restarted.
On 30 minutes Stockport create another good chance as Beswick plays the ball through to Latham, but his shot is straight into Longrigg’s hands. A minute later Camozzi clears the danger again, the full backs are playing a more traditional role tonight not getting forward as much as we’ve seen them in the last two games.
35 minutes and the ball goes out of the ground once again……Lucy readies her new defibrillator machine in case Ian needs resuscitation.
Williams is causing his marker all sorts of problems down the right so much so that they double up on him but its no use as on 41 minutes he shakes them both loose before sending a wonderful curling centre low in between the last defender and the goalkeeper where waiting on the far side of the box is Woods to gratefully smash the
ball into the top corner from 15 yards……2-0 City.
HT 2-0 and Pickstock heads off to the changies with the players to get his well earned orange segment The second half saw the Purps attacking the end where the Purple Army were congregated under the shed roof…..its not really the end of the ground, but its as far away from the bar as these diehard drinkers dare to venture for home matches.
Bolstered by the good start the Purps came out full of confidence and were determined to press home their advantage in the early minutes. A shot by Blayney is blocked on 48 minutes, then a free kick on the edge of the box is wasted by the same player. Martland is then caught offside when put through by Lester, the fullbacks are starting to venture further forward now.
It takes just 11 minutes of concerted pressure for COLs to score again. A great run by Camozzi sets off Martland down the right hand channel, his low cross looks too close to the keeper, but a hole the size of the Birkenhead tunnel suddenly appears underneath him and Daley Woods has a two yard tap in to register his and City’s first ever hat trick. The big striker has been magnificent tonight and duly heads off into the shed to take his congratulations like a true purple hero does, with the now traditional piley-on.
Down at the Dodge Kop end, Purple Smoke drifts lazily and harmlessly across Longrigg’s goal
from a smoke cannister in the crowd behind him.
Theres a bit of handbags on 60 minutes in the middle of the park which ends with both Smith and Sam Scott in the referees notebook.
City are now going for the kill though and relentless pressure on McCoy’s goal eventually leads to Smith being brought down in the box for a stonewall penalty (why are they called ‘stonewall’ by the way ? Answers on a postcard to Hasn’t the Chairman already got enough to do without reading all these postcards, Delta Taxis Stadium, Vesty Road, Bootle).
It looks like Woods is going to step up to go for his fourth of the game, but as we haven’t got enough balls left to give him one for his first hat trick let alone two, Smith is given the chance to make it 4. He drives a low hard shot to the keeper’s left, no way back for the men from south of Manchester now……or is there ?
At the other end Adam Kay manages to extricate himself from Danny Dalton’s arse pocket for the first time of the night and get off a shot, a tremendous reaction save from Longrigg though keeps the score at 4-0.
On 72 minutes the visitors make another change, Mark German replaces Sam Scott and it pays immediate dividends as the sub sets off Abreu (milk, four sugars please !) sets off on a brilliant individual run before shooting into the corner to make it 4-1.
Bond replaces Beswick two minutes later for Stockport whilst for the home side Daley and Martland are replaced by Leon Williams making his debut and Rob Abelwhite (who’s name deserves a song sung for him by the family Von Trapp !)
COLFC are still in unforgiving mood and continue to press forward, they sense there are more goals in this game and want to entertain the fans too. But perhaps it’s a bit naïve to throw so much into attack even at 4-1 up and on 82 minutes they pay the price for getting a bit over-excited. Weston gets across for a great tackle, but the loose ball is picked up by Bennion who crosses for Latham to make it 4-2.
Simon sends on Chojnicki who has waited patiently for his chance off the bench for the past three games. However its all Stockport as they go for a third goal that might make a few arses twitchy in the home end and that’s not due to the curry being served in the Naked Lunch café at the corner of the ground.
A series of corners are cleared by Dalton and Weston, whilst Longrigg also has to catch a couple of crosses and try to calm things down. Bond glances a header just wide on 88 minutes, come on the Purps, 435 collective hearts can’t take this.
The referee adds 4 minutes to prolong the agony but its not enough to deny victory and WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE, SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE !!!
Its still early days but you can’t deny that this team is getting better with every game and with crowds growing by the match too, the feeling is we could be in for a very special season.
Its on to Blackpool next, where hopefully the thrills and spills won't be confined to the pleasure beach.
Stockport Town is an English football club based in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Formed in 2014, they were admitted to the North West Counties Football League in 2015 and have been playing in North West Counties League Division One from the start of the 2015–16 season.
Stockport Town were very supportive of COLFC's attempts to join the Hallmark Security League and agreed to play a behind closed doors friendly against us at short notice in July, in which they won 2-1.
They also readily agreed to play this match on Friday 19th August, instead of Saturday 20th and we are very grateful for that.