Illuminating Purples Leave AFC Blackpool In The Shade
City of Liverpool Manager Simon Burton made one change to the starting line-up from that which started last week against Stockport Town. Out went Assistant Manager Tom Spearritt who resumed his barking instructions from the dug out role, and in came Captain Chris Dykes after being suspended for The Purps’ biggest ever victory.
Daley Woods was named on the bench after missing last week, alongside the returning Barry Moore, Matty Williams, Chris Lester and Aaron Rey.
After dropping our first points of the season against the visitors in August, revenge was definitely on the cards, especially after we threw away a 2 goal lead in our first meeting.
The fog that had earlier in the morning threatened the matches playability had well and truly cleared, and as many Partisans were still streaming through the turnstiles, the visitors, clearly visible in their bright tangerine strip, kicked off. Almost immediately after the kick off, AFC’s goalkeeper Callum Kirkland needed attention for a dislocated finger. Lucy Orme and Tom Spearritt were on hand to help out the opposing bench in trying to put said finger back in place, and after about 5 minutes of stoppages and a number of wincing glances in the goalies direction, play resumed with Kirkland back in the visitors goal.
The Purps started brightly. Peterson releasing Smith with a great cross field ball to the right, but Smith’s shot was blocked.
A great cross from the left by Gregson again fell to Smith who was arriving in the box, however, when a volley looked like the best option, Smith laid the ball off and the move was soon smothered out.
The breakthrough came on 13 minutes, unlucky for AFC Blackpool, as the impressive Gregson, jinked his way past the visitors right back and delivered an inch perfect cross to the far post where a grateful Tom Peterson headed home. 1-0
The Purps increased their lead five minutes later, when on 18 minutes, Dave Forbes floated in a cross to the six yard box, which then rebounded off Gregson and hit the onrushing Connolly to finish in the back of the net. 2-0
Things got worse for the visitors as their goalkeeper couldn’t continue due to his earlier mishap. With no substitute stopper on the bench, it was Carl Duffy who took the jersey and headed towards the tangerines goal mouth.
A head clash between Peterson and Gregson had everyone screaming at the referee to stop play, fortunately, both players gave their noggins a good rub and were fit enough to continue.
A few minutes later, and what surely must be miss of the season so far, had the ground gasping in disbelief. With the substitute goalie stranded, the ball floated over to Peterson, who from about 5 yards out, and with an open goal gaping, whacked the ball against the upright. How did that not go in? It was still 2-0 to The Purps, still, at least we now had a worthy entrant for the “Cross Bar Challenge”!
City of Liverpool were temporarily reduced to 10 men, when after going in for a solid challenge, Kevin McEllin looked in a fair amount of discomfort. A cheer went up from the shed as Lucy Orme ran on the pitch, and a minute or so later, McEllin hobbled off. Things weren’t looking good, but after a bit of treatment, McEllin came back on the field of play.
As we approached added minutes due to the early stoppage, City increased their lead even further on 45 minutes. Connolly showing great skill and supplying a cross that Forbes had no hesitation dispatching. 3-0
The Purps started off the second half in good attacking style, and AFC’s stand in goalkeeper was making some good interceptions. Firstly he saved with his feet from a Gregson effort, and then parried a strong attempt by Peterson.
Around 5 minutes after the re-start, Gregson picked up the ball on the left wing, and after cutting inside, unleashed a spectacular curling effort that looked every inch a goal. The deputising Carl Duffy in the visitors goal made a tremendous save, getting his fingertips to it, and pushing it onto the post! Everyone thought it was in, even Declan was half turning away in celebration. Gregson had been on fire throughout this whole match, causing havoc down the AFC Blackpool left hand side, and a goal would have been well deserved. The shed were so impressed with Duffy’s save, that chants of "England’s England’s number 1" started to ring out.
Forbes was then brought down in the box on 54 mins. Penalty awarded to the home side. Up stepped Tom Peterson who had already scored a successful spot kick the week before against Stockport Town. Peterson calmly and expertly hit the ball high into the roof of the net. His 5th goal in his last 2 games. 4-0
Gregson was giving the visitors a torrid time of things, again, another dribbling run saw him roast two AFC Blackpool defenders and send over a teasing cross for Forbes, but the impressive Duffy again got a hand to it.
A couple of minutes after Peterson’s penalty, the visitors went on the attack and were themselves awarded a spot kick after a reckless challenge in the areas by Weso. Up stepped Aaron Fleming who converted on 56 minutes. 4-1
The Purps kept looking for more goals. Firstly Peterson was dispossessed in the box, then the lively Gregson had a shot which was saved by the legs of Duffy, Peterson then attempted an overhead kick which landed agonisingly on the roof of the net.
City increased their lead again on 64 minutes, when a Purple corner came in, and Gregson pounced to bang it into the back of the net. It was a real poachers goal and nothing less than he deserved after a brilliant individual performance. 5-1
Matty Williams was the first COLs substitute brought into play on 66 minutes, replacing McEllin. City of Liverpool were still applying the pressure, a couple of corners saw Weso have a shot that was wide of the goal.
Another corner by Connolly was whipped in, and Peterson missed a glancing header by no more than a whisker for what surely would have been a second successive hat trick for him.
As we entered the last 15 minutes, Camozzi gave away a needless foul. No real danger? Yeah, that’s what most of us thought, but Aaron Fleming stepped up on 75 minutes and curled a glorious effort around the purple wall and passed a stranded Longrigg on the goal line. 5-2
To say Simon and the bench weren’t happy with some of the sloppy defending, especially the two situations from which AFC Blackpool scored was a massive understatement.
A double substitution on 77 minutes saw Weso replaced by Chris Lester, and Tom Peterson replaced by Aaron Rey. Both players getting involved in the play straight from their introduction to the game
The Purps’ final goal came on 89 minutes, when a long ball forward by Gregson, fell to Connolly who blasted it into the back of the net. 6-2
Overall, a great performance from the team, apart from some dubious decision making at the back.
City of Liverpool have now scored 12 goals in our last 2 home matches and 16 goals in our last 2 league games. That’s fantastic entertainment for all the Partisans both home and away.
2 massive games coming up next for City of Liverpool, away at Alsager Town, then home to our rivals Litherland REMYCA. Make sure you’re there to lend your support and cheer the lads on!