Purps Sky High As Holker
Hit For Six
The scene was perfectly set on Saturday afternoon as we welcomed Holker Old Boys to the Delta Taxis Stadium.
The pitch looked in excellent condition for this time of year, the Purples were on a great run of results - only 1 defeat in our previous 10 matches (away against AFC Liverpool), 3 consecutive clean sheets and our last league defeat coming at home against Widnes on 18th October. Oh yeah, and added to the mix was the national, no, make that international exposure the club was about to gain from having Johnny Phillips from Sky Soccer Saturday filming all the goings on (to be televised on Saturday 17th December)
With Joel Burns unavailable through illness and an ankle problem for Chris Lester that saw him drop to the bench, Captain Chris Dykes played in a defensive back 3 alongside Allen Weston and Barry Moore. Declan Gregson and Mike Smith occupied the wing back roles with a midfield 3 of Michael Roberts, Kevin McEllin and John Connolly. Up front for the Purps were Aaron Rey and Daley Woods.
Joining Lester on the bench was a slightly darker (and some would say chunkier looking) than usual Joe Camozzi, who had just returned from a late honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, Tom Peterson, Matty Williams and Lee McArdle.
The visitors kicked off and were immediately on the back foot as City of Liverpool pushed forward on the attack. Aaron Rey was caught on the ball, but Holker couldn't clear it and back came the Purps.
With only 2 minutes gone, and no doubt still quite a number of Partisans in the bar supping their 4 pints of Warsteiner for a tenner, the Purples went 1-0 up. Some great attacking play on the right flank saw the ball come to Connolly, who meticulously placed a shot from a central position that sent the Partisans wild. 1-0
Connolly's goal was not only the first league goal the Purps have scored at the Dodge Kop End since way back on 6th September, but also becomes the fastest goal scored so far for City of Liverpool, and quickly had many a fan tearing open their golden goal ticket. I opened mine, to find I had a time of 3 minutes, however, despite my querying the time with the Ref at the break, the goal time stood - the Purps were winning, and that's all that matters!
Holker Old Boys seemed rattled by that early goal, and in the early minutes were under constant pressure. Barry Moore, who's been sold at the back in the last few matches, launched a long back forward that was cleared. There was some great interchanges of play in attack between Aaron Rey and John Connolly but Holker seemed to be soaking up the early pressure.
The visitors started to move the ball about with a bit more confidence and flair, and had a quick break that saw a shot come flying in, but Bartosz got his hands to it for a corner to the visitors. A good tackle by Weston from the corner went out for a throw to Holker, another great tackle, this time by Dykes cleared any danger for the Purps, and a resulting shot from Holker flashed high and wide over Bart's goal.
COLFC went back in the attack. A foul on McEllin saw a Roberts free kick headed out for a corner. The corner came in and saw Daley Woods rise above everyone else in the box, but unfortunately, his strong header went well wide.
More pressure from the Purps saw them awarded another corner. This time it was met brilliantly by Weston who thundered it into the back of the Holker net on 17 mins. One for the cameras there as the Purps were looking in total control. 2-0.
The visitors started to come back into the game, and some neat and tidy passing saw them break forward on a number of occasions. Nothing really seemed too much of a scare until on 22 mins, after another Holker break, the ball was crossed along the goal line into a crowd of players, and the ball just somehow went under the body of Bartosz who couldn't prevent it crossing the line. 2-1.
The match became more even now, and the Purps weren't as much of a dominant force as they were in the opening 20 minutes. Good tackling by Moore and forward play from Gregson was being cancelled out by strong link up play and quick breaks from Holker.
The Purps nearly increased their lead when great feet from Connolly saw his shot deflected onto the post. However, Holker immediately broke forward and should have have levelled things at 2-2. Good play by them opened up a glorious chance to equalise, the goal was gaping, yet the shot went well wide. A glaring awful miss by the visitors.
The half ended with a bad tackle by Dykes that saw him booked. City of Liverpool 2-1 up at the interval.
The Purps started the second half and again were attacking the Holker goal. Good interplay between Woods and Rey saw Rey put the ball in the back of the Holker net, only for the Ref to disallow it for a foul committed by Woods on a Holker defender.
Connolly was causing the Holker players problems with his quick change of feet and he was fouled with only about 10 mins gone in the second half. The resulting free kick was cleared for a throw to the Purps, the ball was put through for Connolly who shot, Holker cleared for a corner.
The corner came in on 58 mins, it bypassed everyone and fell to Weston, who drilled a great low shot into the back of the Holker net. 3-1.
A minute later City of Liverpool made their first substitution, Tom Peterson coming on to replace Rey. Peterson almost immediately got into the action himself with a powerful shot, straight at the goalie.
The Purps were controlling the game now, and a long range effort from Woods went well wide.
A second substitution for COLS saw Matty Williams come on to replace Roberts on 69 mins.
Due to City of Liverpool's second half dominance, Holker were restricted to the occasional break away. However, good interception tackles by Moore, blocks by Connolly and general sweeping up by Dykes never really gave the visitors a hint of adding to their tally of one goal.
The Purps final substitute, Joe Camozzi was brought on in place of Declan Gregson, who's tracking back and trickery certainly impressed the visiting Sky Sports Reporter. Camozzi entered the field on 79 mins when the rain was battering down, a million miles away from the Dominican idyll he'd recently just left.
A minute later, the Purples made it 4-1. A foul on Peterson gave the home side a free kick. Matty Williams strode up to take, as cool as you like, and slotted it past the almost stationary Jaroslaw Bitner in the Holker goal mouth.
This was turning into a great day for the Purps, but it wasn't over yet.
Smith was tirelessly mopping up defensively on the right flank and being fouled in the process. Moore, again showing solid defending with great tackles as Holker attempted to bring the ball forward.
Into the last 6 minutes. Connolly fouled, Woods sent a shot in which was tame to say the least and was held comfortably by the Holker goalie. Camozzi was then fouled and the Purps were award a throw.
Great build up play by City of Liverpool saw a 5th goal scored on 88 minutes by Daley Woods. 5-1.
The pitch was very greasy now with all the rain coming down, but nothing was going to dampen the Partisans who were loving this performance. A big cheer went up from the shed as a Holker player went flying on the wet surface.
The final minute, time for another goal? Most definitely yes, and fitting that the goalscoring was ended by the same player who started it off. Connolly grabbing a 6th goal and his first ever COLFC brace on 90 minutes. 6-1.
The final whistle blew. City of Liverpool 6-1 Holker Old Boys. What a treat for the 483 fans and the Sky Soccer Saturday cameras alike, a 7 goal thriller! And after hearing that Litherland REMYCA managed a last gasp equaliser against Whitchurch Alport, the Purps were back at the top of the league!
It couldn't have gone any better.