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COLFC 5 St Helens Town 1

The Rocket Claims Man of the Match v St Helens Town was Franny Barry, for his 2 goals and general class throughout the game.

Match Report

City of Liverpool kept up a perfect home record with a thoroughly professional 5-1 win over St Helens Town at the DTS. New signings Franny Barry and Tom Peterson were joined on the scoresheet by Daley Woods and Allen Weston. The result wasn’t the only exciting event of the night though, as a massive crowd of 608 turned up to play their part in the victory.

Fans slowly filled the ground before kick-off, but soon there were queues around the Delta Taxi’s Stadium of fans clamouring to see the city’s new purple heroes. As kick-off approached, people were still filing into the stadium and up to the bar.

Team news saw the COL’s switch to a back 3 and give Tony Dunne a deserved start at centre half, alongside Allen Weston and Danny Dalton. New signings Franny Barry and Tom Peterson came in up front, as part of a front 3 which was completed by goal-machine Daley Woods. Todd Blayney and Chris Dykes retained their places in central midfield and were flanked by Chris Lester and Joe Comozzi, who were on the right and left wings respectively.

The COL’s started slowly and looked like they may have been in for a tough night judging by the performance in the early stages. But soon the wide players settled into the game and were constricting the space in the middle of the park when out of possession. Lester and Comozzi were equally effective getting forward, and were succeeding in stretching the St Helens defence. And on 19, the COL’s got their reward. At the Dodge Kop end, City of Liverpool won a corner on the right. The ball was swung over and held up well by Danny Dalton. He laid it off to Frany Barry, who held off his marker superbly on the corner of the 6 yard box and fired in off the post to put his new side 1-0 up on his home debut.

The partisans didn’t have to wait long for a second, and neither did Barry, when he doubled City of Liverpool’s lead on 28 minutes. Daley Woods held off his defender on the edge of the box and although he shot right at the keeper, the ball was spilled into the path of Barry. He duly dispatched it into the back of the net from 6 yards out to add to his and the COL’s tally for the night. The partisans enclosure was now in full voice and were about to get louder, as the Purps put St Helens to the sword again 3 minutes later.

It was the Purps’ wide players again that were the difference and a wonderful cross from the right boot of Chris Lester was nodded in from Daley Woods, scoring his 9th goal in his last 4 games, to put the Purps 3-0 before half time. Not long afterwards though, the only blotch on the face of City of Liverpool’s night came when captain, Chris Dykes, was carried off injured and replaced by Anthony Daniels. There is no prognosis yet as to how long Dykesy will be out for.

The Purps saw out the half and went in comfortably 3-0 up at half time. A game that some thought would be stumbling block, was turning into a cakewalk. But could they keep up this magnificent performance in the second half?

St Helens kicked off what was to be a scrappy first 10 minutes to the second half. City of Liverpool looked to have changed their shape towards the end of the second half, sitting a little deeper and reverting to a 5-4-1. They carried this into the second half, which paid dividends in the 58th minute. Daley Woods, now playing on the left, whipped a glorious ball into the penalty area. The type of ball which forces all the surrounding opposition players to make a decision which can only ever be incorrect. Stooping at the back post to head the ball past the St Helens goalkeeper, was a delighted Tom Peterson. COL’s now 4-0 up. Surely goodnight Vienna.

However, St Helens Town weren’t done and threatened repeatedly. They were getting into dangerous positions and finally forcing Ste Longrigg, whose positioning in his goal was faultless all night, into making saves. St Helens got a deserved goal on 69 minutes, when Longy saved brilliantly but couldn’t get up quick enough to stop the rebound from the edge of the 6 yard box.

This would be the end of St Helens Town’s threat though, as they reverted back to a submissive state. The game was petering out until the COL’s got a corner from the left in the 88th minute. The deep corner left the Saints keeper flapping and on his arse. Danny Dalton nodded the ball back into a crowded penalty, and found a resplendent Allen Weston rising above his marker to head into an empty net. 5-1 and that’s how it stayed until the final whistle.

A fantastic result for the COL’s sees them return to the top of the North West Counties Division 1 table, with a game in hand on Whitchurch Alport who lie second. But on a night when the action on the pitch will rightly get the praise it deserves, it’s the 12th man off it who will receive the highest praise. To pull in 608 fans at this level is no mean feat – to do it on a Tuesday should be commended highly. Is right the Partisans!

Dean Mannion 

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