Purps Perfect TEN
Saturday saw Simon Burton’s team travel to the Stockport Sports Village to take on a Stockport Town side that had seen their manager and nearly a full playing side leave and go to Premier Division New Mills.
The Purps were also somewhat depleted, missing 8 regular match day players through injury, suspension and unavailability due to the festive period.
The line up saw Assistant Manager Tom Spearritt dusting off his boots to make his full league debut for the club, playing in a defensive back 3 alongside Weso and Joe Camozzi. There was also a full league debut for striker Dave Forbes, who was partnered up front by the returning Tom Peterson, with Aaron Rey dropped to the bench where he joined Billy Webb, Tony Dunne, Phil MacDiarmid and Michael Williams, the brother of Matty Williams
The Purps kicked off and were attacking immediately down the left as a long ball by Camozzi found Gregson. The first 15 minutes or so saw some comfortable, composed play from the visitors, with great running off the ball and intricate interplay, but for all the play and possession, nothing to show.
Around 20 minutes in, The Purps had the ball in the back of the Stockport net after a great pass by Roberts released Forbes. Unfortunately, the linesman flagged for offside and his debut goal was ruled out. Would we rue that opportunity? Seemingly not.
The first of City of Liverpool’s Ten goals came moments later on 26 minutes. Another great through ball from Roberts was met by Connolly, who fired it home. 0-1.
Stockport were trying to break down The Purps back line , but assured defending by Spearritt, showing off some well remembered silky skills, and good clearances from Weso meant Longy’s goal was never really under any threat.
On 35 minutes, some excellent play down the flank by Gregson saw him whip in a delightful cross which was met by the onrushing Connolly who neatly directed the ball into the net with his left peg. 0-2
The visitors were now in control of this game, and the play was flowing from all areas of the pitch. Gregson again was sent clear on 38 minutes and after a jinking run, he erm, "shot" and the ball sailed into the far top corner. 0-3
We were now in total domination, and a 4th goal was added on 41 minutes as Forbes produced a great forward surge towards the goal and deftly chipped the Stockport goalkeeper for his debut goal. 0-4
Anyone thinking The Purps would sit back and rest on their lead would have been wrong. Four minutes after the re-start, Connolly was free on the left wing and he delivered an inch perfect cross for Forbes to head home on 49 minutes. 0-5
Again the Purps came forward, good play by McEllin freed up Forbes with a good chance, but he was caught offside
A bizarre incident on 53 minutes handed City of Liverpool their 6th goal. An awful backpass by a Stockport Town defender left goalkeeper Jacob Luty scrambling back to retrieve the ball. He didn’t get there in time and the ball rebounded off the wheel of the goal frame and into the path of Forbes who gladly knocked it into the net to complete his hat trick. 0-6
Should the goal have stood? Maybe not, and it didn’t help Stockport Town’s already difficult task, but it was given, and the visitors had now scored 6 goals in an away match for the first time in their short history.
The home side hadn’t really threatened Longy’s goal with any menace at all so far, and their day got worse on 64 minutes as McEllin, Captain for the day, unleashed a powerful drive from the right hand side of the pitch that buried itself into the corner of the net. 0-7
Simon Burton then made his first change, with Aaron Rey coming on in place of hat trick hero Dave Forbes on 65 minutes.
Rey didn’t even have chance to break into a trot when the Purps increased their lead even further. Another brilliant through ball by Roberts set Peterson free, and he poked a cheeky lob over the onrushing keeper on 66 minutes. 0-8
The home side suddenly started to create some chances and had some good attacking play. Most of it created by the darting runs of substitute Jude Oyibo who entered the field of play the same time as Aaron Rey. Oyibo looked a bright, tricky little bundle of skill and had many Partisans wondering why the home side hadn’t played him earlier.
Simon made a second change on 70 minutes, bringing on Michael Williams for his purple debut in place of the impressive Roberts.
A free kick for the home side was headed clear by Connolly, however, a shot came flying back in causing Longy to make a fine save. A couple of corners in succession for Stockport Town enabled them to show some good flair, and Longy had to clear long upfield.
A final substitution by Simon saw the introduction of Thomas Gravesen, sorry, I mean Phil MacDiarmid on 81 minutes for Gregson. Gregson had enjoyed a great game, but was struggling slightly with a tight hamstring.
Smith had a fantastic opportunity on 85 minutes to add to City of Liverpool’s goal tally. Some wonderful interplay from 4 or 5 players saw Smith go clear. He got himself into a great position with only the goalkeeper to beat, he chipped his effort over Luty, but unfortunately wide of the goal.
On 87 minutes, a Purps throw found its way to Peterson, he latched onto a perfect through ball and fired home. 0-9
At this point, I, like many other Partisans at the match was thinking "ahh, wouldn’t it have been great if we could have got double figures"
Hang fire. We weren’t about to be disappointed. On 89 minutes, Connolly broke forward on the left and ran towards the goal, a challenge was put in, Connolly was taken down in the area. Penalty awarded. Up stepped Peterson, looking to become the days second Purple hat trick hero. He ran up and fired emphatically into the back of Luty’s net. It was double figures for the Purps. 0-10
The final whistle blew. An absolutely superb all round team performance by Simon’s lads, every one of them put in a great display. The clubs highest every victory and the biggest league away win in the Hallmark Security League this season.
A final word for our hosts Stockport Town. Their officials were extremely friendly, welcoming and supportive and I’m sure that once they’ve been able to move on from the unfortunate circumstances of the last few weeks, they will be able to regroup and progress in the right direction. We at City of Liverpool would like to thank them for their hospitality and wish them well for the remainder of the season.
We are running a supporters coach to this game on New Year's Eve.
Prices are £10 Adult & £5 child, departing Empire Theatre 10.30am and The Rocket (bus stop) at 11.00am and then departing at approx 4pm after the game.
Demand will be high, so please book early.