Bootle 2-1 City of Liverpool: Bucks earn bragging rights as Purps sack Michael Ellison

Bootle vs City of Liverpool

Ben Hodkinson and Connor Millington inspired Bootle to a comeback win over rivals City of Liverpool.

Second-half goals from the Bucks pair handed Steve McNulty his second successive win as manager but also succumb Purps boss Michael Ellison to the managerial chopping block.

John McGrath stabbed City of Liverpool in front on the stroke of half-time after some great work down the left from James Steele, who cut back to McGrath.

It was a tight and fiercely competitive first-half as the two rivals went toe-to-toe. City of Liverpool went into the match on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Macclesfield and sat at the foot of the table.

Meanwhile, the Bucks overcame Trafford in McNulty’s first match as manager in a five-goal thriller.

But it was the visitors who had the first opening, Steele’s cross looped over Sam Ashton in the Bootle goal before hitting the back post. McGrath followed up but could only fire straight at the Bucks ‘keeper.

McNulty’s side responded with efforts from Hodkinson, Tom Peterson and Jack McGowan but failed to test Hamer.

The Purps finished the half stronger, Will Jones glanced Danny Simpson’s teasing delivery straight at Ashton before McGrath was fastest to react to Steele’s cross to fire City of Liverpool in front.

REACTION: ‘We will get better’ – Bootle manager Steve McNulty lauds his side after City of Liverpool comeback

Following the restart, the hosts looked to level proceedings and despite starting off the brighter of the two sides, it was Ellison’s side who came closest in the opening exchanges. An in-swinging corner was met by the head of George Hassall but Cooper was alert on the line to divert the danger.

The Bucks bit back as Jay Cooper forced a spectacular save from Hamer but just seven minutes after the restart, Bootle’s pressure paid off.

A quick throw-in caught out City of Liverpool, Hodkinson burst inside and unleashed a beautiful left-footed effort which nestled into the top corner.

Bootle continued their pressure and were in the ascendancy after restoring parity. McGowan came close with a looping volley but it was Millington who fired the hosts in front.

Hodkinson was the architect as he cut back to the midfielder who cushioned his effort into the bottom left corner.

Moments later, Millington nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon. His first-time strike was venomous but could only whistle over the bar.

In the dying embers, Jones manoeuvred some space and got it onto his left, his effort was difficult for Ashton but he gratefully claimed at the second attempt.

The win fires Bootle up to ninth, meanwhile City of Liverpool remain bottom of the Northern Premier League West.

As a result of their fourth straight league defeat, Michael Ellison was relieved of his duties as Purps manager.

Match Stats:

Bootle 2-1 City of Liverpool

Goals: 53′ Ben Hodkinson, 71′ Connor Millington; 45′ John McGrath

HT/FT Score: 0-1/2-1.

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