Ryan Brooke and Zack Clarke booked Runcorn Linnets’ ticket for the Liverpool Senior Cup quarter-final as they beat City of Liverpool 2-1.
Second-half goals from the Linnets strike pairing ensured they were in the last eight despite going down to 10 men after the restart when Sean O’Mahony was shown a straight red card.
The two sides entered the match with contrasting results as the hosts stumbled into the contest following their 2-1 defeat away at Mossley – despite taking the lead through Danny Mitchley.
Dave Wild’s side continued their playoff surge as they followed up their impressive win over Macclesfield with an equally impressive triumph away at struggling Ramsbottom United.
Runcorn Linnets are in their first Liverpool Senior Cup since their reformation and progressed to the Second Round after a dramatic win over Prescot Cables. Meanwhile, the Purps needed penalties to beat North West Counties side, Burscough.
Sam Heathcote missed a glaring opportunity midway through the first-half when he powered a header wide from six yards after James Hooper’s inch-perfect corner.
In a half of little clearcut opportunities, James Short was in the right place at the right time to clear John McGrath’s goalbound effort off the line.
Just seven minutes into the second-half, the visitors were reduced to 10 men after O’Mahony was adjudged to have denied a goalscoring opportunity when he hauled down James Steele.
But it made no difference as the former Warrington Rylands striker opened the scoring. Brooke was on hand to fire home from close range after Clarke’s backheel was saved following a scramble.
McGrath pulled a goal back when his free-kick was deflected beyond Danny Taberner but parity was restored for just five minutes as Clarke pounced on Ryan Hamer’s mistake.
The City of Liverpool goalkeeper failed to claim an inswinging corner and as the fumble looped up he stooped to head the visitors back in front.
In the dying embers, the hosts pushed to send the game to spot-kicks with McGrath at the thick of the action. He arrowed a left-footed effort towards goal from outside the box but the former Purps shot-stopper continued to be a thorn in their side as he produced a fine save to push the effort wide.
City of Liverpool 1-2 Runcorn Linnets
Goals: 68′ John McGrath; 56′ Ryan Brooke, 73′ Zack Clarke
Cards: 53′ Sean O’Mahony (red card – Runcorn Linnets)
HT/FT Score: 0-0/1-2