Latter stage heroics from Joe Herbert and Elliot Morris helped Skelmersdale United come from behind to beat City of Liverpool.
There were three second half goals, firstly through the Purps skipper, Nathan Burke, who expertly found the bottom left corner as his effort arrowed past Andrew Coughlin.
Paul McNally’s side levelled proceedings with 14 minutes of normal time remaining when defender, Herbert, scored a tremendous overhead kick after City of Liverpool goalkeeper Ryan Hamer dropped a searching free-kick.
Morris scored the winning goal just five minutes later, nine minutes from time, after Burke was judged to have handled from Sam Sheen’s cross. The attacker made no mistake from 12 yards and sent the shot-stopper the wrong way.
The derby saw both sides going hammer and tong in an end-to-end clash as City of Liverpool returned to Bootle’s Vesty Road following a year away.
Both teams came into the midweek fixture on the back of opening day losses as the Purps were edged out 1-0 away at Glossop North End. Whilst, the newly-promoted Skelmersdale United suffered heartache when they conceded in the last minute against Trafford.
Coughlin was the busier of the two number one’s in the opening stages, he brilliantly denied John McGrath who steered a low effort from James Steele goalwards.
McGrath then forced the goalkeeper into another crucial stop as a pass towards the back post was missed by Ibrahim Conteh, McGrath brought it under control and looked for the bottom left corner only to be denied again as Coughlin clawed it behind for a corner.
Minutes earlier, Skem thought they were in front. A free-kick evaded the Purps defence and fell to Callum Lees, his effort was then bundled over but the linesman’s flag was up for a handball from the United defender.
A tactical switch from the visitors saw them into the game more but the Purps continued to probe as Connor McCarthy and Steele tried their luck before the break, but McCarthy couldn’t keep his effort down as the latter’s header was tame after failing to make the appropriate connection.
The second-half saw Skem start brighter with the legs of Hamer denying Morris but they soon found themselves behind when the Purps skipper broke the deadlock.
Burke, with acres of space outside the box, managed to expertly find the bottom corner with a low effort despite Coughlin at full-stretch.
Substitute James Edgar then came close to doubling City of Liverpool’s lead as he forced the Skelmersdale goalkeeper to tip over from McGrath’s cut-back.
Moments later, the scores were level. Peter Wylie cynically halted a Danny Mitchley counter-attack just inside the Purps half. From the resulting free-kick, the deep delivery saw Hamer spill his attempted catch, with his back to goal, Herbert tried an audacious overhead kick which looped into the far corner.
With less than 10 minutes on the referee’s watch, the man in the middle pointed to the spot after the Purps goalscorer was ajudged to have blocked Sheen’s cross his hand.
Morris stepped up and sent Hamer the wrong way with a powerful right-footed spot-kick to hand Skem the points.
But there was still time for the hosts to have a sight on goal, an unmarked Edgar ran onto a cross at the far post but couldn’t steer his half-volley on target just moments after the visitors went in front.
Although it’s early days, it’s two defeats in two for the Purps which pits them second from bottom. For Paul McNally’s side the win takes them 10th after two games following Tuesday’s results. Attention for both sides turns to the FA Cup as City of Liverpool face Ramsbottom United with Skelmerdale United embarking on another derby when they welcome Prescot Cables.
City of Liverpool 1-2 Skelmersdale United
Scorers: 62′ Nathan Burke; 76′ Joe Herbert, 81′ Elliot Morris (pen)
HT/FT Score: 0-0/1-2