Liverpool Old Boys Division One & Cup 2020/21 Winners: South Liverpool Thirds

Double-winners South Liverpool Thirds enjoyed success in a stop-start season

South Liverpool won the Liverpool Old Boys Division on goal difference narrowly edging Netherley Athletic to pole position.

To add to their league triumph, South earned cup glory with a 2-0 win over Collegiate in the final as part of the Liverpool Old Boys Finals day.

“Delighted,” manager Shaun Williams said.

“More so for all of the lads who put in so much during the season and also for the club in general and all the people who do so much behind the scenes. It’s really been a team effort in every way.

“We’ve been in and about the title conversation in the last few seasons but always fell short for one reason or another. This year it came together and we managed to get over the line. If I were to put it into one word I think it would be “Proud”.

“Obviously it’s been a weird season and huge credit to Greg McLean and all at the Old Boys League for managing to complete the league and cups. 

“We started well and looked strong early in the season with a good opener against a strong collegiate side. 

A good run of form soon took a sour twist after a demolition to the hands of Old Xaverians where Old Xavs scored eight unanswered goals.

Williams continued: “We recovered but that result would come back to bite us after the restart when some results were expunged and the result left things out of our hands.  Essentially we had some hard games to play and needed to win them. 

“In January, we played Netherley Athletic away on a freezing snowy Saturday under the lights.  It was the first game after the Christmas break and loads came down to watch including the other teams in the mix. 

“The pressure was on and despite us playing ok, Netherley put away some good chances and beat us. 

“The defeat was pretty grim and we ended up stewing on it for months as we entered lockdown.

“By the time we came back our lads were desperate to put things right, training was intense and lads were working so hard to put things right.  That defeat and our victory over Netherley were expunged and we had to play a decider. 

“We knew this was massive but we knew there was no room for error in the other games as well.  From then every game was huge and we needed to be perfect to stand a chance. 

“We managed it and went into the Netherley game in a good position but with no room for error.  As well as Netherley, FC Salle and Old Caths were also in the mix but we knew Netherley were dangerous and had some good players such as Brad, Shabs and Yannick who could make a difference.

“They were right up for it and motivated and I told our lads to expect them to fly out at us.  In response we started like a house on fire and put away our first two chances from then we just went on and built on that to win 6-1. 

“This result put us in the driving seat and we could see the finish line.  We just needed to get a result against Old Caths mid week at home.  We won this game 3-0 to secure the trophy, my first as a coach and our first together as a group. 

“In a nutshell there were plenty of twists and turns in a strange season but when it mattered we found what we needed.

“Definitely, Very proud but more than anything pleased for all of them.  They didn’t need pushing in the end they pushed themselves and each other (and me at times) and I just stood back.  Every one of them deserved it wholeheartedly.

“The final was always going to be a big challenge.  We know Collegiate and their manager well and we knew how dangerous they are. 

“This was our first final together and it wasn’t even Collegiate’s first final that month. 

“It was nervy for an hour and in truth one moment was always likely to make the difference but Liam Thomas popped up when it mattered with a goal from nothing.

“Nobody was happier for Jack Bryant than I was when he settled it with a great finish from an assist from our 16-year-old midfielder Alfie Cunningham. 

“All in all a dream season for us and we hope this is just the start.”