The Liverpool Senior Cup has returned to the footballing calendar after its hiatus.
It was an action-packed first round as five fixtures kicked off the competition with arguably the game of the round coming between South Liverpool and Skelmersdale United.
Prescot Cables were back in Senior Cup action as they looked to begin their pursuit of five finals in the last five years of the tournament.
They travelled to fellow Northern Premier League West side Runcorn Linnets – who had made their first appearance in the competition since their reformation.
The likes of Tranmere Rovers and Everton have received byes to the Quarter-Finals as the likes of Southport and Marine learned who they will be playing in Round Two.
Runcorn Linnets 3-2 Prescot Cables
A last-minute winner from James Hooper dumped Prescot Cables out of the competition.
Dave Wild’s side took the lead through Hooper inside half-an-hour but the Pesky Bulls fought back through James Foley and Jack Goodwin.
However, Linnets staged a late fight-back which saw them move into the next round of the competition as Oladapo Olarewaju levelled four minutes from time before Hooper added his second of the game to secure the win.
Speaking to Off The Park on the result, Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild said: “The performance was a disgrace and I’m not prepared to keep watching us paper over cracks because we’ve got good quality of players going forward who can dig us out of the mire as and when.
“We need to go back to what we were good at the start of the season which was clean sheets, being hard to break down, being hard to beat. I’m pleased we got over the line but the performances have got to improve, it will get to a point where we can’t get ourselves out of situations and start losing games.
“These performances are going to come back and bite us if they continue so I’m thrilled we’re in the next round, I’m a big believer of trying to win every game you’re in. I’ve spoken to the chairman, taking the performance out, we’ve won the game.
“As a manager, I’ve got to scratch the surface and look deeper, I can’t turn a blind eye to how bad the performance it was. We got lucky, positives is we’re in the next round but the performances have got to improve.”
Prescot Cables boss Kevin Lynch admitted he was disappointed in the manner of the exit but says the league is the priority for them.
He added: “I thought we was absolutely outstanding for 80 minutes, I felt it was great exposure for the young players.
“They did themselves proud, a bit of naivety probably cost us right at the end with the young lads; Louis Shead, Joel Connolly, Harvey Passant but this is what they need, the exposure, they’re good players.
“I just felt cup competitions at the moment are not where we need to be, the priority was always the league. We’ve got a tough game coming up against Clitheroe and that’s that.
“Disappointed to go out of the cup but don’t think it’s the end of the world.”
Runcorn Town 1-1 Widnes (Runcorn Town won 4-3 on penalties)
In arguably the shock of Round One so far, North West Counties Division One North side Runcorn Town beat Widnes on penalties.
Louis Isherwood had given Michael Ellison’s side the lead in the second half but Jack Coop fired in the equaliser in stoppage time.
Connor Eastham stole the headline as he helped Town into the next round with his penalty heroics.
Speaking to Off The Park, Runcorn Town manager Matt Barnes said: “After Saturday, we wanted a reaction from the lads, made a couple of changes, gave some people opportunities who had been asking for it and they took it to be honest.
“We didn’t create that much throughout the game, we didn’t have many clearcut chances as such until the goal and after the goal but other than that, we defended very well.
“We limited them to things, we stopped them doing what they came there to do which was really pleasing, especially after Saturday and getting beat 4-0 off a team, with all due respect, we should be beating and we didn’t.
“[Against Widnes] was probably one of the better performances we’ve had across the board. To get into the next round and play against Southport is massive for a lot of the players, we’ve got young lads in our team that may never play at a ground like that or definitely haven’t played at a ground like that and may never do again, it’s going to be a great experience for them lads.”
Widnes boss Michael Ellison was made to rue their missed chances in the second-half, he said: “I think we knew it was going to be tough, we’ve had lads playing who haven’t really kicked a ball.
“Tom Ruffer hasn’t played much, we had a couple of lads who had knocks who we give minutes to, some lads weren’t quite there and we gave a couple of lads the night off which I felt was needed because we certainly wasn’t overlooking Runcorn, the squad we put out should’ve beat them.
“I asked lads to show me if they wanted to be involved against Clitheroe and I don’t think there was too many that did. Listen, we weren’t great and it was never going to be a great footballing game because of the conditions and I think we did enough to win the game, we didn’t create a lot of chances but we created enough.
“Penalties are a lottery, their goalkeeper did very well for them considering he got a knock a little bit earlier. They took their penalties and congratulations to them, I wish them all the luck in the next round but I felt that was a game we done enough, without being at our best to see it out, and we didn’t.”
Burscough 2-2 City of Liverpool (City of Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties)
Burscough took the Purps all the way as the bottom club in the North West Counties Premier Division almost stunned Paul McNally’s side.
Liam Caddick gave Burscough the lead before City of Liverpool fired back through Danny Mitchley and Danny McKenna.
However, Lewis Willingham’s header late on sent the tie to spot-kicks and it was the Purps who came out on top.
City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally said: “That’s all that matters, just getting through to the next round, we give lads opportunities who haven’t played much minutes recently. It was a bit of a disjoined performance.
“Burscough raised their game to levels they probably haven’t played before this season, they deserved something out of it but sometimes when you play these games they’re a bit of a banana skin for the team above.
“One because you’re playing players who haven’t played for a while or you need to give minutes, two because they raised their levels, it was more of a getting the job done, we did, scraped through. If we win in the next round, further down the line no one will remember this game.
“As I’ve said previously, Rome wasn’t built in a day, we’re still transitioning, we’re still that work in progress and we’re looking to move forward.”
Pilkington 4-3 Ashton Town
Connor Ready’s hat-trick wasn’t enough for Ashton Town as an unfortunate own-goal saw Pilkington through.
Bebeto Gomes, Liam Paton and Nelson Digbeu all found the back of the net to ensure they progressed into the next round.
Ready’s hat-trick included a spectacular long-range effort whilst Digbeu can also take credit for his acrobatic leveller just four minutes until the end.
South Liverpool 3-3 Skelmersdale United (South won 5-3 on penalties)
South Liverpool completed a historic comeback via the lottery of penalties after Mason Nevitt’s hat-trick cancelled out Skelmersdale’s seemingly unassailable three-goal lead.
Speaking to Off The Park after the win, South Liverpool manager Martin Ryman said: “Tremendous. I thought 3-0 was a bit harsh on us in the first-half. I thought all our mistakes got punished but that’s what happens at this level or levels above.
“They punished us for three mistakes, we give them a right rollicking at half-time but the message was let’s not take a bad 90 minutes into Saturday, let’s try and win the second-half or at least draw it 0-0 and take a positive from the second-half into Saturday. Obviously we done it.”
On the hat-trick hero, Nevitt, Ryman added: “I wouldn’t say inspired, he hasn’t been here for a few weeks, he scored eight goals in six games this season after tonight he’s scored 11 in eight. It wasn’t an inspired substitution it was an obvious one but you don’t expect someone is going on to score a hat-trick or four if you include his penalty.
“I’ve just said in there, he may have touched the ball eight times and four of them were goals, he’s a great player and scores goals.”
Liverpool Senior Cup Round Two
Ties to be played week commencing November 28.
Marine vs Pilkington
Warrington Rylands vs Bootle
City of Liverpool vs Runcorn Linnets
South Liverpool vs Litherland REMYCA
Southport vs Runcorn Town
AFC Liverpool vs Lower Breck
* Everton and Tranmere will enter at the quarter-final stage.
Featured Image: David Fry Collection