The Liverpool Senior Cup Second Round did not disappoint as 29 goals were scored across the six fixtures with Southport and AFC Liverpool achieving the standout results.
Everton and Tranmere Rovers were awaiting the outcome of the remaining fixture after they were given byes into the Quarter-Finals of the first Senior Cup since Southport’s triumph three years ago (four by the time a winner is crowned).
Marine 4-0 Pilkington
Marine kicked off the second round a week before the majority of the fixtures and they emphatically saw off North West Counties Division One North side Pilkington.
Despite their superb start to the campaign, the task proved too much for Pilks as the Mariners fired in four second-half goals.
Neil Young’s playoff chasers booked their place in the last eight thanks to goals from Andy Scarisbrick, Sol Solomon, Mo Touray and Hayden Campbell.
“Watched the game [back], thought we were very good, Pilkington flying high in their league were always going to be tough,” he told Off The Park.
“I’ve gone about it for a long time and addressed it in the dressing room, the mentality, I’ve got confidence in whoever plays, I need to make sure when players do play – even though we were down the bare bones that night – that they go out with the same mentality to win the game of football irrespective of who it’s against.
“I was made up and I told them on Saturday, I was watching Hyde, made up they were professional about business and scored four goals.”
The Marine boss made it no secret that it is a competition that he wants his side to go deep into, he added: “It’s a competition that we’re in so let’s progress.
“We haven’t got a fixture pile-up, that’s the beauty of having 4G, it’s rare we’ll have games called off if at all.
“That should hopefully cutdown our midweeks, it’s a cup competition and we’ve got a big squad if everyone’s fit so why not? We’ll compete, Everton, Tranmere and Southport come into it now so there’s some good potential there. Midweek, better than training, why not [win it]?”
AFC Liverpool 4-3 Lower Breck
It was an all-North West Counties Premier Division clash when the Non-League Reds met the Breck. A matter of weeks earlier, both sides played out a dull goalless draw but their next encounter didn’t disappoint.
However, the hosts never-say-die attitude kicked in and Paddy Kay kicked off the comeback. Finlay Heath pulled a second back in quick succession, just two minutes after they denied Theo Roberts a clean sheet.
With the game destined for a nervy finish, Tom Croughan brought AFC level and with just a minute left of normal time, Billy McCarthy stunned Gary Moore’s men.
“You’re not winning the league, you’re not getting promoted, you’re in two cups – the Senior [Cup]and the Macron [Cup] – the Senior is only a couple of rounds but it’s bragging rights, it’s another cup and for all the ones we’ve won in the city, it’s the one we want because the only one we haven’t had,” explained beaten manager, Moore.
“You want to have a good go and you tell the lads what to expect but ultimately, it’s the lads who lost game of football, they’re the ones who’ve got to answer to it. I’ve given them plaudits in recent weeks but we’ve conceded seven in two games.
“I was fuming on Saturday, it was a tough day but the manner of goals that frustrated me and you can imagine how I’m feeling after that second-half, capitulation is the word.”
The win for AFC topped off a difficult month that saw them lose ground in the race for promotion and suffer a heavy defeat in the Macron Cup. With the FA Vase around the corner, there is a hope that this can be the positive point for a strong end to the calendar year.
Describing the last gasp winner, Potter said: “It was just scenes wasn’t it? Just joy, happy. You look at it from different points of view, it’s the third time we’ve played Breck, the first time we lost 2-0 at ‘Fog-gate’ then we played them and it was 0-0, people moaning it was a poor game.
“So yesterday, 3-0 down at half-time and we hadn’t scored a goal against them this season, it’s the last time we’ll play them so to go out and score four.
“You can get a 90th-minute winner and it’s one of the best feelings in the world to get an 89th-minute winner after being 3-0 down, there’s not a lot that can top it – regardless of the competition.”
South Liverpool 2-3 Litherland REMYCA
Both sides exchanged blows on Wednesday night and Nathan Corness quickly cancelled out Kevin Cringle’s opener in the first-half.
It almost was destined for the lottery of spot-kicks after Ethan Van-Aston equalised with eight minutes remaining after Liam Loughlin put the visitors in front.
But Tom Lawless ended South’s hopes of reaching the last eight, firing home and Litherland REMYCA through in the 88th minute.
Southport 6-0 Runcorn Town
It’s been a rollercoaster week in Runcorn for Town. Matt Barnes resigned as manager last week ahead of their trip to Haig Avenue and it was up to Karl Brown and Lee Bignell who were installed as their new management team.
With a newly assembled squad they faced the massive task of defeating reigning champions, Southport. But the National League North playoff contenders made light work of their lower-league opposition.
Connor Heath opened his Yellows account with an impressive hat-trick as Keenan Quansah and Jordan Archer got in on the act after Connor Woods opened the scoring on his return to the squad.
Warrington Rylands 2-2 Bootle (Bootle won 4-2 on penalties)
It didn’t stop the Blues from going into the break with a two-goal lead through Sean Cooke and Harry Pratt’s goals.
But Steve McNulty’s side battled back and pulled level thanks to a four-minute salvo from Billy Smart – scoring his first for the club – and Tom Peterson.
The Bucks thought they completed a famous comeback late on but Calum Longworth was denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
Joe Mason saved two penalties and spared Ben Hodkinson lushes for his penalty miss as they booked their place in the next round with a 4-2 win.
The Bootle manager told Off The Park: “It was good all around, it shows another side to us, we were 2-0 down, they were probably the better side first-half, made some changes in the second-half and I thought we looked a lot better, dug in, a goal disallowed in added time.
“A good run out all around, lads got minutes that needed minutes coming back from suspensions and stuff like that so a good night all around.”
City of Liverpool 1-2 Runcorn Linnets
Ryan Brooke and Zack Clarke booked Runcorn Linnets’ ticket for the quarter-final as they beat City of Liverpool 2-1.
“I wouldn’t say disappointed, I’d say we were full value to probably get a win or go through on penalties,” City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally told Off The Park.
“I didn’t think we were disappointing, it was a good team performance, it was just two individual errors that cost us.
“We have, we’ve just not took our chances and they have. They’ve been gifted them but I thought we were hard to beat, organised, I’m not saying they were bad but we made them look bad at times because how hard we worked.
“On the other side, I’ve got six lads out injured who would normally be in my squad so that was another positive that we done so well.”
Dave Wild’s Runcorn Linnets will now wait to find out who they will face in the next round.
He said: “I’ve made no secret that every game that we play in, we want to win.
“I’d much rather be going further and deeper in competitions than training, especially with the weather changing now.
“It’s important we have fixtures and fixture backlog in case we get week-to-week where’s there’s no game.
“So, pleased with the win, equally pleased we’ve knocked two teams out from our own league it shows we’ve been consistent enough, really pleased, got to improve but got minutes in legs so it’s a positive evening.”
Teams in the draw for the Liverpool Senior Cup Quarter Final
- Runcorn Linnets
- AFC Liverpool
- Litherland REMYCA