Second-half goals from Connor Rankin and Connor McCarthy secured Lower Breck an important win against AFC Liverpool in a fog-affected game.
The former Maghull striker opened the scoring when his effort deflected and looped into the back of the net off the post. Rankin was in the thick of it again as he chased down the visitors’ defence before retrieving possession and feeding his strike partner.
Midway through the second-half the referee was forced to halt play at 0-0 as fog coated the entire pitch and made visibility impossible for his assistants.
With the prospect of abandonment very much possible, play eventually as the adverse weather conditions cleared.
The derby clash was a slow burner as both sides struggled to assert their dominance in the early stages.
But it was the Breck who had the first chance to open the scoring, captain Jamie Menagh weaved his way into space before curling towards the back post towards Jawad Jebrin. The delivery evaded the jumping full-back and the in-form Jebrin was there but couldn’t steer his volley on target.
Matt Potter’s side did answer back with attacks of their own and they were inches away from taking the lead. Left-back Kian Bell powered forward from defence and unleashed a ferocious left-footed effort goalwards only for it to cannon off the underside of the bar and bounce away.
Both sides again traded blows in the build-up to half-time as a counter-attack from the hosts spearheaded by Jebrin saw the attacker cut back to McCarthy who saw two efforts blocked on the line.
At the other end, a defensive mix-up almost gifted AFC Liverpool the opener. A miscommunication with the defender and Theo Roberts allowed for Billy McCarthy to nip in, he cut back to Elliott Hughes but the Breck ‘keeper did enough to scramble across and tip the effort behind.
Minutes into the second half, the man in the middle, Peter Leonard, suspended play due to visibility worsening after consulting both sets of managers.
After the second restart, Breck took the lead through Rankin as he fired in his second goal of the season. His effort from outside the box took a wicked deflection which looped over Jack McGovern to hand the hosts the lead.
AFC did almost fire themselves back level with two chances in quick succession. Firstly though Oliver Sanderson-Rigby, he fired a stinging effort from 30 yards forcing Roberts to acrobatically turn over.
Luke Stephens then rose highest and headed goalwards only for the man on the post to nod away the danger.
Soon after, Lower Breck doubled their lead. McCarthy curled into the bottom corner but the goal was brilliantly crafted by Rankin as he picked Stephens’ pockets before teeing up the 27-year-old.
Breck moved up to 10th win their win as they returned to winning ways in the North West Counties Premier Division. It was two wins in two after their win in the Macron Cup over Litherland REMYCA.
As for Potter’s side, they missed the opportunity to keep pressure on the top two after being handed their first defeat in five, in all competitions. As a result, they remain six points off second-place Wythenshawe.
Lower Breck 2-0 AFC Liverpool
Goals: 61′ Connor Rankin, 71′ Connor McCarthy
HT/FT Score: 0-0/2-0.