Kyle Sambor heroics help Prescot Cables past Bootle in extra-time playoff win

Kyle Sambor goal for Prescot Cables vs Bootle

Kyle Sambor’s extra-time winner booked Prescot Cables’ place in the Northern Premier League playoff final after beating Bootle 1-0.

The 100th-minute effort was enough to overcome Mick McGraa’s side in the semi-final, where they will host City of Liverpool on Saturday.

The Cables forward netted his 14th of the campaign as he was on hand to fire home after an acrobatic volley looped onto the crossbar. 

Ste Daley’s side were looking to reach their first playoff final for six years, after their disappointment against Bamber Bridge in 2018. Meanwhile, Bootle were eyeing a historic promotion to take them into step three for the first time in their history. 

Both clubs have ambitions of rising through the pyramid but have found fortunes in recent years difficult. Cables defied expectations to challenge in the upper reaches of the division for the majority of the campaign, while Mick McGraa has worked wonders to take a decimated side to within two games of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. 

Neither side could be separated after 90 minutes, in what was a frantic and frenetic semi-final clash. Bootle edged the first-half after putting Mitch Allen’s goal under siege. 

Tom Peterson couldn’t make the desired connection after Joe Woolley flashed across the face of goal. Michael Burkey had two opportunities on goal, firstly stinging the palms of the Cables goalkeeper before ghosting beyond his marker only to steer a free header straight at the goalkeeper. 

Whatever was said at half-time in the home dressing room had seemingly worked as Cables raced out after the interval. 

Tony Thompson pulled off a heroic save to deny John Murphy. The Cables top goalscorer headed goalwards but was left frustrated by a superb reflex stop. Moments later, Liam Hollett saw his header cleared off the line. 

The two couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes but in extra-time the best opportunities fell to the hosts. Sambor’s near post header was pawed away by another superb Thompson save. 

However, he couldn’t do much about the opener as Hollet’s overhead kick looped off the bar and at the feet of Sambor, who made no mistake. 

Bootle huffed and puffed as they looked to salvage their campaign to take the semi-final to penalties but Cables’ stern defence ensured they had home advantage on Saturday. 

In the other semi-final, Elliot Morris played yet another starring role for Paul McNally’s side as his double stunned Runcorn Linnets in a 2-0 win. 

The final sees third take on fifth, the Purps will remain underdogs going into it but they seemingly thrive off that tag. Cables will be looking to eradicate memories of Bamber Bridge in 2018 as they look to immortalise new heroes and book their place in the Northern Premier League for the first time since 2009.

‘We found a way’ – Ste Daley eyeing Prescot Cables improvement despite booking playoff final ticket

“Job done, we wasn’t great tonight by any means but I keep saying it, this team keep coming up against challenges and one way or another, we keep coming through it,” the Prescot Cables boss told Off The Park. “We were by no means at our best tonight but we found a way and now there’s one more game, let’s see what we can do.

“These players keep going and going, that was a million miles away from what we have been doing this season but the character in this team, when it comes down to it we can get through games and that’s what we done.

“When you get to this stage of the season, it’s about getting the result and that’s what we done. It would’ve been great to play some lovely football and we’ve given that to the fans this year, but they’ll take that tonight – so we’re pleased.

“He’s a great goalkeeper, the reactions to stop Murph (John Murphy) were unbelievable. There was another off Kyle (Sambor) and one cleared off the line but to beat him, you’ve got to have a special strike. We only got one but if it was a different goalkeeper, we could’ve had two or three. We still our way so I’m pleased.”

Bootle hurting but Mick McGraa left proud despite defeat

Bootle manager Mick McGraa told Off The Park: “Devastated, hurting, the players and the fans are hurting. The game was terrible, no one played football or tried to get on the ball, everyone was waiting for mistakes and Tony (Thompson) has made two worldie saves, we’ve had two chances with (Michael) Burkey, hasn’t made him work, and the one that’s come across the box.

“Other than that, there wasn’t much in the game, a typical playoff. I’m a proud manager, manager of a great club who want to progress, we’ve seen that, when you walk through the door in October it was a bit of a mess, we’ve built something special and we’re only going to get better. When you see how many fans behind the goal, you see that, I’m gutted but happy in the same breath,

“They had Murph’s header but they didn’t really threaten us, they just had territory, I never thought they were going to score and until Murph’s header, they didn’t create much. Second-half we didn’t do enough, it’s a one-off game but credit to Prescot, great manager, great players and they got the job done so good luck to them in the final.”

[Featured Image: John Middleton – Prescot Cables]

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