Reliving The Brit ending Liverpool’s nine-year wait for the National Cup

Liverpool’s love affair with the FA Sunday Cup is no secret, with 11 Merseyside teams winning the prestigious trophy. On Sunday, Campfield look to emulate Fantail and Oyster Martyrs in becoming two-time winners of the competition.

The Campy beat Midlands side OJM FC 2-0 in 2016 making them the last team from Merseyside to reach the final.

Britannia ended Liverpool’s nine-year wait to have a side from the region etched into National Cup history, beating Little Paxton 2-0 in 2002.

Seymour’s 1-0 win over West Middlesex’s Bedfont Sunday at Chester City’s ground, secured their name in the history books after beating Reading Borough in the semi-final during the 1992-93 competition.

Liverpool’s run to the final evaded them until the 2001-02 season, where it was the Brit who reigned victorious at Aston Villa’s Villa Park.

Entering the competition off the back of a double-winning season, The Brit, led by Ronnie Pepper, embarked on making their mark in the National Cup.

“The Britannia had never ever made any sort of impact in the National Cup competition throughout the years always finding themselves, ourselves when I was at the club, eliminated in the early rounds of the competition.” Anthony Smith said speaking to Off The Park, reminiscing over the glory days.

They had to beat six different teams to set up the showpiece event in the Midlands against Little Paxton.

Brit’s route to the final was emphatic, they were handed first round bye as a result of Frames pulling out of the competition, but it could’ve went so much differently with East Bowling Unity leading 2-1, in the second round, until centre-back Chris Short popped up and scored the equaliser before putting their name in the hat for the next round.

Goals from Short, Peter Hayes and Mick Moore set up a crunch match with rivals Allerton at the Manweb Electricity Sports Ground in front of hundreds of spectators which the distance.

An enthralling 4-4 draw saw Anthony Godfrey, Liam Georgeson, Paul Phillips and Tony score with the Brit edging through 4-3 in the shootout.

Those two hard fought wins instilled an element of self belief for the Brit, “After beating East Bowling unity in a tough game in the previous round and coming through a winning a great battle against the Allerton, having a bit of luck in the two hard fought encounters.” Smith said. “The seed was now planted that we could go on and do well in the competition the self belief started to become strong.”

That seed had definitely been planted and the Britannia sailed through two rounds into the semi-final with an aggregate score of 13-0.

An 18-year-old John Morgan, son of Brit legend Kye Morgan, tore apart Schofields with a hat-trick whilst Moore and a Peter Daley brace contributed to the dominating win.

“Winning 6-0 in the fourth round with an unbelievable performance the confidence and the belief was sky high, being out on the ale in town after the game in Coopers, the Liverpool Bar, the Office and all around town.” Tony reflected.

“We were buzzing and the conversations and the belief was that we could go all the way even at that stage.”

In the following round it was Mick Moore’s turn to take control and fire the Brit into the semi-finals with four goals as Morgan added to his National Cup tally with a double with Kevin Walsh joining in on the act.

Spirits in the camp were high, “At this point we knew we could feel it no team was going to stop us, winning 6-0 in the previous round and then 7-0 at this stage everyone was at the top of their game and the team was on fire.”

Key players were missing ahead of the last four meeting with Rolls Royce Celtic as the Liverpudlians made the trip to Nottinghamshire to Eastwood Town’s Coronation Park.

Quarter-final’s match winner Moore missed out whilst attacker Ryan Baker didn’t make international clearance following his stint in Wales with Caernarfon Town.

Tony described pre-match feelings of anxiety and nervousness, later lauding the match as ‘one of the toughest’ he played in.

With the game tensely poised, Paul Phillips opened the scoring for the Brit but their elation was short-lived as the Nottinghamshire side restored parity just 10 minutes later.

“They say to win any competition as well as having to be strong and organised and perform good you need that bit of luck to go your way” Tony said and the winning goal certainly emphasised that.

Smith described: “The winning goal that got us through scored by Liam Georgeson was an absolute fluke, a shot on target from 25 yards out a tame effort, as the Celtic goalkeeper went down on one knee to just collect the ball and pick it up, the ball took a cruel bobble right in front of him and bounced over his shoulder and into the net giving us a 2-1 victory.

“A goal giving from the gods to put us into the National Cup final at Villa Park.”

But that didn’t dampen the spirits in anyway for the Scousers. A win is a win and they had reached the pinnacle of amateur football setting a date with the 1999 winners, Lower Paxton.

“Everyone was buzzing at the club ecstatic, the Brit reaching the National Cup final it was amazing the National Cup is everything that the amateur teams thrive on especially from Liverpool and to get to the final was a brilliant achievement.”

Prior to the final at the Premier League home ground, the Brit hadn’t stamped their mark on the national club, fluttering around the early rounds, but this year they’d gone all the way and only the Huntingdonshire side stood in their way of making club history but ending the drought for a Liverpool club to win the National Cup.

After a night in the Crowne Plaza in Birmingham and long-standing committee members; Bobby Wilcox, Anto McGarry, Tony Kelly, Vic Morley, Chris Halpin, Aiden Morley, Paddy Morley, Jimmy Riley, Brian Gilmore and many more in attendance the stage was set.

The Brit ran out 2-0 winners but the only way to describe the proceedings was from the man who was there, the North End Zidane himself, Anthony Smith: “Ronnie Pepper an excellent manager tactically very astute gave the team a brilliant motivational team talk and the Brit was ready to go.

“The opening 10 minutes with both teams a bit unsettled, we managed to settle down and produced a decent first half where we felt we was the better team.

“We came out with great confidence, in the second half and took control of the game from the start with some good passing.

“I received the ball out wide on the left just past the halfway line and drove forward with the ball running at the Paxton player, twisted and turned, before cutting inside and laying the ball into the path of Peter Hayes who struck a phenomenal shot unstoppable hard and low from 30-yards out into the bottom corner.

“After going 1-0 up, we continued to dominate having the better of the play and with about 15 minutes remaining in the game another great attack with John Morgan running with the ball, who found Peter Daley with the pass inside and Daley smashed in the second goal.

“Come the final whistle and the ecstatic scenes that we had done it. It was unbelievable that we had won the National Cup, cementing the Britannia name in the history alongside the other great Liverpool and Merseyside teams that had won the prestigious trophy.”

With the Campy having an eye on the National Cup for the second time in their short history, Tony said: “My best wishes from myself and the Britannia Football Club to Anthony Clarke and the Campfield FC, in the final. Good luck men.”

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