South Liverpool booked their place in the Liverpool Senior Cup Second Round thanks to Mason Nevitt’s heroics before stunning Skelmersdale United with a 5-3 win on penalties.
The second-half substitute, Nevitt, scored a 16-minute hat-trick sending the game to the lottery of spot-kicks before the North West Counties side ran out victors.
It capped a remarkable return for South as they played in the illustrious county competition for the first time since 1990 after their upward movement to the Counties.
Richard Brodie’s side came into the First Round fixture after three wins in the Northern Premier League, including their recent impressive win over promotion hopefuls Mossley.
All in all a scrappy affair in difficult conditions, the visitors took the lead through Karl Clair. The attacker combined with Matty Hamilton before arrowing his left-footed effort into the bottom corner.
Before the break, Skem fired home twice. A flurry of chances saw Emini Adegbenro denied by McCoy with Taylor Prescott hitting the post only for Declan McLoughlin to be scythed down. Adegbenro stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards.
Minutes later, a hopeful ball held up in the wind which saw the goalscorer brought down outside the box by Jacob McCoy.
Matty Hamilton curled the resulting free-kick around the wall into the top corner, leaving the South Liverpool goalkeeper stranded in the centre of his goal.
The hosts, despite having the wind to their advantage, could only muster half-chances in a blunt attack. Elliot Owen manoeuvred himself some space but saw his effort deflect behind for a corner before Rio Merrifield blazed high into the side netting moments later.
The second half saw the South start brighter and shortly after the hour mark, Mason Nevitt was introduced.
South’s avenue back into the tie was a gift. A defensive mix-up between Sam Ashton and Michael Grogan handed Nevitt the freedom of Otterspool as he made no mistake firing in.
Nevitt had his second of the evening seven minutes later as he raced onto a through ball and fired in at the near post. Then just five minutes before the end, he completed a seemingly impossible comeback as South took advantage of an overload on the left, Nevitt raced through firing low into the back of the net.
As the Liverpool Senior Cup tie went to penalties, McCoy made the breakthrough for the hosts as he denied Sam Sheen in Skelmersdale’s first spot-kick.
Captain Andy Lloyd completed the comeback with South Liverpool’s fifth and final penalty after Steve Doyle, Ethan Van Aston, Nevitt and Owen all dispatched their penalties.
The superb comeback win for South Liverpool sets up a tie at home against Litherland REMYCA in Round Two of the competition.
South Liverpool 3-3 Skelmersdale United (South Liverpool won 5-3 on penalties)
Goals: 73′, 80′, 86′ Mason Nevitt (hat-trick); 10′ Karl Clair, 41′ Emini Adenbegro (pen), 45′ Matty Hamilton.
HT/FT Score: 0-3/3-3