Match Preview: City of Liverpool (A)
Andrew’s Match Preview
City of Liverpool v Colne
Berry Street Garage Stadium
Tuesday 7th February - 19:45
Colne travel 53 miles to Liverpool for an evening fixture in the Northern Premier League West to take on City of Liverpool.
City of Liverpool, whose nickname is the Purps, were founded in 2015, and play their home games at the Berry Street Garage Stadium in Bootle. They are tenants at Bootle FC’s ground and their average attendance this season is 377, boosted by a 974 gate against their landlords. City of Liverpool finished in 9th place last season and in the head to head against the Reds, they were thumped 0-4 at Holt House due to a goal from Dugdale and a hat-trick from Webb-Foster and the return fixture produced a poor 0-0 draw. The two clubs also met in the FA Trophy last season at City of Liverpool, with Colne prevailing 1-0 thanks to a Olatunde Bayode strike. Earlier this season the two clubs met at Holt House and the Reds recorded their first win of the campaign 2-1, with goals from Knox and Watkinson and a late reply from Hazelhurst.
This season, the Purps have won 8, drawn 4 and lost 13, giving them 28 points from 25 games, which sees them sit in 15th place, just a point above the Reds. At home they have won against Trafford 3-2, Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1, Widnes 4-0, and Ramsbottom 2-1. They have lost at home to Skelmersdale 1-2, Macclesfield 0-1, Leek Town 0-5, Newcastle Town 1-2, Glossop 0-3 and 1874 Northwich 1-2. In the FA Cup after beating Ramsbottom 4-3 after a replay they were knocked out at Dunston 0-3. In the FA Trophy they were knocked out of the first stage on penalties at home to Sheffield.
City of Liverpool players to watch
23 year old James Steele joined CoL 12 months ago from Runcorn Linnets. The attacking player started out at Port Vale and has also represented Newcastle Town and Widnes at this level. He has 8 goals in league and cup this season.
Well travelled Danny Mitchley started his career at Bloomfield Road before dropping into non league in 2010 with Burscough. The 33 year old forward then represented Mansfield Town, Altrincham, Kendal Town, Skelmersdale, a 4 year spell at Marine scoring 81 goals, Radcliffe, then back to Skem. He joined the Purps in September and has scored 5 goals in his last 8 appearances.
Winger John McGrath has returned for his 4th spell at his home town club returning after stints at Lower Breck and Widnes. John has 6 goals this season in all comps.
The “Purple Messi” Jack Hazelhurst, joined CoL in 2017 and has consistently been their most creative player. The 23 year old playmaker scored 14 times last season and has 3 to his credit this term, including one at Holt House, despite missing two months of the season.
Another signing from Runcorn Linnets in the summer was centre-half Peter Wylie. The experienced defender came through Blackburn’s academy and has played at National League level with Stalybridge Celtic. Pete has also played at step 4 with Marine, Warrington Town and Skelmersdale.
Kevin Ellison will be 44 at the end of the month, but the winger, who has represented 14 clubs in his long career isn’t hanging up his boots just yet. Kevin has over 800 appearances, from the Premier league down to step 4 and he joined the Purps in September scoring 3 times so far.
After City of Liverpool’s loss at Bootle in August, Michael Ellison was relieved of his duties as first team manager. He was replaced by Skelmersdale United boss Paul McNally, whose first game in charge was the 1-2 loss at Holt House in September.
Last time out for the Reds
Colne entertained 5th placed Runcorn Linnets at Holt House on Saturday as they went in search of their first win of the year. Hakan Burton returned to the first eleven in goal as the Reds lined up 442 with Wallbank and Winstanley playing full back on either side of Hoyle and Steel. Roberts and Carney returned to centre midfield with Stowe continuing on the left and Kyobe making his first start down the right. Watkinson and Lusiama lead the line in their last pairing together. Linnets won the toss and turned the Reds around electing to play uphill for the first half. Doyle and Birchall were busy in the first 45 for the visitors, but Runcorn struggled to show their lofty league position in the windy, heavy conditions against a Reds’ side that battled for every ball. Danny Taberner in the Runcorn goal was given notice of the Reds’ intent when he had to back pedal to tip over a 35 yard Craig Carney effort. On 19 minutes, Tom Hoyle went one better and from a clearance, struck a 30 yard half volley which Taberner couldn’t get anywhere near, to give the home side the lead. Burton was called into action and made a great save from a Gumbs header to ensure Colne lead at the break. The home fans expected a downfield onslaught in the second half, but it was Colne’s Harry Winstanley who came closest to scoring with a thumping header which came back off the bar. Linnets didn’t take on board how the Reds had taken the lead in the first half and continued to try to play down the flanks with little reward down the slope. Luke Stowe was replaced by Lucas Weaver, who was subbed himself for Tom McCann when picking up an injury. The Reds could sense victory as Linnets ran out of ideas, and played down the clock at every opportunity. Matty Kardacz came on to sit in front of the back four in place of Lusiama as Colne hung on to take a valuable 3 points and record their 6th win of the season. Due to results elsewhere the Reds still find themselves in 17th place with 27 points. Steel was dominant at the back for Colne as usual and Kyobe was very busy and full of energy out on the right, but Craig Carney seemed to be everywhere and his 90 minute performance earned him the man of the match.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch?
Lucas Weaver rolled his ankle in Saturday’s game and he is expected to be out for a short while. Aaron Turner is awaiting surgery for his knee/MCL issue.
Jack Doherty has now had surgery on his ACL injury and will begin his rehabilitation when ready under the watchful eye of Accrington Stanley. This injury has ruled him out for the season.
Enock Lusiama’s loan deal has ended and he has left the club. Paul Dugdale has also asked to be released from the club after making 64 appearances over the last two seasons. Hakan Burton made a successful return to the first eleven on Saturday and came through the 90 minutes without any issues. Lucas Weaver will be missing so Danny Kyobe could start up front with Owen Watkinson, with Craig Carney and Sheikh Islam alternatives in an attacking role. Phil Brown should have 16 in the squad to choose from with Anderson, Sheikh Islam and possibly Henderson returning.
City of Liverpool had a dreadful start to the season losing their first 6 league games, but an inevitable change in management has seen an improvement in their results. The Purps have won 4 of their last 7 including their last game, a week last Saturday, at home to Ramsbottom United. A Danny Mitchley goal gave them the lead, before former Red Billy Hassler-Cregg equalised for Rammy against the run of play. United seemed to be taking control of the second half before McNally changed his formation, sending on wide players Allen and Ellison and then sacrificing a defender to add another attacker to the mix. And it was the final substitute James Steele who grabbed the Purps’ winner 7 minutes from time, netting his 5th goal against Rammy this season.
The Reds are coming off a great 1-0 win over 5th placed Runcorn Linnets in a hard fought battle at Holt House. Since a 1-0 win at Newcastle Town in mid November, they have lost 3 and drawn 2 of their 5 away games. A last minute equaliser at Hanley Town at the beginning of the year denied them 3 points and they certainly deserved at least a point in the losses at Leek Town and Kidsgrove Athletic. Hakan Burton’s return to the team has added confidence and experience and with senior players Steel, Carney and Roberts performing well on Saturday the spine of the side looks much more solid and confident. The addition of an experienced striker and a more permanent defensive midfielder would certainly make this side a top half team. Phil Brown will be hoping to build on Saturday’s victory and bring home at least a point, although a win for the Reds would see the clubs swap places in the table.
Admission Prices are:
Adults : £10
Concessions : £5
Under 16’s : Free
Berry Street Garage Stadium
Vesty Business Park
Sat 11th February - 1874 Northwich v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Sat 18th February - Prescot Cables v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Tue 21st February - Colne v Glossop North End - 19:45 NPL West
Today’s NPL West games - 19:45
1874 Northwich v Newcastle Town
Clitheroe v Bootle
Hanley Town v Glossop North End
Kidsgrove Athletic v Leek Town
Macclesfield v Witton Albion
Mossley v Trafford
Prescot Cables v Widnes
Runcorn Linnets v Skelmersdale United
Workington v Ramsbottom