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Match Preview: City of Liverpool (H)

Colne v City of Liverpool

NPL West

Holt House - 19:45

Tuesday 6th September

Colne entertain Bootle based side, City of Liverpool at Holt House in an Autumn six pointer.

Last season, City of Liverpool finished in 9th place in the league with 9 more points than the Reds. In the corresponding fixture last September, a Reece Webb-Foster hat-trick and a rare Paul Dugdale goal ensured all 3 points in a 4-0 home win. The return at Rivacre Park in March, proved to be a dour uneventful goalless draw, but Colne did manage to win there earlier in the season in the FA Trophy, with Olatunde Bayode grabbing the only goal of the game.

The Purps have endured a difficult start to the 22/23 campaign with 4 defeats in as many games. A 1-0 loss away at Glossop North End on the opening day of the season was followed 3 days later with a 2-1 reverse at home to league newcomers Skelmersdale United, after Nathan Burke had given them the lead. Title favourites Macclesfield were the next visitors to the Berry Street Garage Stadium and a 67th minute strike from former Red Alex Curran, ensured a 1-0 win for the visitors. On bank holiday Monday, a ground sharing derby against Bootle was witnessed by 812 fans and despite John McGrath putting City of Liverpool a goal to the good, two 2nd half goals were enough to give the home side the points 2-1, and condemn the Purps to their 4th straight loss. That result was enough for the club to part ways with manager Michael Ellison. City of Liverpool are currently 20th in the league table without any points.

In this season’s FA Cup, City of Liverpool progressed through the preliminary round by overcoming Ramsbottom United. A goalless draw away at Rammy, set up a replay which proved to be a thriller. A hat-trick by James Steele and a goal from Max Allen, saw the Purps finally outlast their opponents, in a 4-3 victory. An away tie at NPL East side Dunston in the next round wasn’t as favourable, and a 3-0 defeat, ended their interest in the competition.

City of Liverpool players to watch - Midfielder Jack Hazlehurst is known locally as the Purple Messi. Given a testimonial in pre-season for his 5 years at the club, he’s back from injury and scored 14 times last season. Former Port Vale striker, 22 year old James Steele already has a FA Cup hat-trick to boast about this season and young 19 year old keeper Ryan Hamer has been receiving plaudits for his shot stopping abilities. The Purps have plenty of experience too, with midfielders Nathan Burke and Glenn Rule, and defender Michael Simpson. Former Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally will be in charge for his first game.

The Reds remain in 18th place in the league, with 2 points from 2 away draws. Another home defeat 1-2, on Bank Holiday Monday to Hanley Town was hard to take once again for Colne. Dominant once again in the 1st half, with Watkinson, Weaver and Doherty threatening the Hanley goal, the Reds finally found a break through just before half-time when Lucas Weaver netted his 3rd goal of the campaign. The Reds continued to take the game to their opponents in the 2nd half, but could not grab the 2nd goal despite 4 good chances to double their lead. Town made the home side pay in the 72nd minute, when their player manager Carl Dickinson, rose best to head home the equaliser from a corner kick. Colne didn’t learn their lesson and not long afterwards Dickinson again got his head first to another corner, but was denied by a brilliant one-handed save from Colne keeper Daniel Thorpe. Hanley pressed on and 2 minutes from time, the experienced Daniel Glover fired home a right foot volley, to ensure the points went back to Staffordshire.

Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Obviously, Burton and Winstanley are out with their respective bad injuries. Charlie Russell had a set-back in his rehab, forcing him to have a deload period. His training will be stepped up from Thursday. Everyone else should be ship-shape.

Team news - Colne manager Phil Brown will be hoping that the holiday season is over and he can pick a team with less square pegs in round holes. Hopefully, Steele, Wallbank and Turner will once again be available to help bolster the defence. Matty Kardacz will be hoping to keep his place after another confident display against Hanley Town. New, 19 year old loan goalkeeper Andre da Silva Mendez, is expected to make his debut, after joining from Morecambe for 28 days.

A 4th home game at Holt House gives the Reds another opportunity to collect their first win of the season. The Colne gaffer Phil Brown must be desperate to field a consistent defence, after the chopping and changing in recent weeks. It isn’t difficult to acknowledge that this has been a fundamental reason for the Reds not being able to hold on to a lead and therefore go on to win a deserved 3 points. The other obvious reason is the lack of clinical finishing required to kill teams off when Colne are in the ascendancy. This is to be expected with a young side, many of whom are playing at this level for the first time. The positives are there for all to see however. The new team have had to hit the ground running and have had to try to gel together, despite inconsistent line-ups, and yet have still been able to create plenty of chances to win most of their games. City of Liverpool however, will be no push overs and will battling hard to gain their first points of the season, especially with each player out to impress new manager Paul McNally. But, the Red army faithful will be hoping that a change of luck, in both penalty areas, will see the Reds pick up their first victory of the season.

Upcoming games

Sat 10th September - Bridlington Town v Colne FA Trophy 15:00

Tue 13th September - Glossop North End v Colne 19:45

Sat 17th September - Colne v 1874 Northwich 15:00

Today’s other NPL West fixtures - 19:45

Leek Town v Kidsgrove Athletic

Newcastle Town v 1874 Northwich

Ramsbottom United v Workington

Skelmersdale United v Runcorn Linnets

Trafford v Mossley

Widnes v Prescot Cables

Witton Albion v Macclesfield

Admission Prices are:

Adults £9

Concessions £6

Students with Valid ID £6

Under 16's £2


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