MATCH REPORT: PURPS DRAW ON OPENING DAY

City of Liverpool had to settle for a point on the opening day of the season after a goalless draw against Ramsbottom United.

Michael Ellison’s starting XI contained five new signings all making their Purps debuts in Ryan Schofield, Louis Isherwood, Ben Rydel, James Edgar and Elliot Johnston.

Ello’s new look Purps took control of the game from the off. Left back Zac Aley looked to bomb forward at every opportunity and created an early chance whipping a ball into Mitch Bryant, but his nonchalant flick towards goal sailed over the bar.

The mercurial Jack Hazlehurst was covering every blade of grass pulling Ramsbottom defenders out of position as he looked to create. His link up play with Johnston was sharp and a quick one-two suckered in a couple of Ramsbottom defenders, the space was exploited by Bryant’s run but Hazlehurst just over hit the through ball.

The Purps were purring and created the best chance of the game so far. Stephen Rigby picked up a loose ball in midfield and played it neatly up to Bryant on the half way line. Mitch held it up brilliantly before spotting Rigby racing forward.

His through ball was timed to perfection as Rigby broke through the highline and raced away clear. Rigby went for power but blazed a shot high over the crossbar with only the keeper to beat.

Aley again created down the left, this time neat link up play with Bryant saw the ball pulled back to the edge of the box for Elliot Johnston, but the new signing pulled his shot just wide.

As the half progressed Ramsbottom finally created a chance of their own. A deep cross found Jamie Rother at the back post and his looping header back across goal clipped the bar.

Almost immediately afterwards, Hazlehurst was involved again, The Purple Messi cut in from the byline inside a defender before firing a left footed effort which the Ramsbottom kept out smartly with his feet at the near post.

From the resulting corner the Purps caused havoc. A delightful in-swinging delivery from Edgar was flicked goalwards by Jack Hinnigan, it hit Mitch Bryant on the line but rebounded to the grateful feet of Louis Isherwood who finished with aplomb on his Purps debut!

There was pandemonium in the stands as Isherwood was mobbed by his team mates and supporters were overjoyed at the season’s opening goal.

However, as the Purps walked back for kick off all of a sudden the goal was chalked off. Confusion reverberated around the ground as Ramsbottom protestations over Mitch Bryant being offside in the build-up were rewarded by the referee disallowing the goal.

In the immediate aftermath of Isherwood’s strike the flag had not been raised and the referee did not call play back, however the away side’s pleas prompted a discussion between the match officials.

Almost an age after the ball hit the net, they came to the conclusion that the goal should be disallowed. It appears that decision was in fact incorrect, as Bryant was played onside by a defender on the post.

 

HALF TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 0-0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED

The second half was a much more even affair with few chances for either side. Ramsbottom started to work their way into the game and enjoyed periods of possession.

Hazlehurst was again central to the Purps creativity and was always looking to create chances and keep the ball moving. He was popping up left and right and Ramsbottom decided to get to grips with him quite literally. He was clattered from behind in the air by the Ramsbottom centre back and left on the deck with the referee deciding it wasn’t even a foul let alone a bookable offence.

After some treatment Jack raced into the box and got on the end of a Johnston cross, but his acrobatic scissor kick with his back to goal that was straight at the keeper.

Ramsbottom could and probably should have nicked it at the death when a pull back found Joel Earps in acres of space, but he spooned his effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

In reality though Theo Roberts never had a save to make, whilst skipper Ryan Schofield and Hinnigan at centre back were dominant in the air and comfortable on the ball.

All in all the Purps can be disappointed they never took all three points against a side we have suffered 5-0 and 5-2 defeats to in the past. At times it was a dominant performance but we just couldn’t turn that dominance into goals.

FULL TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 0-0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jack Hazlehurst. The Purps’ midfield magician was at the heart of everything we did right, a constant attacking and creative threat which Ramsbottom struggled to contain.

Post Match Reaction:

At full time Paul Manning caught up with Purps manager Michael Ellison, who was enthused by his side’s first half dominance and defensive solidity but left to rue our inability to put the game to bed in the first half.

 

@PURPSMATCHDAY PHOTO GALLERY:

 

NEXT UP:

The Purps travel to Workington on Tuesday night for a 7:45pm kick off at Borough Park. We’ll have all your usual match day live tweets over on Twitter, head to @PurpsMatchday

 

POTTER IS A PURP

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the signing of experienced forward Freddie Potter.

The striker is no stranger to Purps manager Michael Ellison, having worked together to great success at Runcorn Linnets.

Potter was somewhat of a talismanic figure across two spells at Linnets, scoring 75 goals in 138 appearances. He has also represented Marine, Burscough and AFC Liverpool and joins the Purps having left Warrington Rylands at the conclusion of last season.

Freddie has been training with the Purps during pre-season and featured in friendlies against Vauxhall Motors and Atherton Collieries.

“Freddie is someone I know really well from my time at Runcorn,” manager Michael Ellison explained.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience and most importantly he will get you goals.”

“Once he’s got his match fitness and gets up to speed, he will be a great addition to the squad. I’m glad to have him on board.”

Welcome to the club, Freddie.

Preview: Ramsbottom United

City of Liverpool v Ramsbottom

NPL West Division

Saturday 14th Aug- 3PM KO

 

 

TICKETS

Although you can pay on the gate, you can buy tickets online right now, including booking FREE TRAVEL from the Lion Tavern. Just click the picture below to be redirected to our event page on Skiddle.

Please note there is limited places available for FREE TRAVEL so book ASAP to avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

PREVIEW

 

 

The day is almost upon us. A day that we have not had since 22nd February 2020 in our last pre-Covid fixture against Prescot Cables. A normal competitive fixture. 18 months of lockdowns, incompetent government, social distancing, masks, behind closed doors games and attendance capacity limits. Postponements, null and voids, an FA Trophy run of away games that no Purps could attend, the mobilisation of Purps members doing food parcels for vulnerable members of our communities and the constant changing of guidelines just to try and get a game on.

Although we have had games in between then and now, with some fantastic results, it feels like proper footy is back. It’s the start of the season-eve and everyone is excited to see what manager Michael Ellison has brought together.

He has put together a really impressive squad of players over the summer and throughout pre-season. In terms of recruitment, a manager’s (and club secretary’s) work is never done. Plenty of trialists were on display throughout the pre-season campaign, putting in the work to impress and get the nod for a place in Ello’s new-look squad. The new recruits are a mix of experienced players such as Shaun Kelly, James Edgar, Ryan Schofield and Adam Hughes, young on-loan pros like Louis Isherwood and Ben Rydel and Football League Academy players like Andy Kanga, Harvey Sample and Elliot Johnston.

 

 

 

The results during pre-season, although not necessarily as important as building match fitness, have been good for Ello’s revamped Purps. Wins came against Euxton Villa, Cammell Laird, Burscough, Atherton Colls,  PC39 Academy and 433 Academy. There was only a solitary defeat to new landlords Vauxhall Motors and the cancellation of the much anticipated away trip to play FC Isle of Man to dampen Purps spirits. Speaking of the damp, we also saw our Northwich Vics friendly abandoned only a few minutes into the second half at Wincham Park after torrential rain, with the Purps winning 1-0 at the time and last weekend’s planned trip to Bamber Bridge was called off after rain left the pitch unplayable.

 

Ramsbottom have a new manager after the previous incumbent Chris Willock left to join divisional powerhouses Workington at the start of July. Lee Donafee has stepped up to take the vacant role and this week appointed Martin Parker and Michael Smith to his backroom staff. Ramsbottom are a really strong team in this league as we have seen previously, and the Purps couldn’t have been given a tougher season opener. The opening five fixtures for the Purps as well as the league in general is stacked with really strong teams, any of about 6 or 7 sides will fancy their chances of winning it this season. I’m sure all Purps have their own hopes and dreams of where we could finish this season. Under Michael Ellison we have an exciting new-look squad that is raring to go and the players will relish the opportunity to go up against anyone in this league.

 

The strength of our club has always come from its members. In their willingness to lift up members of their communities and their desire to help those that need support, even if it’s a total stranger. In their commitment of time and effort to not just the football side of the club but also our community initiatives and during this time of Covid, our directors, members, supporters and volunteers have stepped up to the plate (as they always do). Even the smallest of gestures can leave the biggest impact and for all you have done for those who have needed it during Covid, even if you don’t think it was deserving of praise, we thank you for it.  We can now, hopefully, look forward to a return to some kind of normality and watching our beloved Purps together again every week.

 

PAST MEETINGS

This will be only the 3rd meeting between City of Liverpool and Ramsbottom in all competitions. In both previous meetings Ramsbottom were just too good and put the Purps to the sword, with a 5-0 win and 5-2 win respectively.

Although technically these results never actually happened as they were from the 19/20 NPL season that was officially declared null and void, meaning all results did not stand! That’s all the positives I have to cling to when it comes to those 2 matches. They only stand as a painful memory in the minds of Purps fans who were there watching the likes of Iyrwah Gooden and Ruben Jerome (both now at Workington) running the show.

If you are a glutton for punishment you can watch both of our previous games against Ramsbottom in full via Purps TV on YouTube and Ramsbottom’s YouTube page.

 

26/11/19-  Ramsbottom 5-0 COLFC

 

11/1/20-  COLFC 2-5 Ramsbottom

 

 

TRAVEL

 

We do have FREE transport for fans attending. This is limited and spaces are going fast, so we need fans to reserve a seat via our event page on Skiddle. Pick up is from the Lion Tavern next to Moorfields Station at 1PM and 2PM.

 

For those driving the game the postcode is CH66 1NJ

 

MEMBERSHIPS

 

The membership renewal window is still open till 31st August with memberships from as little as £5 per month. Not only does being a member of our community club help us to be competitive on the pitch but helps toward the fantastic work that volunteers and members do all year round in their communities across the city.

#UTP 💜

PURPS SIGN ELLIOT JOHNSTON

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of Elliot Johnston.

The midfielder may be more familiar to Purps supporters under the pseudonym “Tony Rialist”, after scoring a brace as a trialist during a match-winning cameo at Atherton Collieries earlier in our pre-season campaign.

Playing the second half, Johnston started an influential contribution by notching the equaliser from the spot after being felled in the Colls box, as the Purps came back from two goals down at Skuna Park.

 

But that wasn’t the end of the story as Johnston’s biggest influence on the match came deep into injury time.

Elliot stole the headlines by lobbing Colls goalkeeper Danny Taberner from fully 45 yards with only seconds on the clock, as the Purps stole the victory late on.

 

Johnston was recently a professional with Salford City after impressing during a trial spell, and now joins Michael Ellison’s new-look side looking to make an impression in the NPL this season.

“I’m glad to finally get this signing over the line!” Ellison explained.

“The fans who were at the Atherton Collieries game have seen what Elliot is gonna bring to the side with the goals that he scored and the goals he can create”.

“He’s technically very, very good, and a really fit lad. He’s got aspirations of getting back into full time football and hopefully we can be the springboard for him to do that.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Welcome to the club, Elliot.

PURPS SIGN LOUIS ISHERWOOD

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the signing of defender Louis Isherwood on loan from Chorley.

The 19 year old centre back came through the youth ranks at Wigan Athletic, before moving to Liverpool Academy at the age of 12. Louis then moved back to the Latics as an Under 14 and progressed through their youth system.

Isherwood was a key figure as a talented young Latics side progressed to the quarter final of the FA Youth Cup in 2020, only to be narrowly beaten by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The towering defender left Wigan at the end of the 2019-20 season and joined Chorley where he has continued his development in their Under 21 side, before making the step up to First Team football over the summer.

A confident ball playing defender, Isherwood is highly adept at both centre back and right back and has impressed for the Purps during several cameos as a trialist during pre-season.

Purps manager Michael Ellison explained, “Louis Isherwood is another lad we have got on loan from Chorley, again he’s come through pre-season and really impressed.”

“He’s a strong defender who is really comfortable on the ball and can play in a number of positions across the back four.”

“He’s technically very good and what he’s got in his game for such a young lad is aggression, which is what you need for this level.”

“Hopefully we can give him the game time he needs to progress and I am delighted to have him on board”.

Welcome to the club, Louis.

PURPS SIGN RYAN SCHOFIELD

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the signing of Ryan Schofield.

The experienced defender joins from Longridge Town in the NWCFL Premier Division and has previously played against his new club when representing Charnock Richard.

Schofield has experience of playing in the Northern Premier League for Burscough and has impressed as a trialist in a number of friendly fixtures for Michael Ellison’s side during pre-season.

Ello explained, “Schoey is another lad who we brought in pretty late in pre-season, but as soon as he walked through the door he has really impressed.”

“He brings with him a bit of experience and started pre-season with Southport so he’s had a really good grounding and has got a lot of fitness in his legs.”

“He’s very vocal on the pitch, he’s aggressive, and decent on the ball. I think he’ll do really well for us and I’m glad we have got him in”.

Welcome to the club, Ryan.

 

 

PURPS ANNOUNCE EDGAR ADDITION

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of James Edgar from Prescot Cables.

Edgar represented Cables across a couple of spells which sandwiched a period at fellow NPL side Marine.

A versatile operator, James is highly capable of operating in a number of positions and has impressed when playing against the Purps in the past, scoring against his new club in each of the past two seasons.

Edgar is a player who has been coveted by Michael Ellison in the past, and the Purps manager is delighted to finally get his man, explaining, “It’s no secret that I have tried to sign Jay on a number of occasions over the past few years, so I’m glad to finally get him over the line!”

“He brings with him a wealth of NPL experience. He’s got a great left foot on him and he can play in a number of positions.”

“I think he’ll be a great addition to our squad and I’m delighted to have him on board!”

Welcome to the club, Jay.

PURPS RECRUIT STRIKER SAMPLE

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of striker Harvey Sample.

The 18-year-old forward has been training with Michael Ellison’s side recently and impressed during cameos in friendlies against the Pascal Chimbonda Academy and 433 Academy respectively this week.

Harvey won a penalty in his first appearance last Saturday against PC39, before shining with an all-action display at the VanEupen Arena as the Purps overcame 433 Academy 2-0.

Sample is a tall, athletic forward who hails from Birkenhead and is noted for his pace, excellent hold up play and finishing. Harvey is a part of the Morecambe FC development group who the Purps will be working alongside to allow him to develop and progress further.

The fledgling forward will now be looking to develop and test himself at Northern Premier League level under the guidance of Purps manager Michael Ellison and his backroom team.

Ellison explained, “Harvey is another one who came to pre-season pretty late and has really impressed in the couple of games he’s played in.”

“He’s a really good size, he’s mobile, quick and has a fantastic work ethic. I’m excited to be working with him and to help him develop.”

MATCH REPORT: PURPS WIN AGAINST 433 ACADEMY

Michael Ellison’s Purps continued their good pre-season form with victory over the 433 Academy at the VanEupen Arena on Tuesday night.

With the Northern Premier League season fast approaching, Ello’s team is quickly taking shape. Young trialists Xenon Bahula and Andy Kanga put pen to paper this week, with their impressive pre-season form being rewarded by the manager offering them a place in his squad.

Highly-rated young Salford City midfielder Ben Rydel has also joined on loan and continued his promising form, building on excellent performances against Northwich Victoria and the Pascal Chimbonda Academy in the past 7 days.

With only the Bamber Bridge friendly on Saturday to go before the league campaign begins, this was one of few remaining opportunities for trialists and squad members alike to stake a claim for a spot when the real business starts.

It was also an opportunity for Purps fans to sample our new ground and its facilities for the first time as a “home” fixture.

City of Liverpool started well and dominated possession in the opening stages, looking to move the ball quickly and utilising the excellent hold-up play from Trialist #9 up front.

Indeed Trialist #9 could have opened the scoring early on after racing clear and rounding the goalkeeper, but the young forward was off balance at a wide angle and hit the ball into the side netting.

The Purps continued to press for an opener and found a lot of joy wide left with the link up play between Corrigan and Aley. Both players utilised their unerring ability to whip a ball in from deep, giving the 433 Academy defence plenty to think about, and Trialist #9, Kanga and the late-arriving Rydel plenty to profit from.

The hosts didn’t have to wait long to make the pressure count, as Trialist #10 robbed the visitors of possession, beat a couple of challenges and fed Kanga through on goal. The young winger took it under control before firing an excellent finish low under the keeper, marking the recent announcement of his permanent arrival at the Purps with a goal.

   

As the half progressed City of Liverpool looked to make further impressions on the scoreline, with man of the moment Kanga looking a constant threat down the right, cutting in after beating the full back on a couple of occasions before being crowded out by 433 Academy bodies in the box.

Similarly, the excellent Trialist #3 at right back continued to build on the foundations of several promising performances in a Purps shirt. The defender once again mixed defensive solidity with attacking output, making good decisions in and out of possession and being a constant option on the overlap.

Late in the half then youngster appeared to be crowded out chasing a loose ball near to the 433 corner flag, before calmly dropping his shoulder and striding past a couple of defenders to create an attacking opportunity.

Moments before the interval, new loan signing Ben Rydel strode forward before confidently firing a ferocious right footed effort from 25 yards which the Academy goalkeeper kept out, diving full stretch to fingertip around the post.

HALF TIME: City of Liverpool 1-0 433 Academy

Once again, the Purps made a number of changes at half time, with the manager giving opportunities for other players to impress.

The break allowed 433 to regroup and they looked to be more attacking in the early exchanges of the second period.

The Purps were well marshalled by the experienced Scott Lycett at the back, who made several key interceptions and headers as the Academy looked to threaten.

Lycett was also in the right place at the right time when 433 did threaten, the visitors chased down a Roberts clearance and with the keeper forcing the attacker wide, and therefore out of his goal, Lycett backed up the Purps custodian, heading an effort off the line.

The Purps were much the better side, bar the previous exchange however, and eventually got the second goal their play had deserved. The dangerous Xenon Bahula, operating off the left, attacked the 433 defence, beating two or three defenders with his blistering pace to race clear on goal. The youngster selflessly squared the ball to James Kirby who had the easiest of finishes for a forward of his calibre, side-footing home from close range.

City of Liverpool now head to Bamber Bridge for the final pre-season outing on Saturday, ahead the Northern Premier League season beginning on Saturday 14th August at home to Ramsbottom United.

FULL TIME: City of Liverpool 2-0 433 Academy

PURPS LOAN SALFORD CITY STARLET

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the signing of Ben Rydel on loan from League Two outfit Salford City.

Described as a tenacious midfielder, the 17-year-old recently signed his first professional contract with The Ammies and is highly rated at the Peninsula Stadium.

Rydel has been a regular for Salford’s Under 18’s, featuring in the Youth Alliance and FA Youth Cup, and has captained the side too.

Ben’s progression and leadership qualities recently saw him promoted to his parent club’s development side, whilst he has also trained with Gary Bowyer’s First Team squad.

The first year pro has been training with the Purps recently, and made his first appearances against Northwich Victoria and the Pascal Chimbonda Academy respectively, over course of the past week.

Manager Michael Ellison explained, “Ben joins us on loan from Salford City where he’s really highly thought of.

“He’s at that stage in his career where he needs to play regular first team football and that’s where we come in.”

“He’s technically very good, fit as they come and also has that tenacity in his game that you need at our level. I think he will do well for us.”