MAGIC MORRIS HAS PURPS DANCING

City of Liverpool returned to winning ways on Saturday courtesy of a second half brace from in-form forward Elliott Morris.

Manager Paul McNally was without the services of winger Xenon Bahula through injury, whilst Ismail Sonko served the first of a three match ban incurred by hIs sending off against Prescot Cables.

Macca was boosted by a welcome return from Michael Simpson at right back, whilst Kenny Strickland continued at centre back.

The Purps started brightly and could have been three goals to-the-good early on.

Firstly Elliott Morris received the ball from a woefully short 1874 backpass, but uncharacteristically blazed over the bar as the ball spat up on a boggy and uneven pitch.

Next up, Danny Mitchley burst in behind the 1874 defence, but was denied by a fine block from on-rushing goalkeeper Matthew Wonnacott who had a great starting position to smother the City of Liverpool skipper’s effort.

A quick counter-attack saw the Purps again dissect the home side and but as the ball was worked to the right for the marauding Morris to have a clear strike at an exposed goal, the ball again bounced up and beyond his touch and the chance was gone!

After the early pressure, 1874 Northwich grew in confidence and asserted more composure on the ball.

They looked threatening from set pieces courtesy of the excellent delivery of midfielder Chris McCann, whilst former Purps Tinashe Chakwana’s tireless running and holdup play offered a focal point up top.

A counter-attack of their own saw ’74’s sole effort on goal for the half, as Isaac Noble played a dangerous ball across goal which just needed a tap-in from close range.

Thankfully for Paul McNally’s side, a last-gasp intervention from Jack Hont hooked the ball clear near the goal-line and prevented a certain opener.

HALF TIME: 1874 NORTHWICH 0-0 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

The Purps came out with more attacking purpose after the half time interval and immediately re-asserted their dominance in midfield, courtesy of the combative Simon Wills and progressive Max Allen.

A driving run from Morris caused confusion in the home defence and almost presented an opening as Wonnacott came rushing out and was left exposed out of his goal.

Before Morris could take advantage he was crowded out by back-tracking defenders and player-manager Mark Jones cleared his lines, to the relief of the home supporters.

The Purps continued to press for the opener and it almost came on 55 minutes when right-back Michael Simpson bombed forward, beating his man before curling a lovely ball in which caused confusion in the home backline.

The devilish cross took an unconvincing touch as a defender attempted to thrash a clearance away, but only saw the ball flash across the face of goal and inches past Wonnacott’s post for a corner.

It felt like wave after wave of City of Liverpool attacks but at times they were left frustrated by a determined and resolute home side, whose performance was typified by the commitment of player-managers Mark Jones and Matt Woolley.

The home side defended set pieces well and were organised out of possession, giving Paul McNally’s side plenty to think about as they looked to unlock a committed rearguard.

Macca looked to his bench for reinforcements and handed a debut to Kyle Schorah, brother of departed hero Callum, who joined from AFC Liverpool recently.

Schorah replaced Jawad Jebrin and instantly made an impression on the game as he drifted into pockets of space off the left and carried the ball at Michael Ibeto and Isaac Noble, who looked to protect their right flank.

Schorah had a real hand in the Purps finally breaking 1874’s resolve, holding the ball up down the left before finding Quarless, whose delightful flick released Max Allen to the byline.

Maxi’s ball across the face of goal was pushed out by Wonnacott only for Elliot Morris to take full advantage by slamming home from close range to the delight of his team mates.

The Purps made it two in quick succession and Allen was again the architect, sending Isaac Noble for the Northwich Guardian as he flicked the ball through his legs and cut the ball back.

Morris was again the recipient of Allen’s creativity and took a gorgeous touch out of his feet before hammering an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.

It was no more than City of Liverpool deserved.

City of Liverpool went up a gear and grew in confidence with the victory looking assured courtesy of Morris’ goals.

Kyle Schorah almost capped an excellent debut off the bench as he cut in from the left but was denied by a good save from Wonnacott, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.

FULL TIME: 1874 NORTHWICH 0-2 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Kenny Strickland, Michael Grogan, Simon Wills, Elliott Morris, Max Allen (Adam Rooney 88′), Danny Mitchley, Josh Quarless (Luke Byron 83′), Jawad Jebrin (Kyle Schorah 62′).

Subs not used: Jack Morton, Thomas McNally.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

Notable mentions go to the excellent Kenny Strickland and Simon Wills who relished the battle and provided the foundations for those in front of them, as well as the creativity of Max Allen, who was the architect of both goals.

However, Saturdays MOTM goes to our match winner Elliott Morris, who was a constant thorn in the side of 1874’s defence and bagged an all-important brace to ensure the Purps grabbed a deserved three points.

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Paul McNally was pleased to see his side come away with three points from a scrappy game and praised the dogged determination of Simon Wills in the midfield engine room.

Macca also praised the contributions of Kyle Schorah off the bench as the forward made his Purps debut with a bright and lively cameo.

(Apologies for the wind noise on the video – the conditions were frankly awful for doing any media on Saturday).

NEXT UP:

City of Liverpool are back in action TONIGHT in the Liverpool Senior Cup.

Supporters should note as per club communications that THE FIXTURE HAS BEEN REVERSED and will be played at Runcorn Linnets APEC TAXIS STADIUM.

Kick off tonight will be 7:45pm.

BUTTERS THE TOAST OF THE PURPS

Laura Butters was the hero as the City of Liverpool Women fought back from 3-1 down to complete a remarkable turnaround against Liverpool University on Sunday.

Manager Jay Maguire named perhaps his strongest starting line-up as the purps headed into the game knowing victory would keep alive their season as they look to finish strongly on their debut season.

Cheered on by the watching fans, the Purps made a fast start as Laura Butters scored after 4 minutes.

A long clearance downfield from the goalkeeper Kayleigh Frankland was expertly controlled by Butters who calmly slotted it past the keeper to put them 1-0 ahead on 4 minutes.

However a strong Liverpool university side soon found their feet after the early setback.

Two scrappy goals in quick succession put the University side ahead before the Purps went close themselves at the other end with Laura Butters strike whistling past the post.

But it was Liverpool university who would strike again.

With the purps struggling to clear their lines, the ball fell to the Liverpool university striker who curled the ball into the top corner to make it 3-1 to the university.

A string of world class saves from the Purps goalkeeper Kayleigh Frankland kept the university at bay as they sensed blood and looked to add to their tally. 

Some fantastic saves were made throughout the game but especially in the testing 15 minutes before the break by Kayleigh which ultimately kept us in the game and helped motivate the group to kick on in the second half.

Half time came and Danielle Rutter came on for the ever present Lauren Fisher as manager Jay Maguire looked to get his team back into the game.

With the debutant Kirsty Young marshalling the midfield it wasn’t long before the purps came back into the game with fortuitous goal from Danielle Rutter on the 51st minute.

A looping corner was met by the shoulder of Rutter and creeped into the net, much to the protestations of the opponents, 2-3 and game on!

It wasn’t long before it was Butters on the score sheet again. Controlling and finishing in clinical style to level the scores.

Again it was goalkeeper Kayleigh Frankland who kept the purps level with a string of saves to keep the scores level going into the final 5 minutes as Liverpool University looked to break quickly in attack.

Entering the 88th minute and with the game wide wide open it was Liverpool University who nearly stole all 3 points. A long ball seized upon by the attacking player but her shot creeped agonizingly past the post.

From the resulting goal kick it was the purps, and Butters, who would melt university hearts.

A ball over the top from the excellent Corrin Melia was seized upon by Butters who calmly turned her marker before slotting the ball underneath the onrushing goalkeeper to make it 4-3 to the Purps and seal a remarkable turnaround. 

It was the start of the celebrations amongst the players and supporters as the club secured a victory that keeps it’s playoff hopes alive in what has been a remarkable first season.

Our Women next play against Warrington Wolves FC at the great Sankey neighbourhood hub, Sunday 25th February at 2PM.

Help the young purps with european ambitions

The Toxteth based City of Liverpool & Kingsley U13’s are heading to Europe!

After a trophy laden history the young players and management team are looking to test their young squad against some of the best teams in Europe. 

Please help by donating to the JustGiving appeal as they look to get things over the line. You can donate here on their justgiving page

The young purps have now raised over £2,000 through their fundraising initiatives, which have encompassed a variety of efforts.

They have climbed the demanding heights of Snowdon, organized car wash events, and collected donations at the World in One football tournament.

Kevin Rawcliffe and Wesley Butcher emphasize the critical need for financial support to ensure all players can participate, irrespective of their backgrounds.

“Fundraising does need to be brought into grassroots more because these kids need it in their lives. Some kids have got nothing, and we do what we can to help.”

With the tournament in late May we are looking for one last push from all of the purps community as they look to give the players a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The team will be facing some of the toughest teams in Europe in the tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

Club Statement – Groundshare

As our members are aware, we entirely refute the ludicrous allegation made by Bootle FC of a material breach of our Groundshare Agreement.

A massive total of £65.42 had apparently accrued in a technically unclear clause, despite payments of £13,500 (Plus VAT) made to date in actual groundshare payments this season. We are now in the position of having paid for games that Bootle FC will now not allow us to stage at Bootle FC in Season 23/24.

Any right minded non-league football supporter will recognise the gross injustice of the actions of Bootle FC in preventing our club from seeing out its season, and the crocodile tears in their statement are abhorrent.

Since we were made aware of this action by Bootle FC we have repeatedly made ourselves available to take part in the mediation process offered by the NPL, but in the absence of such commitment from anyone at Bootle FC and a NPL deadline looming last Thursday dinnertime, we made the choice to hire the DCBL stadium to host our match v Prescot Cables.

We have now begun to incur significant costs in seeing out this season, in which Bootle FC are contractually committed to hosting our home fixtures, and will be seeking redress by whatever means are appropriate.

Our club will not be stopped from playing football and we refuse to be bullied into unfair terms by any party.

PURPS ROUT VAUXHALL MOTORS

City of Liverpool FC continued their good form with a fourth league win on the bounce, as Paul McNally’s side demolished Vauxhall Motors on New Years Day. 

Macca kept faith with the starting XI which performed so well in Boxing Day’s derby win over Bootle, whilst top scorer Josh Quarless returned from suspension to replace Callum Lees on the bench. 

The Purps started well against their former landlords, dominating possession in the early minutes and progressing the ball at a pace which Motors struggled to keep pace with. 

After a couple of promising runs down the left narrowly went by without reward, a nice move saw Xenon Bahula release Jack Hont into acres of space down the left.

Hont’s cross wasn’t dealt with by former City of Liverpool defender Adam Hughes and Callum Scorah arrived late in the box to side-foot home through a crowd and beyond the dive of goalkeeper Alexander Hughes with barely four minutes on the clock. 

The Purps continued to put their foot on the gas and saw another two chances go by before there was even ten minutes of play.

Danny Mitchley saw a goalbound effort stopped by a vital block from Thomas Mitchell after good work by Bahula again, before the skipper also flashed another effort narrowly past the post.

It wouldn’t be long before the hosts increased their lead, however.

Schorah turned from goalscorer to creator after 20 minutes, but in truth the Purps owed a huge debt of gratitude to a goalkeeping mistake which gifted them the chance to extend their lead. 

A clipped free kick from Schorah saw Motors custodian Hughes instruct his defence to leave the ball, which they duly did, only for Adam Rooney to be lurking at the back of a crowd to gratefully accept the gift that had been presented to him.

Rooney took advantage of the keeper’s indecision as he went back on his line and slipped, slotting home like a seasoned forward to make it two-nil. 

It looked as though this could soon be a rout as the chances continued to rain down on Vesty Road. 

First Mitchley headed another difficult chance wide, before the marauding Michael Simpson stung the fingers of Hughes who did well to hold his long-range effort. 

A lovely link up between Allen and Mitchley then saw the ball worked to Elliot Morris, but the lively winger headed narrowly wide.  

With 39 minutes on the clock the Purps were out of sight having carved the visitors open down the left again. 

Skipper Danny Mitchley came out on top in a battle with Adam Hughes and released the excellent Elliot Morris away down the left, whose ball across the face of goal was spilled into the bath of Schorah.

Callum made no mistake, unwrapping another gift and side-footing home from close range. 

HALF TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 3-0 VAUXHALL MOTORS

The away side looked to stem the tide of purple pressure at the start of the second period, and they did well to frustrate a home side looking to end an excellent festive period with a swagger.

The Purps had to work much harder for the ball and didn’t really make any clear advances on the Motors goal, save for Elliot Morris’ long range effort which flew harmlessly over the bar after more eye-catching work from the recent recruit. 

Schorah assured himself a new matchball with 70 minutes on the clock, capping off another brilliant individual display in a season littered with an array of his fantastic performances. 

Mike Grogan stepped in to retrieve possession and fed Max Allen who dissected the Motors midfield to find the advancing Schorah who was afforded far, far too much time for a player of his quality.

Schorah stride towards the edge of the box before firing a low finish across Hughes to send his adoring home faithful into raptures. 

The Purps rounded off the scoring by making it a double-salvo in less than two minutes as Schorah nipped in rob possession from Motors skipper Thomas Mitchell who duly brought him down.

The referee played an excellent advantage which allowed Elliot Morris skin the defence before finishing beautifully across Alexander Hughes and claim a goal which his performance richly deserved. 

There was still time for Morris to go close again after Hughes came wandering out of goal to make a less than convincing clearance, but the #10’s instinctive effort was narrowly off target.

The referee blew time on an excellent festive period which saw Paul McNally’s in-form side claim a brilliant four wins from four, against four tough opponents in Runcorn Linnets, Clitheroe, Bootle and Vauxhall Motors respectively.

FULL TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 5-0 VAUXHALL MOTORS

City of Liverpool: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Adam Rooney, Mike Grogan, Si Wills (Kenny Strickland 60’), Callum Schorah, Max Allen, Danny Mitchley (Connor Rankin 65’), Xenon Bahula (Josh Quarless 72’)

Subs not used: Baba Conteh, Jawad Jebrin. 

MAN OF THE MATCH: 

The easiest award of the season goes to Callum Schorah for scoring three goals and claiming two assists. Another brilliant performance from a player who just keeps finding new levels. 

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Paul McNally admitted he’s is running out of superlatives for Callum Schorah and praised his side for rounding off a perfect festive period with four wins from four games. 

NEXT UP:

The tough games come thick and fast as the Purps make the trip to top-of-the-table Leek Town on Saturday afternoon.

DOMINANT PURPS PUNISH BUCKS

City of Liverpool claimed the bragging rights from the first derby of the season, defeating Bootle 2-0 at the Berry Street Garage Stadium on Boxing Day.

Paul McNally welcomed back right back Michael Simpson following the completion of the one match ban incurred by his sending off against Runcorn Linnets.

Midfield lynchpin Simon Wills was rewarded for an excellent display off the bench against Clitheroe with a return to the starting XI, as did the fit-again Adam Rooney.

The Purps followed up an excellent win over Clitheroe three days earlier by continuing very much on the front foot and denying the Bucks any foothold in the game during a somewhat punishing opening to the match.

This was personified by the relentless Simon Wills who relished the intensity of a derby midfield battle against his old side as he flew into challenges and looked a dominant force against his opposite numbers.

A bright start to the match saw the Purps ahead with 16 minutes on the clock, as Michael Simpson strode into midfield before releasing Elliott Morris into acres of space down the right.

Morris played a devilish ball across the face of goal which expertly picked out skipper Danny Mitchley, whose intelligent movement saw him skip away from former Purp Anthony Miley and flick home a first-time finish beyond Tony Thompson in goal.

PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN

The Purps made it two shortly before half time when Danny Mitchley went from scorer to provider to pick out Callum Schorah with a brilliant deep cross.

Schorah benefitted from Jay Cooper switching off at right back to find space on the left of the area, delivering a brilliantly delicate finish from a narrow angle across Thompson and into the net.

PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN
PICTURE CREDIT: PAUL MORAN

HALF TIME: BOOTLE 0-2 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

The Purps continued on the front foot in the early stages of the second period and were unfortunate not to get a penalty when Xenon Bahula skipped beyond Anthony Miley and was upended in the box.

Referee Kavan Hurn was unmoved.

Bootle stepped it up somewhat having utilised all three of their available substitutions at the interval, and went close when a move down the left saw former City of Liverpool striker Connor Harwood fire straight at Calvin Hare.

Another move down the left saw the dangerous Michael Burkey skip inside only to be denied by a fine save by Hare down to his right.

The loose ball then broke to Ben Hodkinson with the goal at his mercy, whose fierce left footed effort was deflected over by a heroic block from Mike Grogan.

City of Liverpool almost put the icing on the cake in the closing stages when a lovely chest from substitute Connor Rankin saw the forward find Callum Schorah.

Schorah’s majestic driving run from just inside Bootle’s half saw him leave four players in his wake before being denied by a fine save by Tony Thompson.

The Purps deservedly took all three points courtesy of their first half double salvo, making it three wins from three against Runcorn Linnets, Clitheroe and Bootle respectively.

The result and performance underlined a growing confidence amongst the squad which has grown throughout the recent FA Trophy run and reaped rewards with these victories over strong NPL West Division opponents.

Boxing Day’s fixtures saw the Purps ascend to 10th in the table and they were applauded off the park by a delighted “away” faithful.

FULL TIME: BOOTLE 0-2 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

City of Liverpool: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Adam Rooney, Mike Grogan, Simon Wills, Callum Schorah, Max Allen (Kenny Strickland 81′), Danny Mitchley (Connor Rankin 86′), Elliott Morris (Jawad Jebrin 89′), Xenon Bahula.

Subs not used: Baba Conteh, Callum Lees.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

It was another afternoon where you could easily make a case for any of Paul McNally’s starting XI to take the man of the match award.

The excellent Danny Mitchley, Elliott Morris and Xenon Bahula where particularly outstanding, as was Mike Grogan whose heroic block preserved the clean sheet and ensured there were no nervy moments late on.

The MOTM award however goes to the brilliant Simon Wills who was at his destructive best, relishing a lively derby day midfield battle.

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Paul McNally was effusive in his praise of his side, describing them as “immense from the very first whistle”.

Macca also dedicated the win to first team coach Adam James’ daughter Penelope who is in hospital at the moment – we of course send the best wishes of everyone at the club to Adam and his family.

NEXT UP:

A busy festive schedule concludes with a home fixture against Vauxhall Motors on New Years Day.

As usual, tickets can be purchased in advance on Fanbase, and there will be a cash/card turnstile for walk-ups.

Let’s start 2024 in the best possible way by getting right behind Paul McNally’s Purps in another important match – bring your family and friends!

https://app.fanbaseclub.com/Fan/Tickets/SelectType?fixtureId=4722

PROUD PURPS BOW OUT OF FA TROPHY

City of Liverpool FC’s brilliant FA Trophy run came to an end against National League Hartlepool United on Saturday, but Paul McNallys Purps gave their storied opponents a real scare for 60 minutes at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.

Macca was without the services of goalkeeper Calvin Hare, whose heroics between the sticks bad been a significant part of his side’s journey so far.

A debut was handed to former Bury #1 Jack Atkinson, whilst skipper Danny Mitchley returned to the starting XI to partner Josh Quarless and Elliot Morris in attack.

A bumper home crowd arrived at the Berry Street Garage Stadium early in anticipation of this fixture, with supporters packing out stand behind the goal and showing their appreciation for a squad which has given them some of our greatest days out during this season’s FA Trophy campaign.

A boisterous and loud support marked the first whistle of the match and the purple faithful wouldn’t have to wait for this to reach a real crescendo.

A neat ball forward into the edge of Hartlepool’s box sat Mitchley felled as he turned the ball away from a visiting defender – a free kick was awarded and immediately every home supporter knew this was right in the zone affectionately known as “Josh Quarless territory”.

Quarless stepped up to curl a low effort around a poor Hartlepool wall, seeing the ball nestle in the corner of the net beyond Joel Dixon’s reach.

Josh wheeled away in celebration, running straight for an embrace with Paul McNally in the home dugout.

The Purps had the lead against their fully professional opposition after only three minutes!

Debutant Purps goalkeeper Jack Atkinson then denied a close-range effort from Hartlepool’s Callum Cooke, pushing his stinging strike away for a corner with a strong hand down to his right.

Hartlepool grew into the game and Atkinson was again called upon to claw out a strong effort from Nicky Featherstone, after the experienced midfielder was picked out by a tidy cut-back from David Ferguson.

Ferguson was then the man to be denied, as Atkinson again produced another brilliant low stop to prevent his close-range finish from restoring parity on the stroke of half time.

The Purps had weathered the storm that Hartlepool slowly brought as the half progressed and were relentless in their pressing, snapping into challenges to defend their slender lead.

They were indebted to the multiple saves by Atkinson as they went in at the break ahead, knowing there’d be plenty of work to do to preserve their lead in the second period.

HALF TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 1-0 HARTLEPOOL UNITED

After the break the Purps had a good spell of possession with the torrential rain and wind in their favour, but Pools equalised after 52 minutes when Ferguson’s excellent cross was planted home by a firm header from Mani Dieseruvwe.

The game became somewhat frantic and end-to-end in nature, with both sides struggling with the conditions but the match as a contest ended when Josh Quarless was controversially sent off for a sliding challenge on defender Manny Onariase with an hour played.

Replays showed minimal to no contact, with Quarless making a genuine attempt to win the ball after a heavy touch from the Hartlepool centre back.

However the referee was immediately swarmed by Hartlepool players and appeared to be swayed by a disproportionate reaction to the Purps #10’s attempt to win back possession.

Hartlepool took full advantage of the extra man, taking the lead five minutes later courtesy of Nicky Featherstone, who met Hastie’s cross with a firm header beyond Atkinson.

The visitors extended their advantage with 10 minutes to play when Dieseruvwe turned in the box before side-footing a composed finish home in front of the Hartlepool fans. 

Hartlepool added two close range strikes in injury time through Callum Cooke and Louis Stephenson, adding a harsh margin of victory which didn’t reflect the performance of the home side, three leagues below the fully professional visitors – for the first hour at least.

The farcical nature of the referee’s performance was exemplified in injury time when skipper Danny Mitchley received a straight red card for being headbutted by a Hartlepool defender – who only received a yellow card.

Full time arrived shortly after, the home side left the pitch to a standing ovation from the loyal Purps who had been there every step of the way during this memorable FA Trophy campaign.

An early strike from Quarless allowed the home faithful to dream, but in the end the controversial red card and strength of their professional opponents made victory a step too far.

Nevertheless, the home supporters made sure their players left the pitch knowing in no uncertain terms just how much they appreciated the moments they had shared since this run started at home to 1874 Northwich back in September.

FULL TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 1-5 HARTLEPOOL UNITED

CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Jack Atkinson, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Adam Rooney, Michael Grogan, Simon Wills (Xenon Bahula 81′), Callum Schorah, Max Allen (Baba Conteh 68′), Danny Mitchley, Josh Quarless, Elliot Morris (Jawad Jebrin 81′).

Subs not used: Ismail Sonko, Ethan Jones, Luke Byron.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

Simon Wills was a key figure in midfield, pressing relentlessly and taking the fight to an experienced Hartlepool United midfield.

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Macca was understandably disappointed to go out of the FA Trophy with the referee’s controversial decisions playing such a role in how the match was decided, but he expressed his pride for his side.

The manager also thanked the supporters for turning out and supporting the Purps in such a manner, as well as throughout such a memorable FA Trophy run.

THE PURPLE PREVIEW: HARTLEPOOL UNITED

City of Liverpool FC play the biggest game in our history on Saturday afternoon in front of what promises to be a bumper crowd at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.

The Purps, who overcame a two-tier deficit to defeat National League North side Buxton in the previous round, will look to eclipse the feat against the National League giants who are three leagues above Paul McNally’s side.

It has been a brilliant FA Trophy campaign for the Purps so far, which started by eliminating fellow NPL West Division sides 1874 Northwich and Witton Albion.

Next up was a penalty shoot out victory over NPL Premier Lancaster City after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.

Goalkeeper Calvin Hare was the hero for saving one penalty during normal play, before also stopping the first THREE of Lancaster’s spot-kicks in the shoot out.

City of Liverpool then faced step 3 side Stamford AFC at home and overcame The Daniels 1-0, courtesy of Callum Schorah’s first half strike.

The reward was a tough trip to Step 2 Buxton, who beat the Purps 1-6 when we last faced each other in 2021!

There was only one winner this time too, as Paul McNally’s side came away with a brilliant 3-1 victory thanks to strikes from Schorah, Josh Quarless and a brilliant Danny Mitchley finish in injury time.

City of Liverpool FC go into this FA Trophy Third Round fixture on the back of three good training sessions since the last match, having seen last Saturday’s planned trip to Hanley Town beaten by the winter weather.

The mood in the camp is one of anticipation, with Macca’s boys excited to test themselves against a professional, Step One outfit in Hartlepool United.

Having enjoyed some great moments with the Purps home and away this season, particularly on this FA Trophy run, the players and staff have expressed their gratitude for the support they have received so far.

We caught up with top scorer Josh Quarless at training on Thursday, who talked us through the atmosphere amongst the squad and discussed the importance of the home support in such a big game.

We also spoke with manager Paul McNally, who talked us through his side’s preparations, the optimism and happiness throughout the squad, describing the club’s supporters as “the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth man” ahead of Saturday’s match.

THE OPPOSITION:

Hartlepool United were a Football League side last season when they were relegated for only the second time in their 115 year history, finishing 23rd in League Two.

Based in Hartlepool, County Durham, “Pools” play at the 7865 capacity Suit Direct Stadium, more commonly known as Victoria Park.

They are managed by former Shrewsbury Town, Port Vale and Macclesfield Town gaffer John Askey, who also had a successful spell at York City which saw the Minstermen gain promotion from the National League North in his first season in charge.

Hartlepool United manager John Askey.

This will be City of Liverpool’s first competitive appearance against a fully professional side.

THE SEASON SO FAR:

Hartlepool United have had a mixed season so far and currently occupy 12th place in the Vanarama National League Table with 27 points won from 22 games played.

This is Hartlepool United’s first game in this season’s FA Trophy, as they enter the competition at this Third Round stage.

ONES TO WATCH:

Towering forward Mani Dieseruvwe leads Pools’ goalscoring charts with 13 strikes to his name from 21 appearances so far.

The marksman was also top scorer for Halifax Town last season and has represented a wealth of clubs across his career, including Sheffield Wednesday, Fleetwood Town, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Kidderminster, Salford City, Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, and Grimsby.

Dieseruvwe won the FA Trophy last season with Halifax.

Hartlepool United forward Mani Dieseruvwe photographed with the Vanarama National League POTM award he won for August 2023.

Midfielder Nicky Featherstone previously represented Hull City and has also spent time at Walsall and Hereford.

Featherstone possesses plenty of experience and is currently 7th on the all-time Hartlepool United appearance list.

Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone.

Winger Jake Hastie was signed from Scottish Premiership giant Rangers in 2022 and has been capped twice by Scotland at Under 21 level.

A dangerous and tricky operator on his day, Hastie has also previously represented Motherwell and Rotherham United.

Jake Hastie (right) playing for Rotherham United.

David Ferguson is a rock at the back who was handed the captaincy ahead of the 2023-24 campaign by manager John Askey.

Ferguson counts Sunderland, Darlington, York City and Blackpool on his list of previous clubs.

Hartlepool United captain David Ferguson

GET ME TO THE MATCH:

As communicated on our club channels, this is an ALL TICKET match which means City of Liverpool and Hartlepool fans will need to purchase their ticket in advance.

Tickets are available via the below Fanbase link and supporters are encouraged to get their ticket sorted ASAP, which not only avoids disappointment of missing out, but also helps our volunteers to plan for this fixture accordingly.

City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally has stressed the importance of the Purple faithful throughout this brilliant FA Trophy run, so we’re calling on all Purps fans to come along and show your support to Macca and the lads.

HOME TICKETS: https://app.fanbaseclub.com/Fan/Tickets/SelectType?fixtureId=4621

AWAY TICKETS: https://app.fanbaseclub.com/Fan/Tickets/SelectType?fixtureId=4622

RELENTLESS PURPS OVERCOME BUXTON

City of Liverpool FC achieved its greatest ever result on Saturday afternoon, overcoming National League North side Buxton to progress in the FA Trophy.

The Purps, two leagues below The Bucks, came away from the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium with a convincing 1-3 victory and reached the Third Round of the competition for the first time in our history.

Manager Paul McNally made a one change to Tuesday’s defeat at Stalybridge Celtic, with Max Allen returning to the starting line up in place of Jawad Jebrin.

There was also a welcome return on the bench for fit-again skipper Danny Mitchley who has been missing for a number of weeks with a hamstring problem.

A lively opening from Buxton debutant William Bapaga saw the former Coventry City and Grimsby Town winger play a tidy ball into the box which was headed wide by Boden.

The Purps then settled into the match and troubled Buxton down our left through the pace and trickery from Xenon Bahula, who beat home fullback Sam Smart at will.

On three occasions the youngster flashed excellent crosses in from the flank which were just lacking the arrival of a Purps forward at the front post.

Buxton’s clearest opportunity of the half came on 40 minutes when neat footwork on the edge of the box saw Connor Kirby release Jordan Burrow, but the forward fired horribly wide with the goal at his mercy.

HALF TIME: BUXTON 0-0 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

After a first half devoid of much in the way of goalmouth action, the second half burst into life in the best possible way within a minute of the restart.

Relentless pressing from Max Allen and Callum Schorah straight from the kick-off saw the Purps rob Buxton of possession and the ball was fed to the left wing for Xenon Bahula.

Xenon beat his man before playing a perfect ball across goal for Callum Schorah to delicately flick a majestic finish beyond Dearnley and into the net.

What a start!

City of Liverpool continued on the front foot after their opener, affording Buxton no time on the ball as the home side struggled to get a second half foot-hold in the game.

Callum Schorah was denied a stunning second by a brilliant diving stop from Dearnley, before the goalkeeper repeated the trick to tip over a scorching free kick by Kenny Strickland from fully 35 yards out.

At the other end, Buxton’s only real foray into Calvin Hare’s box saw Curtis Weston’s long ball sliced wastefully over by Boden.

The visitors scented blood and got a deserved second goal on 70 minutes when Kenny Strickland’s dangerous corner from the left was headed home by the excellent Josh Quarless.

Quarless wheeled away in delight to celebrate with a jubilant away following.

The home side saw much more of the ball following City of Liverpool’s second, although much of their possession came to an end in the form of long balls which were meat and drink for a stoic backline performance from Hare, Simpson, Rooney, Hont and the imperious Mike Grogan.

The visitors set the game up for a nervy finish late on when Connor Kirby bundled home from close range, however the home side scarcely threatened after they had reduced the arrears and the Purps continued to look the side on the front foot.

Home goalkeeper Max Dearnley lost focus as he attempted to jostle with Danny Mitchley during a corner routine, with the Purps skipper getting a run on the custodian, only for his deft flicked header to come back off the far post.

Just as the officials indicated that SEVEN minutes would be added on, the visiting faithful went into raptures when Danny Mitchley put the result truly beyond any faint lingering doubt.

A long ball from Calvin Hare was chested down majestically by Mitchley who strode into the Buxton box before despatching a composed finish beyond Dearnley’s dive and into the net.

The popular forward sprinted towards the travelling Purps, sparking wild scenes as players and supporters alike celebrated what would be the most famous win in our short history.

The remaining few minutes of the match saw a party in the away end which culminated in a real let-off at full time and some brilliant scenes amongst the players, staff and delighted supporters.

FULL TIME: BUXTON 1-3 CITY OF LIVERPOOL

CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson (Ethan Jones 89′), Jack Hont, Adam Rooney, Mike Grogan (c), Simon Wills (Kenny Strickland 49′), Callum Schorah, Max Allen, Ismail Sonko, Josh Quarless (Danny Mitchley 83′), Xenon Bahula.

Subs not used: Baba Conteh, Jawad Jebrin, Luke Byron.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

It was another afternoon where each City of Liverpool player did the shirt proud and you could reasonably make a case for practically everyone to be in contention for man of the match.

Max Allen marked his return to the side after missing the midweek trip to Stalybridge with a classy and composed performance in the engine room, looking every inch the best midfielder on the park.

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Paul McNally was effusive in his praise of his players, acknowledging the gravity of achieving the greatest result in the Club’s history.

The manager lifted the lid on the motivation within the team and backroom staff, as well as paying tribute to the travelling support who sung their hearts out all afternoon.

(Apologies for the wind noise in parts of the video, unfortunately the elements were against us on Saturday!)

THE DRAW:

The draw for the Third Round of the FA Trophy takes place this afternoon (Monday 20th November) at 3:15pm.

It will be broadcast live on Talksport 2 and the Purps will be ball number 12.

Despite what was previously thought, the FA have today confirmed that this round WILL be regionalised into North/South.

PURPS SIGN ELLIOT MORRIS

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of Elliot Morris from FC United of Manchester.

The 25-year-old will be a familiar name to Purps supporters, having shone for Skelmersdale United in the NPL West Division last season.

Morris had a stunning campaign in which he notched an impressive 17 goals and finished joint-second in the league goalscoring standings.

Elliot’s achievements last season were also recognised as he was named in the NPL West Division Team of the Season, and he was also commended by the NPL committee in the end of season awards for his performances.

The exciting forward was highly coveted in the summer when he swapped Skelmersdale for FC United, and now links up again with Paul McNally at the Purps.

Morris was a key player for Macca as Skem won promotion to the NPL West Division via a Play Off during the 2021-22 campaign, forming a fearsome forward triumvirate alongside Danny Mitchley and (now Warrington Town player) Mikey Howard.

Our new man also made an excellent start to life in the NPL West with Macca’s Skem side, and scored from the penalty spot to defeat the Purps early last season.

Elliot watched his new team mates achieve the greatest result in the Club’s history as the Purps defeated National League side Buxton in the FA Trophy yesterday, and he will join up with the squad immediately.

Paul McNally explained, “Elliot fits our profile and the identity of our club, so when a player of his ability becomes available we moved very quickly to get him signed”.

“We are all excited to work with Elliot again as he is not just a fantastic talent, but a great lad who will settle in and add more quality into the group we already have here at the club”.

Welcome to the Purps, Elliot!