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City of Liverpool began their pre-season campaign with an entertaining 3-2 victory over West Lancashire league side Euxton Villa.
Michael Ellison’s Purps made the short trip to the Jim Fowler Memorial Ground boasting a number of new faces and triallists. Ello gave debuts to centre-back Adam Hughes and forward James Kirby who recently signed from TNS and Leek Town respectively.
It was a familiar face in the opposition dugout for Ellison too, as Euxton Villa are managed by Runcorn Linnets legend Matt Atherton, who played under the Purps gaffer for a number of years.
The Purps started well and the opening exchanges saw James Kirby, Nathan Burke and Jack Hazlehurst finding space in behind, only to be denied by a combination of fine last-ditch challenges and tame finishes.
The hosts took the lead slightly against the run of play when good pressing high up the pitch saw Ethan Devine robbed of possession on the edge of his own box. Forward Josh Briggs made the most of the opportunity, side footing into the unguarded net as Theo Roberts was out of his goal offering Devine a back pass.
Following the opener, Mitch Bryant and James Kirby both had the ball in the back of the net but were called back for contentious offside calls.
The Purps continued to rally and got a deserved equaliser in comical fashion when a deep cross by Zac Aley was shanked into his own net by an Euxton defender.
The hosts were undeterred however, Matt Atherton’s side regained their lead on the stoke of half time as a mis-control at the back from Trialist allowed Trialist to side-foot home from close range.
Mixed emotions for the Trialist family over dinner on Saturday night!
HALF TIME: Euxton Villa 2-1 City of Liverpool
At the interval Michael Ellison made a number of changes with Mitch Bryant, Trialist and Ethan Devine being replaced by Trialist, Trialist and Kieran Nolan.
The Purps equalised early in the second period, when a shot from Trialist hit Adam Hughes and deflected into the path of James Kirby who was in an offside position but slotted home from close range. To the amazement of everyone, the linesman did not flag and the goal stood, much to the justified consternation of the home bench.
The Purps continued to press for the lead and grabbed the goal of the day courtesy of the impressive Kirby. This time there was no debate about the validity of the goal, as the forward expertly brought down a fine lofted pass from Trialist with a gorgeous touch, before side footing beyond the advancing Villa keeper with a fine finish. It was an excellent goal to cap off an energetic display from Michael Ellison’s new signing.
FULL TIME: Euxton Villa 2-3 City of Liverpool
City of Liverpool: Theo Roberts, Louis Corrigan, Adam Hughes, Trialist, Trialist, Ethan Devine, Nathan Burke, Zac Aley, Mitch Bryant, Jack Hazlehurst, James Kirby. Subs: Kieran Nolan, Stephen Rigby, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.