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City of Liverpool opened their pre-season campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory against Cammell Laird 1907, on a warm evening at the Prabhu Ventures Ltd Arena.
Purps manager Craig Robinson opted to field different XI’s in each half, as he gave opportunities to a number of new faces.
The first half saw Tom Stevens, Ste Rigby, Dom Reid and Tony Gray make their first starts for the club, with all four impressing on the night.
The Purps started well, with new signing Gray finding pockets of space immediately.
The former Southport and Chester FC forward almost forced the opener early on, as he played in a devilish left footed cross which the Lairds defender did well not to slice into his own net, with Jamie McDonald lurking for a tap in.
From the resulting corner, Dom Reid’s whipped ball in was met by the head of centreback Tom Stevens who rose like a salmon to power a header inches over the bar.
The move was repeated again a few minutes later, this time Stephen Rigby played a left footed corner in where Stevens again met it, however his header was deflected narrowly over.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to make the pressure pay, as the lively John McGrath cut in from the right on his trusty left foot, feigned a shot and fired a low effort which took a slight deflection to nestle in the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Moments later the Purps almost doubled their advantage in spectacular fashion, as Dom Reid hammered a curling effort from 25 yards which smashed against the upright and bounced clear, after great work from Tony Gray.
The Purps looked a danger from set pieces and again the pressure told as Lairds failed to deal with Jay McCarten’s header across goal from John McGrath’s corner.
As his team mates appealed for a handball Tom Stevens finally got his goal, nonchalantly lofting the ball over the home keeper and into the top corner of the net.
Just before the interval former Purps hero (and current Legends team forward) Daley Woods, on from the bench for Lairds, almost reduced the arrears for the home side but his first time effort was narrowly wide of Owen Wheeler’s goal.
Wheeler was then called into action to make a fine stop low down with his feet on the stroke of half time as Lairds threatened on the break.
Robbo started the second half with an entirely different XI, giving debuts to Jay Yates, Jordan Barrow, Louis Corrigan and the returning hero of 2019 Craig Cairns. There were also cameos for two trialists.
Elliott Nevitt, also on at the break, started his pre-season campaign in typically energetic fashion and didn’t take long to increase the visitors’ lead within minutes of the restart.
A fine through ball from Jack Hazlehurst released A. Trialist down the right who played an inch-perfect whipped ball in for Nevitt to power a thunderous header across Cowderoy in the Lairds goal and into the far corner of the net.
A fine finish from last season’s top scorer to make it 0-3.
Nevitt had a number of other opportunities to add to his tally owing to great service down the right from A. Trialist and Jay Yates, but he was denied by a combination of inspired goalkeeping from Richie Cowderoy and last ditch defending.
FIRST HALF XI – Wheeler, Jeffries, McCarten, Stevens, Rigby, McGrath, McEllin, Kinsella, Reid, Gray, McDonald.
SECOND HALF XI – Marshall, Yates, Brown, Barrow, Corrigan, Trialist, Devine, Trialist, Hazelhurst, Nevitt, Cairns.
Cammell Laird 0-3 City of Liverpool – Matchday Photo Gallery: