City of Liverpool secured a 1-0 win away at Trafford on Saturday afternoon, with Michael Ellison’s side producing a committed display to secure the points.
Purps manager Michael Ellison made one change to the side that faced Workington, handing a first start to young midfielder Lewis McKinney.
The opening minutes of the match where somewhat cagey, with the only attempt on goal coming in the form of a long range volley from James Edgar which rose high over the Trafford crossbar.
At the other end Trafford’s Matty Barlow cut in from the right before firing a crossshot which took a sizeable deflection to safety behind the goal, only for the Purps to somewhat fortuitously be awarded a goal kick!
It was a half of find margins, and Lewis McKinney robbed home skipper Astley Mulholland of possessions deep in the Trafford half, before delicately sliding Hazlehurst in behind.
Goalkeeper Matt Cooper was quickly off his line to smother the ball at the feet of the Purple Messi, sparing his skippers blushes.
The Purps continued to go through the gears and when a deep free kick was knocked down in the Trafford box, McKinney lifted the ball over the advancing Cooper only to see his effort hacked off the line.
Purps captain Ryan Schofield returned the loose ball goalwards, which was deflected into the grateful arms of Cooper on the deck.
A rapid Purps counter attack saw Hazlehurst in acres of space down the right, but a fine last ditch challenge from Jack Sloan to nick the ball off him just as he attempted to square for a handily placed Josh Quarless.
The Purps continued to rue their fortune in front of goal and had another golden chance just before the interval.
Another quick foray into the Trafford half saw the ball break to Jay Edgar in the box, with the Purps #8 being denied by a fine save from the outstretched Dawson.
Edgar returned the loose ball goalwards and his effort was hacked off the line again!
HALF TIME: Trafford 0-0 City of Liverpool
Trafford came into it more at the start of the second period, with Purps keeper Ollie Martin having to be on his toes to watch a mis-hit cross from the left drift just over the crossbar.
At the other end a delightful pirouette from Edgar saw the Purps midfielder dance past a couple of his Trafford counterparts on the halfway line, before feeding Quarless who dinked an inviting ball in behind the hosts’ defence.
As was the story for much of the first half, Matt Cooper was on his toes to rush out and smother the ball at the advancing Hazlehurst’s feet.
It wouldn’t be long before the Purps had a golden opportunity to open the scoring however, when Matty Morgan clumsily brought Hazlehurst down in the box, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.
Hazlehurst stepped up himself to fire low to Cooper’s left side and give the visitors a deserved lead in front of a vocal away following behind the goal.
After the goal the Purps reverted to a back five with Louis Isherwood entering the fray, and Michael Ellison’s side looked comfortable soaking up pressure and dealing with high balls into the box.
This left plenty of space for counter attacks with forward Josh Quarless almost setting the seal on the victory twice in quick succession.
First the #9 broke clear after powering past a couple of defenders, the excellent Cooper rushed out once again to save low before the loose ball was carried into the box by Edgar and was deflected clear as he pulled the trigger.
Moments later another counter attack saw Quarless surge in down the left of the area, with Cooper again making a heroic save low down for a corner.
The Purps held on however for a fine victory which was punctuated by scenes of celebration at the final whistle, with jubilant players embracing the delighted travelling Purps contingent behind the goal.
FULL TIME: Trafford 0-1 City of Liverpool
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Jack Walls was outstanding once again offering composure and security in defence whilst also looking a real threat raiding down the right. The young full back is really going from strength to strength and has made the right back spot his own since joining the Purps.
CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Martin, Aley, Walls, Schofield (c), Hinnigan, Hassall, Monaghan, Edgar, Quarless, Hazlehurst (Scarborough 76’), McKinney (Isherwood 70’).
We caught up with a delighted Michael Ellison at full time, and the Purps gaffer was full of praise for his side’s commitment. Ello picked out Jack Walls for his man of the match display and looked ahead to next weekend’s clash with Marine.