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City of Liverpool’s pre-season fixture against Northwich Victoria was abandoned with 51 minutes played after the referee correctly deemed the pitch to be unplayable.
A torrential downpour at Wincham Park saw the pitch become sodden early in the second half and with the ball no longer running “true” the sensible decision was made to end the match.
The Purps were leading 1-0 at the time, after a goal late in the first half from forward Mitch Bryant. The number 9 met a fine cross from Zac Aley with a fierce effort which Vics keeper Chris Cheetham appeared to stop, however he spilled the ball through his legs allowing Bryant’s effort to trickle over the line.
The Purps started the match well and Trialist could have opened the scoring with barely two minutes on the clock, only for his firm strike to cannon back off the upright with Cheetham well beaten.
Vics rallied after the Purps chance and could have opened the scoring themselves. A whipped corner from the right was met by the head of defender Rudy Misambo, who was denied only by a breath-taking stop from Theo Roberts. The Purps custodian dived full stretch to push the ball around the post when the crowd expected the net to bulge.
In what was becoming an end to end affair, it was a case of déjà vu for Trialist, who had a second effort cannon back of the upright for the Purps, again with Cheetham well beaten.
Vics new signing Brad Lynch should have opened the scoring for the hosts at the other end, but after appearing to round Roberts, he was denied by a heroic last-ditch block from Purps defender Shaun Kelly.
The first half was marred by an injury suffered by Purps star Nathan Burke who was assisted off the field and taken to hospital following a horrific challenge by Vics defender Brandon Barski. The left back was extremely fortuitous to remain on the pitch following his lunge, which incensed the away dugout. Thankfully, initial fears of a serious leg injury have been allayed and Burkey left hospital late last night on crutches, having had a number of stitches in his shin.
After 37 minutes the Purps opened the scoring through the aforementioned Bryant who capitalised on Zac Aley’s excellent delivery, and a goalkeeping mishap to give the visitors a deserved advantage.
Indeed, the Purps should have increased their lead on the stroke of half time but the mercurial Trialist, who had already hit the woodwork twice, flashed a header across the goal when he looked destined to score.
HALF TIME: Northwich Victoria 0-1 City of Liverpool
After the interval it was more of an Olympic swimming event than a summer pre-season football match, as both sides struggled to retain possession and passes held up on a comically waterlogged pitch. At one point it appeared more likely for an ark to appear in midfield than a successful pass to feet, such were the almost biblical conditions.
After previous discussions with both benches, the referee sensibly called time on the match with 51 minutes on the clock as the weather only worsened.