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MORRIS BRACE HELPS PLAY OFF PUSH

City of Liverpool FC’s fine recent form continued on Saturday afternoon, as a brace from Elliot Morris saw the Purps claim a vital three points against Widnes.

The win saw Paul McNally’s side ascend to 5th in the NPL West Division, breaking into the Play Off places with eight games remaining.

Macca handed recalls to top scorer Josh Quarless and Kyle Schorah in place of Danny Mitchley and Jawad Jebrin respectively, following the midweek stalemate at Hanley Town.

After a fairly uneventful opening to the match, the Purps could have gone ahead after 10 minutes when excellent work from the lively Elliot Morris saw him cut the ball across goal only for a block from a well-placed Widnes defender to prevent a tap-in for Kyle Schorah.

The match sprung into life on 15 minutes when a driving run from Jack Hont down the left saw him leave Niall Battersby and Sean Miller in his wake and cross invitingly into the box.

Hont’s cross wasn’t fully dealt with and Widnes struggled to clear their lines, allowing Kenny Strickland to return the ball into the box for another missed clearance to fall invitingly for Elliot Morris to volley a first time rocket beyond Cameron Terry and into the net.

It was another telling contribution from Morris, who has simply shone since he arrived from FC United of Manchester in November.

Within minutes of City of Liverpool opening the scoring, the visitors crafted their first real sight on goal and almost restored parity.

A neat move started with Widnes winning the ball off Josh Quarless on the halfway line through skipper Ste Irwin and the ball was worked to Jack McGowan who drove at the Purps defence before sliding Irwin in down the left of the box.

As Irwin bore down on goal Calvin Hare rushed out and made a great block with his body, before a timely intervention from Adam Rooney prevented McGowan diverting the ball into the empty net.

Hare was called into action again on 30 minutes when James Steele was released by a lovely ball from the lively Miller, but the former City of Liverpool fired tamely at the goalkeeper when well-placed.

HALF TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 1-0 WIDNES

The Purps were dealt a blow within minutes of the restart when Mike Grogan, so pivotal to our fine form this season, went down holding his hamstring and had to be replaced by Ismail Sonko.

The substitution saw Kenny Strickland deputise at centre back and Sonko drop into attacking midfield, whilst Max Allen dropped back to sit alongside the excellent Si Wills.

Grogan’s unplanned departure did little to negatively affect the control Paul McNally’s side had on the match, as Widnes struggled to cope particularly with driving runs from Elliot Morris down the right.

Visiting captain Ste Irwin found himself in the book after 52 minutes for a poor challenge Morris, whilst Sonko injected an added intensity both with the ball at his feet and when pressing the visitors.

City of Liverpool added a deserved second after 70 minutes and once again it was the best player on the park who sprinkled a little more magic on the match.

An exquisite ball from Jack Hunt saw Elliot Morris racing in behind down the left and a superb first touch saw him surge away from the last defender before despatching a perfect finish beyond Terry and into the net.

The goal took Elliot’s tally to 11 goals from 20 appearances in Purple, eight of which have come in his last nine games.

The second goal gave the Purps a bit of comfort and breathing space, whilst they continued to look assured at the back.

Morris fired over from distance late on as he looked to claim the match ball, whilst Josh Quarless lofted narrowly over Cameron Terry’s crossbar after excellent work from substitute Dom McGiveron to tee him up.

Paul McNally’s side saw out the closing minutes to claim another valuable three points and rise to our highest ever position at Step 4 level approaching the business-end of the season.

FULL TIME: CITY OF LIVERPOOL 2-0 WIDNES

CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Adam Rooney, Mike Grogan (Ismail Sonko 49′), Kenny Stickland, Elliot Morris (Dom McGiveron 89′), Si Wills, Josh Quarless, Max Allen, Kyle Schorah (Jawad Jebrin 64′)

Subs not used: Danny Mitchley, Ethan Jones.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

Elliot Morris picks up another accolade for another match winning performance for the Purps. What a signing this lad is turning out to be!

MANAGER’S INTERVIEW:

Paul McNally hailed “an outstanding team performance from the defence through to the forwards” as his side claimed a deserved three points.

Joining us for the post-match interview was 16-year-old media student Charlie Edwards after being part of our commentary team on PurpsFM.

COMING SOON:

The big games are coming thick and fast for the Purps as we approach an intense end to the season, and on Saturday afternoon we make a tough trip to Newcastle Town in the NPL West division.

Next Tuesday 19th March, we have the hotly anticipated Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final at home to Tranmere Rovers as we chase our first silverware since 2019.

Kick off will be 7:45pm at Vauxhall Motors Sports Club.

We’re expecting this to be in demand so supporters of both sides are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to help us with our planning for this fixture.

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PURPS CLAIM DERBY DOUBLE
City of Liverpool produced another committed and resilient performance to deservedly claim all three points against