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City of Liverpool overcame Mossley after a battling display on the road, in the first of a tough Easter Bank Holiday double-header on Saturday.

Manager Paul McNally was still without the services of star forward Elliot Morris, who was serving the game of a two match suspension incurred by his red card at Newcastle Town.

Kyle Schorah was handed a start in attack, whilst Luke Byron retained his shirt following a man of the match display in last weekend’s draw at home to Hanley Town.

A cagey opening to the match saw neither side threatening to lay a glove on one another until the Purps were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Mossley area.

Josh Quarless curled a fine effort over the wall but his shot was matched by excellent handling from home goalkeeper Finley Madigan to smother the ball with attackers following in.

Mossley then had a real spell of possession where they looked to capitalise on a disjointed spell from the visitors and had a real outlet in Jack Bannister who looked to threaten with direct running at every opportunity.

Purps goalkeeper Calvin Hare displayed solid handling of his own to thwart a fizzed cross-shot from Alfie Belcher.

The referee had a decision to make on 31 minutes when Kane Hickman flew over the top of the ball challenging Ismail Sonko, leaving the young Purps midfielder in a heap and his team mates incensed.

In truth Hickman was probably lucky to escape with the yellow card which he was awarded, whilst Simon Wills also went into the book for his reaction to such a poor challenge.

The Purps struggled to navigate a bobbling pitch and it seemed as though every opportunity to get a shot away ended through the ball bouncing away at the crucial moment.

Kyle Schorah did test Madigan’s resolve after 33 minutes but again the Mossley custodian was equal to it, beating away his close range effort for a corner.

The best chance of the half came shortly afterwards, when Mossley’s Ben Darby beat a man before playing a perfect ball for Alfie Belcher to hammer goal wards.

Just as the ground expected the net to ripple, Calvin Hare clawed it away with a brilliant point-blank save, once again underlining his status as one of the very best goalkeepers in the NPL West Division.

As the match approach half-time the Purps did have the ball in the back of the net when a brilliant pass from Kenny Strickland found substitute Danny Mitchley to slot home.

Sadly the linesman’s flag was up, so Mitch’s strike was ruled out.


The Purps came out for the second half with far more attacking intent and had a golden challenge within four minutes of the restart.

Ismail Sonko picked out Kyle Schorah with a fine pass inside the box, but the forward’s well-struck effort flashed inches past the post.

Again the City of Liverpool nemesis looked to be the bobble of the ball, as Luke Byron and Danny Mitchley sliced off target in quick succession, leaving supporters to wonder if it was going to be one of those days.

At the other end Jamal Crawford linked well with Andy Keogh and burst into space but was denied again by an assured stop from Hare.

Kane Hickman was again the villain of the piece when his high boot kicked Sonko in the face, but the midfielder was somehow not given his marching orders to the bemusement of the travelling support.

Quarless was then denied with another long-range free kick which Madigan clawed away with a brilliant save down to his right, probably the best of his fine afternoon for Mossley.

As the match looked to be petering into a frustrating stalemate, the Purps were awarded a penalty when another Hickman high boot caught Mitchley full in the face.

The referee had no choice but to point to the spot, and Kenny Strickland stepped up to send Madigan the wrong way from the spot, to the jubilation of his team mates and supporters.

City of Liverpool fought for everything for the remaining 9 minutes of the match, aggressively pressing and heroic at the back, which was personified by Strickland’s imperious display.

The experienced defender made a number of crucial blocks in the closing minutes as Paul McNally’s side saw out 6 minutes of injury time to take a vital three points in our quest for the Play Offs.


City of Liverpool: Calvin Hare, Michael Simpson, Jack Hont, Kenny Strickland, Adam Rooney, Simon Wills, Ismail Sonko, Max Allen (Danny Mitchley 26′), Josh Quarless, Luke Byron (Jawad Jebrin 52′), Kyle Schorah (Xenon Bahula 57′).

Subs not used: Ethan Jones, Baba Conteh.


Kenny Strickland was the match winner with his cooly-taken penalty, but it was his all-round display that saw him head and shoulders the best player on the park.


Paul McNally praised a committed and battling performance from his said, reserving special mentions for Simon Wills, Ismail Sonko and man of the match Kenny Strickland.


The Purps face Bootle at home on Bank Holiday Monday for a 3pm kick off.

Supporters are encouraged to purchase tickets early to avoid queues on the gate.



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