2AFC Liverpool273555
4Wigan R P242046
As of: 30/03/09 18:40

AFC Liverpool take advantage in cup semi final

AFC Liverpool came from behind to beat Norton United last Saturday and take a slender advantage into the second leg of their Vodkat 1st Division Trophy semi final. 

The visitors showed from the start that they weren’t out to frustrate the Reds in this first leg, with Karl Miller’s curling shot from the edge of the area testing Jack Baker in the first minute. AFC’s first chance came in the 7th minute when Dean Thurston headed an Ian Sheridan free kick just wide.  

A minute after Thurston’s chance Norton took the lead through Miller, who volleyed in a cross from the right. Miller was looking the main threat and he had a chance to double the lead on ten minutes when Mark Gregory fouled on the edge of the box, but his free kick was wasted. 

After the quarter hour mark AFC took control of the game and came close to equalising through Steve Corris, who headed just wide from Thurston’s cross. Dave Eaton then had a good opportunity to score after an Andy McCoy cross but his effort was poor and went well over the bar. 

The Reds pressure paid off on 35 minutes when McCoy was tripped in the box and a penalty awarded. Ian Sheridan stepped up and although the keeper dived the right way the kick was struck hard and low to his right and he couldn’t get his hands to it.  

AFC were ahead just a minute later after some superb trickery on the right by Sheridan. The winger beat two men to get into the box before laying ff for McCoy, whose shot was turned into the net by Thurston. The lead was almost increased two minutes before the break but Corris’s glancing header from Eaton’s cross came back off the bar. 

Norton started the second period well, creating some good chances in the first fifteen minutes. James Dever cleared a shot off the line and Michael Machin also completely missed his kick after he had been cleverly set up by Miller. There was an almighty let off for the Reds when Stephen Allen hit the post from six yards and the Norton striker’s misery continued when he did the hard part by beating Jay Chandler only to sky his shot from the corner of the six yard box. 

AFC began to get on top after Norton ran out of steam somewhat, but failed to capitalise on their possession. The best chance came to Sheridan, who moved into central midfield after Dever was forced off with a hamstring injury, but he shot over the bar after the ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the box. 

With a few minutes remaining Baker was called into action after an audacious overhead kick but he easily held it. The result leaves the tie on a knife edge, with the second leg taking place at Norton’s Cricket Club and Miner’s Welfare Institute ground on 4th April. 

Final Score: AFC Liverpool 2 - Norton United 1 

Attendance: 221

(March 22, 2009)