2AFC Liverpool293859
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As of: 17/04/09 11:55

AFC Liverpool win Vodkat Division One Trophy!

AFC Liverpool win Vodkat Division One Trophy! thumbnail

AFC Liverpool 1 - Padiham FC 0

An eighth minute goal from Dean Thurston was enough to win the Vodkat 1st Division Trophy for AFC Liverpool in their inaugural season at a rain soaked Brocstedes Park.

Despite the standing areas behind both goals being exposed to the elements the travelling Kop weren’t deterred from taking up their usual position to get behind the team and there was at least a hundred fans amassed behind the goal that the Reds attacked in the first half.

They only had to wait eight minutes to cheer a goal, when Thurston controlled the ball well on the edge of the box before smashing a half volley into the top right hand corner of the net. AFC didn’t sit on the goal however and immediately went for more, forcing two corners in a minute before Andy Olsen had a shot from a Dave Eaton cross well saved on the quarter hour mark.

Paul Willis wasn’t called into action till the midway point of the first half, palming a snap volley into the air which was then hooked to safety by River Humphries. The Reds soon took the play back to the other end of the field and a Ryan Wignall cross from the right was deflected goalwards with Padiham’s keeper needing two attempts to gather the ball. The former Liverpool FC reserve was going wherever he could to cause a danger and five minutes later he was on the left, putting in a cross which Eaton knocked into the six yard box where Thurston was waiting but the Padiham defence managed to scramble the ball clear.

The Reds defence was rarely troubled in the first half and when it was Liam Coyne was solid as usual, showing no fear in the 40th minute when he got his head in the way of a long range effort. From the resultant corner a hopeful punt into the box went harmlessly wide. Padiham’s best chance had come three minutes earlier when one of their players wasted a header from ten yards, directing it well wide but the linesman then raised his flag for offside anyway.

A minute into the second half Padiham were awarded a free kick in a central position but the shot was about half a yard over Willis’s goal. Ten minutes later the Reds were awarded a penalty after a challenge on Eaton by the keeper. There were only half hearted appeals from the AFC players and vigorous protests from Padiham, who saw a player yellow carded for dissent. When Ian Sheridan was finally able to take the kick he sent it to the keeper’s right but the ball bounced back off the post.

Padiham had a strong spell in the middle of the half, with Willis making a fine double save in the 67th minute when a goal had looked certain following some good build up play. Derek Goulding shored up the midfield by bringing on Phil Ojapah for Olsen and this initially reduced the opposition to long range efforts, one of which sailed harmlessly wide ands another was deflected for a corner. In the 75th minute though a clear opportunity was created but the shot was well over the bar.

After surviving this flurry, the Reds sensed they could finish the game off in the last ten minutes and Andy McCoy was introduced as a fresh set of legs up front. His first contribution was a cross from the left that was knocked down by Eaton but the keeper got to the ball before Ojapah did and the Reds midfielder needed treatment for a few minutes. That injury as well as a stoppage for a head injury to Coyne led to five minutes of added time, during which Padiham had a free header in the six yard box that went over the bar. It was as if they know it wasn’t to be their night and Padiham’s next effort was a hit and hope shot from the right of the box that spun well wide. The Reds could have doubled their lead at the last when Wignall seized on a mistake but the ball ran away from him, Earlier in the game he may have managed to reach it but by now he had run himself out and the ground was saturated.

The final whistle was met by celebrations both on and off the pitch, with goalkeeper coach and club comedian Paul Moore being pushed the ground and pilied upon. Coyne then received the trophy and led the lap of honour, which we hope will be the first of many in the clubs history before the players joined fans for a celebratory drink in the bar. Now its time to turn attention to the league and the remaining five games, as we do battle with Padiham for a promotion place.

AFC Liverpool’s next game is at home to Holker Old Boys, Wednesday April 22nd, 7.45pm KO, Valerie Park, Prescot.

(April 17, 2009)