1AFC Lpool162836
3Wigan R P161830
As of: 27/12/08 19:00

Bootle FC 3 AFC Liverpool 4

AFC Liverpool won a thrilling derby 4-3 at New Bucks Park, twice coming behind in the second half of a game that was watched by a bumper crowd of 723.

The overnight frost gave rise to a difficult playing surface but both sides did their best to play decent football and kept the ball on the ground. In typical derby fashion the first half was keenly contested, with a number of hard tackles being made by either side.

It was AFC who broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, Andy Olsen’s shot coming back of the post and bouncing off a Bootle defender into the net. As AFC went into the break 1-0 up there was little to hint at the drama that was to follow in an astonishing second half that would see six goals.

Bootle turned the game on its head within two minutes of the second period getting under way with two goals from ex Everton youngster Andy Fowler. The first came from the penalty spot after a handball and then his second was from a shot that bobbled and cruelly deceived Jack Baker in the AFC goal.

The home side could have extended their lead but Baker was outstanding in goal and Ian Sheridan then levelled the scores in the 67th minute. But Bootle restored their advantage six minutes later with an amazing goal from Chris Tyson who found the net from the centre circle after Baker had taken a goal kick.

Despite this setback AFC refused to lie down and were level within three minutes through a fierce shot from Dean Thurston, who was making his first start after more than two months out through injury.

Having twice come from behind many teams would have settled for the draw but AFC pressed forward for the victory and were rewarded with seven minutes remaining. Following a goalmouth scramble Andy McCoy slotted the ball into the top corner to send the visiting support massed behind the goal into raptures.

The win returned AFC to the top of the 1st Division of the Vodkat League after being displaced 24 hours earlier by Padiham. Bootle stay in third, six points behind AFC but with two games in hand. The crowd of 723 was the highest ever at New Bucks Park and the biggest in both divisions of the Vodkat League so far this season.

(December 28, 2008)