AFC Liverpool

Resilient Reds Hold Off Rammy

Two goals up at the break for the second successive match, AFC Liverpool held off a determined Ramsbottom United fightback despite playing most of the second half with only ten men.

Goals from John Lawless and Steven Jones put AFC Liverpool in command at the break but Steven Williams’ second yellow card early in the second half put them on the back foot. Ramsbottom duly dominated the remainder of the match but only pulled one goal back through Gary Stopforth as a gritty display saw the Reds home.

The visitors started the match the stronger but fell behind to the Reds’ first foray into opposition territory. Anthony Brown’s deep cross found the head of Lawless at the back of the box and his header looped over a static Grant Shenton to give the Reds’ newest acquisition the perfect start to his debut.

Barely a minute later Steve Corris saw his twenty five yard drive flash over Shenton’s bar before Jones showed the AFC Liverpool captain how it’s done on twenty one minutes. As the ball emerged from a tussle, the rejuvenated Reds’ striker took one touch to set himself up before unleashing a thunderbolt into the top corner, bagging his second screamer in just four days.

It could have been even better for the Reds had Mark Ayres not denied Francis Barry with a goal line clearance after Shenton’s misjudgement saw the ball bounce over the keeper as he raced to the edge of his area attempting to intercept Brown’s long pass.

The visitors enjoyed their fare share of possession but Bernard Morley’s shot that fell straight into Leon Bimpson’s arms was their only effort on target. Philip Dean’s burst to the byline and subsequent ball across the box deserved a teammate to follow up while Stopforth’s accuracy was wayward from a direct free kick right on the edge of the box.

However the visitors were handed a boost two minutes into the second half when Williams was dismissed after picking up his second caution and they came close to pulling a goal back straightaway. From the free kick deep in his own half, Shenton delivered a long ball to the six yard box but Andrew Dawson’s header shaved the top of the bar.

Chris Williams’ block denied Jordan Hulme but Ramsbottom soon found a breakthrough when another free kick on the edge of the box provided Stopforth with another chance and this time his accuracy wasn’t found wanting as he placed the ball into the top corner.

Ramsbottom continued to dominate possession but a disciplined performance from AFC Liverpool denied them any real chances and the main threat came from Mark Sharples’ corners. Bimpson was forced into a flying save to turn away Lee Gaskel’s header while Ayres and Adam Berrrisford couldn’t find the killer touches when their opportunities came.

With Ramsbottom pressing forward, they were always liable to be caught on the break and conversely it was the home side who had the better chances. Shaun Harris combined with Lawless but was well shepherded on both occasions while late on his long range shot forced Shenton to get down low to palm the ball away and Corris’ measured pass sliced the Ramsbottom back four but Jones shot well wide.

Only in the dying minutes did the visitors come close to the equaliser when a firmer touch from Jordan Hulme would have diverted Smalley’s driven cross into an empty net as the Reds held out for a deserved win.

AFC Liverpool 2-1 Ramsbottom United
Lawless 5′, Jones 21′                      Stopforth 55′

Attendance: 133

AFC Liverpool: 1.Leon Bimpson 2.Anthony Brown 3.Darren Torpey 4.Jack Sinnott 5.Chris Williams 6.James Buckley (12.Shaun Harris) 7.John Lawless (16.Connah Lewis) 8. Steven Williams 9.Steve Jones 10.Francis Barry (14.Muktar Mahama) 11.Steve Corris (C)
Unused Subs: 15.Nevil Picton 18.Sean Richards
Ramsbottom United: 1.Grant Shenton 2.Dominic Smalley 3.Philip Dean 4.Robert Grimes 5.Andrew Dawson (C) 6.Mark Ayres 7.Joel Pilkington 8.Gary Stopforth 9.Lee Gaskel 10. Jordan Hulmes 11.Bernard Morley
Subs: 12.Adam Berrrisford 14. Mark Sharples 15. Ryan Moore 16. Anthony Johnson 17.Elliot Threlkeld

Photo courtesy of Dave Williams

Posted by:  afclpapakuz         Date:  March 1, 2012         Popularity:  709 views

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