HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION NORTH
AFC LIVERPOOL 3 AFC DARWEN 2
Firstly, before kick off, both sets of supporters, players and staff observed a minute’s silence ahead of Sunday’s 100-year anniversary of The Armistice in honour and remembrance of all those who’ve served and gave their lives.
It was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play after a moment of madness from AFC Liverpool wing back Chris Brady. Brady lost his man just outside the box then in attempt to recover cleaned the same player out inside the area and gave the referee an easy decision to make. Elliot Pond stood over the ball and sent Lee Carr the wrong way to put his side ahead after 14 minutes.
AFC Liverpool struggled in the next 10 minutes, knocked by starting well and still finding themselves a goal down but Darwen lacked the requisite quality to go and make it two in this period and The Reds slowly regained the upper hand.
What was effectively a front 4/5 with a lot of fluid movement proved difficult for the Darwen back line to deal with and Liverpool began to create quality chances. Callum Schorah in particular was able to get a couple of shots away in quick succession. Schorah slipped his marker, dribbled into the box and played a dangerous ball across the face of goal but Drew Lewis and Josh Hamilton were just a few yards behind play.
The home side drew level soon after following a brilliant run from Jay McGrane. Ben Lightfoot started the move with a cracking diagonal ball over the top, McGrane latched on to it, cut inside and jinked his way past two players leaving them in heap. As keeper Jordan Gidley committed himself, McGrane dribbled around him too and finished into an empty net to put AFC Liverpool level in the 35th minute.
The Reds went up another gear after the goal and did what Darwen could not and quickly turned one goal into two. Drew Lewis fizzed the ball at pace to the feet of Callum Schorah, Schorah trapped the ball, rode a heavy challenge and placed his shot neatly beyond Gidley from the edge of the area to put AFC in front after 38 minutes.
The rest of the half played out in the same vein as Liverpool continued to create chances but lacked the killer instinct to really put the game out of Darwen’s reach and the visitors punished them for it on the stroke of half time.
A good ball into the box created chaos for a moment in the area and Jon Croasdale cleared well but the warning wasn’t heeded. Leon Creech was then given time and space to get into the box and despite Lee McConchie’s best efforts, Creed had two attempts and he fired his second shot into the roof of the net to put make it 2-2.
Half Time: AFC Liverpool 2 AFC Darwen 2
The teams emerged for the second half and 10 minutes after the restart, AFC Liverpool re-established the lead through Drew Lewis.
An apparent harmless free kick on the half way line was delivered perfectly by Lee McConchie deep into the box towards towering centre half Jon Croasdale. Croasdale nodded the ball into the danger area and Lewis, with a poacher’s finish turned it in from close range.
The match then had a stoppage in play for a few minutes after a late challenge on Callum Schorah resulted in the Liverpool forward receiving treatment, Anthony Hodges receiving a yellow card. Schorah was able to bounce back after returning to play though and came close to grabbing his second but was only able to roll the ball past the post.
Aliu was also involved in the dismissal of the Darwen full back for a second yellow card 10 minutes from time. Aliu beat his man on the outside and as he rushed towards the byline Hodges attempted to hook the ball away but caught the midfielder in the face with his boot.
Now down to 10 men and chasing an equaliser, the visitors were limited to long balls to catch out the home back line but the defence and keeper Lee Carr managed the closing minutes well to ensure a hard fought 3 points.
Full Time: AFC Liverpool 3 AFC Darwen 2
(Report courtesy of AFC Liverpool)
REFEREE: Jasmin Saeed
GOALS AND TIMES:
AFC Liverpool: McGrane (35), Schorah (38), Lewis (57)
AFC Darwen: Pond (14, pen.), Creech (45)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
AFC Liverpool: Callum Schorah
AFC Darwen: Leon Creech
YELLOW CARDS: Lonsdale (AFC Darwen)
RED CARDS: Hodges (2 yellows) (AFC Darwen)
1 Lee Carr
2 Christopher Brady
3 Ben Lightfoot
4 Marc Stephens
5 Jonathan Croasdale
6 Lee McConchie’s
7 Josh Hamilton
8 James Howell (Capt.)
9 Andrew Lewis
10 Callum Schorah
11 James McGrane
12 Matthew Corke
14 Michael Jones (Replaced ??, ?? minutes)
15 Anthony Lyons (Replaced ??, ?? minutes)
16 Jordan Foster
17 Bakare Aliu (Replaced ??, ?? minutes)
1 Jordan Gidley
2 Kieran Wood
3 Jamie Gibson
4 Liam Cole
5 Anthony Hodges
6 Kiel Lonsdale (Capt.)
7 Leon Creech
8 Matt Farnworth
9 Elliot Pond
10 Nicholas McNally
11 Jamie Edwards
12Jon Fraser (Replaced ??, ?? minutes)
14 Jack Prince
15Danny Taylor (Replaced ??, ?? minutes)
17 Jim Brindle