Reds Win Cup After Penalty Drama

Posted by parr on May 15, 2004, 10:50:26 AM

Liverpool have won the Liverpool Senior Cup after overcoming neighbours Everton in a penalty shoot out at Goodison Park. The victory completed a double for the red half of Merseyside as the Liverpool Ladies won the inaugural Women’s Senior Cup, also winning on penalties against Everton.

The teams were made up of the clubs’ academy players, with the likes of David Mannix, Danny Guthrie and John Paul Kelly (Joxer) playing for the Reds.

Everton: Lake, Wynne, Boyle, Wright, Hughes, Fox, Seargeant (Kissock 82), Gerrard, Hopkins, Anichebe (Vaughan 46), Phelan. Unused subs: Fowler, Irving, Morrison.

Liverpool: Willis, Woods, Smith, Peltier (Holmes 114), O’Donnell, Mannix, Guthrie, Kelly, Noon, Platt, Townley (Barnett 72). Unused subs: Lancaster, Smith, Threlfall.

Attendance: 858

The first fifteen minutes were uneventful, with both sides shooting well wide from distance. The only good chance came in the eighth, when Conal Platt headed Karl Noon’s cross wide from close range.

After a quarter of an hour Liverpool almost created a goal for Everton through the doziness of goalkeeper Paul Willis. Willis was having a drink, (isotonic I hope!) when the ball was played back to him. He threw the bottle into the goal and collected the ball, but Paul Hopkins had closed him down and the ‘keeper’s pressured kick went straight to a blue shirt. Luckily a poor touch by the Everton man spared Willis’s blushes.

Neither side had any great conviction going forward but there were half chances. Phil Townley volleyed wide from the edge of the area after Guthrie’s lobbed ball, and Scott Phelan dragged a shot wide from distance after Liverpool’s defenders had backed off.

In the twenty-sixth minute Everton took the lead through Victor Anichebe. Patrick Boyle won the ball from Joxer and passed to Hopkins, the Everton no.9’s shot from the edge of the area lacked power, but Willis could only divert it for a corner. Anichebe then won the aerial battle and headed the corner into the net.

Two minutes after scoring Everton threatened to extend their lead, but Paul Willis just got his fingertips to the right wing cross, denying the lurking Evertonian.

On the half hour mark Liverpool were given the chance to equalise with the game’s first penalty. As the cross from the Liverpool left eluded the attackers it looked like Everton had survived, but referee Robert Pollock had spotted an infringement and pointed to the spot.

Captain David Mannix stepped up to take the kick and placed it low to the ‘keeper’s left, only to see it hit the post. The ball rebounded across the goal but it was a blue who got there first to clear for a throw-in.

Three minutes later Liverpool again went close to equalising. A good tackle by right back Calum Woods sent the ball into the path of Danny Guthrie, who was playing right midfield. Guthrie ran down the wing before playing inside to Platt, who then slipped the ball through to Noon just behind the Everton defence. Noon shot near post from just inside the area, but Sean Lake in the Everton goal palmed it out for a corner, which came to nothing.

In the thirty-seventh minute Liverpool continued their quest to get back on level terms when Townley hit the side netting. Danny Guthrie played a good pass from right to left, Townley chested it down well but his shot went the wrong side of the post.

The Reds were pushing for the leveller but again went close to gifting Everton a goal. Woods hesitated in his own penalty area, and then hit an attempted clearance at an Everton player. The ball threatened to go in but eventually went wide.

In the forty-third minute Liverpool got back in the match with the help of another penalty. A brilliant turn in the area by Joxer was too quick for the Everton defender, who missed the ball and brought down the man. Despite missing one just over ten minutes earlier, David Mannix took the penalty. He put it the other way this time, to the ‘keeper’s right, but it was too close to Lake who made the save. Mannix’s disappointment didn’t last for long though as the rebound fell straight to him and he side footed into the net for 1-1.

The half ended at one goal each, and during the break Everton made a substitution, goal scorer Victor Anichebe being replaced by James Vaughan.

Everton had the first chance of the second half when Hopkins skinned left back Danny Smith, he shot from the right hand corner of the box, but the ball just sailed past the angle of post and bar.

In the fifty-sixth minute the Blues went close again. Hopkins crossed in from the right, Vaughan got in front of his man and managed to steer the ball goal wards, but just wide.
Everton then had a thirty yard shot from Christian Seargeant comfortably saved by Willis at head height.

On sixty-five minutes there was opening for Karl Noon as his hard work led to him winning the ball and getting in behind the Everton left back. It would have been tough to go it alone so Noon waited for support, but by the time it had arrived Everton had got back in numbers.

A couple of minutes later Danny Guthrie set-up Conal Platt in a crossing position, but his far post ball was headed over.

Within sixty seconds Everton were up at the other end creating a chance of their own, but it only resulted in a comfortable catch for Willis.

Halfway through the half Joxer was fouled about thirty yards form the Everton goal. The Irishman required treatment but was soon back up on his feet. David Mannix curled the free-kick goal wards but it was at a nice height for Lake and the ball landed safely in the ‘keeper’s arms.

As the half wore on both managers decided to make a change. In the seventy-second minute, Liverpool replaced Phil Townley with Charlie Barnett. In the eighty-second, Everton brought 14 year-old John Paul Kissock on for Christian Seargeant.

After the substitution, Liverpool appeared to playing 4-5-1, with just Karl Noon upfront, and it was Noon who went close in the eighty-sixth minute. Guthrie chested the ball down, before performing a clever flick of the ball into the path of Noon, whose shot was saved at the near post. Noon then hobbled away as though he was injured.

With just two minutes to go Liverpool hearts were in mouths as a Lee Peltier mistake gave Everton a sniff of goal. Fortunately for Peltier, the resulting shot at goal was too close to Willis who caught the ball easily.

Liverpool could have won it themselves in injury time but Joxer shot wide after a quick free-kick had presented him with a chance. This was followed by a break in play for Karl Noon and Daniel Fox to receive attention from the physios.

It was still 1-1 after ninety minutes so thirty more were required. The score was probably a fair reflection of what had been an even and uninspiring game.

Everton dominated the first half of extra-time but couldn’t score. Good skill by Kissock set up Phelan to shoot straight at the ‘keeper, and Hopkins got the better of Danny O’Donnell, only to shoot wide.

There was a worrying moment for Liverpool fans in the 109th minute, when Stephen Wynne shot from the right corner of the box with the outside of his right foot. It looked like it was going to curl in but went just past the outside of the far post.

Then Hopkins looked set to score as he got in behind the Liverpool defence, but before he could shoot from close range Lee Peltier made a great saving tackle to keep the Reds level. Shortly afterwards Peltier went down injured and required the physio, while the Everton physio was also on the pitch to help a player with cramp.

It was decided that Peltier was not fit enough to return to the action so Jordan Holmes was sent on to fill his place in the centre of defence.

With five minutes to go Everton had a narrow escape. Lake misjudged a cross and the ball looked set to reach the head of Noon, but the ‘keeper just managed to tip it away from the Liverpool striker.

The players were clearly tired and were unable to create anything else before the end, so penalties were required.

Liverpool’s ‘keeper and five penalty takers had a huddle before the shoot-out, which was to take place at the Park Stand End. Willis would be called upon first with Everton taking the opening kick.

Scott Phelan stepped up and shot left, it was a nice height for the ‘keeper but was just inside the post and out of Willis’s reach. 1-0

Danny Guthrie took Liverpool’s first, sent the ‘keeper the wrong way and levelled at 1-1

Sean Wright was next for Everton, and after Willis moved early to his left, Wright put the ball in the other side of the goal. 2-1

Calum Woods came forward for the next one and put the ball low to Lake’s left, it wasn’t quite in the corner but the ‘keeper was rooted to the spot. 2-2

Everton’s third was taken by livewire forward Paul Hopkins. He looked confident enough as he went to take it, and aimed for the top corner, but hit it just too high and just too wide. 2-2

John Paul Kelly was the man charged with putting the Reds in front for the first time, and that he did with a high spot kick just to the ‘keeper’s right. 2-3

The pressure was on Stephen Wynne, with his team behind but he kept cool and shot about waist height to Willis’s left. The Northern Irish ‘keeper was unable to react and the ball hit the net. 3-3

The chance to put the Reds ahead again fell to Karl Noon. Noon hit it low to the ‘keeper’s left, about six inches from the post. Lake was across quickly though and parried the ball away. 3-3

For the fifth and often vital penalty, Everton’s goalkeeper, Sean Lake, stepped up. He hit the ball away from Willis’s outstretched left hand into the corner. 4-3

The Reds were 4-3 down with one penalty left, the home crowd were really getting into the shoot-out and supporting their team, and then next Liverpool penalty taker had already missed two earlier in the game. It was very brave of David Mannix to take the penalty, and he took it well, slotting it in to Lake’s left. 4-4

Anthony Gerrard was up next for Everton. He shot almost straight at Willis, who easily blocked. 4-4

Conal Platt put the ball on the spot, knowing that if he scored the cup was Liverpool’s. He couldn’t do it though. His shot was waist height and only just to the ‘keeper’s right, who had no trouble making the save. 4-4. Platt was obviously gutted and was consoled by his team-mates.

The seventh Everton penalty taker was Patrick Boyle, he put it high to the ‘keeper’s left, well out of reach. 5-4

Liverpool’s seventh man was Charlie Barnett. He stepped up and placed the ball in the top corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance. 5-5

Mark Hughes was the fifteenth penalty taker in the shoot-out. He put the ball just inside Willis’s left post. 6-5

The pressure was again on Liverpool as Danny O’Donnell stepped up for his penalty. He put it about shoulder height to the ‘keeper’s left, Lake’s only movement was a short step to the right. 6-6

Up next for Everton was Daniel Fox. He shot accurately to the popular corner low at the ’keeper’s left. Willis got close, but not close enough. 7-6

Danny Smith was the next man to be put on the spot. He fired it high to the ‘keeper’s right, well out of Lake’s reach. 7-7

James Vaughan was up next, and he placed the ball to the ‘keeper’s left. 8-7

Liverpool’s next man was Jordan Holmes. He shot towards the top corner, and although he didn’t quite get it, it was far enough away from the ‘keeper to hit the net. 8-8

After ten penalties each, both teams were down to their last player. For Everton it was young John Paul Kissock. He shot low to the ‘keeper’s left, but Willis was down quickly and made the save. 8-8. Kissock fell to the ground in despair, he then got up and walked back to the halfway line to a warm round of applause from supporters of both clubs.

The last player on the pitch to take a penalty was Paul Willis. The Reds goalkeeper shot high and right, past his counterpart and into the net, winning the Liverpool Senior Cup for his team 8-9 on penalties. He ran away from the spot with his arms open, then did a couple of somersaults in celebration.

After everyone had been given their medals, David Mannix held the trophy up to the crowd. With all the talk of shares and investments it was great just to see twenty-two lads kicking a pig’s bladder, and of course Liverpool winning a cup.

My Man of the Match: Paul Willis. Goalkeepers always get the glory in penalty shoot-outs, and as he saved two and scored the winner, I’m not going to deny him his.

© parr 2004

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