Semi sor­row as Burscough bow out of Cup

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Martin Mere - BY NEIL LEATHERBAR­ROW

BURSCOUGH ex­ited the Liver­pool County FA Se­nior Cup at the semi­fi­nal stage at Vic­to­ria Park on Tues­day night af­ter twice com­ing back from a goal down in a good foot­balling en­counter.

Burscough started the game well and Adam Gilchrist laid the ball off to Stephen Roth­well who saw Lither­land goal­keeper Ben Mar­row race off his line to save his shot in the sec­ond minute.

De­spite the open­ing flurry Burscough were slow starters on the night and af­ter get­ting a warn­ing in the 14th minute when Colin Quirk rat­tled the home cross­bar with a well struck drive they con­ceded a minute later.

Quirk capped off a neat move by slip­ping the ball to Con­nor Mur­phy who with time and space on his side put a left-foot shot into the Burscough goal from ten yards for the opener.

Burscough were lack­ing the spark they have shown in re­cent games and on 27 and 29 min­utes made a brace of sub­sti­tu­tions in an at­tempt to liven things up, Rex Ki­mon­aPuis­sance and Danny Brady com­ing on, the en­su­ing reshuf­fle switch­ing Alex Parkes into the mid­field. It was a risk but it did im­prove things.

The in­creased tempo from the Burscough team af­ter the in­ter­val spoke vol­umes but still not as many as were prob­a­bly spo­ken in the home dress­ing-room dur­ing the in­ter­val.

In the 55th minute a slip in the Lither­land area put Matthew Ward in on goal but 30 yards from the tar­get, Mar­row well out­side his 18 yards mark tripped Ward, a free-kick was given. Then af­ter a long de­bate the keeper was per­haps for­tu­nate to be shown a yel­low card. If Burscough felt hard done by they re­sponded spec­tac­u­larly, Ward’s free-kick was a goal from the mo­ment the ball left the num­ber 11’s foot and he duly got plenty of praise from the Burscough team, it was cer­tainly one for the goal of the sea­son con­test next April.

The goal lifted Lither­land more than Burscough and on 64 min­utes they re­took the lead. Af­ter a cross into the box the clear­ance header wasn’t the best, the ball went to for­mer Burscough player Chris Tyson who marked his re­turn to Vic­to­ria Park by drilling the ball low into the net from 22 yards.

Burscough looked jaded and an equaliser wasn’t on, but they are a team with con­fi­dence nowa­days and they made one last sal­vage bid in the lat­ter stages.

In the 87th minute Ward drove a cor­ner into the near-post area where need­ing all his con­sid­er­able strength to hold off an op­po­nent Ki­mon­aPuis­sance headed home a sec­ond equaliser.

In the three min­utes added time the Linnets al­most snatched it, how­ever, Gilchrist’s chip hit the top of the cross­bar in­stead of go­ing un­der it for what would surely have been a win­ner.

In the penalty shoot-out Burscough led 1-0 for a while af­ter goal­keeper Josh Sam­berg saved the ini­tial Lither­land penalty, but Lither­land keeper Mar­row saved two more, al­low­ing Rory Mid­dle­ton to win it for Lither­land with the tenth penalty of the con­test.

Andy Owens went close to scor­ing for Skem John Driscoll

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