Semi sorrow as Burscough bow out of Cup
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.