We look back at a couple of excellent weeks for the men in red. First we’ll look at a tough away fixture vs Rochdale A in a top of the table clash and then cast our eyes on the men’s first home game of the season.
Rochdale vs Liverpool – October 15th
Our boys made the long journey up to Rochdale in what was expected to be a hotly contested match with promotion connotations. In recent years, the northern Mancunian side has gotten the better of our Merseyside boys, so this made the prospect of an away win all the more difficult for the men in red.
LivLax started started the game well with some sustained possession looking at finding a way through an experienced defense. A few exchanges early on for both teams but, neither goalie was really tested until the 8 minute mark when Liverpool’s Dan Brown opened the scoring. This would be the first time this season that Rochdale would trail in any of their games. Mikey Panton would score another just a few minutes later as LivLax doubled the lead. This woke up the home side and they would reel off three goals before the break.
Trailing by a break a tactical change to slow the game down and play a more controlled style was brought in. The first five minutes of the second started with four turnovers for the home side and it would be the fifth where Rochdale goalie Pete Dobson would have his pocket picked while clearing, Sean Gibson who picked off the pass easily scored on an empty net. LivLax would immediately go on to a man advantage as the goalie threw his stick on the play and the ensuing man advantage would see LivLax’s Gibson grab his second of the game. More pressure came from LivLax and a forced turnover on the midline by Matthew Conway saw Gibson score his Hatrrick goal on an empty net shot from half. Rochdale would pull one back before George Widdowson would score for LivLax. More sustained pressure from LivLax saw Tom Dexter take a hard check from behind and a Rochdale defender flip the ball blindly to the net where Gibson scooped up the ball and finish easily for his fourth of the quarter. LivLax would finish the half with all the momentum and a 7-5 lead.
Liverpool’s defense took over lead by Frank Lewis who was having a solid performance behind a well organised defensive unit. Both teams would exchange goals in the third but, really the story was the dominating performance by the LivLax defensive unit and the controlled possession game played by the attacking unit.
The fourth quarter was all about closing this game out and more defensive pressure and sustained possession frustrated the Rochdale side. LivLax would get another couple of goals through Mikey Panton and Ming Trinh in the closing portion of the game. Liverpool would march out to a 10-7 away win and their first win over Rochdale in some time. Man of the Match honours went to Sean Gibson this week but, really it was a full team effort and any number of players put their hand up for MoM considerations.
Liverpool vs Stoke
Stoke was a different game altogether, LivLax was looking to close out first overall in the promotion battle while Stoke was looking for their first win. This was LivLax’s first home game of the season and the men in red were looking to impress their home fans.
Impress is exactly what they did. Though it did take about ten minutes for LivLax to shake off some complacency and get things rolling. Ben Brookes got LivLax up and running finishing in close. Sean Gibson would grab three before the end of the first quarter.
The second and third quarters saw the offense put on a clinic scoring a further 14 goals before heading into the fourth quarter. Now on a score of 18-0 and with 6 different goal scorers the LivLax side looked finish strong and close the game out well. Ben Brooks would finish out an four goal, eight point performance as well as Gibson who finished with a season high 15 points and 10 goals. Ming Trinh would cap off an eight point game with a couple goals of his own as well.
If last week was all about team defense then this week was all about team offense. The score finished 23-0 and it was a well balanced game for Liverpool’s attack with 8 eight players scoring for Liverpool and four players having 5 points or more in the game. With all this offense, it would be Liverpool’s George Widdowson who earned Man of the Match honours for all his work in the midfield and at the face off X. Frank Lewis earned his first shutout of the season though Mikey Panton (back at long pole) made the save off the game when Frank went out to play a ground ball.
Congratulations to Liverpool Men’s team who have now clinched top spot in Division 2B and will now head to Divsion 2H with Rochdale and either Cheadle Hulme or Wilmslow (who play each other next weekend). Liverpool will now face Ashton to close out the remaining game in CHampionship 2B next weekend at Liverpool Cricket Club on Saturday.