Purps Announce McCarthy Signing

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of Connor McCarthy.

The highly rated attacker brings a wealth of experience from higher up the football pyramid, having represented Southport, FC United of Manchester, Telford and Warrington Town.

Known for his attributes as an industrious team player, Connor has all the qualities to become a fan favourite at his new club.

McCarthy starred against the Purps last season when representing Runcorn Linnets, firstly bagging a brace in a pulsating August bank holiday fixture at Millbank Linnets Stadium, where the hosts came out on top.

Connor also impressed against us in the reverse fixture, with an all-action man of the match display as Linnets came away with the three points in our New Year’s Day clash too.

The forward is reunited with manager Michael Ellison after overcoming an injury which brought last season’s campaign to a premature end.

Ellison is delighted to work with McCarthy again, “Connor is a great signing for us, he’s a top player and will certainly strengthen the squad, he’s chomping at the bit to get playing again and I’m delighted to have him on board”

Welcome to the club, Connor.

MATCH REPORT: Colls 0-3 Purps

City of Liverpool progressed to the 1st Round of the FA Trophy after a resounding 3-0 over Atherton Collieries on a bitterly cold evening at Skuna Park.

The fixture was initially scheduled for Saturday but put back to midweek with the agreement of the hosts, following a number of positive COVID tests in the Purps ranks.

Michael Ellison had a somewhat depleted squad to pick from but was bolstered by a number of new signings making their debuts in the fixture.

Starts were handed to goalkeeper Theo Roberts who joined from National League side Curzon Ashton, Jack Hinnigan made his first start at centre back after joining from Runcorn Linnets, and forward Mitch Bryant donned the #9 shirt after signing from Bury AFC.

The Purps started brightly, hunting in packs to deny the hosts space whilst a midfield fulcrum of Nathan Burke and Ethan Devine allowed Dom Reid, Rhain Hellawell and Jack Hazlehurst license to attack and support lone striker Mitch Bryant.

The hosts had the first half chance of the match as Dylan Glass found space in the Purps box, but the forward’s off-balance effort was watched wide by Theo Roberts.

At the other end the lively Bryant and Dom Reid had half chances to test Colls keeper Danny Taberner but fired wide.

It was Michael Ellison’s side who drew first blood however, as a delicate ball over the top from Rhain Hellawell left the hosts defence in all kinds of trouble.

Dom Reid stole in off the left to volley right footed beyond Danny Taberner to put the visitors in front with only 7 minutes on the clock.

The hosts almost equalised against the run of play soon after as Danny Lafferty rose highest to meet Vinny Bailey’s corner but the Atherton skipper’s header flew over Theo Roberts’ crossbar.

The visitors appeared to have a firm grip on the game with Jordan Barrow and Hinnigan at the back answering every question asked of them by the Colls forwards in the opening exchanges, whilst the hosts had Lafferty and Rick Smith struggling to cope with the physical presence and pace of Mitch Bryant.

The Purps deservedly extended their lead in bizarre fashion after 31 minutes as Jack Hazlehurst capitalised on a defensive and goalkeeping calamity to volley home from 30 yards.

A mix up at the back saw the hosts gift the Purple Messi possession as keeper Taberner was left marooned off his line offering his defenders an option going back to their own goal.

Hazlehurst made no mistake, coolly lobbing the ball into the empty net.

On the stroke of half time the hosts had a chance to test Roberts with a free kick in a dangerous position. Gareth Peet curled majestically over the wall but the debutant Purps keeper made a great stop, holding the ball down low as Marcus Cusani lurked for any spillages.

HALF TIME: Atherton Collieries 0-2 City of Liverpool

The Purps came out well after the interval, continuing to press high out of possession as the hosts struggled to build any clear sights of goal. The fledgling partnership of Jordan Barrow and Jack Hinnigan looked impenetrable, reducing Colls to long balls and crosses from deep which were meat and drink for the dominant Purps centre backs.

The visitors put the result beyond all doubt after 51 minutes as a glorious cross-field ball from Ethan Devine released Dom Reid out wide.

The winger’s drilled cross picked out Hazlehurst in the Colls area who pirouetted on the ball before firing a low effort which Taberner did well to push out. Mitch Bryant reacted first to the save, drilling the loose ball home for a debut tap-in from 6 yards.

It was no more than the former Manchester United and Reading youth prospect deserved on a promising first outing in City of Liverpool colours.

Atherton made a number of attacking changes as they looked the get a route back into the game but the Purps, who were 50-1 with some bookmakers before the game, looked good value for their lead.

In the closing stages lively substitute Jordan Darr threatened from close range but his powerful effort appeared to be blocked on the line by a team mate.

Needless to say, the Purps held out for a deserved victory over higher-tier opponents and will face Buxton away in the next round, whenever football resumes.

FINAL SCORE: Atherton Collieries 0-3 City of Liverpool.

City of Liverpool: Roberts, Rigby, Barrow, Hinnigan, Corrigan, Burke, Devine, Reid, Hellawell, Hazlehurst (McEllin), Bryant (Gray).

Subs not used: Cartwright, Reed (GK)

Man of the Match: Jack Hinnigan was imperious at the back on his debut, dealing with everything both in the air and on the deck in a composed and mature performance. His partnership with Jordan Barrow gave his side a firm foundation at the back, and he just edges out the excellent Mitch Bryant.

Manager’s Reaction:

We caught up with Michael Ellison after the game and he gave us his thoughts on an excellent performance from his side.

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Matchday Photo Gallery:

 

PREVIEW: Atherton Collieries

Atherton Colls v City of Liverpool

FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round

Wednesday 4th November. 19:45 KO

Covid-19

Atherton is located within Greater Mancher and they are currently in Tier 3 Lockdown just as we are in the Liverpool City Region.

Unfortunately Purps supporters are not permitted to travel to this fixture because Government, F.A and Local Authority guidance states that travelling in/out of Tier 3 is not allowed without a valid reason.

Travelling to watch football is not a valid reason, and so the club will only have essential staff in attendance at the match.

Our club Media Team will be providing a range of ways in which you can keep up to date on events at The Skuna Stadium.

Supporters should follow @PurpsMatchday on Twitter for full match updates as usual, as well as tuning in to PurpsFM via desktop or the MIXLR app for radio coverage of the game.

After the match we’ll try and grab a quick word with manager Michael Ellison to get his thoughts on the game, along with match action videos from MOTJ and matchday photo gallery, all of which will be within the match report.

 

Preview

As I’m sure your all aware a National Lockdown goes into effect from Thursday till 2nd December however there is just time for the Purps to visit Atherton Colls in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round. This fixture was postponed a few days due to 2 members of club staff completing isolation and we thank Atherton for their understanding and assistance in moving the tie.

Last time out for the Purps was the trip to an in-form Colne. It would be the toughest game of Michael Ellison reign so far not just for the quality of the opponents but the conditions too. It absolutely lashed it down for 90 mins straight on a pitch with an incline that could be described as Moel Famau-esque (especially as the ground become more boggy as the game went on).

Colne took a 1-0 lead into half time and it became an uphill battle for the Purps, quite literally, as they were playing up Snowden in the 2nd half. The conditions actually helped the Purps get a deserved equaliser. An underhit back pass held up on the edge of the box allowing Jay McDonald to nip in, compose himself and bend a lovely right footed effort past the keeper and into the far corner.

It was to be a short lived parity as Colne took control of the game, scoring 3 times in 15 minutes. In truth the Purps contributed to their downfall with some individual mistakes that Colne seemed to punish everytime. Colne then had the luxury of bringing on ex-pro Ryan Taylor to sit in front of the back four to see the game out for the last 15 minutes. The Purps pulled one back in injury time as Nathan Burke slotted a penalty after the lively Rhain Hellawell was felled in the box. A 4-2 defeat in the end.

Atherton play one league above City of Liverpool in the Northern Premier Division. They currently sit in 9th place after taking 13 points from their opening 8 games and have just 1 loss in their last 5 games.

Its not the first time these two sides have met, with the sides having played out a pulsating 3-3 draw in the NWCFL Champions Cup final during the Simon Burton era.

The Purps came from two goals down to level at 2-2 courtesy of quick-fire second half goals from Jamie McDonald and Joe Camozzi, before falling behind again rom the penalty spot.

The Purps had already had Mike Smith sent off, when Assistant Manager Tom Spearritt, making a rare playing appearance, made a miraculous point blank save to deny the hosts a certain goal. The only problem was that Tom was playing centre back at the time and then also received his marching orders! The hosts scored from the spot to edge ahead again.

Miraculously, Karl Noon scored in injury time to equalise for the never-say-die nine men of City of Liverpool, taking the match into an extra thirty minutes.

The Purps looked the more likely winner of the two sides in extra time, with John McGrath going closest, but the game went to penalties. Goalkeeper Stephen Longrigg was once again the hero in a shoot-out, as the underdogs triumphed 4-3 to lift the cup.

Last time out in the Trophy the Purps were awarded the tie after Cleethorpes Town pulled out and we progressed to the next round. It is now our best ever cup run in the Trophy and should we progress we will be rewarded with an away tie against Buxton in the 1st round proper.

Past Meetings

29/07/17 Atherton Colls 3-3 COLFC 

(COLFC won 4-3 pens)

Travel

Unfortunately due to local Covid-19 restrictions no Purps fans who live within the Liverpool City Region are allowed to attend.

#UTP

 

Purps Sign Forward Mitch Bryant

City of Liverpool have completed the signing of striker Mitch Bryant from Bury AFC.

The forward started his career with Manchester United’s Academy before joining Reading and has represented a number of clubs in the Non League pyramid.

Notably, he once had a loan spell at Basingstoke Town in the Conference South where he achieved the enviable feat of scoring a double hat trick against Weymouth!

Bryant spent last season at Colwyn Bay where he was a popular and prolific figure for the Seagulls, scoring 14 goals and providing 12 assists during the 2019-20 campaign, and joined phoenix club Bury AFC in the summer.

Mitch is a familiar face to Purps manager Michael Ellison, having played for his Runcorn Linnets side in the 2018-19 Northern Premier League season.

Ellison is pleased to sign Bryant again, “Mitch will be a great addition to the squad.”

“He’s a top lad on and off the pitch and I’m really looking forward to working with him again”

Welcome to the club, Mitch.

Purps Announce Theo Roberts Signing

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the singing of goalkeeper Theo Roberts from Curzon Ashton.

The 22 year old stopper started his career at Wigan Athletic before moving to Chester FC in 2018 and was loaned by The Seals to Buxton, Atherton Collieries and Mossley during his time at the Deva Stadium.

Roberts particularly excelled during his spell at Buxton, nailing down the #1 jersey with a string of stellar performances which earned him a place in the 2018-19 Northern Premier League Team of the Season.

After leaving Chester, Theo signed for Curzon Ashton in the National League North and now signs for Michael Ellison’s City of Liverpool side looking to kick on in the Northern Premier League.

The Purps manager explained, “I’m delighted to have Theo on board.”

“He’s a top keeper who brings with him experience at this level and above”.

“He had a number of clubs chasing his signature and we’re delighted he chose The Purps.”

Welcome to the club, Theo.

MATCH REPORT: COLNE 4-2 PURPS

The Purps suffered defeat for the first time under new manager Michael Ellison at the hands of high flying Colne on Saturday.

Ellison’s options were somewhat depleted in the build up to the match with Jack Hazlehurst, Ian Kearney and Jordan Barrow all missing out with injuries picked up in Tuesday’s win over Trafford.

New signings Ethan Cartwright, Rhain Hellawell and Jack Hinnigan all came straight into the matchday squad, starting on the bench.

The match started in appalling conditions as driving rain and wind made the playing surface turn into a bog within minutes of the game kicking off.

As such, it was a cagey opening with neither side really able to make an immediate impression on the game.

The Purps did have the ball in the back of the net early on courtesy of Stephen Rigby but this was ruled out as Jamie McDonald ran the ball out of play before cutting it back for Rigby to tap in.

The hosts took the lead after 22 minutes courtesy of in-form Scouse forward Jamie Cooke who took advantage of a long ball forward to deftly nod over the advancing Owen Wheeler to notch his sixth league goal of the season.

The striker almost doubled the lead before the interval but his brilliant long range free kick cannoned back off the post before it was sliced wide by a Colne team mate who should have done better.

HALF TIME: Colne 1-0 City of Liverpool

The Purps were gifted an equaliser early in the second half as a woefully short backpass from a Colne defender was capitalised on by Jamie McDonald. The Purps forward took full advantage, cutting in from the left of the box and emphatically hammering a right footed effort beyond Colne goalkeeper Hakan Burton into the net.

 

 

Parity was short-lived however as Reece Webb-Foster hammered a well placed finish across Wheeler from the right hand side of the area to restore the hosts lead.

Colne then made sure of the points with a quick-fire double taking the game beyond the Purps. Firstly Anthony Williams planted an unstoppable header beyond Wheeler after a great ball in from the left wing to make it 3-1 after 71 minutes.

Two minutes later the hosts had a fourth through Reece Webb-Foster who curled a brilliant left footed finish on the turn from just inside the area, to conclude a devastating counter attack for the Reds.

The Purps were given the chance to add reduce the arrears from the penalty spot late on after lively substitute Rhain Hellawell was tripped in the box by a Colne defender.

Top scorer Nathan Burke stepped up to send Hakan Burton the wrong way and make it 4-2 but it was Colne who took the points on a difficult afternoon in dreadful conditions.

 

 

FULL TIME: Colne 4-2 City of Liverpool

CITY OF LIVERPOOL: Wheeler, Sharrock (Hellawell), Stephens, McCarten, Corrigan, Kinsella (Cartwright), Burke, Reid, Gray, Rigby, McDonald.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Gerry Kinsella. The midfielder was at the heart of the engine room throughout the match until going off late on. Kinsella was a constant option on and off the ball and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

PREVIEW: Colne

Colne v City of Liverpool

NPLNW

Saturday 24th October. 3PM KO

Covid-19

Colne are located in Lancashire and they have recently been placed into Tier 3 just as we have in the Liverpool City Region.

Unfortunately Purps supporters are not permitted to travel to this fixture because Government, F.A and Local Authority guidance states that travelling in/out of Tier 3 is not allowed without a valid reason.

Travelling to watch football is not a valid reason, and so the club will only have essential staff in attendance at the match.

Our club Media Team will be providing a range of ways in which you can keep up to date on events at The Sovereign Pay Stadium.

Supporters should follow @PurpsMatchday on Twitter for full match updates as usual, as well as tuning in to PurpsFM via desktop or the MIXLR app for radio coverage of the game.

After the match we’ll have interviews with manager Michael Ellison to get his thoughts on the game, along with match action videos from MOTJ and matchday photo gallery, all of which will be within the match report.

Preview

Resurgent. That’s the word on Purps fans lips at the moment since Michael Ellison appointment just over 2 weeks ago.

It was 3 League defeats in 3 to open the season but Ello has the Purps purring right now with 3 points against Brighouse Town and a hard fought point against Prescot Cables. On Tuesday night another 3 points were added after dispatching Trafford at Vesty Road putting the Purps into 9th place on 7 points.

The old adage about waiting for buses could apply to skipper James McCarten and scoring goals. The Purps Centre Half climbed highest to nod home against Cables to score his first ever Purps goal and he followed it up by being the match winner last time out. A floated free kick from Louis Corrigan toward the back post was headed back across by Tom Stephens into the path of McCarten who took a touch under pressure then steered the ball home. 2 in 2 now for the big man.

 

It was no less than the Purps deserved who had hit the woodwork on 3 separate occasions. Hazlehurst, McDonald and the lively Dom Reid all seeing their efforts grazing the frame of the goal rather than the net bulge. The Purps dominated possession but Trafford had some chances of their own. Owen Wheeler being called upon to make a number of really good saves and keep the first clean sheet of Ello’s Purps tenure.

Colne however will be the toughest test yet for Ello’s Purps. They are flying high in 5th place on 13 points and have had impressive wins against Dunston, Marine, Ossett and stuck 6 past Pontefract Colleries in their last league game. Jamie Cooke is the obvious danger for Colne having notched up an impressive 8 goals in 9 appearances so far this season.

This will be the 3rd meeting between the two sides and our 2nd visit to The Sovereign Pay Stadium. In our first meeting the Purps were one down at half time but managed to salvage a point late on through The Beast, Elliott Nevitt.

In February’s return fixture at the Berry Street Garage Stadium the Purps triumphed 1-0 thanks to a late own goal from Hakan Burton.

 

 Past Meetings

07/12/19 Colne 1-1 Purps

04/02/20 Purps 1-0 Colne

 

Travel

Travel in and out of Tier 3 areas for away fans is not permitted under Government, F.A and Local Authority COVID guidance so supporters should tune into PurpsFM for commentary or follow @PurpsMatchday on Twitter for our regular match updates.

#UTP

Purps Confirm Hinnigan Signing

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of Jack Hinnigan from Runcorn Linnets.

Hinnigan originally was signed by Purps manager Michael Ellison when he was in charge of Linnets, joining from Warrington Town in November 2018.

The left-sided central defender player 19 times for Linnets last season before the campaign was curtailed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ellison was pleased to sign Jack again, “Having worked with Jack before at Runcorn, I’m delighted to have him on board with the Purps.”

“Jack has all the attributes I look for in a player, and again brings with him experience at this level, he will be a great addition to the squad.”

Welcome to the club, Jack.

Purps Announce Hellawell Signing

City of Liverpool FC are pleased to announce the signing of Rhain Hellawell on a short-term loan from Radcliffe.

The highly-rated winger started his career at Stockport Town before moving to Chester FC where he came through the ranks with The Seals’ youth team, Rhain then joined FC United of Manchester before a move to Radcliffe in the summer.

The youngster has had a number of loan moves to help his development and should be familiar to Purps fans having impressed against us in the past.

Rhain has previously faced City of Liverpool when representing Barnoldswick Town and during a period on loan last season at Widnes where he played 16 games and scored 4 goals.

Purps manager Michael Ellison was delighted to welcome Rhain to the club, “Rhain is a great addition to the squad, and fits the bill of the type of player we want to bring to the club.”

“He has a wealth of experience operating at this level and above, he had a number of clubs chasing his signature so I’m delighted he chose to come to the Purps, and we look forward to working with him.”

Welcome to the Purps, Rhain.

MATCH REPORT: COLFC 1-0 Trafford

City of Liverpool’s resurgent form continued as the Purps recorded their first home win of the season, with a deserved victory over Trafford at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.

After Saturday’s FA Trophy clash with Cleethorpes Town didn’t take place due to the opposition refusing to travel, Michael Ellison’s side had a break of 7 days since last week’s pulsating draw at Prescot Cables.

Ellison opted to start the same eleven which largely bossed the Cables fixture, with a welcome return to the bench for Kev McEllin and new signing Ethan Cartwright also featuring amongst the substitutes.

The Purps started the match just had they did at Brighouse and Prescot respectively, dominating possession and looking dangerous in the opening minutes.

Jack Hazlehurst started brightly and almost opened the scoring early on, carrying the ball from his own half and beating a couple of defenders in trademark fashion.

The Purple Messi then released a low shot from the edge of the area which drifted narrowly past Trafford keeper Matthew Cooper’s right hand post.

Hazlehurst was denied what looked like a stonewall penalty later in the half, as the playmaker was cleaned out by a defender in the box. The referee flamboyantly waved away the appeals, leaving fans and players extremely bemused.

 

 

Jamie McDonald was also denied by a brave block in the opening exchanges after a deft turn, as the visitors largely struggled to get out of their own half.

It was McDonald again who went close with another majestic turn moments later.

The Purps striker picked the ball up on the right-hand side of the Trafford area before shifting the ball quickly to his unfavoured left and curling an effort which Cooper did very well to parry away.

Jack Hazlehurst was quickly onto the rebound but smashed it onto the bar from a tight angle.

 

 

Despite their dominance, the hosts had to be on their mettle at the back as Trafford looked to counter. Owen Wheeler in the Purps goal was largely a spectator in the first half but had to be on his toes to fingertip away James Neild’s firm header from a corner.

McDonald went close again moments later, volleying narrowly over after the ball sat up nicely 25 yards out.

The livewire forward was unlucky not to open the scoring as Louis Corrigan’s left footed cross left the keeper back-pedaling and in all kinds of trouble but McDonald could only divert it over with a volleyed effort on the stretch from a difficult angle.

Dom Reid forced Cooper into another excellent stop after a barnstorming run down the right saw the winger cut in and beat a couple of challenges before curling a fierce left footed effort which the goalkeeper parried away assuredly.

 

 

Trafford were largely limited to fleeting counter attacks and Wheeler was the hero out of the blue just before the interval. The keeper raced off his line to win the ball with a sliding challenge out of his area as the visitors threatened in behind down their left.

HALF TIME: City of Liverpool 0-0 Trafford

After the interval the game was far more stop/start in nature and slower paced. The play was punctuated in stoppages for niggly fouls and injuries.

The Purps had already lost Jack Hazlehurst to a knock before half time, and within ten minutes of the second period has also seen Jordan Barrow and Ian Kearney have to be replaced.

The hosts continued to dominate possession however, with Gerry Kinsella slotting in well into midfield and Tom Stephens doing everything asked of him alongside the towering Jay McCarten.

Indeed it was Stephens and McCarten who combined to finally put the Purps ahead with thirteen minutes left to play.

Louis Corrigan looped in a left footed free kick from a central position 35 yards out for Stephens to cleverly head across goal where McCarten was waiting to control and slot across the keeper.

It was McCarten’s second goal in two games after getting his first Purps goal in the Cables fixture a week earlier. What do they say about London buses?

 

 

Moments after City of Liverpool’s deserved opener the visitors threatened with their best opportunity of the match. A looping effort looked to creep in at Wheeler’s right-hand post but substitute Gerry Kinsella was there to head off the line.

The game was suddenly end-to-end and Dom Reid almost made sure of the points with a magnificent long range effort which crashed back off the crossbar with Cooper well beaten.

In injury time Trafford were reduced to ten men as Jack Dorney, already on a booking, received his marching orders for a poor challenge on Jamie McDonald.

FULL TIME: City of Liverpool 1-0 Trafford

City of Liverpool: Wheeler, Shorrock, Kearney (Stephens 57), McCarten, Corrigan, Barrow (Kinsella 50), Burke, Reid, Hazlehurst (Cartwright 45), Rigby, McDonald.

Unused Subs: Devine, McEllin

Man of the Match: Jay McCarten. The Purps skipper was a towering and composed figure at the back, winning everything in the air to give his side a firm foundation to build from and grabbing the all-important winning goal late on.

Matchday Photo Gallery: