St Helens Town exited the Liverpool Senior Cup at the First Round stage for the fourth consecutive season at higher ranking Bootle’s Delta Taxi Stadium this evening.
A lively opening saw Bootle break the deadlock after 11 minutes, Town were unable to clear their lines and the ball was collected by Jackson Ellis on the right of the penalty area he was quickly closed down by Mathew Hodge in the home goal but he placed his effort well finding the net and giving the visiting stopper no chance.
A quick response saw Town skipper Andy Gillespie chase a defender down with his pressure winning the ball but his resultant effort from just inside the area was well saved by Sean Lake in the home goal.
A couple of minutes later a corner from the left was sent into the Bootle box and cleared to the penalty spot where it was collected by Adam Lawrence his effort looked to be testing Lake but for a fine block from Joel Powell and the loose ball was cleared.
At the other end Dominic Marie broke down the left wing and cut inside before unleashing a powerful effort which beat Hodge but cannoned off the crossbar and behind for a goal kick. The end to end nature of the contest continued as just before the half hour mark Alex Gillespie making his first appearance for over a year after breaking his leg, did well on the right wing and sent a cross into box which was met by Josh Hoult on the stretch but he could only steer his effort into the side netting. The scores were levelled via a similar method as Alex Gillespie send a cross in from the right which caused problems for Lake and he could only push the ball back into the danger area where it was collected by Hoult who pokedthe ball goalwards, Lake blocked the effort by the assistant referee adjudged that the ball had crossed the line and the goal was awarded.
Town started the second period quickly and caught the hosts napping an attack saw Andy Gillespie found on the left of the box and he showed great technique to take the ball on the rise, keeping his effort down and firing it into the top right hand corner of the net from all of 25 yards out. This goal shocked the hosts into action and Ellis almost levelled soon afterwards only to be denied by an excellent save from Hodge and Town failed to take advantage of poor handling by Lake in the wet conditions as a hard and low cross from Hoult was spilt but the loose ball was smuggled away with David Baines looking to take advantage.
Bootle did level matters just before the hour when a ball into the box from the right was met at the far post by Marie and his effort was well saved by Hodge but the rebound was collected by Ellis who tapped home and he completed his hat-trick with a looping header from the right of the area which went in with the assistance of the inside of the left hand upright seven minutes later. In the closing stages Bootle put any doubt of them advancing into the next round when Joseph Peacock headed a left wing cross home at the far post to round off the scoring.
Daisy Hill 1-2 St Helens Town
Town bounced back from their midweek cup exit to get back to winning ways in the League at New Sirs on Saturday but they were made to work hard for the three points by the hosts. The early stages saw most of the play in the middle of the park with both sides feeling each other out.
The first real chance of note saw the hosts take the lead on 28 minutes. A corner from the right wing was sent into the box and half cleared to edge of the area where it was collected by Craig Naylor who took a touch before firing the ball into the far right hand corner of net.
St Helens looked to bounce back quickly as Johan Du Toit found Andy Gillespie on the left wing and he held the play up before passing to Josh Hoult whose centre towards the far post was just claimed by Chris Taylor in the home goal with Alex Gillespie loitering on the back post. Town had stopper Mathew Hodge to thank for being just one goal behind as he twice denied Naylor before the visitors levelled in added on time at the end of the half. Good pressing saw Andy Gillespie put the home back four under pressure and he seized upon an error before linking with Ste Rigby whose cross on the left found Du Toit at the far post and he slid the ball home down low to send the sides in level at the break.
The first chance of the second period saw a Daisy Hill swift attack after an attack from the visitors had broken down and culminated in Alex McPolin drawing another fine save from Hodge in the visitors goal. What transpired to be the winning goal came on 64 minutes when Alex Gillespie sent a right wing corner in which Du Toit met with a looping header at the far post it looked an easy take for the keeper but he somehow made a mess of it and the ball sneaked inside the left hand post to put the visitors into the lead. There was plenty of late pressure from the hosts as they tried to level matters, Naylor was again denied by Hodge this time pushing a powerful effort from the edge of the box around the post and late on Hodge preserved the lead with another excellent save this time down low from David Norbury
through a packed box at a corner and Town saw out the remaining minutes to secure the three points