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Liverpool Game 1 2013

The 1st of the 3 games Football Aid hosted at Anfield on Mon 27th May was an extremely close affair and it ended up being one of the few draws of the 2013 season. Both teams played exceptionally well in attack and defence, with some great goals being scored by both teams and the 4-4 scoreline definitely reflected the commitment and skill of both teams in this exciting match. Legend Howard Gayle was on hand to play a half for each team and share his experience and passion for the club in the dressing rooms before and after the match, and as ever his commitment to the cause shown throughout. 

Date: Monday 27th May 2013
Venue: Anfield
Liverpool Home vs Liverpool Away
Game 1
Kick off: 10am
Legend: Howard Gayle
Match Officials: Julian Hitchcock, Andy Beckett and Sean Peloe

The Liverpool players paraded out onto a pitch steeped in history, after performing the traditional ritual of touching the “This is Anfield” sign on the way down the tunnel. And it was with some reverence that the players took in the grand old stadium wearing the colours of the great team to whom it belonged. After the usual pleasantries the coin toss was performed, going in favour of the Away side (wearing the Black and Grey change kit), who chose to stay down the Kop end of the pitch, while the Home team (wearing the traditional all Red kit) kicked off. Both teams started well; with pass and tackles galore, and a desire to try to retain possession long enough to create a chance on goal.

The watching fans didn't have long to wait for a goal either, as the Home side started to create chances and eventually got the goal their early pressure deserved. The ever impressive No 10 Shoab Khan sent the ball through the defence where it was picked up by Legend Howard Gayle; the Left Back carried it into the box before calmly sliding it past Mark McManus in the Away goal. The Home side had taken the lead in the 19th min (1-0). The team in Red continued to press forward, creating chances on goal and monopolising possession, and their dominance prevented the Away side from creating their own chances. The few times the side in Black did make it up the opposite end the Home Defenders or their Keeper Paul Hewson were always there to meet them.

The Away side were persistent however, and the number of real opportunities they were creating began to increase. This pressure soon paid off after a pass into the box was met by No 7 Adam Wash who played a one-two with fellow midfielder Alex Davis, and after a goalmouth scramble the Right Midfielder managed to send the ball past the Keeper and level the scores with just 28 mins on the clock (1-1).

The Away team continued to press forward and they were awarded a corner after one of their chances was foiled. The resulting kick was then headed across goal by No 5 Terry Rickeard and tapped in by No 7 Adam Wash at the back post for his 2nd goal of the game. The Away side had pulled ahead in the 33rd min (1-2).

The Home team refused to lie down though and started to take control of the game again and their efforts soon resulted in an equaliser. No 9 Loz Gray chipped a delightful though ball into space where it was picked up by No 11 Robert Pudsey who carried it into the box and sent it over the Keeper and into the back of the net (2-2). The Home side drawing level with less than 10 mins until half-time.

Their equaliser gave the Home team plenty of confidence and they proceeded to dominate play, keeping the ball in the Away half and creating multiple opportunities and the Away side eventually succumbed to the pressure, allowing the Home side to take the lead again. The ball fell to Midfielder Ben Gray and the No 6 proceeded to beat his man and send the ball between two Defenders and into the box where it was received by Loz Gray, the Striker fired in an effort on goal which was deflected by Mark McManus and unfortunately for the Away team it landed back at the feet of Ben Gray who ensured the ball found the back of the net with a neat finish (3-2).

With the Home side back in the lead, and half time just around the corner, the Away side tried to hit back quickly, however half time caught up with them and the whistle was blown by the Referee soon after with the Home team maintaining a slender advantage.

Half Time: Liverpool Home 3 - 2 Liverpool Away

The teams were then treated to a couple of stirring and impassioned half-time team talks from Legend Howard Gayle, before coming back onto the pitch raring to go for the 2nd half. With Gayle swapping to the Away team for the 2nd half the team in Black and Grey were hoping he could help them with their attempted comeback and in fact both teams were playing superbly at the start of the 2nd half as they both searched for a goal. The best chance fell to the Home side and perhaps Loz Gray should have done better when he went one on one with Away No 1 McManus, however the impressive Midfielder was unable to get off a shot before being closed down.

Both teams were looking good, but neither seemed to make anymore head way as they passed back and forth trying to get in on goal. A long effort which had to be tipped over the bar by Home Keeper Paul Hewson was the only real shot on goal for the Away team and the corner was easily dealt with by the rock solid Home defence. There then followed a flurry of activity in the Home box where some great saving tackles by their Defenders and numerous interventions by Paul Hewson kept the scores level.

However despite multiple chances falling for the Away side it was the Home side who broke through next. After a 3 way tackle the ball broke free and was picked up by No 10 Shoab Khan who carried it into the box, dodging a slide tackle along the way. He then selflessly passed it across goal to No 8 Marcus Holland who hammered it into the top of the net (4-2). The Left Mid proceeded to perform an entertaining dance-like celebration from the Inbetweeners show much to the amusement of the crowd!

The Home side were now two goals to the good in the 69th min but the Away side tried to strike right back though, and they immediately drove forward from the restart. The ball was immediately cleared for a corner which was also cleared and it became clear the Home side were happy to settle for what they had. The Away side kept driving forward, and continued to get shots on goal and No 15 Scott Burns came very close to reducing the deficit after his shot hit the woodwork.

However they were rewarded soon after when legend Howard Gayle took the ball forward went around his man and passed across the face of the goal to No 7 Adam Wash who put it straight into the open goal for his hat-trick. The Away side were now only one goal down in the 74th min (4-3). Moments later the on fire Adam Wash scored his 4th goal of the game to level things up again! The No 7 played a clever one-two with Scott Burns, before sending the ball past Hewson while under pressure from a number of Defenders (4-4).

The Home side immediately drove back up the other end, clearly looking to take the lead back and they came close with a long shot and then a corner, but despite their efforts they couldn't quite grab the winner. The Away team weren't finished either and both teams continued to push for the lead, but the Keepers weren’t letting anything through and a hugely entertaining game ended soon after with the scores level.

The 1st game of the day at Anfield was a real cracker, with both sides playing plenty of good football and providing the watching fans with plenty of action to keep them on the edge of their seats throughout. In the end a draw was a fair reflection on the way the game went and it meant everyone went home relatively happy!

Full Time: Liverpool Home 4 - 4 Liverpool Away

Man of the Match Home: Shoab Khan
Man of the Match Away: Mark McManus
Moment of the Match: Adam Walsh (Away)

Home Team: Paul Hewson (C), Andrew Brice, Howard Gayle (1st Half), Stuart Green, John McGouran, Ben Gray, Mark Osmond, Marcus Holland, Loz Gray, Shoab Khan, Robert Pudsey, Gareth Barnbrook, John Adams, Neil Adams, Lee Wilson
Home Mascot: Harry Jordan

Away Team: Mark McManus, Craig Barnbrook, Howard Gayle (2nd Half), Colin Blundell (C), Terry Rickeard, Alex Davis, Adam Wash, Glyn Davis, Liam Armstrong,
Nick Carter, Rupert Osmond, Ross Burns, Scott Burns, Ben Burns, Abid Ibrahim
Away Mascot: Kai McManus