The 1st of the three Football Aid 2014 fixtures at Anfield was a tasty affair, with 14 goals scored and plenty of entertainment for those watching. At the break, the two sides were level at three a piece and this had been the result of some expert defending and goalkeeping from both sides. However, as the 2nd half progressed, the Away team started to pull away thanks to some quality finishing, namely from Adam Bramley and Craig Barnbrook. But down the other end, centre halves Stuart Green and Gareth Barnbrook bossed their opposition attackers, giving them little in the way of chances. This resulted in the Away team running out comfortable victors in the end but credit must go to the valiant effort put in from the Home side who never backed down.
Date: Thursday 22nd May 2014
Liverpool (Home) vs Liverpool (Away)
Kick off: 10:00am
Legends: Jan Molby and Howard Gayle
Match Officials: Gary Dinsmore, Ray McLaughlin and Carl Rooney
The Liverpool Home team got the game started, wearing the famous all Red strips and kicking from right to left. It was their opposition, though, who were the 1st to come close to scoring after a mistake from Legend Jan Molby of all people. The Liverpool Legend was dispossessed in his own box and Away centre forward took the ball into the box but his poked effort passed just wide of the far post.
This early danger was a sign of things to come as two mins later the Away side had the breakthrough with just 5 mins on the clock. It was a simple yet very effective low through ball from No 9 Adam Bramley that found the run of his strike partner Gareth Barnbrook. The No 11 carried the ball into the box before picking his head up to place the ball under Home goalie Phil Collings into the far corner (0-1).
Their lead didn't last long though and the Home team were quick to respond with a fantastic team goal. With 15 mins played the Centre mid Shoab Khan played an inch-perfect ball out to the wing to spread the play, winger Bhurinder Bhangoo picking the ball up before sliding a ball into the box. The No 7’s pass couldn’t have been any better, as it lined up perfectly for the run of centre forward Scott Riddell who comfortably tucked the ball home from 6 yards (1-1).
No-one could’ve called the game at this rate and the momentum once again changed hands back to the Away team. Goalscorer Barnbrook pinched the ball at the edge of the box before playing it into winger Nizamul Miah who brilliantly turned to find centre forward Adam Bramley. The No 9 then took matters into his own hands, skipping past two challenges, rounding the goalie before slotting it in at the near post to restore his team’s advantage (1-2).
The Away team was putting in some great performances at both ends, and this aptly was demonstrated when full back Michael Griffin put in a goal-saving clearance to deny the Home team another equaliser. Centre forward Scott Riddell flicked the ball out to winger Bhangoo who played in another lovely ball to the back post. Sliding in was No 9 Paul Reeve but Griffin came in majestically to flick the ball away just before the attacker could get his foot on it, preventing a certain goal.
In attack as well, the Away team were pushing their opponents, with several great opportunities being denied by goalie Phil Collings. Centre forward Adam Bramley was played in by his attacking partner Gareth Barnbrook with an excellent flick, but his powerful effort was well saved by the big hands of Collings in goal.
Collings was rewarded as well, with his attacking team-mates bringing the scores level on the half hour mark. The build up play was intricate, starting from the back with centre half Cliff Greyler the ball was played through No 10 Shoab Khan, then full back Steve Atkins, before Legend Jan Molby played a long ball forward for winger Bhurinder Bhangoo. The ball rebounded after the No 7 went up for the header and it fell down to centre forward Paul Reeve. Reeve then played a brilliant chip into Bhangoo’s run before the No 7 cut inside and released a shot that was brilliantly saved by Away goalie Scott Jordan. Unfortunately for the keeper, the ball fell kindly to Reeve, who was waiting in the box to slam it home (2-2).
The game became quite sporadic towards the end of the half, as both teams played the offside trap to great effect. Therefore, the Away side had to find another way through their opponent's defence and they did so from a corner won by the hustling play of centre forward Adam Bramley on 40mins. Winger Nizamul Miah whipped the ball in towards the near post where Bramley leapt to flick a header down towards the goal. His stunning header just snuck under Collings who was unlucky not to keep it out (2-3).
Straight from kick-off, the Home team were quick to level, just a few mins before the stroke of half time. Centre forward Scott Riddell played it into his partner Paul Reeve with his back to goal. The No 9 expertly turned his man, charging past his marker, before cutting past another Away defender then finishing coolly into the far corner to complete a brilliant solo goal (3-3).
That was how the half ended, with both teams on level terms going into the break. All over the pitch there were individual battles as both sets of strikers had a tough time escaping their marker's attention. Phil Collings and Scott Jordan in the goals both pulled off some stunning stops to keep the scores down and were only undone by some well worked strikes. The Home team’s main threat came down the right side from Bhangoo who was regularly involved in trying to create something for his side. Going into the dressing room though, the teams still had everything to play for making it an exciting prospect for those watching in the Anfield stands.
Half Time: Liverpool (Home) 3 - 3 Liverpool (Away)
There were some inspiring words from Howard Gayle at the break as he gave his players some tips. The LFC Legend told them that they needed to keep the ball wide in order to drag out the opposition full-backs so as they could get balls in behind the defence.
Within 30 seconds of the re-start the Home side were hit with some terribly bad luck. As their impressive keeper Collings came sliding in to take the ball from an Away attack he landed awkwardly on his leg and was stretchered off, much to the Home side’s disappointment after he had kept them in the game for so long in the 1st half. Legend Jan Molby stepped up to take the gloves and filled in for the remainder of the match.
The Home side were soon cheered up though when from the goal-kick they carried it forward to score. After putting high pressure on the opposition, centre half Lefty Blaise won the ball back before playing it to Molby. The new No 1 played a long ball to winger Bhurinder Bhangoo in the centre of the park, the No 7 turned before driving into the gap created by the crossover runs from the centre forwards and powered into the box before rifling a powerful effort into the roof of the net (4-3).
And the Home team could’ve doubled their lead moments later but for an amazing stop from the feet of goalkeeper Scott Jordan. Centre forward Paul Reeve pinched the ball from the Away centre half and burst into the box, however under pressure he could only release a low shot which Jordan managed to get down to save extremely well.
However, the Away side were also playing some nice team football and were rewarded when centre forward Adam Bramley finished off an 8 pass move that was worked from a throw-in at the back, all the way to the 6 yard box. The decisive pass came from winger Roland Bryan who played a no-look flick round his marker into the run of centre mid Gabriel Baldo. The No 7 must have known Baldo had space to run into as he charged past his man to the by-line before clipping a high ball perfectly for the run of Bramley at the back post who planted his header firmly into the back of the net (4-4).
Straight from kick-off it was that man Bhangoo again, on the charge down the left side. He made a mazy run, 1st taking it past his opposite number, before beating two on the by-line then cutting it back to the six yard box. The Away defenders couldn’t quite clear as they were hurried from prowling centre forward Paul Reeve who managed to stab a toe at the ball but keeper Scott Jordan smothered the ball well.
Jan Molby was then called into action down the other end and was helped by the woodwork surrounding him. Centre forward Adam Bramley played a cracking ball into centre half Craig Barnbrook, who had swapped positions with Gareth Barnbrook, the latter dropping into defence. However Craig’s near post shot was palmed up by Molby, the ball rebounding off the bar.
With a number of chances coming close to being goals, it was a wonder no one had scored in the last few mins. But; the goalies hard work was undone on 62 mins when the Home team couldn’t clear and winger Nizamul Miah punished them. Miah’s 1st shot was saved by the feet of Molby, but the ball rebounded into the box and in came centre forward Barnbrook to win the ball, giving it straight back to Miah who didn’t waste his 2nd effort, pocketing the ball into the near corner of the goal (4-5).
It didn’t take the Away team long to double their lead with a smashing effort from winger Roland Bryan on 65 mins. Centre forward Adam Bramley played it into midfield maestro Demetrios Phillipou in the centre of the park. The No 10 whipped a low ball into the path of Bryan who was out on the right side of the box. Just a yard away from the by-line, the No 7 somehow managed to smash in a shot that bounced off Molby into the roof of the net (4-6).
Within 2 mins the Away team had run off with the game as they scored again courtesy of centre forward Craig Barnbrook. Winger Roland Bryan played the ball into the run of No 14 Gabriel Baldo who then burst 30 yards towards the Home goal and slid a nice pass into Barnbrook at the penalty spot. Barnbrook took one touch before hitting a cross goal shot that found the bottom left corner of the goal (4-7).
The Away side had run their opponents off the park in the space of ten mins and they secured another goal in the 75th min. They won a free-kick on the edge of the box on the left side and winger Nizamul Miah swept in a low ball across the box that caught out goalie Jan Molby as he was distracted from the runs of the Away forwards. The ball hit off the sub-goalie and into the back of the net (4-8).
As the game neared its end, the Home team pushed everyone forward, leaving themselves open at the back and their defence succumbed again to a goal from centre mid Gabriel Baldo. Miah was involved again as he played a slick pass down the right side of the box into the run of Bramley. The No 9 cut the ball back at the by-line to Baldo who swept the ball home coolly to get the goal his performance had deserved with 80 mins on the clock (4-9).
The game wasn’t finished there though, despite the 13 goals that had been scored already there was still time for the Home team to pull one back. Centre forward Paul Reeve picked up a long pass from his goalie on 86 mins, he turned before playing in quick winger Bhangoo. The No 7 struck a ferocious shot that keeper Scott Jordan had to palm out but there was Reeve to follow up like every good striker and smash the ball home (5-9).
After the Home team scored there was very little time left and the ref blew for full time. The injury of Phil Collings seemed to prove a turning point in the game as the attacking prowess of the Away side took over despite the best efforts of Legend Jan Molby who stepped up for his team. The game was dominated by the Away midfield in the 2nd 45 with Gabriel Baldo coming on to help pull the strings alongside Demetrios Phillipou and they were helped by the fine finishing of forwards Bramley and Barnbrook. On the day, the Home side were unlucky as they were on level terms at half time and continued to put up a valiant effort in the 2nd, but they were just outdone by the attacking quality the Away side possessed.
Full time: Liverpool (Home) 5 - 9 Liverpool (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Paul Reeve
Man of the Match Away: Adam Bramley
Moment of the Match: Bhurinder Bhangoo
Home Team: Phil Collings, Steve Atkins, Jan Molby, Lefty Blaise, Cliff Grevler, Ben Gray, Bhurinder Bhangoo, Michael Hall, Paul Reeve (C), Shoab Khan, Scott Riddell,
Andrew Taylor, Darren Smallwood, Gary Jones, Andy Davies
Home Mascot: Zac Atkins
Away Team: Scott Jordan, Michael Griffin (C), Howard Gayle, Stuart Green, Raymond Treacher, Larry Delaney, Roland Bryan, Nizamul Miah, Adam Bramley, Demetrios Phillipou, Gareth Barnbrook, Gabriel Baldo, Craig Barnbrook, Andy Redmond
Away Mascot: Jennifer Barnbrook