Liverpool are through to the semi-finals of the Liverpool Senior Cup
after victory over St Helens Town at Knowsley Road. Read on for a
report from the official LFC site.
NOON SENDS REDS INTO SEMI-FINAL
Steve Hunter (liverpoolfc.tv) at St Helens 16 February 2005
A strike from super sub Karl Noon gave Liverpool a place in the
semi-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup after a hard fought 1-0 victory
over St Helens Town at Knowsley Road.
It was an inspired substitution from Reds Under-18 manager John Owens
because eight minutes after he came on Noon got on the end of a superb
through ball from Conal Platt to score the only goal of the game.
Liverpool won the FA Senior Cup last season when they beat Everton on
penalties at Goodison Park. Under-18 Academy manager John Owens was in
charge of team affairs and his Academy line-up featured five players
who have featured regularly for the reserves this season. Those players
are James Smith, Danny Guthrie, Danny O'Donnell, Danny Smith and Paul
Barratt who made his second string debut the other week at West
St Helens Town fielded an open age team and they play their football in
North West Counties League One. They had a disappointing season last
campaign finishing 19th in the 22 team league and conceded 81 goals but
it's a different story this season as they are doing very well
domestically. Their best success came in the 1986/87 season when Saints
won the FA Vase.
Town are chasing promotion to the Uni Bond League and are currently
second in the league with a big match coming up on Saturday against
leaders Fleetwood Town. They were without their main striker for this
match because Karl Robinson is also a coach at Liverpool's Academy so
he couldn't play against players he coaches.
The last time the two sides met in this competition was in the 1988/89
season when Phil Thompson was managing Liverpool Reserves. Thompson
included the likes of Mike Hooper, Jim Beglin, Nick Tanner, Mike Marsh,
John Durnin and Wayne Harrison in his line-up. After a 1-1 draw
Liverpool won a replay 1-0 with Hooper man of the match making sure
there was no giant killing act.
In the previous round of the Liverpool Senior Cup Town had staged the
comeback of all comebacks coming from 3-0 down to beat Skelmersdale
There are no replay's now in the Liverpool Senior Cup as the matches
are played to a finish with extra-time and penalties if necessary.
Liverpool had a chance straight from the kick-off when Paul Barratt
broke into the St Helens penalty area down the right side but following
his cutback the ball was just cleared from the lurking Conal Platt.
A minute later Adam Hammill found himself clean through after the
Saints off-side trap failed but unfortunately the finish was poor as he
blazed over the bar with just goalkeeper Paul Dahl to beat.
After eight minutes Hammill had another great chance after a great run
and cross down the left from Platt, but again the finish was
disappointing as he shot straight at Dahl.
Town then came back into the game and the Liverpool goal survived a few
close shaves but the Reds defended well with James Smith a rock solid
figure in the heart of the defence.
Liverpool coach John Owens tried to shake things up just past the hour
when he brought an extra two strikers on in the shape of Karl Noon and
David James nephew James Frayne, who came on for midfielders Adam
Hammill and Paul Barratt. Hammill wasn't pleased at all at being taken
off and he threw his shirt on the floor in anger.
The substitution was an inspired one because Karl Noon put the Reds
ahead after 70 minutes. After soaking up the pressure well Liverpool
counter attacked well and the two Under-18 team strikeforce combined
well. A superb pass from Conal Platt sent Karl Noon clean through and
he finished superbly.
Liverpool should have made it 2-0 five minutes from time when a
storming run from Guthrie took him into the penalty area, and following
his cross Frayne with the goal at his mercy completely missed the ball
as it rolled agonisingly across the face of the penalty area.
A minute later the home side came so close to an equaliser following a
left wing free-kick but Reds keeper Paul Lancaster managed to make a
block save and clear the danger.
Frayne again had another great chance to make it 2-0 but clean through his effort was saved by Dahl.
Liverpool Under-18s: Paul Lancaster,JordanHolmes, Danny Smith, James
Smith, Danny O'Donnell, Danny Guthrie, Adam Hammill (James Frayne 63),
Francis Smith, Conal Platt, Paul Barratt (Karl Noon 63), Phil Townley.
Sub unused: Dave Roberts (Under-16 keeper).