FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Avro 3-4 Litherland
Going into the match Avro FC had the chance to create history by winning their first-ever FA Cup match at the first attempt against Liverpool based side Litherland Remyca. It wasn’t just history up for grabs as the winners of the tie won a massive £2,500 with the losers getting just £750. The game was one to remember with the lead changing hands three times and all seven goals scored inside thirty-five minutes.
The visitors took an early lead at the Vestacare Stadium as Neil Monoghan slotted the ball home from the edge of the box in the fifth minute. It was starting to look comfortable for Litherland as they doubled their lead five minutes later after Colin Quirk caught Avro goalkeeper Jordan Latham off his line with a brilliant thirty-yard effort.
Instead of lying down Avro showed the form that put them in the FA Cup in the first place after storming to promotion last season. They fired their three goals within ten minutes to storm into the driving seat. Their first came from the penalty spot as Liam Ellis was fouled but he then picked himself up to dispatch the penalty. Just five minutes later Avro were level after Adam Latham thundering in from Ryan Hanson’s perfect delivery. Every five minutes something seemed to happen and it did again on the twenty-fifth minute as Avro were ahead for the first time in the game. Hanson turned from provider into goal scorer as he cut inside from the left to send a right-footed shot into the bottom corner. Hanson’s glory was short-lived however as he hobbled off the pitch injured and most of Avro’s attacking intent went off with him.
In the thirty-third minute, it was time for another shift in momentum in this spectacular game. Litherland managed to construct an equaliser as Jake Connor reacted first to squeeze the ball home after Latham’s drilled ball into the box. Just two minutes later it was self-destruct mode for Avro as the lead changed for the third and final time. Litherland seemed to have a spring in their step after the equaliser and they capitalised after Liam Diggle was allowed a free header from the left and he directed it brilliantly into the far corner.
The second half was almost never going to live up to action we witnessed in the opening forty-five minutes. The visitors were keen to soak up any pressure that Avro applied and this left the home team frustrated as they racked up multiple yellow cards. Veteran striker Mike Norton looked to have snatched an equaliser at the end only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Paul Foy. It was a spectacular game down at the Vestacare Stadium and whilst Avro may not have created history with a first FA Cup win they certainly played their part in a game that showcased non-league football at its very best.
Speaking to the North West Counties Football League Youtube channel Avro’s joint manager James Hampson said “Being a very experienced team they (Litherland) slowed the game down very well and we just couldn’t find that fourth goal.”
Picture by @biddleofnowehere