Walton's extra time double sends Liversedge into cup semi-finals
Striker Joe Walton scored twice in extra time as Liversedge booked their place in the Northern Counties East League Cup semi-final with a thrilling 3-2 win over Rainworth Miners Welfare on Monday night.
Liversedge will now play one of their biggest games in recent history when they host the winners of tonight’s quarter-final between Handsworth Parramore and Ollerton Town as they aim to reach the final, which will be played at Sheffield United’s Brammall Lane.
The semi-final will be played on Tuesday (kick off 7.45pm), with admission £5 adults, £2.50 concessions.
Rainworth led through Max Pemberton’s seventh minute goal and held the advantage until the 71st minute when Steven Wales equalised and it remained 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes.
Pemberton regained Rainworth’s lead with a goal near the end of the first period of extra time but Liversedge then took control.
Jonathan Rimmington’s men hit the woodwork three times during extra time and forced the Rainworth goalkeeper into a number of excellent saves before Walton equalised with his 30th goal of the season four minutes into the second period.
Walton’s second five minutes later edged Liversedge ahead as he capitalised on some neat work by Huddersfield Town youth player Cameron Taylor.
Sedge then played out the remaining stages of the match to book a semi-final spot.
Liversedge’s joy at reaching the semi-final was shortlived as less than 22 hours after the cup tie finished, they were back in action in Tuesday’s NCE League Premier Division game at Bottesford Town.
With several players injured and others unable to get out of work, Sedge travelled with just 11 men and had to take the field with 10 as Rhys Davies was delayed getting to the ground.
Liversedge were playing their 12th game in just 26 days and the unprecedented fixture schedule finally took its toll as other players picked up injuries during the match and they did not have enough men to complete the 90 minutes.
With Liversedge trailing 5-0 after 75 minutes, the game was abandoned.
Liversedge were quite rightly frustrated at the decision to make them play twice in two days and took to social media.
The club Tweeted: “It seems like making us play back to back away games, the second starting less than 22 hours after the first had ended (and that game went to extra time), following on from playing four games in six days the prior week, might not have been the greatest idea.”
Incredibly, Liversedge are due to be in action again tonight (Thursday, kick of 7.45pm) — their third game in four days — when they face a Premier Division derby clash at home to Thackley.
The Dennyfield side have avoided relegation but will be aiming to climb from 18th place in the table.
Sedge’s final league game is a re-arranged clash at home to Albion Sports on Saturday, which was initially postponed last week due to a waterlogged pitch.
Liversedge will also have a keen eye on tonight’s League Cup quarter-final between Handsworth and Ollerton, with the winners visiting Clayborn on Tuesday.