MATCH PREVIEW | West v AFC Liverpool

Saturday 25th November 2017 (3pm), NWCFL Premier Division
West v AFC Liverpool
Brookburn Road, M21 8FE
£5 adults, £3 concessions, free for under-12s accompanied by an adult

West’s latest attempt to breathe life into a torrid autumn comes on Saturday as struggling AFC Liverpool visit Brookburn Road.

Steve Settle’s side have lost six straight league matches, and with the Reds hovering just above the bottom four, West can ill-afford to extend that sequence if they are to avoid being sucked into the relegation vortex. But the visitors are showing signs of coming into form, and have gone two games unbeaten after losing the last eleven in all competitions.

While West were dumped out of the Macron Cup by Winsford United on Monday, the Reds face a wait to play their second-round tie after flooding in Cumbria put paid to their tie at Holker Old Boys.

At a glance

West v AFC Liverpool
14th Position 19th
LLLLL Form (all competitions) LLLDW
16 Played 18
7 Won 4
1 Drawn 3
8 Lost 11
22 Points 15
34 Goals for 39
42 Goals against 43
Tom Bailey (19) Top scorer (all competitions) Kevin Edgar (7)
West v AFC Liverpool (NWCFL era): P11 W2 D3 L6 F18 A26

The Reds

When AFC Liverpool went 2-0 up in the 21st minute at Runcorn Linnets on 19th September, they probably weren’t expecting to be teetering on the edge of the drop zone two months later. The Reds travelled to Runcorn on the back of a six-match unbeaten run and looked set to make it seven at the home of the promotion favourites, but the Linnets hit back, scoring five without reply, and the Reds would become intimately familiar with the losing feeling. From that reverse at the Millbank Linnets Stadium to the 4-2 loss at home to Northwich Victoria on 1st November, every game ended with the hollowness of defeat, as the Reds hurtled down the table and crashed out of the FA Vase, to City of Liverpool, and the Liverpool Senior Cup, to Widnes.

A return to the First Division for the first time since 2011 may have appeared ominously on the horizon. But under manager Chris Stammers, who took the reins at the start of this season, the Reds have begun to turn their fortunes around – drawing 1-1 in a first league derby against City of Liverpool to end their losing streak, before beating AFC Darwen 4-2 at the Marine Travel Arena last Saturday. The Reds will now be eyeing their autumn and winter schedule, which includes four consecutive home games in December, with renewed optimism – starting with Saturday’s trip down the M62.

Last time – AFC Liverpool 3-2 West, Saturday 31st December 2016

The Reds won by the odd goal in five on New Year’s Eve. West had taken a two-goal lead through Joe Shaw and Saul Henderson, but Jason Carey struck for the home side on the stroke of half time, and Jack Leamey and Emini Adegbenro completed the comeback in the second period.

Read the match report from December’s meeting.

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