Youth Team

North to Play Liverpool in Counties Semi Final

Dan Simmonite

Northumberland FA’s Association of Northern Counties semi-final opponent has been confirmed as West Division side Liverpool FA.

Liverpool will host the county's under-18 side after securing top spot in their respective division with wins over Cheshire, Lancashire and Westmorland.

North Manager Alan Thompson said: “If we play our game, I think we are strong enough to play anyone and get a result.

“We are looking at going to Liverpool and win, then beat whoever we face in the final if we get there.”

North finished second in the East Division on goal difference to Durham FA; a team they drew 1-1 with last month in Houghton-le-Spring.

Their North East rivals scored first in the grudge match, but Sam McLellan of Ponteland United rescued a point for the Tynesiders with a last-gasp goal to ensure their place in the final four of the competition.

Thompson explained: “We thought we could go and get three points and just talking to a few players afterwards it felt like a defeat.

“Against Durham we started to take control late on and Sam McLellan scored a cracking goal from 20-yards into the bottom corner.

“That was his debut and I like him (Sam McLellan) a lot. He’s a proper old fashioned and nasty centre forward.

He continued: “In the last minute we could have won the game – Josh Skivington had a header and it looked in but the keeper managed to tip it over from the top corner.

“In the end we didn’t play as well as we have done but guaranteeing qualification was the main job.”

North still find themselves undefeated after five league games and have picked up 11 points from a possible 15 on the way, which will give them confidence on Saturday 4th May where they will play their first semi-final in three years across on Merseyside.

Should they progress to the final a re-match against Durham could be on the cards, which is a prospect that excites Thompson.

He added: “Both groups said at the end of the game we’d hope that we would meet in the final.

“We will obviously be watching the results and make a few phone calls to keep up to date on our possible opponents.

“But whoever we’d get I’m confident in the strength and depth of our squad that we can go and produce a positive result.”