VAUXHALL MOTORS 2 v 3 AFC LIVERPOOOL
Vauxhall`s were left to “concentrate on the league”, after 10-mam AFC came from behind to grab a quarter-final meeting with Bacup next February and leave Motors with no more cup ties to look forward to.
The hosts began in determined fashion, pushing AFC back and it took just 8 minutes for them to forge ahead, when Matty Carlin headed home from the near post from Ben Holmes’ corner on the right. Moments later it could have been 2-0 but for a smart save from visiting keeper Lee Carr to deny Ben Greenop. But before the game had begun to settle, AFC levelled up the scores when James McGrane cut inside from the left wing and finished from an acute angle for a superb strike.
Both sides had further chances after this explosive opening in what was a truly vibrant match as play swung from one end to the other but no further goals before the break. The tie was being played in a great spirit but it suddenly turned nasty in the second half, when AFC’s Bradley Owens was shown a straight red while one player from each side saw yellow. This should have given Motors the chance to push on but that never materialised and as the game progressed, the dangerous visitors struck.
The tie could well have been heading for penalties until James Howell struck a great volley from 25 yards out beyond the reach of Kristofer Leigh to edge AFC in front on 78 minutes. Three minutes later they struck again, with fine approach play ending with McGrane netting his second of the evening. The tie now looked over but Matty Carlin clearly had other ideas. He pulled a goal back on 86 minutes with a low header from a pinpoint cross from the right to set up a grandstand finale and the same player brought a truly fine save by Carr low down to his left from a shot from ten yards.
It turned out to be just a bit too late for Motors to rescue the tie despite Carlin’s immense effort and AFC ran out 3-2 winners.
Vauxhall: Leigh, Scarisbrick, Mason, Carlin, Quinn, Cooper, Brandon, Webb, Greenop, Holmes, Cross. Subs used: Drummond, Schumacker. Sub not used: Hamm.