|4 News Items|
|Applications for Membership|
The Liverpool County Combination invite applications for Membership for season 2004/5
Please click here to download the Membership Application form in Microsoft Word .doc format
For further details contact League Secretary John Deal Tel: 01704 211955
|Newsletter April / May 2004|
Liverpool County Combination Newsletter Volume 7 Issue 8
April / May 2004
Inside this edition;
1 County Comb title for Dock
2 McGivern treble clinches
3 Challenge Cup for Dock
4 Speke maintain record in the Lancs Amateur Cup
5 But not in Northern Counties!
6 Evo sets himself another challenge at Seaforth
7 County FA start up talks
8 Penlake apply to the Comb
9 Skem Res to leave
10 Quick goals corner!
11 Ian Edwards has a season to remember!
12 Three teams pass grading for N.W. Counties
13 Halewood clinch the Peter Coyne to add to Junior Cup!
14 Youth lose final in extra time
15 Formby get lit up
16 Brothers galore at Mossley Hill
Welcome to the Liverpool County Combination League Newsletter,
all contributions are welcome.
Please contact: County Comb Press Officer: Jim Stanway @ 10 Olive Vale, Wavertree, Liverpool. L15 8JH. Tel: 0151 - 281 - 5704.
Dock clinch the title with two games to go
Waterloo Dock have been favourites to win the County Combination since about Christmas when their likeliest challengers, Speke, got bogged down in a variety of cup competitions. The likelihood became a mathematical certainty on Wednesday 28th April when with only a draw required, they scored an injury time winner against South Liverpool, to edge home 2-1 and start the celebrations of another league title for the Edinburgh Park team. The winning goals was headed home by the 16 year old James Lundon with virtually his only touch of the ball, as he had only just come as substitute. The goalscorer was appropriate as young James is the son of one of Docks greatest ever players, Jimmy Lundon, now the club's chairman. That the club should annex their eleventh league title, a league record, in this their fortieth year will be of particular. Satisfaction to the clubs management team of Jimmy Davies and Larry Dowling, who have been involved with the club for its entire history.
Special mention must also be given to the club's goal scoring sensation, Leighton McGivern, whose arrival in December sparked an impressive unbeaten run of 20 league games, including 19 wins. Allied to this success in the Challenge Cup, McGivern has scored 42 goals for the club in only 25 matches and has terrorised County Combination defences throughout. His performances for the Dock and with Britannia in the Liverpool Sunday League has attracted numerous scouts and it would be surprising if Leighton has not moved into the paid ranks for next season.
McGivern treble clinches Challenge Cup
A tremendous performance by the County Combinations leading goalscorer, Leighton McGivern, was the highlight of this season's Liverpool County F.A. Challenge Cup Final. Waterloo Dock eased past a youthful Marine Reserves team, from the Lancashire league to take their third trophy in the last five years and their sixth in total. McGivern dominated the game from start to finish. Scoring a hat trick in the 3-1 win, gaining a penalty which Lee Battle missed, creating several chances for his team mates, hitting a superb free kick which was magnificently saved and generally causing mayhem in the Marine ranks every time he touched the ball. The Dock's win again illustrates the County Combination's domination of the Challenge Cup for another season; three semi finalists, six quarter finalists and winners for the eighth successive season. Well-done Dock!
Speke maintain record in Lancashire Amateur!
For the sixth successive season, the Liverpool County Combination have won the Lancashire Amateur Cup. Last season's league champions, Speke, took the cup for the second time, defeating West Cheshire League, Manweb, in the final at the Lancashire FA County ground at Leyland. It took Ian Campbell and Archie Lloyd's men extra time to see off a spirited performance from the Wavertree based club but Speke's pressure throughout the second half and extra time was certain to tell. As usual with Speke, the goals were shared around, midfielder Gary Dunning and forward Lee Poland getting the all-important strikes this time around.
but miss out in Northern Counties Final
After a superb performance in the semi final of the Northern Counties Championship to defeat Northumberland's West Allotment Celtic at the Northumberland County ground in February, Speke, representing the Liverpool Country FA, let themselves down badly in the Final at Walton Hall Park in April. In a local derby against West Cheshire League, Cammell Lairds, representing the Cheshire FA, Speke took an early lead through midfielder , Chris Roscoe. But after defenders Dave Magee and Alan Kelly were sent off, Lairds ran riot, scoring five without further reply, to run out easy winners. Three of Lairds goals were scored by the Morgan brothers, Ronnie and John, both of whom have extensive experience in the County Combination for the likes of Bootle, Royal Seaforth and Eldonians. Jamie Maguire and Brain McIlroy also found the net for the Birkenhead side.
Evo sets himself another challenge at Royal Seaforth
Royal Seaforth have appointed Tony Evans, the former Tuebrook Park supremo, as their new manager. Tony took charge formally of his first match at home to Birchfield at the beginning of April. Having taken Tuebrook to a magnificent treble of Second Division title, Liverpool County FA Junior Cup and Lord Wavertree Cup in 2002, Tony resigned from the club earlier this season and has been helping Seaforth for a couple of months. Seaforth stalwart, Robbie Atherton, who had been managing the team this season will revert to his usual trainer role. Seaforth, of course, were winners of the Liverpool County FA Challenge Cup last season but were forced to release numerous players due to disciplinary reasons and had had a season of team rebuilding this year.
County FA start up talks
Thursday 26th February could become an historic date in the history of amateur football in Liverpool, as a meeting was held at Liverpool County FA offices at the behest of the County FA between the F.A. (Mike Appleby who is in charge of the pyramid system at Soho Square), the County FA (Secretary Fred Hunter was the host) and representatives of both I Zingari League and County Combination. The topic of discussion was the future structure of top-level amateur football within the Liverpool County FA area. Since then, the I-Zingari League have held two meetings at which they have now expressed support in principle to a County FA Premier League. Of course, the County Combination has been in favour of such a development for several seasons. We now wait the date of the next meeting at which the initial plans for the formation of the Liverpool County F.A. Premier League can be put forward. Watch this space for further news on the future of the game in Liverpool.
Penlake apply to the County Comb
The champions of the St Helens Combination for the last two seasons, Penlake, have applied to the County Combination. Semi Finalists in this season's Liverpool County FA Junior Cup (where they were eliminated by Halewood Town, the eventual winners), the club feel that they must test their playing strength at a higher level. Manager, Peter Lacey, has had many of the same players since youth level and is very keen to test himself. As champions of the St Helens Combination, any club should be looking to move up the pyramid and the club are to be congratulated for their foresight. Unfortunately, the clubs ground at the Beeches in St. Helens, is well below County Combination standard although the playing surface is excellent. Consequently, the club intend to play their football at Edge Hill College, taking over from the departing Skelmersdale United Reserves. Penlake hope that the move to Ormskirk will be for one season only as they are part of an exciting development at the nearby St Cuthbert's School. The plan is to vacate their current facility for the new ground in 2005/06 when four pitches and brand new changing facilities will be in place. The club have teams from 7 year olds right through to two senior teams, one in the St Helens Combination and another in the Warrington & District League.
Skem to leave Comb!
After only one season in the County Combination, Skelmersdale United Reserves have resigned to return to the North West Counties Reserve Division from whence they came. As champions of the reserve division, Skem had played their football at Edge Hill College whilst their new ground was being built. Although results have not gone their way, they have played bright football and their experience should have been helpful for their young players. However the club felt that with an even younger squad next season, the County Combination would be too strong for them. They go with our best wishes and we hope that the team will contribute fully to the club's success, especially in their brand new home.
Quick goals corner!
Joe Clarke's first goal for South Sefton Borough in their 2 - 0 win at Bootle at the end of March has been unofficially timed at 10 seconds, whilst Mossley Hill's opener by Kevin Frankland against Speke at Mossley Hill Road has been timed at 14 seconds. The latter goal ended up being merely consolation as Speke ended up scoring six goals and winning the match 6-3. Added to a goal by South Liverpool's Alex Bishop against Tuebrook Park in January easily within the first minute, that's three very rapid goals in 2004. Is Joe's goal the quickest goal in County Combination history and does anyone know of any other quick goals to add to the debate!
Ian Edward's season to remember
Not content with refereeing the Lord Wavertree Cup Final this season, sure sign of an excellent season in the middle, Allerton's, Ian Edwards was the choice for the whistle at this season's Challenge Cup Final at Walton Hall Park between Waterloo Dock and Marine Reserves. After another professional display in that game, Ian's season could not have got any better with the recent news that he had gained promotion to the Unibond League middle and will be refereeing the likes of Southport and Runcorn next season. Still in his early 20's, Ian's career as a match official could go all the way and the County Combination will be delighted that it will have played a small part in his early career. Actually, such success could not go to a more level headed and mature young man. Well done, Ian, and don't forget us all when you referee FA Cup Finals!!
Three northern teams pass grading for North West Counties
Although the structure of the football pyramid below the Conference has still not been decided, there has been plenty of interest in applying for membership of the North West Counties League from the feeder leagues, of which the County Combination is one of six. The County Combination will not be putting a club forward for next season. Five clubs from other leagues have put themselves up for membership. However, Prestwich Heys (runners up in the Manchester League) and Middlewich Town (champions of the Mid Cheshire League) both previously members of the level, both failed the grading criteria. The three other applicants have all passed the grading requirements and will anxiously await news about how the non-league game will be restructuring, as at the present there are only two places available. Cammell Lairds, runners up in the West Cheshire League, should be the number one candidates, having narrowly failed to gain the necessary ground grading last season. The other successful candidates are New Mills from the Manchester League although they have finished well down the league this season. The third contender is Silsden who are from Yorkshire and play in the West Yorkshire County League of which they are this seasons champions. The club do live within the North West Counties catchment area and may be allowed to transfer over given the shake up in the non-league game.
Halewood Town clinch Peter Coyne Cup
Halewood clinched their second trophy, of what is turning out to be their best ever season, with a deserved 2-1 win over Saint Dominics at Formby. Mark Carney had given the Doms the lead and that was the way it stayed until the final ten minutes. A goal apiece from Tony Stewart and, goal scoring sensation, Paul Lamb secured the cup. With the Lord Wavertree Cup Final still to go it could be an incredible hat trick. Their success is already reward for the hard working people behind the scenes, led by Secretary Steve Jones who has seen the turnaround in the club under the astute leadership of manager Graham Highdale.
County Comb Youth lose final in extra time
The County Combination youth team narrowly failed to retain the Liverpool County FA Inter League Youth Cup, going down 4-2 to the Warrington and District League in the final, at Walton Hall Park in April. Starting the game sluggishly, the Comb were 2-0 down just before half time but South Sefton Borough's, Adam Millington clawed one back just before the break. Bringing on Waterloo Dock's James Lundon at half time, the team improved dramatically in the second half and dominated the game. Lundon equalised with five minutes to go and extra time beckoned. However a magnificently struck third in injury time put Warrington ahead and a fourth moments later put the game beyond doubt. Coach Paddy Cavanagh, manager of Cheshire Lines, was rightly proud of his players of their second half fight back and that it deserved extra time.
Formby get lit up
Having spent just one season in the County Combination whilst getting their ground at Altcar Road up to scratch to return to the North West Counties League, Formby have moved on quicker that even the club expected, having floodlights installed (which would allow for promotion to the NW Counties 1st Division) and finishing third in the 2nd Division, only two points off automatic promotion. However with the restructuring of football below the Conference due this summer, the club may well achieve promotion anyway. South Sefton Boroughs recent home game against South Liverpool was the first floodlight game in the County Combination since Bootle left Bucks Park. The County Comb enjoy an excellent relationship with the club with the Peter Coyne Cup being held there for the second season.
Brothers galore at Mossley Hill
Compiling the team sheet has never been easier than this season with as many as five of the squad being brothers. The club's leading goalscorer, Kevin Frankland has now been joined by his brother, Phil, a midfield player. At the back, the Saleh brothers, Sammy, Azadean and Muneer have been challenging for positions in the back four. To add to the confusion, the experienced winger, Abdul Saleh, has also been a regular for Eugene Chesters' side but he is no relation to the three Saleh brothers at all!
Leading Goalscorers 2003/2004
42 Leighton McGivern (Waterloo Dock) 35 Lge, 7 Cup
37 Alex Bishop (South Liverpool) 26 Lge, 11 Cup*4
36 Jeff Dodd (Saint Dominics) 23 Lge, 13 Cup
32 Paul Lamb (Halewood Town) 20 Lge, 12 Cup
26 James Taylor (Saint Aloysius) 25 Lge, 1 Cup
26 Lee Battle (Waterloo Dock) 22 Lge, 4 Cup
26 Brian Burns (Ford Motors) 19 Lge, 7 Cup*1
25 Neil Miles (Royal Seaforth) 23 Lge, 2 Cup
23 Adam Williams (Speke) 16 Lge, 7 Cup
22 Terry Smith (Prescot Leisure) 17 Lge, 5 Cup
21 Danny Costello (Cheshire Lines) 19 Lge, 2 Cup
21 Andy Dyson (Lucas Sports) 19 Lge, 2 Cup
21 Lee Poland (Speke) 11 Lge, 10 Cup
20 Chris McGrath (South Liverpool) 15 Lge, 5 Cup
20 Ross Kennedy (Lucas Sports) 13 Lge, 7 Cup
19 Robbie Campbell (Lucas Sports) 12 Lge, 7 Cup
19 John Garnell (Speke) 9 Lge, 10 Cup
18 Joe Clarke (South Sefton Borough) 18 Lge,
18 Kevin Frankland (Mossley Hill Athletic) 17 Lge, 1 Cup
18 John Quayle (Aigburth Peoples Hall) 15 Lge, 2 Cup
17 John Kildare (Bootle) 16 Lge, 1 Cup
17 Gareth Williams (Waterloo Dock) 15 Lge, 2 Cup
17 Richie Lange (Birchfield) 12 Lge, 5 Cup
16 Louis Culshaw (Ford Motors) 13 Lge, 3 Cup
16 Chris Hart (Birchfield) 12 Lge, 4 Cup
16 Mick Brady (Lucas Sports) 8 Lge, 8 Cup
15 Micheal Pearson (Birchfield) 15 Lge,
13 Terry Jones (Saint Aloysius) 12 Lge, 1 Cup
13 Kevin Doyle (Birchfierd) 11 Lge, 2 Cup
13 Colin Mee (Halewood Town) 9 Lge, 4 Cup
* - indicates goals included for Legaue representative team
|A Brief History|
The Liverpool County Combination was established in 1908 and is one of the oldest senior Leagues in the country. The competition has a long and illustrious history, quickly becoming a breeding ground for ambitious and forward thinking clubs who wanted to reach the very highest standard of amateur football.
Many clubs who would later become household names in non-league circles graced the Liverpool County Combination including Burscough, Marine, Prescot Cables, Skelmersdale United, St. Helens Town and South Liverpool to name but a few.
The George Mahon Cup was inaugurated in 1909, presented by Everton F.C., and named after the first Chairman of Everton F.C. Limited, bringing knock-out cup football to the competition.
Marine reached to Final of the F.A. Amateur Cup in 1931/2, losing 7 - 1 to Dulwich Hamlet at Upton Park the home of West Ham United.
In the years either side of the Second World War, the League had amongst its membership not only the best amateur sides from around Liverpool, but also the A&B teams of the area's professional sides.
Many of Everton and Liverpool's all time greats first represented Merseyside's big two clubs on the Liverpool County Combination stage, and for a time after the Second World War, these two giants were dominant figures. Massive gates were recorded as fledgling Everton and Liverpool sides fought for supremacy in league and cup.
As this era came to an end towards the end of the 1950s, a procession of top teams came to the fore with Guinness Exports and Langton emerging as leading lights. A Second Division, was reformed in 1945-6.
Eventually, the participation of reserve sides from senior Leagues dwindled and by the early 1970s the Liverpool County Combinatioon had evolved into a virtually all-amateur competition.
The likes of Waterloo Dock, St. Dominics and Lucas Sports collected county silverware in addition to Liverpool County Combination honours, but the reorganisation of football in the senior Leagues saw the Liverpool County Combination lose a lot of its top sides (Formby, Maghull, Bootle, Ford Motors, Prescot B.I.) and progress into the Cheshire County League and Lancashire Combination. Despite losing top calibre clubs, the Liverpool County Combination not only survived this period, but flourished due to hard work of the Committee, attracting a new generation of clubs into the competition.
This trend has continued ever since, and the Liverpool County Combination still accounts for clubs who progress from amateur football into the semi-professional ranks in the North West.
In 1999, the League became a founder member of the North West Joint Liaison Committee, a body which oversees promotion and relegation issues between the top amateur competitions and the North West Counties Football League. This exciting development places the Liverpool County Combination at Level Four on the National League System, theoretically putting into place the chance for a Liverpool County Combination club to progress from amateur football to the Premiership through promotion!
For the Liverpool County Combination and its clubs, the new millennium provides an opportunity to access various sources of funding and improve their facilities, and we aim to meet these challenges, and succeed.
Applications for Membership of the Liverpool County Combination for season 2004-5 should be made in writing to the League Secretary, John Deal, 24 The Pastures, Crossens, Southport, PR9 8RH.
The Liverpool County Combination operates at the Level Four of the National League System, and is an organisation which actively encourages and supports amateur football, protecting those who wish to remain at the top of amateur football, and supporting those who wish to progress from grass roots football through to the semi-professional ranks.
Applications are invited throughout the season from ambitious clubs.