LIVERSEDGE spectacularly came from three goals down to defeat Handsworth (3-4) on Tuesday night and move back into the promotion places.
A young Handsworth team were 3-0 up at half-time and looked set to pick up a surprise win over high-flying Sedge. However, Jonathan Rimmington’s side produced an incredible second-half comeback.
Emile Sinclair and Michael Bottomley brought them back into the game with goals before a double from striker Joe Walton – who has scored a remarkable 15 goals already this season – secured the three points.
The game was played at a fast pace from the start. Handsworth goalkeeper Benjamin Townsend and opposite stopper Alex Lill were both forced to make early saves before the first goal came after nine minutes.
Leon Howarth made a brilliant run and crossed for Marley Grant to stroke home the first of his two goals and break the deadlock.
Howarth was causing Sedge plenty of problems. He created another chance which Darius Smith put wide, and later a piece of individual brilliance saw him beat several defenders before curling an effort onto the crossbar, with Grant unable to follow up the rebound.
Liversedge had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for a foul, and instead it was the hosts who doubled their lead a couple of minutes later.
After some great build-up play, Joe Parkin unleashed a drive from the edge of the box which Lill had no hope of stopping.
The hosts were deserving of their lead and it looked like the three points were as good as theirs with a third goal on the stroke of half-time. Grant was on target again, pouncing on a loose ball to advance into the area and beating Lill at the second time of asking.
However, everything changed in a remarkable second-half turnaround.
Sedge first gave themselves hope five minutes after the restart, with Sinclair tapping home a cross at the far post for his first goal of the season.
Come the 57th minute, the deficit was down to a single goal. Substitute Bottomley made a big difference to the game and he produced a fine finish, beating Townsend from the edge of the penalty area.
In a game of great strikes, another was to come eight minutes later. After holding out through a barrage of Liversedge pressure, Handsworth were beaten by a brilliant Walton drive from 20 yards which went in off the post.
With the sides level, Liversedge’s full comeback was by no means inevitable. The hosts started to settle and when Oliver Fearon was sent to the sin bin, they were hopeful of still taking the three points for themselves.
However, Fearon’s strike partner did the business once more in his absence. With 10 minutes left, Walton was played in behind and rounded goalkeeper Townsend to tap in and put Sedge 4-3 ahead.
Lill saved from Jamie Austin and Howarth as Sedge faced some late pressure but they held on for a remarkable win which, should they remain in the top three come the end of the season, may prove to be the most pivotal.
There is another big game ahead of them tomorrow (Saturday, kick-off 3pm) though, as they host second-placed Staveley Miners Welfare.
A rescheduled NCEL Cup tie at home to Goole will follow on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).