REPORT | Widnes 3-2 Everton
By Callum Chadwick
Lomax at the double as Widnes book semi-final place
George Lomax netted twice as Widnes advanced to the semi-finals of the Liverpool Senior Cup with a 3-2 win over Everton.
Lomax opened the scoring with a smart finish past the half-hour mark before adding his second with a rocket eight minutes into the second half.
Harry Brazel would net his first Widnes goal three minutes later but Everton rallied as Rhys Hughes pulled one back from the spot and Kameron Stanley would further reduce the deficit five minutes from time, but the hosts held on for victory.
Widnes’ triumph ensures their safe passage through to the last four of the competition, joining Prescot Cables, Rylands and Southport.
Co-bosses Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey made two changes to the side beaten by Chasetown on Saturday. Jamal Crawford was preferred to Niall Watson while Richie Mottram returned in goal, replacing the rested Owen Wheeler.
Widnes started positively, earning a succession of corners that caused Everton problems. George Webster would twice get on the end of a Crawford delivery, seeing a seemingly goal-bound effort blocked.
At the other end, Everton were denied an opener by the woodwork as Rafa Garcia brought down a clever Tom Warren pass only to shoot against the foot of the post from close-range.
Ben Hodkinson then had an effort well blocked by Toffees’ keeper Jack Barrett as both sides showed their capabilities offensively.
The young Blues were seeing more of the ball but lacked real quality in the final third as Widnes looked the more threatening of the two sides.
The Whites were rewarded with a goal shortly after the half-hour mark. Sean Myler’s deep cross was nodded down by Crawford into the path of Lomax, who turned home with a tidy finish to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Myler and Chris Lomax would fire off target with half-chances as Widnes went in at the break one goal to the good.
Widnes carried their momentum into the second half and added a second goal eight minutes in.
Lomax would again get himself on the scoresheet, receiving a short pass into feet before rocketing a powerful drive into the top corner that left the outstretched Barrett with no chance.
Widnes were beginning to express themselves and soon added a third. It was a well-worked move with Hodkinson eventually cutting a cross back to Brazel who applied a neat finish to register his first goal for the Club after moving from Runcorn Town.
Everton were presented with an opportunity to respond shortly after the hour-mark when they were awarded a penalty.
Widnes cheaply lost possession in their own area gifting Garcia an opportunity to capitalise only to be bundled over by Mottram after the youngster rounded the hosts’ goalkeeper.
After a brief argument with Garcia over who should take the spot-kick, Hughes converted his penalty despite Mottram guessing correctly and diving to his right.
Everton would then enjoy their best spell as Garcia had an effort saved by Mottram before Stanley glanced against the post from the resulting corner.
Widnes still carried a threat and almost sealed victory midway through the half as Lomax spotted Barrett off his line and looked to spectacularly complete his hat-trick from the halfway line but his effort dropped inches past the post.
Brazel was also denied by the woodwork late on after bundling his way into the area only to smash his effort against the crossbar with Everton sweeping away the resulting danger.
But Everton would set up a tense finish as Warren stretched the Widnes defence by releasing Stanley in behind who would round Mottram before finishing emphatically to pull another goal back for the visitors.
Hughes would almost complete a stunning comeback for the Blues as he hit a dipping free-kick just wide but Widnes held on to secure their safe passage through to the last-four.