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NCBC national cup run ends after Liverpool defeat 

NCBCnationalcup3CFNorwich Central Baptist's progress in the National Christian Cup was disappointingly halted in Liverpool on Saturday March 28, as they went down 4-0 to Merseyside Christian League side Bethel Church FC.

Match report by Adam Hubbard

After overcoming opposition from London in the two previous rounds, NCBC were fully aware that their greatest test was still to come as soon as the Quarter Final draw paired them with Liverpool's Bethel, who reached the final of the competition last season.

The task at hand was further compromised by an ill-timed spate of injuries to some key players, meaning NCBC made the long trip north with only an 11-man squad.

However, it was the same eleven who had won convincingly in the Bishops Cup Quarter Final the previous weekend, meaning manager Chris Morgan could name an unchanged team.

It was a wet and very windy morning in Liverpool, and Norwich Central largely kept Bethel at bay in the opening period, restricting them mostly to long-range efforts at goal and difficult chances. A slip from the home keeper almost let NCBC in before half-time, but a defender recovered the situation as the match remained goalless at the break.

With the high winds now at their backs, the Bethel pressure finally told after the restart, and they took the lead shortly into the second half. NCBC struggled to work the ball into areas where they could create and threaten the opposition goal, and when Bethel tapped in their second from a rebound after a save, a third and fourth soon followed as the tie was killed off.

It was a disappointing end to what has been an enjoyable run to the Quarter Final stage of the competition, and NCBC's focus for this season is now aimed at the Bishop's Cup, where they take on Kings Palace in April for a place in May's final.