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Page last updated at 20:48 GMT, Thursday, 29 July 2010 21:48 UK

Rabotnicki v Liverpool as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

2143: And on that note, it's time to say goodbye. Have a read of the report, which is now up. Thank you for having me on this short-term loan deal and for all of your messages, they really have made me giggle. The football professionals will be back with you for the rest of the season, but you never know, you might be unlucky enough to have me again. Take care and have a good campaign, whoever you support. Cheers.

SimplyFred on Twitter: "Please could you Shelve-y these silly puns, they're starting to get Agger-avating."

Peter from Salisbury via text: "I suppose it's out of fashion to support Benitez now, but he did sign many of these youngsters who played so well tonight. So he still deserves some credit! Well done Hodgson for his first game at Liverpool. Now collect a gold ring!"

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Anon via text: "Good performance from the young Redmen - they should make sure they Sega the moment!"

Peter in Liverpool via text: "Surely the lad's nickname should be Wash as in 'Wash Ngog'. No?"

2135: The final whistle goes. A professional job from Hodgson's men in Macedonia. Two goals scores, no slip ups, no goals conceded and seemingly no injuries. Anyone placing money on Liverpool throwing this away in the return leg on 5 August? Thought not.

Full time
FULL-TIME: Rabotnicki 0-2 Liverpool

90 mins: Eccleston tries to make something happen at the edge of the box but the offside flag goes up. Stoppage time.

King-Of-The-Kop on 606: "Oasis lyrics: 'I need to be myself, I can't be no one else, I'm feeling supersonic.' David Ngog, no Torres maybe but - well done fella!"

Kopclass on 606: "Good professional job so far from the second string... proud of them."

86 mins: Both sides seem happy to play out time now. It's a training game. BREAKING NEWS: Mark Hughes is confirmed as the new manager of Fulham on a two-year deal.

Tom from Liverpool via text: "Ngog for top scorer? You heard it here first ... boy I love a bit of pre-season optimism!"

83 mins: Nathan Eccleston and Lauri Dalla Valle (best of the night, for sure) come on for Aquilani and Amoo.

Anon via text: "Can't believe no-one's picked up on Roy Hedgehog-son taking charge of his first game!"

80 mins: Quarter chance for Liverpool (is that actually a phrase?) as a loose ball trickles into the Rabotnicki penalty area. Bogatinov is alive to the danger though and pounces on the ball.

Pete in the Isle of Man via text: "Glad to see Spearing and Kelly are playing well. Nice couple of goals for Ngog too.. I'm really looking forward to the new season."

Shaun via text: "The remainder of this game could be a long drawn out Sega!!! ...OK, I'll get my coat."

74 mins: You can tell the state of a match by the number of people heading for the exits. And at the moment there are quite a few. Even the floodlights have given up as some of the bulbs go off. There's still enough light though and there's no danger of this game being stopped. Anyone got 50p for the meter?

72 mins: That's the end of Agger's evening, he makes way for Stephen Darby.

71 mins: More nice work from Kelly down the right. He shows quick feet to get a yard of space but his powerful cross is straight at the keeper at the near post. The ball is spilled but no Liverpool player is close enough to take advantage.

69 mins: As you can probably tell, the game is in a bit of a lull at the moment. The only noise we can hear is when Kyrgiakos gets the ball. Still.

Adil, Ipswich via text: "This could turn out to be another victory for Sonic the Hedge(ngog). Sorry."
Don't apologise for that, it was brilliant.

simonhaddy on Twitter: "I think we might see quite a bit of Amoo and Spearing this season. Are they the new breed of Carra and Stevie?"

64 mins: Hold on, wake them up. Rabotnicki have a corner. Then another. No great shakes though, Liverpool deal with both of them comfortably. On the second one, Cavalieri plucks the ball out of the air without any pressure at all. The home side may have given up the ghost here.

62 mins: That goal has sucked all the noise out of the stadium. The home support can't be bothered to boo all that much now.

58 mins: Lovely goal. Martin Kelly delivers in a pin-point cross from the right and Ngog smashes the ball into the top corner with a well-taken right-foot volley from the edge of the six-yard box.

GOAL: Rabotnicki 0-2 Liverpool (Ngog, 58)

56 mins: Good work from Amoo down the right. He creates a bit of space but there's too much loft on that eight iron and the cross is wasted. Telly shots show Hodgson on the sidelines jinking his body back in frustration.

54 mins: Kyrgiakos seems a little slow to react to a long ball played over the top, he has to get his bearings pretty quickly to deal with the threat of the Rabotnicki forward behind him.

51 mins: It's gone a bit quiet in Skopje. Not when Kyrgiakos gets the ball, obviously.

ajnspencer on Twitter: "Oh dear, will Sonic (hedge)hog the entire commentary tonight? So far the punners should have their Tails between their legs..."

46 mins: Liverpool start the second half and immediately they enjoy a little bit of pressure. The home side clear a cross, the ball falls to Daniel Agger but his pass is well, poor.

Ross in London via text: "How many people are following this and texting in? If this gets put up then not enough apparently!"

Tom, Bromley via text: "Do you reckon the next goal will be a 'Mega Drive' from 30 yards?"

2045: The players are back out. Good to go?

2042: We started the half-time break at the Philip II Arena with more Euro rock which has now been replaced by some sort of footballing dance anthem. Wouldn't sound out of place in Eurovision, which is a massive favourite in the Orlovac household by the way.

2038: Despite my Balkan background, I'll have to admit that my knowledge of Macedonian football is well, er… sketchy. A quick search of the interweb has discovered a few facts about Liverpool's opponents though. They are nicknamed the 'Railway Boys' and have won three league titles in the past five years. Liverpool's assistant manager Sammy Lee has come up against them before, in the 2007 Uefa Cup when he was in charge of Bolton. Wanderers ran out 2-1 winners on aggregate but Lee, apparently, has not been much help to Hodgson in the build-up to this match. Here's Hodgson: "Sammy has erased his whole time as Bolton manager from his memory and I am very pleased he has done so! He remembers the stadium looking very different from how it does today. Bolton managed to get through the tie, with some difficulty, but he doesn't remember much about the game. We know as much about them as you are able to find out in a week - that is when we knew we would be playing them. We know we can expect a tough game against a team who, for them, this is a very important game."

Smile_Lfc on Twitter: "It's good for young Liverpool players to play in this competition at this stage, gives them experience."

Kieran in Gloucester via text: "Liverpool should win this, I can't wait to see Joe Cole play."

Gaz via text: "Great, another hour of Sonic puns. Sega-oing to be a long night."

2031: Now I'm not going to lie to you, that wasn't exactly thrilling. We are just trying to remember the chances and apart from the goal and Ze Carlos' long-range effort - that's been about your lot. Liverpool look pretty comfortable, though. I don't think Roy will be too concerned over his half-time cup of tea.

Half time
HALF-TIME: Rabotnicki 0-1 Liverpool

45 mins: There's more booing as Kyrgiakos complains that he was injured during the resulting corner. He points to his throat before going off briefly for a little treatment. We didn't see what happened there to be honest.

44 mins: Jovanovic, who has been pretty quiet so far tonight in truth, tries a cheeky step over down the right but the Rabotnicki defence shepherds the ball out for a corner. Note to self: step overs only look good when they come off.

42 mins: There's a brief pause in the action as Sekulovski needs more treatment. It doesn't look good. He is stretchered off. Emir Adem is the man who replaces him.

Jamz from Darlington via text: "I have been doing so well at work since the World Cup ended, but now football is back, I sense things may deteriorate rapidly."

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MJF via text: "Not sure who should be more ashamed. Doug for the most unoriginal joke ever or you Mark for giving it exposure. Now Knuckle(s) down and focus on commentary."

39 mins: Good run from Amoo, he's looked lively tonight. The 19-year-old gets to the byline and crosses into the box from the left. No-one there.

33 mins: Kyrgiakos has a wander up the field from the Liverpool defence and tries to dink the ball over the Rabotnicki defence. Too long though. The Greek player is getting most of the treatment from the home crowd.

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Doug via text: "Sure someone else must have mentioned this before but didn't Sonic the Hedgehog used to take this crew on?"

30 mins: Rabotnicki midfielder Ze Carlos has a shot on target from outside the area. The ball bounces a few times before reaching keeper Diego Cavalieri but the Brazilian watches it well and gets his body behind it in plenty of time.

25 mins: Defender Vladimir Sekulovski is down injured for the home side and while Liverpool decide whether to kick the ball out or not, surprisingly there's some more booing. Liverpool do oblige eventually and Sekulovski can get some treatment. By the way, if athletics is more your thing, take a look at Mark Ashenden's wonderful commentary. Don't be too long though, eh?

Terence, Rome via text: "Liverpool don't really want to participate in the Europa league this season, do they? Calling their team inexperienced is understating the fact quite spectacularly."

Martin from Wigan via text: "So glad David Amoo gets his chance tonight, he's prolific in the reserves. Still can't get my head around this competitive football so early on in the season it's madness."

22 mins: And we have commentary. Thank the Lord. My eyes were seeing double trying to get a look at the shirt numbers. Ngog and Alberto Aquilani try to make things happen on the right edge of the box but it is all a little intricate and the move breaks down.

17 mins: And there we have it. Lucas puts in a free kick to Ngog on the edge of the area. Two Rabotnicki defenders do their level best to avoid connecting with the ball and Ngog has the simple task of lifting it over advancing goalkeeper Martin Bogatinov. Simple. Liverpool can settle down a little now.

GOAL: Rabotnicki 0-1 Liverpool (Ngog 17)

14 mins: Amoo delivers a fierce cross in from the right. It flashes across the Rabotnicki area but the home side deal with it. The crowd are keeping up their booing by the way, they're nothing if not consistent.

7 mins: Rabotnicki forward Wandeir shows a bit of Brazilian trickery down the left-hand side to turn Martin Kelly inside out. Wandeir cannot get the cross in and Rabotnicki will have to settle for a corner. That is soon cleared as well though.

Paul from Switzerland: "Never much got along with my geography teacher, but your live text is already getting me smiling... "
Bless you mum... I mean Paul.

4 mins: There have been no clear-cut chances so far, the ball is concentrated in the middle third. Every time a Liverpool player gets the ball, there is loud whistling and jeering from the home support. Goodness knows what will happen if one of them actually fouls one of their players. Striker David Amoo is challenged near the penalty box but the referee waves play on.

futoomph on Twitter: "Just nudge me when you want quotes, I reckon it'll just be us two tonight."

1 min: Rabotnicki get us under way. Now, I've got no commentary of this game by the way so do bear with me.

1942: It's going to be an early start for the game at the Philip II Arena. Tell you what, the Rabotnicki faithful are pumped for this one. It's pretty lively in the ground and we've heard some wonderful Euro rock so far.

1940: So it's a fairly inexperienced Liverpool side for Roy Hodgson's first competitive game in charge. Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Alberto Aquilani, Lucas and David Ngog are the established players to start. New signing Milan Jovanovic is handed his debut.

TEAMS: Rabotnicki: Bogatinov, Belica, Sekulovski, Dimovski, Todorovski, Gligorov, Tuneski, Fernando Lopes, Ze Carlos, Da Silva, Wandeir. Subs: Kandikijan, Marcio, Mojsov, Adem, Roberto Carlos, Petkovski, Sinkovic.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Agger, Spearing, Aquilani, Lucas, Jovanovic, Ngog, Amoo. Subs: Gulacsi, Darby, Shelvey, Dalla Valle, Eccleston, Ayala, Ince.
Referee: Antonio Damato (Barletta)

1936: Now with the regular football text commentators otherwise engaged for a while after their exertions at the World Cup, I'll be the one taking you through tonight's action. Think of me as the supply teacher who used to take over your lessons at school when your geography teacher was away. That doesn't mean you can muck about though, I'll still need all of your chat to keep me going through the night. It doesn't just have to be about tonight's game, you can talk about Roy Hodgson, Joe Cole or the possible exit of Javier Mascherano. Probably best if we keep on football though. Normal rules apply, don't be shy. Use 606, Twitter or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FOOTBALL before your message.

1933: And a very good evening to you. After a bit of confusion early doors as to whether we would actually be doing this, it's good to be with you for the start of Liverpool's European journey against the exotically titled Rabotnicki Skopje. The Macedonians are apparently called the Romantics, which has certainly lifted my soul on this summer's evening. I wonder if they like Spandau Ballet? All the action begins at 1945 BST.

1930: It's been just 18 days since the end of the World Cup, seems longer than that doesn't it? Time to get back in the saddle. Welcome to what I'm calling Europa League third qualifying (first leg). Or something.

Print Sponsor

Europa League Q'fying results

29 Jul 2010 23:59 UK

  • Aalesunds FK1-1MotherwellFT
  • Apoel Nicosia1-0Jablonec
  • AZ Alkmaar2-0IFK Gothenburg
  • Beroe1-1Rapid Vienna
  • Bud'st Podgorica1-2Brondby
  • Cercle Bruges1-0Ano's Famagusta
  • Crvena Zvezda1-2Bratislava
  • Dinamo Bucharest3-1Hajduk Split
  • Dnepr Mogilev1-0Banik Ostrava
  • Elfsborg5-0Teteks
  • FC Inter1-5Genk
  • FC Nordsjaelland0-1Sporting
  • FC Utrecht1-0Lucerne
  • Galatasaray2-2OFK Belgrade
  • Gyor ETO FC0-1Montpellier
  • Jagiellonia Bialystock1-2Aris Salonika
  • Kalmar1-1Levski Sofia
  • Karpaty Lviv1-0FC Zestafoni
  • Maccabi Haifa1-0Dinamo Minsk
  • Maritimo8-2Bangor City
  • Molde2-3VfB Stuttgart
  • MyPa1-2Timisoara
  • NK Maribor3-0HibernianFT
  • Odense BK5-3Zrinjski Mostar
  • Olympiakos2-1Macc Tel-Aviv
  • Plzen1-1Besiktas
  • Rabotnicki Skopje0-2LiverpoolFT
  • Randers FC2-3Lausanne Sports
  • Ruch Chorzow1-3Aust. Vienna
  • Shamrock Rovers0-2Juventus
  • Sibir Novosibirsk1-0Apollon Limassol
  • SK Sturm Graz2-0Dinamo Tbilisi
  • Spartak2-1Dnipro
  • Wisla Krakow0-1FK Qarabag

see also
Rabotnicki 0-2 Liverpool
29 Jul 10 |  Europe
Can Cole fulfil early promise?
24 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool learn Europa opposition
22 Jul 10 |  Europe
Key duo 'not for sale' - Hodgson
16 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool

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