BY JOHN ACE
In the penultimate game of Liverpool’s 2012-13 Premier League season Sunday, Liverpool beat Londoners Fulham by a score of 3-1. It was an occasion for Liverpool fans to express themselves, seemingly, with the travelling fans taking up a good 75 percent of the away-end and letting off smoke bombs even before the match kicked off.
It was an occasion for some of Liverpool’s young players, with the recently signed 20-year-old winger Phillipe Coutinho getting two assists and putting in a Man Of The Match performance. Twenty-year-old right back Andre Wisdom played 45 minutes and notched an assist, while Connor Coady, Liverpool’s Under-21s captain, came on as a late second-half sub. Young defender Lloyd Jones was an unused sub.
“I love seeing the young kids play,” said Patrick, a Liverpool fan whose last name I haven’t caught (yet). Patrick joined the group from the Official Liverpool Supporters Club of South Carolina at Madra Rua in North Charleston on Sunday. Like the rest of the club, he was delighted with the result. “It was good to see Connor Coady, and I loved Raheem Sterling in the first half of the season, getting so many games and getting time. Even if he’s hurt now, I think Liverpool has a good history of bringing up young players.”
Liverpool fans enjoyed the match, with Daniel Sturridge scoring a hat-trick. His performance impressed Kevin Smith, the OLSC-SC’s Sergeant-at-Arms.
“I thought he (Sturridge) was the best player on the pitch,” Smith said. “Obviously, with a hat-trick, that’s very easy to say, but I thought he was head-and-shoulders above the rest, with his first goal being a very nice finish. The second was a bit lucky, and the third having been a well-placed ball by Coutinho”
The atmosphere at Madra Rua, which as the home pub for the OLSC-SC gets my vote for the best place to watch a game in the Lowcountry, couldn’t have been better. There were a dozen or so die-hard Reds out for the match, and while that may seem a small number, once the match gets going, it gets a bit rowdy.
“We had about 12 to 15 people out, and for Mother’s day weekend, that’s not too bad,” said an impressed Kerri Briceno, a long-time Liverpool fan. “We usually have a bit more, but for this being a holiday it was a decent turn-out.”
So, all in all, it seemed a very good day at Madra Rua for all those concerned. It was nice to give the Liverpool-supporting mothers of the world something else to be happy about. And the die-hards at the bar couldn’t be happier. A win’s a win, no matter what way you look at it. They’ll be hoping they can finish the season on a high note with a win against QPR in their final match of the season, closing the season out at home.
The Official Liverpool Supporters Club of South Carolina started (as an idea) about four years ago, when there were just a few Liverpool fans coming to Madra Rua. As a result, they were put on a shortlist by Liverpool FC itself to be contacted when the club were ready to accept us as an official status fan club. In 2012, they were contacted again, saying that LFC were taking applications for Fan Clubs. By then, they had grown by a considerable number, even having a group of us go to Boston and Baltimore for Liverpool’s pre-season North American tour. We have since gained official Fan Club status and would like to see the fan base grow even more as time goes by. The club meets at Madra Rua in North Charleston for all the matches, home and away, including the ones available only on the Web as a livestream.
TOP IMAGE: With their 2013 season winding down, member of the Official Liverpool Supporters Club of South Carolina celebrate a win at Madra Rua on Sunday. Photos by Jim Lynch.