Daisy Hill’s hopes of banking back-to-back wins in the North West Counties League First Division North were dashed by a fine second-half comeback by South Liverpool at the Plumb Factory Stadium on Saturday.

Ahead at the break thanks to a stunning goal from Ryan Talbot, Daisy were undone by three goals in the space of 15 minutes in the second half, which ensured the promotion-chasing visitors ended the afternoon with the three points they needed to keep up their bid to secure a place in the play-offs.

It was a disappointing end to an afternoon that had begun so promisingly for the hosts, and afterwards Daisy first-team coach, Ryan Fitzpatrick, summed up the frustration in the home camp.

“We competed well against a team that is going well and looking for a place in the play-offs, but we have been sitting in the dressing room absolutely fuming with ourselves,” said Fitpatrick.

“In the end, the game turned on a mad five minutes early in the second half when South Liverpool took their chances and the game changed from then on.

“We started well, and we rocked them with the early goal, if anything that woke them up a bit.

“They got a bit rattled and there were a few tackles going in, a couple of injuries, and at half time both teams had to make substitutions.

“But I really feel that if we could have got a second goal in the first half, or early in the second half, we could have put that game to bed.

“We said to the lads at half time, in fact we could all see what was going to happen, that they would come at us in the second half.

“The wind got up and was in their favour in the second half, they took their chances when they got them, and we need to learn from that and make sure we concentrate for a full 90 minutes.

“The heads were down a bit after the game, and it was a case saying to the lads that we need to learn from this and then get ready and go again for the next game.”

It was Daisy who made all the early running, with midfielder Jack Iley involved in the first two chances of the game, firstly firing a shot wide before floating in a free-kick that Dean Singleton just failed to connect with at the far post.

The opening goal arrived in the 11th minute, and it was a moment to savour as Daisy’s leading scorer Talbot turned a defender in midfield, and unleashed an absolute screamer of a shot from all of 35 yards that gave South Liverpool keeper Alex Fowell absolutely no chance.

It was an outstanding goal from the big front man, and he had two further chances in as many minutes at the midway point in half as Daisy turned up the pressure.

A long clearance from Daisy keeper Morgan Newns found Talbot in space on the edge of the box, but his shot was safely gathered by Fowell, and shortly afterwards a poor headed clearance landed straight at Talbot’s feet, but again Fowell reacted quickly to safely hold a shot from the edge of the box.

It took until the half-hour mark before the visitors created a chance of note, when lively South Liverpool wide man, Owen Hough, had a shot well saved by Newns, but it was a rare moment of threat in a half Daisy dominated.

Daisy finished the half on the front foot with firstly Henry Chalkley smashing a shot just wide from the edge of the box, before Jamie Ramwell charged down a clearance from the keeper that diverted the ball into the path of Talbot, but he was quickly closed down and crowded out as he attempted to gather the loose ball.

It was a positive end to what had been a good 45 minutes, but the game soon turned in the visitors’ favour after the break.

On 49 minutes, they drew level when a ball into the box found Mohamed Abdi in space, and his deflected shot looped over the head of the wrong-footed Newns.

It got worse for Daisy four minutes later when South Liverpool took the lead, with a long ball down the left setting Hough free and the winger advanced in on goal and placed a shot past Newns.

Daisy hit back and came close to an equaliser two minutes later when a Blerti Jacaj cross found Ramwell in the box, but his close-range effort was pushed round the post by Fowell.

However, at the midway point of the half, South Liverpool dealt a killer blow with a third goal, when substitute Neil Weaver picked up the ball wide on the right, and as the Daisy defence retreated, he rifled a shot past Newns into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Weaver was involved in the action again when he won a penalty after he was tripped just inside the box, but Hough’s spot-kick hit the post and rebounded to safety.

Deep into stoppage time Hough hit the woodwork for a second time, this time with a shot from 25 yards that rebounded back into play moments before the final whistle.

Daisy are back in action on Easter Monday when they host Atherton LR in the North West Counties League First Division North (3pm).