BILLINGE were cruelly knocked out of the Liverpool FA Saturday Challenge Cup on Saturday when they lost to Sefton Athletic after a marathon penalty shoot-out.

The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes with both goals coming in the first period.

The Storks went ahead on 16 minutes when a fine flowing move saw John Humphreys step inside to fire home from the edge of the box.

Five minutes later they could have doubled their lead when Jason McShane headed over from close range. It was a miss The Storks would rue as Sefton equalised on the half-hour mark when a Stephen Rockliffe rocket from 35 yards found the top corner of the net.

McShane then had two more glorious chances in the 41st minute after good work on both occasions by Aaron Bowen but it wasn't to be and the teams went into the break level.

The second-half saw Sefton in the ascendancy but great Storks defending across the pitch kept them out.

To prove it wasn't to be McShane's day - who was excellent throughout - he had a headed "goal" chalked off for offside, and the match finished 1-1 going straight to penalties.

If the last ten minutes were played out in gloomy conditions the actual match finished in the complete dark as the shoutout finished 15-14 to the home side.

After all the players had taken their penalty the score stood at 10-10 with just one miss each.

The penalties started again and with the score sat at 14-14 Sefton scored their 15th spot-kick only for Billinge to miss theirs; sending the home side through to the third round.

After the game Billinge player-manager said: "I didn’t think that was going to end!

"It was a game of two halves for me, and I thought we were excellent for the first 30 minutes.

"The venue change didn't help us as we were originally meant to be on a 3G pitch and some of our lads didn't have the right studs but we had enough chances in that first half-hour to have wrapped it up.

"But credit to Sefton they came back at us and deserved the draw after 90 minutes.

"The penalties are what they are - and it's back to League action next week."

Earlier in the day Billinge Reserves beat St Helens Town Reserves 4-2 at Ruskin Drive.

In an excellent end-to-end game The Storks goals came from John Wilkinson (2), Ned Davies and Paddy Pitchford with Michael Lacey getting two penalties in reply for Town.