Report by: By Andrew Simpson. Senior Sports Writer Northwich Guardian
IF 1874 Northwich’s continuing transformation this season under management duo Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison deserves wider attention, then it will follow after this result.
Their achievement, steering the club to the FA Cup second qualifying round for the first time, is certainly not lost on an elated fan-base.
They were rapturous afterwards, and rightly so, after Scott McGowan’s brace helped their side to a superb result against higher-ranked opposition.
While he was an outstanding individual performer, an impressive supporting cast played their part too.
Every one fought harder than their opposite number, which should alarm Mossley.
Put simply, they were outplayed from the start.
There were echoes of the previous two rounds for 1874, when their rivals’ best chance of eliminating them passed in the first encounter.
Northwich Victoria’s late rally wasn’t enough, while West Didsbrury & Chorlton let slip a two-goal lead.
Mossley, with 10 men, led 2-1 after 90 minutes last weekend.
And all three of those teams did not get nearly as close in a replay – the Lilywhites least of all.
They can make a case the opening period may have unfolded differently had Greg Hall not reacted instinctively to smother Danny McLaughlin’s close-range attempt from Mason Duffy’s cross.
Less than two minutes later, they trailed.
Hall was instrumental, sending a perfectly-weighted kick over the visitors’ under-manned defence after catching a set-piece.
McGowan scampered clear and his finish, with custodian Oliver Martin closing in, was unerring.
Confidence coursing through his veins, he spun and shot in the same movement to prompt Mossley’s number one to save smartly at his near post.
And the front man was not done there either.
A second goal followed on 37 minutes, this time the deftest of glancing headers helping Sam Hind’s arced cross from the right into the bottom corner.
Mossley mustered a response, and Elliot Harrison’s drive from distance was parried over by Hall.
McLaughlin was left hands on head in despair from the resulting corner after a combination of the net-minder and a defender smuggled his shot clear.
The visitors breathed a sigh of relief at the start of the second half when Adam Whitlock’s rasping shot scraped a post after he had impudently skipped between Ismael Suleiman and Keenan Quansah before they collided.
Mossley pushed, more in hope than expectation, and Harrison blazed wildly over.
1874, confident they could protect what they had, were less adventurous.
However Hind almost delivered a spectacular third goal from distance after Whitlock had pinched the ball off Mo Ali while he dithered.
The timing of Paul Connor’s intervention to halt substitute Jamie Matthews in shooting stride was flawless, then Hall stretched fully to tip over a flicked attempt by the same player from Harrison’s centre.
Another 1874 replacement, Ben Woods, deserved more than for his shot to rattle an upright after leaving two Mossley defenders trailing.
No matter, for his side’s showing was already sparkling without it.
McGowan limped off clutching a hamstring before the finish, but even that was only the merest blemish for 1874.
Bring on North Ferriby United.
1874 | 4-2-3-1 | Hall (GK), Connor, Meadowcroft, Pritchard, Lee Jackson, Matthew Woolley, Parker, Whitlock (Beadle 77), Hind, Kennerley (Woods 67), McGowan (Riley 84) Subs not used Clayton, Waite-Jackson, Lever, Spencer (GK) Goals McGowan 10 & 37 – Booked: Parker (foul)
Mossley | 4-4-2 | Martin (GK), Henson, Dean, Quansah, Suleiman, (Matthews 63), Latham, (Mukendi 72), Ali, Harrison, Duffy (Tuohy 71), Ellis, McLaughlin Subs not used Howell, Taylor Sent off Henson (foul)
Referee: Lewis Raper
|Tue 5 Sep 2017||7:45 pm||F.A. Cup||2017/18||348|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Lewis Raper||Ian Hurdle||Jack Slater|
KO 10 37 67 71 77 84 FT