JACK IN THE BOX POPS UP TO RESCUE 74
BY GARRY CLARKE
1874 NORTHWICH 3-3 WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
19TH AUGUST 2017
Three minutes into stoppage time at the end of an intriguing and entertaining FA Cup preliminary round tie Jack Pritchard popped up in the six yard box to crown a stunning comeback to claim a Tuesday night replay.
Two goals behind with just five minutes left on the clock, 1874 Northwich scored twice in the closing stages to stun HSL Premier Division rivals West Didsbury & Chorlton.
Kyle Riley, scorer of many goals at St Luke’s Barton Stadium in the colours of Winsford United, grabbed a lifeline for his new club opening his account in the green and black with a well taken goal in the 85th minute having been set up by Scott McGowan.
1874 had fallen behind in the 17th minute when Nic Evangelinos curled a free kick from the edge of the area over the defensive wall out of the reach of Greg Hall and into the net.
Former 1874 player Tom Bailey doubled the visitor’s advantage on the half hour mark. A long throw into the penalty from the left found its way to Bailey at the far post, the scorer of 31 goals for 1874 last season, blasted the ball into his former team mate’s net from close range.
Apart from the two goals 1874 dominated the first half creating several goal scoring opportunities, shots and headers narrowly missed the target or flashed across the face of goal. The opening stages of the second half followed a similar pattern with WDC keeping 1874 at bay with determined defending, whilst also creating problems at the other end hitting 1874 on the break.
1874 finally got on the scoreboard in the 57th minute when Danny Meadowcroft delivered a long ball into the path of Adam Whitlock who cut into the WDC area, his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Aaron Ashley who could not hold onto the ball, it rebounded to Sam Hind who gleefully slammed it into the net.
On the hour mark McGowan met a Jake Parker corner with an acrobatic overhead kick which sends the ball over the bar from close range.
WDC’s defence, with former 1874 player Kevin McGrath prominent, holds firm repelling a succession of 1874 attacks while Hall had to be alert to produce good saves to keep out efforts from Evangelinos and Matt Kay.
Having had penalty appeals turned down in the first half 1874 conceded a penalty in the 74th minute. Surging into the 1874 area Evangelinos went down under a challenge from an 1874 defender prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot. Kay converted the spot kick sending Hall the wrong way.
WDC were cruising to victory and a place in the first qualifying round for the first time in their history when Riley’s goal set up a grandstand finish.
Deep into added time, with the referee poised to blow the final whistle, 1874 launched a free kick high into the WDC area. Former 1874 fan favourite Bailey rose highest, but instead of heading clear the ball skimmed goal wards off the top of his head. Catching Ashley by surprise the ball bounced off his chest into the path of Pritchard who headed home from close range to spark scenes of wild celebration on and off the pitch.
1874 – Hall, Lever (Beadle 59), L Jackson, Pritchard, Medowcroft, Parker (Parker 70), Whitlock, M Woolley, McGowan, Hind, Kennerley. Subs not used Clayton, Woods, Waite-Jackson, Spencer.
WDC – Ashley, Botchey, Tinker, McGrath, Shaw, Potts, Gomes (Steer 74), Lilley (Henderson 79), Bailey, Kay, Evangelinos (Hogan 89). Subs not used Poole, Woodward, Brockley.
GOALS 1874 – Hind 57. Riley 85, Pritchard 93. WDC – Evangelinos 17, Bailey 30, Kay 74p
ATTENDANCE 247 REFEREE B Moosa
|Sat 19 Aug 2017||3:00 pm||F.A. Cup||2017/18||247|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|West Didsbury & Chorlton||2||1||3|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Bilal Moosa||Kassim Patel||Farhan Kazi|
KO 57 59 68 70 85 90 FT