1874 NORTHWICH 0 V 0 ASHTON ATHLETIC
It was always going to be a difficult task for 1874 to add a seventh win to their impressive run of six successive wins and so it proved against a strong and well-organised Ashton Athletic side. However, everyone at the game would have appreciated the effort put in by both sides as this was certainly no boring nil-nil draw.
Manager Ian Street rang the changes with his starting line-up with Bayley, Wellstead, Lunn, Stewart and Joe Woolley all starting the game whilst the “bench warmers” were probably the strongest ever in 1874’s short history.
The visitors started the game well and very nearly took an a early lead when an excellent long free kick from the left hand side beat all the 1874 defenders and was met on the half-volley five yards out by Egan, but his effort went just wide of the goal. The visitors went close again on two occasions in the opening twenty minutes. First Conkie saved well from Kusaloka and then when the Ashton striker was through on goal a few minutes later and looking certain to open the scoring Ryan Mitchell intervened with an excellent last-ditch tackle.
1874’s first chance to open the scoring came on 25 minutes when captain Woolley hit a tremendous 40 yard pass from left to right and was met by the on rushing Bayley but his headed effort was just wide.
Five minutes later and an excellent ball-winning tackle by Woolley allowed him to find his young sibling wide on the right and Joe showed his trickery by easily beating his defender in a short area before delivering an inviting pass across the area but unfortunately no team mate could apply the finishing touch.
Minutes later and the 231 people at the game witnessed one of the best pieces of football seen this season when no less than four one-two’s in the space of fifteen seconds on the left touchline resulted in Chris Lunn’s effort being well saved at the expense of a corner. This happened to be the first of three very quick corners for 1874 but try as they did they were not able to break down the resilient Ashton defence and half-time arrived with the score sheet blank.
The second half really continued with much the same fare as the opening forty five minutes. Mitchell covered well to prevent a quick Ashton breakaway providing a rare goal scoring opportunity for the visitors and then just before the hour mark Ryan Stewart came closest of everyone to scoring but his header from an excellent Bayley cross rebounded from the crossbar.
Neil Chappell was his usual busy self working tirelessly in midfield and after bustling through three tackles he passed to Joe Woolley wide on the right and his effort was only narrowly wide of the target with the keeper seeming to have been beaten.
The visitors’ forages into the 1874 area were becoming less and less but even so they still posed a real threat of winning the game. Fortunately for 1874 their back four was in good form with Thomas and Mitchell excelling in their centre back partnership.
In the final quarter both sides had limited chances to break the deadlock but Brandon, on as a substitute, shot straight at the keeper whilst at the other end substitute Greene’s effort was well saved by Conkie.
So a share of the spoils at the end of the day and 1874 remain in third place in the table with three games remaining
Match sponsor Phil Burgess named Ryan Mitchell as Man of the Match
Team: Conkie; Bayley; Lomas; Mitchell; Thomas; Chappell; Woolley (M); Lunn; Wellstead; Woolley (J) and Stewart.
Substitutes: Ward and Brandon (replaced Wellstead and Lunn on 70 minutes) Ledwards; Connor and Beadle were unused
Referee: Nicholas Barnard Attendance: 231
|Thu 16 Apr 2015||7:45 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|