1874 NORTHWICH 1-1 ATHERTON COLLIERIES
NWCFL 1ST DIVISION 22ND MARCH 2014
Mike Brandon’s 30th goal of the season earned 1874 Northwich a share of the spoils after they had gone a goal behind against a hard working and well organised Atherton Collieries in an evenly contested NWCFL First Division top of the table clash.
The opening exchanges were mainly confined to the middle of the pitch as both sides tried to assert their dominance over their opponents. A strong wind gusting diagonally across the Barton Stadium pitch, together with a series of showers, made it difficult for either side to settle.
As the game neared the half hour mark, 1874 started to gain the upper hand. Stuart Wellstead’s free kick was tipped over the bar by Colls keeper Phil Preistley. From the resulting corner, Colls struggled to clear the ball amidst a goal mouth scramble which ended with a shot into Preistley’s arms. Moment’s later Colls keeper was in action again defusing a Ryan Stewart free kick.
The visitors started the second half on the attack with Charlie Stoker going close with a header in the opening minutes, before they opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Mark Tuffas swung over a corner which was met at the far post by central defender Kieran Halliwell who powerfully headed home.
Three minutes later 1874 had the ball in Colls net but the goal did not count. Wellstead chased a through ball which Priestley was content to shepherd over the dead ball line, the Northwich man disposed Colls custodian as the ball approached the line and turned to slot the ball home from a tight angle. However the Assistant Referee on the far side of the pitch raised his flag to indicate the ball had gone out of play.
Witnessing a sluggish performance from his team, manager Ian Street livened up his troops by introducing all three substitutes on the hour to field a five man attack. Despite all three replacements making an impact in the losing stages, Colls almost doubled their advantage. On a rare attack Stoker sprung the 1874 offside trap to leave himself one on one with Matt Conkie, who denied his opponent with a fine save.
In the 80th minute 1874’s custodian started the move which led to the Green’s equalizing goal. His clearance found Matty Ward with time and space in midfield to release a pass into the path of Daley Woods. Racing down the left wing, Woods crossed the ball into the danger area where it was met by Brandon who headed powerfully home from six yards.
Applying concerted pressure on Colls goal for the first time in the game, forcing several corners in the closing few minutes 1874 were unable to snatch what would have been an undeserved winner. Brandon headed over from a Ward corner; followed moments later by Ryan Mitchell hitting the post during a goalmouth scramble following another corner. Deep into stoppage time, Brandon swung in a cross from the left wing, Sakeel Abdullah laid the ball off into the path of Dave Short who was denied by an excellent save by Priestley at point blank range.
1874 – Conkie , Mitchell, Thomas, Aston, Duckworth, Bailey (Woods 60mins), Jones, Stewart (Abdullah 60mins), Wellstead (Short 60mins), Brandon, Ward Subs not used Woolley, Lunn
GOAL Brandon 80mins
COLLS – Priestley , Cringle (Swanton 63mins), Halliwell, Lawton, Gareth Peet, Mulrooney, Patton, Cooke (Josh Peet 63), Truffas (Leece77), Evans, Stoker Sub not used Hatton
GOAL Halliwell 53mins
Referee Ian Muncaster Attendance 311 Man of the Match Danny Thomas
|Sat 22 Mar 2014
|NWCFL 1st Division