1874 NORTHWICH 0-3 MAINE ROAD NWCFL CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL SECOND LEG 12TH APRIL 2014 (AGGREGATE SCORE 1-6)
Needing to claw back a two goal deficit from the first leg 1874 Northwich crashed out of the NWCFL Challenge Cup at the semi final stage losing 3-0 (6-1 on aggregate) at the Barton Stadium to Maine Road.
1874 in a disjointed, lack lustre performance, unbecoming of a cup semi final, surrendered possession far too easily to their Premier Division opponents. Hard working and well organised, Maine Road with the benefit of a two goal cushion were always in control of the game and never in any real danger of not reaching the final. Content to sit back for large parts of the game and hit 1874 on the break Maine Road signalled their intent in the early stages.
Richard Williams fired a shot over the 1874 bar in the 8th minute and minutes later Neil Chappell had a goal bound header from a corner blocked, the rebound fell to a colleague whose shot from the edge of the area was cleared off the line.
Having weathered the opening storm, the story of the game could have been so different. Desperate for an early goal to halve their opponent’s advantage, 1874’s best opportunity fell to Stuart Wellstead in the 25th minute. Having fielded a long range shot from Mike Brandon, Road’s keeper Ryan Livesey clearing throw was intercepted by Wellstead. Bearing down on goal, with Livesey advancing to narrow the angle, Wellstead screwed his shot wide of the target.
1874 goalkeeper Matt Conkie was called into action twice in the closing minutes of the first half. He saved well to deny Paul Connors, and then cleared a cross off Chappell’s head. From the resultant corner Jon Mason bundled the ball into the net, but the “goal” was ruled out for a foul on the 1874 custodian.
Five minutes into the second half Maine Road were on the score sheet. Attacking Maine Road’s right flank Sakeel Abdullah was disposed by an excellent tackle by Martin Hill who played the ball down the line into the path of Williams. Having skinned the 1874 defence, Williams’ cross was cut out, however the referee ruled an arm had been used and awarded a penalty for hand ball. Tom Bentham coolly converted the spot kick sending Conkie the wrong way.
Five minutes later Conkie came to 1874’s rescue with a spectacular flying save to tip a Mason shot from the edge of the area onto the bar after a corner had only been half cleared. As well as Conkie was playing he could do nothing to prevent Maine Road from scoring a second goal in the 66th minute. Bentham dribbled around several 1874 defenders in the area before pulling the ball back to Williams who slipped the ball into the path of Chappell. The Maine Road captain made no mistake firing home from ten yards.
With Maine Road controlling the game 1874 were limited to occasional attempts on the visitor’s goal. Livesey saving a Brandon header, before a team mate blocked another Brandon header from a corner.
Maine Road always looked the more likely to score and almost added a third in the 80th minute. A long ball over the top of 1874’s back line found Daniel Doherty who tried to chip the ball over Conkie from the edge of the area. Conkie was equal to the task and palmed the ball away to safety.
With the game drawing to a close Maine Road struck again. Clearing a corner they went the full length of the pitch to score their third. From inside his own half Matt Beadle played in Hill, who raced away drawing Conkie to the right hand side of the area before sliding the ball into the path of James Rothel on the left hand side who calmly slotted the ball home.
1874 – Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Thomas, Woolley, Wellstead, Bailey (Short 56mins), Brandon, Ward, Abdullah (Woods 56mins). Subs not used Stewart, Aston.
MAINE ROAD – Livesey, Hill, Rothel, Mason, Shenton, Chappell, Connors (Langford 77mins), Beslin, Bentham (Beadle 75mins), Williams (Doherty 67mins), Moran. Subs not used Flynn, Coghlan.
GOALS – Bentham 50, Chappell 66, Rothel 88.
Attendance 259 Referee Mark Duncan
Sponsors Men of the Match 1874 Mike Brandon Maine Road Neil Chappell
|Sat 12 Apr 2014
|NWCFL League Cup