1874 NORTHWICH 1-0 LEEK CSOB NWCFL 1ST DIVISION 16TH APRIL 2014
1874 Northwich avoided slipping on a potential banana skin to draw level on points with second placed Formby ahead of the big crunch game between the two promotion contenders on Saturday.
Playing their 3rd game of the week and 4th in 5 days, a young Leek CSOB side started the game enthusiastically forcing a corner in the opening minutes before 1874 started to control the game. After firing a number of long range shots at the Leek goal, 1874 went close to scoring in the 18th minute when a free kick played into the six yard box was flicked goal wards producing a good save from CSOB goalkeeper Bradley Moorhead.
Leek refused to lie down and almost caught 1874 on the break in the 21st minute. Callum Goldstraw sprung the offside trap and sent a cross into the 1874 area where Matt Conkie snatched the ball off the head of the oncoming Josh Bowery.
1874 were soon back on the attack. Daley Woods broke away from the half way line, his shot while bearing down on goal was turned away for a corner by Moorhead. Matty Ward drilled a 20 yard shot against the post. As the first half drew to a close former Leek player Dave Short unleashed fierce drive from outside the area. Stopped by Moorhead, Mike Brandon reacted quickest when the keeper failed to hold onto the ball and was fouled in the act of rounding the prone keeper. However, amidst the 1874 appeals for a penalty the referee awarded a free kick to the defending team as Brandon had been flagged offside.
In the opening minutes of the second half Conkie was forced to save with his feet to deny Goldstraw as the visitors tried to catch 1874 cold after the break. Moorhead pulled off a fine save to deny Brandon as 1874 turned up the heat forcing several corners. Headers flew just over or wide of the target, shots were saved by Moorhead or blocked by desperate defenders throwing their bodies in the way.
The longer the game remained at 0-0 the more the tension mounted and the frustration grew both on the pitch and on the terraces. The deadlock was finally broken in the 71st minute when Brandon scored his 33rd goal of the season. Woods raced down the right wing, swung a cross into the Leek six yard box, Brandon reached it first to head home from close range to cheers and sighs of relief from the 249 strong crowd.
1874 continued to push forward in search of a second goal to kill off their stubborn visitors.
Following a half cleared corner Woods hit a shot inches over the bar, Sakeel Abdullah played in Brandon, whose angled drive was blocked by a CSOB defender. The impressive Ward ended a run form the middle of the pitch with a well struck shot from 20 yards which was well saved by Moorhead, who also denied Abdullah with a brave save from point blank range.
Showing no signs of tiring despite their gruelling schedule, Leek CSOB kept working hard and although not troubling Conkie for much of the second half almost snatched an equaliser in time added on. Keiron McLaren curled in a shot from the edge of the area which only just cleared the bar.
1874 – Conkie, Mitchell, Stewart, Farnworth, Thomas, Jones, Woods, Ward, Brandon, Short (Abdullah 80mins), Wellstead. Subs not used Woolley, Lunn, Tagoe.
LEEK CSOB – Moorhead, McLaren, Bowyer, Lewis, Green (Biddulph HT), Mellor, Lowe, Bowery, Smith, Goldstraw (Fox 75mins). Subs not used Morgan, Snape.
GOAL – Brandon 71mins
ATTENDANCE – 249
REFEREE – Bob Richards
SPONSORS MEN OF THE MATCH 1874 – Matty Ward Leek – Bradley Moorhead
|Wed 16 Apr 2014
|NWCFL 1st Division