Following the hard game at the weekend at Formby Manager Ian Street took the opportunity of resting Mike Brandon and Craig Farnworth from his starting line up on Easter Monday and with Stuart Wellstead also absent due to a slight leg strain the starting eleven included the returning Danny Thomas as well as Sakeel Abdullah and Dave Short.
In quite a few earlier games this season an early goal had eluded the home side but not in this game as the lead was gained in the 2nd minute when Bailey side-footed the ball home after some good work on the right flank by Ward.
Seizing the initiative 1874 set about trying to add more goals and after Duckworth had created a chance for Short which nearly brought the second goal the lively Ward had a 25-yard effort tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper and at this stage it looked as though the job in hand was going to be an easy one but in the 10th minute there was a wake-up call after Jones lost the ball 30 yards out and Tollit advanced on goal only to be denied by a good save from the alert Conkie.
It soon became one-way traffic for 1874 and Ward volleyed wide after good work by Duckworth and then saw his well struck free kick from 25 yards headed away for a corner in the 35th minute.
Attacking forays by Widnes were somewhat limited but Aston and Thomas dealt efficiently with everything thrown their way whilst Abdullah and Stewart both went close to scoring a second goal that would have calmed the nerves on the field as well as on the terraces. H-T 1-0
After the interval 1874 started the second half as well as they had started the first with a goal from – this time from ABDULLAH, who capitalised on a poor piece of defending to go on and beat a defender before slotting the ball home.
Bailey and Ward were still controlling matters in midfield and the former almost grabbed his second goal of the game but his left foot shot from 18 yards went narrowly wide. Then, after good work by Ward and Stewart, Stewart shot over when he perhaps should have scored.
In the 64th minute substitute Mike Brandon came on to replace Short but before he could get into the action Ward and Abdullah combined well on the right to create an excellent opportunity for Bailey but after struggling to control the ball his eventual effort was deflected for a corner. Six minutes later and BRANDON put his name on the score sheet once again as he converted a corner from Bailey.
In the 80th minute the “nearly redundant” Conkie very nearly claimed an “assist” after his excellent and early flat “kick out” picked out Abdullah wide on the right and the youngster advanced quickly but his cross just evaded the onrushing Brandon.
However, BRANDON didn’t have to wait too long for his second and his sides’ fourth goal of the game because the lively Abdullah did find the striker easily and free in the box and the task of scoring was made to look simple.
1874, watched by an excellent Bank Holiday crowd of 368, kept going forward looking for more goals and in truth more for Brandon in an effort to see him finish top scorer in the League but although more chances were created he couldn’t quite complete his hat-trick and his side had to be content with a 4-0 score line.
Sakeel Abdullah was named man of the match.
With rivals Formby winning 1-0 at Holker, they remain level on points with 1874, but Formby – having a greater goal difference –they will be guaranteed promotion if they win their last game of the season on Saturday against Atherton Collieries. However, 1874 will hope to win their last game of the season at home to Holker on Thursday in order to keep the pressure on Formby right to the wire!
Team: Conkie; Mitchell; Duckworth; Aston; Thomas; Abdullah: Jones (Capt); Bailey; Short; Ward and Stewart.
Substitutes: Brandon for Short; Woods for Stewart and Woolley for Jones
Scorers: Bailey; Abdullah, and Brandon(2)
Sponsors Man of the Match: SAKEEL ABDULLAH
|Mon 21 Apr 2014
|NWCFL 1st Division