1874 NORTHWICH FC 6 V 0 HOLKER OLD BOYS
Ian Street’s side could not have done any more than they did in their final game of their exciting and exacting first season. To record their highest win of the season as well as keeping their nineteenth clean sheet of their league campaign and to sit at present in second place in the league table is a remarkable achievement and everyone at the club should be congratulated
Of course all eyes will now inevitably switch to Formby’s last game of the season on Saturday at home to Atherton Collieries and if Formby take all three points then they will finish level on points with 1874 but their slightly better goal difference will put them in second place and hence a promotion to the Premier League along with champions Nelson.
Should Formby not win then 1874 will take the promotion place
1874’s starting line up was an attacking one and in the early exchanges the main tactic seemed to be getting the ball to Sakeel Abdullah on the right flank and as he was in sparkling form and so this tactic certainly suggested that the rewards would follow.
As early as the 12th minute a long searching ball from Thomas out of defence found Abdullah in space and after he easily went past a forlorn defender his pinpoint cross to Ryan Stewart should have finished with the opening goal but Stewart’s sliding effort hit the crossbar and rebounded to safety
However, the excellent crowd of 322 did not have to wait long for the opening goal as Abdullah scored. He received another excellent long ball out of defence – this time from Farnworth – and he cut in from the right and stabbed the ball past the keeper at the near post.
Holker tried to get back into the game and at times played some good football without troubling Conkie too much in the home goal but gradually Jones, Bailey and Ward got a grip on midfield and started to probe the visiting defence and then in the37th minute the second gaol arrived and again Abdullah was the finisher as he got on the end of an excellently placed header from Stewart form Mitchells free kick and calmly slotted then ball home
After the interval 1874 really started to exert pressure on a tired looking Holker defence and five minutes into the half it was 3-0 and Brandon was on the score sheet as he controlled a well-directed free kick from Ward before firing home with his trusty left foot and just five minutes later that same left foot scored Branson’s 37th goal of the season – this time from the penalty spot after Farnworth was fouled
This goal meant that 1874’s top goal scorer was on level terms with Nelson’s top scorer and so in with a chance of taking top spot but try as he did a third goal wouldn’t come despite the efforts of his team mates and particularly Matty Ward who created a good few chances for him. One excellent chance saw Brandon hit the bar from 3 yards out whilst two more good chances were deflected for corners
In the 72nd minute Holker were reduced to ten men after a defender was dismissed after receiving two yellow cards and a minute later it was 5-0 after Brandon, again brilliantly found by Wards pass, this time turned provider himself as he, unselfishly passed across the box to Bailey who rounded the keeper before hitting the back of the net.
Five minutes later and a good move involving Abdullah and Ward finished with the latter’s shot rebounding from the post but Ward eventually got the goal that his play deserved and it was a goal to savour as the playmaker went on a 30 yard mazy run, beating several players before coolly passing the ball into the net from 10 yards
After the final whistle the 1874 fans showed their appreciation of the manager and his team’s efforts over the season and the players were equally as quick to reciprocate the appreciation.
Team, Conkie, Mitchell, Farnworth, Thomas, Duckworth, Abdullah, Bailey, Jones (capt) Ward, Brandon and Stewart
Subs used: Woolley, Aston and Lunn
Man of the match Craig Farnworth – Attendance 322
|Thu 24 Apr 2014
|NWCFL 1st Division
|Holker Old Boys