1874 RETAIN MACRON CUP IN NINE GOAL THRILLER
BY GARRY CLARKE
RUNCORN TOWN 3-6 1874 NORTHWICH MACRON CUP FINAL 24 TH JULY 2021
It’s not every season that the first game is a cup final, especially one from two seasons
previously, but that was the assignment for the teams at the Pavilions as 1874 Northwich
captain Matt Woolley finally got his hands back on the Macron Cup after the green and
blacks defeated Runcorn Town 6-3 in a much delayed final.
The final was the culmination of a 22 month long journey starting in October 2019, as 1874
made history by becoming the first team to retain the impressive trophy which they first
won in May 2019 when they defeated City of Liverpool at Altrincham.
Most cup finals are close tense cagey affairs decided by a single goal, not this one. Maybe it
was because of the timing, being played before the league season had started, there was a
more low key feel to the game, but it did not disappoint on the action or excitement fronts.
After a burst of Runcorn pressure on the 1874 goal in the opening minutes, 1874 opened
the scoring in the 7 th minute. As the home side struggled to clear the ball from their penalty
area Jake Parker cut the ball back to Scott McGowan who celebrated his return to the 1874
colours by applying the finishing touch.
Runcorn hit back immediately. From the restart the ball was played in behind the 1874
defence. Craig Cairns raced onto the ball and dispatched it in to the bottom corner of the
Play between two evenly matched team switched from end to end with both sides having
chances to take the lead, 1874’s best effort fell to Lucas Weir who drew a fine save from
Runcorn goalkeeper Adam Reid.
Reid was unable to prevent Callum Gardner from resorting 1874’s lead in the 21 st minute.
Receiving the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area, he cut inside and delivered a
curling left foot shot into the far corner of the net.
Going close to equalizing several times before half time, Runcorn were level five minutes
after the interval. Ben Greenop reacted quickest to prod the ball home after 1874 goal
keeper Tony Aghayere had parried a fierce Tom Ruffer shot.
After this wake up call, 1874 started to control the game with Reid contorting his body to tip
a deflected McGowan shot over the bar. From the resultant corner he did well to keep out
Matt Woolley’s header, but could not prevent McGowan netting the rebound.
Both Mike Koral and Gardner went close with efforts which were just off target before
Runcorn were reduced to ten men in the 72 nd minute. Booked for a foul on Taylor Kennerley
in the first half, Runcorn substitute Shaun Weaver was shown a second yellow card by
referee David Critchlow for fouling the Northwich captain.
1874 Northwich ruthlessly exploited their man advantage two minutes later. Attacking
down the right Parker drove a cross into the penalty area, aware of McGowan lurking
behind him Runcorn defender John Shaw could only deflect the ball past Reid.
With five minutes left on the clock, substitute Sam Hare led a stunning counterattack after a
corner was cleared from 1874’s area. Running almost the full length of the pitch he slipped
the ball into the path of fellow bench warmer Joe Woolley, who needed no second
invitation to angle a drive into the far corner.
There was still more drama to come as Runcorn hit back with a goal which bore
resemblance to elements of both their previous goals. From the restart the ball was played
forward to an unmarked Kevin Exell whose shot was parried into the path of Cairns by
Aghayere, the Runcorn man tapped the rebound home.
The final word was left to McGowan who completed his hat-trick with a well taken goal
chipping the ball over Reid’s head.
Moments later the final whistle blew and the celebrations began as 1874 Northwich bade
farewell to the North West Counties League in style
1874- Aghayere, Koral, L Jackson (Cain), Mitchell, Jones, Parker (J Woolley), Gardner (Hare).
MWooley, McGowan, Weir, Kennerley. Subs not used Ormrod, R Jackson.
RUNCORN – Reid, Jones, Turner, Shaw, James, Ruffer, Holt (Weaver), Cox (Jennings),
Greenop (Holsgrove), Cairns, Exell. Subs not used Antoine, Dursley.
GOALS 1874 McGowan 7, 55, 90 Gardner 21, J Woolley 86, Own Goal 77
RUNCORN Cairns 8, 57 Greenop 49
Referee D Critchlow Attendance 472
|Sat 24 Jul 2021||3:00 pm||Macron Challenge Cup||2021/22||472|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|3||Lee Jackson 17||0||0||0|
|6||Jake Parker 16||0||0||0|
|7||Callum Gardner 14||0||0||1 (21')|
|9||Scott McGowan||0||0||3 (7', 55', 90')|
|14||Joe Woolley 7||0||0||1 (86')|
|16||Sam Hare 6||0||0||0|
|17||Harry Cain 3||0||0||0|
KO 7 21 45 55 81 81 86 90 FT
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2||Fourth Official|
|David Critchlow||Joseph Hind||Kyle Lines||Alex Perkins|