AFC Darwen 3-1 1874 Northwich
NWCFL Premier Division
12th September 2015
1874 Northwich crashed to their second league defeat of the season going down 3-1 to AFC Darwen at the Anchor Ground. Bookended by two controversial incidents, this was a hard fought action packed encounter which kept the 194 strong crowd fully entertained.
After Darwen’s Nick Hepple had a shot blocked by Ryan Mitchell and the follow up saved by Tom Hunt, 1874 debutant Josh Stadnicki headed a 7th minute corner into Darwen’s goal. However, neither referee nor assistant saw the ball was a foot over the line before it was hooked clear by a desperate defender and waved play on.
The home side took the lead in the 16th minute when a cross from the right was met at the far post by Paul Coote whose shot was deflected past Hunt.
A minute later Darwen’s Adam Douglas sliced a cross over his own bar, before Darwen launched a series of crosses and long balls in to the 1874 area. Coote shot inches wide moments before he had a shot blocked on the line by Paul Connor and the follow up shot saved by Hunt.
Despite being hindered by too many miss placed passes, 1874 worked hard and started to come more into the game with Ryan Mitchell heading narrowly wide from a corner and Neil Chappell driving a dangerous cross across the face of the Darwen goal.
After the break play switched from end to end as the game became stretched with both teams looking for goals. In the opening ten minutes of the second half Danny Shannon had a shot saved by Darwen goalkeeper Ben Procter, while Hunt saved well to deny Connor Gaul and Aaron Kirk fired a shot from distance a bit too high.
Gaul increased the hosts advantage with a well taken goal in the 57th minute.
1874 halved the lead two minutes later when Proctor failed to deal with a free kick lofted into the box by Matty Ward. Mike Brandon headed the ball on and the ball deflected off a Darwen arm and in at the far post.
Both sides created numerous half chances before the game exploded in the 80th minute. Approaching the 1874 area Hepple was brought down by Stadnicki, as the free kick was played into area the two players clashed off the ball. With Stadnicki writhing on the floor in agony, players came together pushing and shoving each other, Referee Justin Hayes showed Kirk a red card for his involvement in the incident and dismissed 1874 manager Ian Street from the side line.
As the game entered its final stages, 1874 launched a last ditch attempt to level the scores. Matt Woolley played in Matt Beadle who tried to lift the ball over Proctor, but the Darwen keeper pulled off a brilliant point blank save. With every 1874 player, bar Hunt, in the final third of the pitch, the ball broke to Gaul who raced away before setting up player/manager Neil Prince who calmly slotted home Darwen’s third goal.
DARWEN – Proctor, Wood, Johnstone, Birchall, Douglas, Lonsdale, Lynch, Roberts (Prince 71), Coote, Hepple (Taylor 80), Gaul. Subs not used Pegler, McKenna, Windle.
1874 – Hunt, Connor (McNicholl 69), Ledwards, Mitchell, Stadnicki, Chappell, Woolley, Kirk, Brandon, Ward (Beadle 69), Shannon (Jackson 67). Subs not used James, Conkie.
GOALS – Darwen Coote 16, Gaul 57, Prince 88 1874 – Own Goal 59
REFEREE – Justin Hayes ATTENDANCE 194
|Sat 12 Sep 2015||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2015/16|
|WEC Group Anchor Ground|
|Anchor Rd, Darwen BB3 0AZ, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|2||Paul Connor 15||0||0||0|
|8||Aaron Kirk||0||1 (80')||0|
|10||Daniel Shannon 12||0||0||0|
|11||Matty Ward 14||1 (45')||0||0|
|12||Ryan Jackson 10||0||0||0|
|14||Matt Beadle 11||0||0||0|
|15||Steve McNichol 2||0||0||0|