1874 NORTHWICH FC 1 V 1 ALSAGER TOWN
1874’s 100% record at the start of their third season came to an end at the Barton Stadium on Tuesday evening when the spoils were shared with a battling Alsager Town.
Manager Ian Street rested Danny Thomas by bringing in Ryan Mitchell in to the heart of the defence whilst Louis James was on the bench with Elliott Ledwards making his third start of the season.
Matt Woolley was once again in the midfield for 1874 and opposing him in the Alsager side was his brother Jack.
The game started at a good pace with both sides keen to get a hold of the proceedings but as early as the 8th minute 1874 suffered a blow when, after stretching for a ball, defender Dilan Lomas was injured and had to leave the field to be replaced by Louis James. Despite having to reshuffle the line up 1874 quickly settled and looked for the opening goal, mainly through attacks on the right flank with Connor and Jackson linking up well. From one good move Arron Kirk had a good opportunity but his shot was hurried and it went wide of the target. Mike Brandon was once again leading the line well and just on the quarter hour mark, he created a good chance for himself but he also shot wide.
A couple of minutes later and the action was at the other end of the field as the lively centre forward – John Main – had two chances in a few seconds to open the scoring but both chances were wasted as he shot straight at Conkie without troubling him.
Soon after and when Connor and Brandon combined well to create a chance for Chappell the 1874 skipper could only shoot wide.
The game was flowing nicely from end to end and it looked as though either side could soon take the lead and so it proved when in the 28th minute, John Main opened the scoring when he reacted well to a through ball to advance before shooting from 12 yards past Conkie.
This goal lifted the visitors but their lead only lasted ten minutes before 1874 secured the equalising goal when Mitchell found Brandon and then the striker played an excellent ball into the path of Jackson who advanced into the box before hitting the back of the net with a cool left-footed finish from eight yards for his second goal of the season.
The all-important third goal of the game almost came 1874’s way just before the interval but the excellent corner from Ward was headed straight at the visiting goal keeper by Mitchell.
Early in the second half Conkie had to be alert to make two very quick saves from the troublesome Main and then minutes later after a poor free kick by 1874, Alsager swiftly moved the ball up field and once again it was Conkie’s legs that kept the score at 1-1.
On 55 minutes Brandon saw his excellent header cleared off the line.
Neither side appeared to want to settle for a point, and this helped towards making the game a good spectacle for the near 300 attendance.
Just past the hour mark and 1874 nearly took the lead for the first time in the game but after Kirk played a delightful pass into the path of Jackson, the forward saw his effort well saved by an impressive visiting keeper.
Midway through the second half Matty Ward was replaced by Aidan Houghton and he wasted no time before getting involved when he worked well with Jackson before Jackson was again foiled by the keeper.
Conkie was involved again on two occasions and he showed his ability in fine style by keeping out two notable efforts by Alsager.
Before the final whistle Krystian Burzynski in the Alsager goal made two more fine saves from James and Chappell, but in fairness it was far from one-way traffic as Conkie was very nearly caught out by Main’s last effort of the game when he shot from 30+ yards out making Conkie reach back to palm the ball away to safety.
At the final whistle neither side could complain as they had both missed chances whilst both keepers were kept busy most of the evening and indeed the match sponsors nominated Conkie as the Man of the Match – quite a fitting end of his 101st appearance for the club
Team: Conkie; Connor; Lomas; Woolley: Mitchell; Chappell; Kirk; Jackson; Brandon; Ward and Ledwards. Subs: Hill; James; Stewart; McNichol and Haughton
Referee: Daniel Hitchell Attendance: 282
|Tue 25 Aug 2015||7:45 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2015/16|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|1||Matt Conkie||1 (28')||0||0|
|3||Dilan Lomas 14||0||0||0|
|6||Neil Chappell||1 (51')||0||0|
|8||Ryan Jackson||0||0||1 (38')|
|9||Mike Brandon||1 (16')||0||0|
|10||Matty Ward 17||0||0||0|
|14||Louis James 3||0||0||0|
|17||Aidan Haughton 10||0||0||0|