1874 held up on the road
by Garry Clarke
Having taken the lead in the 84th minute 1874 Northwich were confident of breaking their Brantingham Road hoodoo and winning for the first time at the ground. However, their hopes of a first three point haul were dashed two minutes from time when Maine Road equalised leaving the green contingent in the crowd feeling like their team had lost, but a draw is still 1874’s best return from the ground where they had lost on all three previous visits.
1874 dominated the game enjoying the vast majority of the possession but struggling to find a way past the Maine Road defence and cause Ryan Livesey in the home goal too many problems. At the other end of the pitch the 1874 rearguard had to be careful not to be caught out on the break by a young enthusiastic Maine Road team.
Returning to an old stomping ground, Tom Bailey went close to opening the scoring in the 4th minute curling a shot inches wide, while a minute later Jason Carey forced his way past two defenders to shoot wide of the target as 1874 subjected Road’s goal to early pressure.
Having withstood the early onslaught Road hit back with Rhys Clooney firing over the bar in the 10th minute and eight minutes later having a shot blocked as he tried to turn a low cross goalwards. Later in the half Matt Morgan ended a good run by shooting across 1874’s goal.
In the closing minutes of the first half Livesey saved well to twice deny Bailey and keep out a Carey effort with his feet.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first half with 1874 virtually camped in the Maine Road half and the home side looking for a quick breakaway.
Livesey did well as he snatched a Paul Connor cross off Bailey’s head, while a few minutes later Bailey headed wide of the target after Sam Hind had headed a Carey cross back across goal.
On the hour mark Maine Road broke down the left wing, a cross found Connor Hughes unmarked in the centre of the 1874 area, but he could not hit the target heading over. A minute later Clooney ended a good run by drawing a fine save from Greg Hall, before Sam Hare looped a header from a Hind cross into Livesey’s hands.
In the 75th minute Bailey drilled the ball across the face of Road’s goal, sliding into the six yard box with the goal at his mercy Hare failed to make contact with the ball which a defender diverted behind for a corner. Road only cleared the corner as far as Mark Jones who fired a shot just wide from 25 yards.
Bailey finally broke the deadlock in the 84th minute netting his 25th goal of the season. Taking route one, Hall launched a clearance downfield, Carey out jumped the Road defence to flick the ball into the path of Bailey, who, taking advantage of the covering defender losing his feet, calmly slotted the ball past Livesey.
1874’s joy was short-lived as four minutes later Maine Road equalised. Braking down the ring wing, a low cross was delivered into the 1874 area, the cross was cut out but not cleared, the ball fell to substitute Christy O’Brien who, with the aid of a deflection, sent the ball high into the 1874 net.
In the dying minutes of an entertaining, but ultimately frustrating, game 1874 launched several balls into the Road area in search of an elusive equalizer, but Livesey and his colleagues dealt with everything that was thrown at them.
MAINE ROAD Livesey, Senior, Edwards, Mason, Inniss, Morgan, Broady, Tinker, Roe, Clooney (Burgess 72), Hughes (O’Brien 77) Subs not used Blundell, Steele, Breslin
1874 Hall, Connor, Mitchell, Thomas, Russell, Hare (Edwards 80), Mark Jones, Lee Jones, Carey, Bailey, Hind Subs not used M Woolley, Jack Woolley, Whitlock, Millington
Goals: Maine Road O’Brien 88 1874 Bailey 86
Referee Patrick Mahon Attendance 225
1874 supporters were out in force showing support for their team.
Photos courtesy of Molly Darlington
|Sat 14 Jan 2017||3:00 pm||Hallmark Security League Premier||2016/17|
|328 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0UX, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|