AFC DARWEN 1-3 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 22ND APRIL 2017
BY GARRY CLARKE
Losing 1-0 at half time 1874 Northwich staged a second half comeback to win 3-1 at the Anchor Ground.
Although both sides started brightly and were committed to attack from the kick off, neither goalkeeper was troubled in the opening period as defenders intercepted passes with ease as both sides failed to find the final ball required to set their attackers free.
Darwen’s Ben Procter was the first custodian called into action, pulling off a double save to twice deny Taylor Kennerley in the 20th minute.
15 minutes later Adam Whitlock fired in a shot from the edge of the area which was deflected wide of the target by a defender for the first in a series of 1874 corners in a matter of minutes which the home side struggled to clear.
Having withstood 1874’s onslaught on their goal, AFC Darwen requiring a point to ensure their Premier Division survival broke away in the 38th minute with Jamie Edwards crossing to Karl Turner whose shot was saved at the foot of the post by Greg Hall.
Tyler Edwards shot across the face of Darwen’s goal before the home side broke down field
In the 40th minute, Turner crossed from the right, with 1874’s defence stretched the ball found Nick Hepple unmarked at the far post. Despite getting a hand on the ball, Hall was unable to prevent Hepple from opening the scoring from close range.
As the half drew to a close, Darwen cleared a free kick from their area, Jack Lever returned the ball into the danger area finding Tom Bailey, 1874’s leading scorer controlled the ball, stepped inside a defender and smashed a shot against the cross bar.
As the first half entered time added on Paul Connor’s long ball over the Darwen defence dropped into the path of Bailey, who with only the keeper to beat was unable to control the ball allowing Procter to collect.
1874 started the second half on the front foot with Bailey having four attempts on goal blocked by desperate Darwen defenders in the first five minutes.
1874 continued to dominate the second stanza as Darwen, whose Premier Division survival was confirmed by results elsewhere, posed little threat and were reduced to ten men in the 69th minute when goalscorer Hepple was red carded after committing his second yellow card offence.
In the 58th minute Mark Jones broke out of defence, he ended his run by sliding a pass into the path of Bailey; however Procter reacted quickly to dive at Bailey’s feet and smoother the ball.
1874 drew level in the 61st minute; Scott McGowan ran onto to a through ball and slotted it past Procter from 12 yards to register his 21stgoal of the season. 1874 hit the front in the 75th minute. Whitlock reacted first to swoop on a loose ball in the Darwen area to steer it past Procter.
Two minutes later Whitlock fired a free kick from the left wing into Darwen’s area, Matt Woolley won the race to the ball diverting it past Procter at the near post to register his first goal of the season.
DARWEN: Procter, Wedge, Cunliffe (Cole 59), Edwards, Douglas, Allen, Ralph, Turner, Hepple, Nabell, Russell (Banks 59). Subs not used Scott, Malone.
1874: Hall, Connor, Russell (Edwards 26), M Woolley, Lever, L Jones, Whitlock, M Jones, Bailey, McGowan (Bove 78), Kennerley (J Wooley 78). Subs not used Clayton, Tulloch.
GOALS Darwen Hepple 40 1874 McGowan 61, Whitlock 75, M Woolley 77
ATTENDANCE 177 REFEREE Peter Shacklady
|Sat 22 Apr 2017||3:00 pm||Hallmark Security League Premier||2016/17|
|WEC Group Anchor Ground|
|Anchor Rd, Darwen BB3 0AZ, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|3||Matt Russell 15||0||0||0|
|4||Matt Woolley||0||0||1 (77')|
|6||Lee Jones||1 (38')||0||0|
|7||Adam Whitlock||0||0||1 (75')|
|10||Scott McGowan 14||0||0||1 (61')|
|11||Taylor Kennerley 12||0||0||0|
|12||Joe Woolley 11||0||0||0|
|14||Jordon Bove 10||0||0||0|
|15||Tyler Edwards 3||0||0||0|