Three goals scored by three Matthews were easily enough to see 1874 claim all three points against a workmanlike Abbey Hey side at the Barton Stadium on Saturday.
Manager Ian Street was pleased to include in his starting line up Neil Chappell – a player that has interested him for some time now – whilst Calum Woods and Jamie Tandy were both making their home debuts.
With Lee Jones, Mike Aston, Danny Thomas and Matthew Beadle all returning to the side following absences due to work commitments, holidays or injuries, it was a 3-5-2 formation that the manager opted for. After an initial opening ten minutes during which all his players were getting used to it, the line up proved to be most effective.
In the opening 15 minutes Beadle, Ward and Woolley combined well on two occasions to present shooting opportunities for new boy Chappell but unfortunately he couldn’t get much power into his shots, whilst Beadle saw a fine effort of his from 30 yards well saved by the visiting keeper.
At the other end Danny Thomas had to be alert to put a good last ditch tackle in to prevent a goal for Abbey Hey.
By now 1874 were controlling the middle of the park and Chappell was getting more and more involved and on 20 minutes, Woolley advanced forward but shot wide from 12 yards when well placed.
A minute later and 1874, after so much possession and territorial advantage, very nearly went behind but Matt Conkie saved brilliantly from a strong 20 yard drive from Fitzgerald.
Beadle was leading the line well and together with Ward, the visiting defence were on overtime trying to thwart the attacks. The best moment was through excellent work on the left flank by Tandy, he whipped a brilliant cross into the box and Beadle’s bullet-like header was unfortunately straight at the keeper and was saved.
The onslaught on the Abbey Hey defence continued with Jones, Beadle, Tandy and Ward all seeing shots coming to nothing whilst at the other end Conkie once again had to make a save this time from Smith.
A goal had been on the cards for a while and eventually it arrived in the 43rd minute and it was worth waiting for. A 30 yard free kick for 1874 was well struck by Duckworth but the keeper palmed it away for a corner, from which Beadle headed the ball back across the face of the goal for Mathew Woolley to head into the opposite corner.
After the interval, 1874 resumed from where they had left off, on the front foot being prompted by a very strong and busy midfield. As in the first half, a good deal of chances were being created, the best of which was in the 55th minute when an excellent ball from Lee Jones found Beadle on the right and his brilliant lob beat the keeper but trickled agonisingly wide of the post. A few minutes later and intricate play between Chappell and Jones produced the much-awaited second goal as Matt Ward received the ball, controlled it instantly, rounded the keeper and slotted it home.
Just after the hour mark Chappell, Ward and Jones carved out an opportunity for Tandy who was causing a fair bit of havoc on the left side of the field but his shot from 20 yards out was just too high. Then, after more good work by Chappell and Duckworth, Ward saw his delicate lob towards goal again go wide with the keeper beaten.
On 68 minutes the game was effectively over when good work by Tandy, sending a final cross into the box was perfect for Matthew Beadle to latch on to and score from five yards.
Tandy, Jones and Duckworth continued to work well on the left flank and a fourth goal was very nearly scored when the final pass into the box from Tandy just evaded the on rushing Beadle.
A few more chances were created, Abdullah combined with team mates on a wizardry forward run but his final shot was a weak one straight to the keeper. In almost the last minute another effort was cleared off the line but everyone at 1874 greeted the final whistle with much satisfaction and now look forward to two tricky away games.
Team: Conkie; Woods; Duckworth; Thomas; Aston; Chappell; Jones; Woolley; Beadle; Ward and Tandy
Substitutes: Bailey rep Jones; Abdullah rep Woods and Brandon rep Beadle. Unused: Short and Fossdyke
Referee Mr James Madine – Assistants : Philip Howard & Stuart Morland
Sponsors Men of the Match: Jamie Tandy (1874) and Daniel Hewitt (Abbey Hey)
|Sat 13 Sep 2014||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|