Before this game, many 1874 fans might have expected our team to simply just have to turn up and easily collect the three points on offer but of course at this level that simply does not happen and so it proved as the lads had to dig in, work hard and be patient in order to leave with all three points.
With Matthew Beadle available again after missing the mid week win at Congleton Manager Ian Street opted to have Beadle on the bench and continue with Mike Brandon spearheading the attack and this paid early dividends as Brandon opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Matty Ward was the creator as his long searching pass found a team mate who quickly passed to Brandon and from just four yards out, last season’s top scorer wasn’t going to miss!
1874 continued to take the game to Wests with Tandy and Wellstead both enjoying plenty of possession and space on the flanks.
However, as a spectacle the game was littered with continuous spats, niggles and silly fouls whilst the referee did not help ma great deal with his handling of affairs.
The first scoring opportunity for the home side came on 25 minutes when Eckersley’s shot from 10 yards was well saved low down by Conkie. Just two minutes later and it needed an excellent tackle by Thomas to prevent Bryson from wriggling through to a one-on-one with Conkie.
On the half hour mark, Neil Chappell had to leave the field with a groin injury and was replaced by Rick Bailey and a minute later after a foul on Wellstead, Jamie Tandy swung over an excellent free kick which Wests defended well but at the expense of another corner from which Rick Bailey hit a goal bound shot only to see it bounce off a defender and rebound off the bar.
Lewis Schofield was a constant tireless worker for Wests and continued to cause problems for 1874 and in the 35th minute his hard work finished with McDonough heading over the bar when probably he should have done better.
Just before the interval 1874 unfortunately suffered another setback when recently returned Stuart Wellstead had to leave the field with a slight hamstring injury and was replaced by top scorer Mathew Beadle.
At the start of the second half Wests came out with much more purpose about them as they tried to get a foothold in the game and 1874 needed all their wits about them to deal with the constant threats.
In the 50th minute after a mistake by Duckworth, the scores should have been level but the Wests attacker fluffed his lines and shot tamely at Conkie and then the 1874 custodian saved well from Steve Settle who met a corner with real determination and seemed certain to score.
Just minutes later and it was Conkie who came to his sides rescue again as he saved another effort from Settle. Wests were certainly very much in this game and appeared to be getting on top at this stage and 1874 very much needed to reassert control. Jones, Woolley and Ward in midfield were desperately trying to this and the contest was very much an intriguing affair with nobody sure of which way the end result would go. Indeed it was probably fair to say that whoever scored the next goal would more than likely go on to win the game.
Just over the hour mark and Wests, in all fairness should have equalised when they found themselves in the 1874 half with a five on three advantage but to the delight and relief of the 1874 following Matt Woolley was on hand to save the day.
Midway through the second half and with 1874 desperately needing some inspiration Connor and Ward upped the tempo and consequently put their side more on the front foot and as such Wests had to once again think about defending as well as pushing forward for an equaliser.
However on 68 minutes the sides should have been level because following a Wests corner the advancing fullback Baird was left all alone on the far post at a free kick and unbelievably missed the target from just three yards out
Moments later and Conkie was again needed – this time to save well from Eckersley. From Conkie’s clearance, Beadle forced Lever to save well in the home goal.
It was a fascinating contest and nobody could have confidently predicted the result, both sides were giving it their all and then in the 77th minute the second goal of the game arrived and much to the delight of the travelling support it was 1874 who scored. Once again, hard work by Ward and Connor created the chance and from an expertly delivered corner the outstanding Danny Thomas headed the ball home from 8 yards to secure a well earned victory for 1874.
1874: Conkie; Connor, Duckworth, Thomas, Woolley, Chappell, Wellstead, Jones, Brandon, Ward and Tandy. Substitutes: Bailey for Chappell (31 mins), Beadle for Wellstead (44 mins) and Short for Brandon (86 mins)
|Sat 20 Sep 2014||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|The Recreation Ground|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|West Didsbury & Chorlton||0||0||0|