COLNE FC 0 V 1 1874 NORTHWICH FC
It was always expected to be a difficult away game for Ian Street’s men on Saturday and so it proved as two equally matched sides battled it out for the full ninety minutes at the Holt House Stadium.
1874 were without leading scorer Matthew Beadle, Lee Jones and Danny Thomas all unavailable for various reasons but such is the strength of the squad now, there were more than able deputies ready to fill their absences. And none more so than last season’s leading scorer and Player of the Season Mike Brandon, who put in an inspired performance upfront for his team and deservedly claimed the only goal of the game in the 68th minute to secure all three points.
After a fairly quiet start to the game 1874 thought that they should have had a penalty to put them ahead but the referee waived away their claims in the tenth minute after Matty Ward seemed to have his legs whipped away when just about to shoot at the goal from just ten yards out.
Only a few minutes later and the action was at the other end when Colne attacked and looked ready to score but the alert Chappell came to his side’s rescue by heading a dangerous cross for a corner and moments later another home attack was thwarted by McGrath’s timely intervention.
Matt Conkie was also on hand to deal with a number of crosses and long range efforts as he was clearly desperate to keep a clean sheet as his goal had remained “intact” for an impressive run of 605 minutes during the last few games.
On the quarter hour Tandy and Connor combined well in a quick breakaway to create a chance for Ward but his effort was well saved. A minute later the large group of travelling 1874 supporters had their heads in their hands as a header beat Conkie but the relief was there for all to see as an Assistant had correctly raised his flag to signal an offside.
The game was proving to be an end to end affair with both defences being kept busy. Conkie saved well form Jordan whilst at the other end Wellstead shot narrowly wide after good work by Chappell and Ward.
After 25 minutes the busy Jordan cut in well from the left and from a tight angle shot to bring another save from Conkie to prevent the opening goal and just two minutes later Conkie had another save to make.
Whilst 1874 had the best of the opening twenty minutes the home side began to get a hold on the game and certainly tested the 1874 defence with Tinker shooting narrowly wide when well placed and then on the half hour the same player was thwarted by another excellent save from Conkie.
After the restart, Mitchell was alert to stop a promising Colne move at the expense of another corner from which his team mate Conkie dealt with easily.
In the 55th minute 1874 thought that they had broken the deadlock but after Brandon had headed in, the gasps were audible as a glance to the sideline saw the assistant referee;s flag raised for offside.
The game was becoming more stretched and whilst Colne remained dangerous on the breaks, it always looked as if 1874 would eventually score and after Chappell had shot narrowly wide from 25 yards Brandon registered the only goal of the game – and his eighth of the season – as he provided the final headed touch following excellent work by Ward and Tandy on the left
This setback for Colne didn’t deter them and they continued to press for an equaliser but a great tackle by Mitchell prevented one opportunity and soon after a mix up in the 1874 defence provided an easy chance for an equalising goal but the chance from 5 yards was wasted as the snap shot cleared the bay by a few yards.
At the other end is was 1874’s turn to shoot well over the bar as Chappell tried to apply an excellent finish to the good work by Brandon and Ward.
The last realistic chance of a really entertaining game came in the 82nd minute when Colne had been pressing forward and the finish was a mad scramble in the penalty area seeing a shot deflected off another Colne player to go wide.
So Conkie’s unbeaten run continues and his side come away with another three points with an all round gutsy performance with the NWCFL Player of the Month in September – Matty Ward – perhaps just being the Man of the Match at Colne on the 11th October.
1874: CONKIE; CONNOR; DUCKWORTH; McGRATH; MITCHELL; CHAPPELL; WELLSTEAD; WOOLLEY; BRANDON; WARD and TANDY
SUBS GILL replaced WELLSTEAD
SUBS UNUSED: ASTON; FOSSDYKE; CROFTS and BOWYER
|Sat 11 Oct 2014||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|The XLCR Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|