North West Counties Premier League – Tuesday 28 October 2014
Earlier this season these two sides met at Alsager and the spoils were shared in a one-one draw and whilst the score line in this return fixture suggests a narrow win for 1874 in truth the home side had many chances to have won the game far more comfortably.
1874 suffered a setback before the kick off with several players delayed due to traffic difficulties in Manchester and as a consequence the subs bench was perhaps the strongest ever for 1874 as Ward, Beadle, Tandy, Stewart and Wellstead sat down to watch the proceedings.
After a cautious start, it was the visitors who created the first real chance but Michael Blundell shot wide when well placed to score.
Meanwhile 1874’s first opening came after 11 minutes when Woods and Connor worked well from a corner to cross the ball into the box and at the far post Mitchell seemed certain to score but somehow he headed the ball wide from five yards out with the keeper stranded.
Kurtis Gill was busy in midfield and he and Chappell linked up well with Connor to provide 1874’s next scoring opportunity, but this time it was Woods that failed to apply the necessary finishing touch. Minutes later Mitchell missed another chance after Duckworth’s excellent free kick allowed him to head goal wards but once again it proved fruitless.
After 23 minutes Gill had to leave the field with a slight hamstring pull and he was replaced by Matty Ward who was quickly into the action and chances for Woods and Woolley were both missed.
Next it was Mike Brandon’s turn to just fail to open the scoring when McGrath crossed well but Brandon’s weak header was easily dealt with.
It was not one way traffic though and on the half hour mark keeper Conkie had to be alert to race out to the edge of his area to prevent a strike on his goal.
Then in the 40th minute the much-awaited first goal arrived and it did so when Woolley worked well and found Woods in the penalty area and the chance was snapped up to give Woods his second goal in two games since returning to the club.
Just two minutes later and another of 1874’s successful marksmen last Saturday – Lee Duckworth – had an excellent chance to put the game to bed when he was found 12 yards out by the hard working Connor and when it seemed easier to score Duckworth hit the ball wide.
After the interval Alsager started to press forward more and they soon had a chance to equalise following a mix up in the 1874 defence but Conkie spread himself well to prevent a goal.
Neil Chappell continued to work hard in midfield and as well as breaking up Alsager attacks he found time to get involved in 1874’s attacking moves and on one such foray he and Duckworth combined well to create another chance for Woods but his poor shot from 18 yards was straight at the keeper. Then Duckworth created a chance for Chappell but his header was straight to the keeper and it certainly looked as though the much-needed second goal was not going to come.
Daley Woods was substituted by Matt Beadle and 1874’s leading scorer this season set about trying to increase his tally but try as he may he too couldn’t find his side’s second goal.
1874 had reduced their visitors to the odd chance in the second half although Conkie wasn’t really called upon to make a difficult save when his counterpart was certainly the busier of the two custodians on the night.
So in the end a narrow win for 1874, but another three points in the bag, as they move a little nearer to the two sides above them and still with games in hand.
Team: Conkie; Connor; Thomas; Mitchell; McGrath; Chappell; Woods; Woolley; Brandon; Gill and Duckworth
Goal: Woods (40) Sponsors Man of the Match: Neil Chappell
Attendance : 288
|Tue 28 Oct 2014||7:45 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|