1874 Northwich advanced to the semi finals of this season’s Mid Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday but their win over a competitive Rudheath Social was no easy matter as the game was in the balance until the final five minutes.
Manager Ian Street selected a starting eleven that only contained two players – Duckworth and McGrath – that started their last game at Silsden on Saturday but this presented opportunities for players coming back from injury etc to impress and push for starting places in the next games.
The first real chance of the game came to 1874 in the tenth minute when good work by Short and Gill created a chance for Crofts but the visiting keeper – Chris Jones – made the first of his many fine saves.
Immediately afterwards and Rudheath had their first chance of the game when the impressive Ryan Jackson was put through in the right channel but his excellent effort was well saved by the feet of Fossdyke and a minute later Jackson advanced towards the area but his shot from 18 yards was straight at the keeper.
Then in the 13th minute the first goal arrived and in truth it came after an attack by Rudheath was quickly thwarted to allow the ball to be moved very quickly up field to Stuart Wellstead who advanced into the area, took the ball round the keeper and slotted home coolly.
Wellstead nearly scored a second gaol ten minutes later after Gill provided the opportunity for him to cut inside again from the left but his effort went narrowly wide of the target.
Rudheath continued to show that they were very much up for the game and tried hard to get back on terms and on the half hour mark they very nearly were as Aidley hit an excellent ball from midfield into the path of Jackson but his shot went narrowly wide also. The striker had another chance on 37 minutes but once again his effort was easily saved by Fossdyke.
However, the deserved equaliser came when, in the 40th minute, a 30 yard free kick was well directed into the 1874 area onto the head of their skipper Paul Alcock who headed the ball past the advancing keeper.
After the interval Rudheath quickly came at the 1874 defence and Duckworth needed to be alert to avoid another goal opportunity and then in the 53rd minute Rudheath missed an excellent chance to take the lead but Clarke couldn’t score after being set up by Whitney.
They were made to pay for this miss in the 58th minute when Wellstead scored his second goal as he capitalised on a mistake by the goalkeeper.
However the resilient visitors were level again just four minutes later when Jackson scored the goal that his performance on the night deserved. After a Rudheath corner was not cleared properly the ball fell to Jackson and his shot went in off the post.
In the 70th minute Wellstead was denied his hat trick by another fine save by Jones but from the resultant corner 1874 regained the lead and it was that man Wellstead who headed home from close range.
The final goal of an entertaining game was quite possibly the best of the night when 1874’s captain Duckworth advanced up his left touchline for the umpteenth time on the evening and delivered an excellent inviting cross into a dangerous area inside the penalty are allowing the hard-working Short to score a well deserved goal with his glancing header.
Stuart Wellstead took the Man of the Match Award quite rightly for his goals and overall attacking display whilst Jackson would have been happy with his performance if not the final result.
Team: Fossdyke; Jorge Fragueiro Pena; Duckworth; McGrath; Aston; Lee Jones; Crofts; Gill; Short; Wellstead and Stewart; Subs: Brandon replaced Wellstead 78 minutes; Woods replaced Crofts (70) and Mitchell replaced Aston (63) unused subs: Woolley and Bowyer.
Attendance: 162 Referee: Paul Johnson
|Tue 11 Nov 2014||7:45 pm||Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup||2014/15|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|