1874 returned to winning ways on Saturday with a fairly comfortable win over mid-table West Didsbury & Chorlton at the Barton Stadium.
This was only 1874’s third League game since their last win at Stockport on the 2nd December and Manager Ian Street was understandably very keen for his side to get a good result to “kick-start” their season. But even he couldn’t have imagined that his side would be four goals up just after the half hour mark!
His charges certainly “came out of the starting blocks” all-firing and in fact they could have gone ahead in the very first minute when Michael Brandon was put clear on the left hand side but his excellent lob having beaten the keeper went narrowly wide of the post. Soon after Bayley and Chappell combined well to put Wellstead clear but his effort from 20 yards was well saved.
But after 6 minutes 1874 did take the lead and not surprisingly it was last season’s top scorer Brandon who found the net with an exceptionally well taken goal. Ryan Stewart, who worked tirelessly in midfield, won an excellent header to provide the opportunity and Brandon didn’t disappoint as he lobbed the ball with his right foot over the advancing keeper and into the net.
It was 15 minutes before the visitors created their first chance of the game but Mason’s effort was easily dealt with by Conkie.
1874 didn’t have to wait too long to increase their lead with another well taken goal with Mitchell this time being the creator as he won the ball and then threaded an excellent pass through the defence and into the path of Neil Chappell, who rounded the keeper with ease before slotting the ball into the empty net.
Just three minutes later and it was three nil as Brandon was again on hand to apply the excellent finish courtesy, this time, with his reliable left foot.
Soon after Duckworth and Wellstead combined well in creating a good chance for Steward but unfortunately his shot went over the bar.
However, 1874 were in a rampant mood and their supporters didn’t have to wait too long for another goal and what a goal it was!
Matty Ward, who was revelling in the spaces just behind target man Brandon, picked up a loose ball some 40 yards from goal and as he did so he probably knew in advance what he was going to do as he moved a few yards towards goal before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the net.
As half time neared Wellstead very nearly scored his side’s fifth goal, but he was thwarted by some good defending.
The start of the second half was similar to the start of the first, in that a goal was almost scored, but this time it was the visitors that nearly opened their account for the afternoon but Conkie saved well from Evangelinos.
This seemed to stir West Didsbury and they took the game to 1874 enjoying more possession than they had in the first 45 minutes. However they found 1874’s rearguard difficult to break down and in truth it was 1874 that had the better chances again for the next half hour or so and from the best one, Brandon was denied his hat trick as his fine header was tipped over the bar.
However, Conkie was called into action on a number of occasions as West Didsbury tried to get something out of the game. In the 65th minute their attackers must have reigned in a good half dozen shots only to see 1874 defenders block them before Conkie made a good save, tipping the ball over the bar to maintain his clean sheet.
However soon after, Conkie had to leave the field through injury and Stuart Wellstead readily “donned the gloves”.
Paul Connor played a delightful and inviting ball into the path of Daley Woods and a fifth goal looked a certainty but the shot was well saved and then after 87 minutes West Didsbury got the goal that their second half performance probably deserved when Eckersley pulled the ball back for Evangelinos to sweep into the net past Wellstead.
A minute later and it was 4-2 as 1874 failed to clear the ball and this time it was Eckersley who found the net.
So three well earned points for 1874 and a good day all round apart from injuries to two of their key players – Matt Conkie and Ryan Mitchell – who were both forced to leave the field in the final quarter of the game.
Team: Conkie; Connor; Bayley; Mitchell; Thomas; Chappell; Wellstead; Stewart; Brandon; Ward and Duckworth. Subs: Short; Foster and Woods. Unused subs: McGrath and Lunn.
Referee: Mr Adam Dean
|Sat 7 Feb 2015||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|West Didsbury & Chorlton||0||2||2|