Cheshire Senior Cup First Round – Tuesday 27 January
Just like last season, 1874 Northwich exited the Cheshire Senior Cup by virtue of a solitary goal at the hands of a Football League Club. Once again, like last season, the 1874 team put in a performance that they can all be proud of and in front of an excellent crowd of 332 at Gresty Road.
Manager Ian Street was dealt a real blow just before kick off when Danny Thomas failed a fitness test and so many of Ian’s plans had to be quickly rearranged.
The game started at a steady pace as the home side proceeded to show their ability to keep possession. They created their first chance of the game after just three minutes, but after being put through on goal, Inman missed the first of his many chances as he could only scuff his attempt after the excellent intervention of 1874’s Ryan Mitchell.
Five minutes later and 1874 had their first chance of a goal when, after good work by Woods and Ward, Brandon’s right footed shot was easily saved. A minute later and the home keeper – Liam Mathews – was again called into action after Ward put Wellstead through on goal and the keeper was up to the challenge as he saved well at the expense of a corner.
The pace and skill of George Cooper slowly started to have an influence on the game as he created an excellent chance for his team mate, but once again Inman’s effort was unsuccessful thanks to a great save by Conkie.
On the quarter hour mark, Crewe had another good chance to open the scoring but once again it was a timely tackle by Ryan Mitchell who saved the day for 1874. Minutes later Ward hit a brilliant pass to Brandon but as the striker moved into the area, the Assistant Referee somewhat surprisingly flagged for offside and the chance was gone.
As the half hour mark approached Inman quickly tested Conkie on two occasions but the “winner” was once again the keeper.
In the 35th minute excellent work by Turton and Waters created another chance for Crewe but this time Atkinson wasted the chance by heading over the bar from six yards out.
Just before half time Conkie made another two fine saves this time from Nolan – firstly he reacted quickly to a snap shoot from six yards and then this was followed moments later as he comfortably dealt with a pile-driver from 25 yards to ensure that his side were level at half-time.
The second half started with 1874 again needing to be at their best defensively and to a man they were well up for the challenge, as first Ward cleared well and then his keeper was in action again to make an excellent save from Waters at the expense of a corner. From this corner the young Crewe side demonstrated a well-worked routine that had come straight from their training ground. The corner was played short to a player who dummied and allowed the ball to move into the path of Waters, his powerful shot very nearly produced the opening goal of the tight game and although Conkie for once was beaten, Mitchell was hand to clear the ball off the line.
In the 55th minute Crewe should have scored but, following good work by Cooper, his cross was headed wide by Haber when it appeared easier to score.
1874 then had probably their best spell of the game when the non-stop efforts of Neil Chappell and Ryan Stewart in midfield, together with the probing of Ward, created a couple of chances for their team but unfortunately Brandon and then Wellstead couldn’t quite take the chances
Then in the 68th Minute Crewe’s Anthony Stewart made a rare slip and lost the ball but Brandon couldn’t quite capitalise on the mistake however just one minute later the game’s only goal arrived.
In truth it was one worth waiting for and one fit to win any cup tie as Inman, who had missed a good few chances earlier, carried the ball 25 yards on a mazy run into the box before shooting past Conkie.
Try as they did, 1874 couldn’t quite create another real chance to equalise whilst Conkie was called upon one more time to make a good save, to deprive Cooper from having his name on the score sheet.
So in the end, Crewe deservedly progressed to the next round of the Cheshire Senior Cup by the narrow margin of one goal and whilst they played well, the 1874 team can also justifiably feel very proud of their performance because in no way did they let their manager, their supporters or themselves down.
They can now look forward to a return to their League programme and so will all of travelling 1874 supporters who were certainly still smiling long after the final whistle
1874: Conkie; Connor; Bayley; Mitchell, Duckworth, Chappell; Woods; Stewart; Brandon; Ward and Wellstead – Substitutes: Short replaced Woods (73) & Lunn replaced Connor (82)
|Tue 27 Jan 2015||7:45 pm||Cheshire Senior Cup||2014/15|
|68 Gresty Rd, Crewe CW2 6DY, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|