SMASH and grab Nelson condemned 1874 Northwich to their first ever league defeat with two late second half goals.
Efforts from Peter Wright and Liam Boswell secured the three points for the Admirals after new signing Rick Bailey had given 1874 a deserved equaliser.
Earlier on in the game, Josh Barrick had given the Admirals a lead.
The result did not tell the story of a game which the home side dominated for long periods. However, the clinical finishing of the Lancashire based outfit proved to be the difference.
1874 manager Ian Street made two changes to the team that beat Daisy Hill with former Congleton man Bailey slotting into the heart of the midfield and wide man Lee Hendley starting for the first time since he sustained a calf injury against Oldham Boro.
The Admirals, boosted by the signing of former Fleetwood and Northwich Victoria player Ritchie Allen and the landing of Nantwich trialist Peter Wright, were the better team in the opening minutes of a game which started at a fast pace and saw both sides create early openings.
First, Adam Dawson’s cross from the left picked out Boswell, who was provided with a free header that he flashed wide across the face of Adam Leake’s goal.
At the other end, Dean McGregor’s crisp pass found Mike Brandon in space on the left, before Brandon produced a teasing low cross that evaded everyone inside the box in a warning signal to the Admirals.
However, the Admirals continued to look dangerous on the attack and after earning a corner took the lead when an unmarked Josh Barrick side-footed home from close range five minutes in.
Despite falling behind, 1874 responded well and looked dangerous out wide with a number of testing runs from Hendley.
One such run saw his cross from the right fall to the feet of Ryan Stewart whose volley from the edge of the box forced Admirals keeper Ben Woodhead to punch the ball with two hands past his post out for a corner.
Not that 1874 had to wait long to level the arrears when Hendley managed to turn provider on 28 minutes.
The winger charged down the right before cutting inside and unleashing a low cross to Bailey on the edge of the box, Bailey responded with a crisp finish into the bottom corner to send the 1874 faithful into raptures.
The goal proved the catalyst to a period of dominance for 1874 who played some excellent possession football and used the wings far more effectively than in previous games with the efficiency of midfield man Bailey.
Ending the half strongly, 1874 were gifted a chance to take the lead when a poor goal kick from Woodhead presented the ball to McGregor who unselfishly played through Brandon, but the forward was stopped in his path by an excellent tackle from Danny Finch.
1874 continued to dominate in to the second half, with Ryan Mitchell proving a constant source of danger down the right-hand side. On 49 minutes, Mitchell crossed to Bailey who missed a ball which fell to Stewart who hit his shot wide. Two minutes later, a long ball from Mitchell sent Brandon through; controlling expertly Brandon saw his low shot saved by Woodhead.
The resulting Stewart corner was headed over the bar by Danny Thomas.
1874 continued to look the more likely side to take the lead, and when Brandon’s low cross across the pitch fell to Hendley, Hendley took too long to get his shot away and was tackled.
As is often the way in football, 1874 were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when the Admirals took a surprise lead. The goal came when a pin-point cross from Boswell picked out Wright who headed expertly into the bottom corner for 2-1.
This time, 1874 did not respond and too often their passes were rushed and the long ball option was taken in their desperation to equalise.
The only real chance for 1874 saw Bailey’s corner flicked on by Thomas to substitute Coffin, who could only turn and blaze his shot high over the cross bar.
At this point, the game was petering itself out and the Admirals confirmed their win with another goal in stoppage time – Boswell hitting a low shot into the bottom corner past Leake.
It was a dour way to end a frustrating afternoon that could have been so different for 1874. Next up for 1874 is an away game at Cheadle on Wednesday; kick-off 7:45pm.
1874: Leake (GK), Mitchell, Thomas, Duckworth, Tickle, Hendley, Foy, Bailey, Stewart, McGregor, Brandon
Substitutes: Bowyer, Crane, Coffin, Shannon
Booked: Foy (60)
Goal: Bailey (28)
Man of the Match: Danny Thomas
|Sat 17 Aug 2013||3:00 pm||NWCFL 1st Division||2013/14|
|St Lukes Barton Stadium|
|The Barton Stadium, Wharton Rd, Winsford CW7 3AE, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|