FORMBY 4 V 2 1874 NORTHWICH
1874 finished second best in this quarter final of the NWCFL First Division Trophy although to their credit they did mount an impressive comeback late on in the game which may have had the home supporters holding their breath for a short while. Apart from a Cheshire Senior Cup tie, this game was 1874’s first since the 28th December win at Widnes and in truth it showed in many instances.
Manager Ian Street included new signing Michael Aston in midfield alongside skipper Lee Jones whilst Danny Thomas made a welcome return to the starting line-up.
The home side started the game at a high pace showing their visitors that they meant business and after an early yellow card was given to one of their players, another unsavoury incident soon followed when one of their forwards appeared to bite 1874’s defender Craig Farnworth. Craig then retaliated and both players were booked. Moments later the Formby skipper was extremely lucky to escape any punishment when he clearly pushed both of his hands into the face of Stuart Wellstead however the officials must have been unsighted as they took no action whatsoever.
In the 18th minute the home skipper made a rare error as he tripped over the ball leaving Mike Brandon with the opportunity to strike at goal and although his left foot shot beat the keeper, it went narrowly wide. This proved to be 1874’s only real worthwhile effort in the first half and on the half hour mark Formby took the lead as they benefited from the first of an alarming high number of mistakes by the 1874 players. Craig Farnworth lost the ball in his own half and Sherlock beat Conkie with a low shot. Formby then took a hold of the game and their passing game looked as though they would increase their lead whilst 1874 struggled to come to terms with the job in hand.
It was probable that both managers wanted the half time break to allow them to re-enforce their instructions to their respective sides but the strong following support for 1874 couldn’t have seen what was to quickly happen at the start of the second half. In the 49th minute Stuart Wellstead was tracking back and seemed to have the situation under control but somehow his opponent foxed him by preventing the ball from crossing the dead ball line and quickly passed into the six yard box allowing the onrushing Sherlock to score his and his side’s second goal.
The situation then got worse for 1874 just a minute later when a harmless looking ball into their half was misjudged by Aston and the hard-working Carey pounced on to the opportunity make the score line 3-0.
At this stage the game looked as good as won for Formby but Ryan Stewart had other ideas and in the 69th minute he reduced the arrears with a rasping left foot drive from the edge of the box that sailed past the keeper into the top corner to give his side a glimmer of hope to remain in the competition and that glimmer increased in the 86th minute when substitute Rick Bailey scored 1874’s second goal of the game by passing the ball into the net from 6 yards out.
Rick Bailey then hit the bar with a well struck left footed shot after he cut in from the left flank and then Ryan Stewart saw his free kick deflected away from the keeper but it went narrowly wide and from the resultant corner, 1874 saw their last chance pass them by as nobody could manage to get a final touch to the ball as it trickled out for a goal kick. The goal scoring for the hosts hadn’t finished however because in the last seconds of the game Kirby made the final score 4-2 with a well struck shot from 18 yards that gave Conkie no chance but once again this goal came about from a defensive error by 1874.
So Formby progress into the semi-final stage of this competition and can look forward to a two-legged contest with either Leek CSOB or AFC Darwen.
Team: Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Thomas, Aston, Wellstead, Jones (Capt), Brandon, Ward and Stewart
Substitutes: Bailey (replaced Aston 76 mins) and Lunn (replaced Ward 67 mins) Unused Subs: Crane, Woolley and McGregor
|Sat 1 Feb 2014||3:00 pm||NWCFL 1st Division Cup||2013/14|
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