1874 kept up their pursuit of a top two league position thanks to a hard-fought win over Holker Old Boys on Saturday.
Ian Street welcomed Craig Farnworth back into the side after suspension and opted to include Matt Woolley in the starting line up.
Players and fans were pleased that the ground had recovered from being heavy earlier in the week so allowing the game to go ahead although a strong wind did tend to make things difficult for all the players.
The first chance of the game fell to 1874 in the 8th minute when a quick one-two between Abdullah and Wellstead provided the latter with a free run on goal but as he prepared to shoot he appeared to be fouled but his claim for a penalty was waved away by the referee.
Just six minutes later and Wellstead created another fine chance for himself but this time he shot straight at the keeper and then in the 22nd minute 1874 created the best chance so far when Lee Jones’s corner was met by Farnworth but his strong header flashed just wide of a post.
1874 were having more of the ball in the first half but although further half chances came for Duckworth, Ward and Wellstead again the home side were always a threat with Swarbrick showing his ability up front.
The half closed just after a melee in the Holker goal area following an 1874 corner when at least four visiting players had the chance to register the opening goal but none of them could deliver the necessary power to beat the resolute Holker defence.
The first effort after the interval came from the home side when a 40-yard free kick just cleared the bar.
The game started to open up more and it looked as though one goal may be enough to take all the points. On the hour mark, Ward created a chance for Brandon but his header went narrowly wide and just a minute later 1874 had to thank Farnworth for making a great tackle that prevented what looked like a certain goal
The first substitution was made on 62 minutes and it turned out to be an excellent decision made by Ian Street as he introduced Chris Lunn to add more fire power up front. The striker was quickly in the action when he just failed to meet an inviting cross when 3 yards from goal and a few minutes later he couldn’t quite control the ball quickly enough to get his shot in. Ninety seconds later and Lunn had another chance when he met Duckworths’ free kick but headed the ball straight to the keeper.
Finally, in the 74th minute the goal arrived and the scorer was Lunn who was on hand to nod the ball home after Wellstead’s effort from a Duckworth cross rebounded into the path of the substitute.
After this the game opened up even more and in the 80th minute Conkie was called upon to make a good save from a strong 25-yard pile driver to prevent an equalising goal and then in the last minute of added time a header from a home striker sailed over the bar.
This was a well-fought and well-earned victory for 1874 and it was achieved with a good-all round gritty performance. In 32 games so far this season Holker had only failed to score in two of them and that statistic has now changed to 33 games and three occasions when they failed to score – this due in no small way to the return of Farnworth who put in a sterling performance at the heart of the 1874 defence whilst Matty Ward was busily involved in a lot of the 1874 attacks
Team: Conkie; Mitchell; Farnworth; Aston; Duckworth; Wellstead; Woolley; Jones (Capt); Ward; Brandon, Abdullah – Substitutes: Short, Lunn and Stewart – attendance: 98
Man of the Match: Craig Farnworth
|Sat 29 Mar 2014||3:00 pm||NWCFL 1st Division||2013/14|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Holker Old Boys||0||0||0|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|