1874 NORTHWICH 3-0 ATHERTON LR NWCFL 1ST DIVISION 5TH APRIL 2014
1874 Northwich kept up the pressure on the top two teams in the NWCFL First Division comprehensively beating Atherton LR 3-0 at the Barton Stadium, while both their promotion rivals, Nelson and Formby, also both won on Grand National Day.
Although 1874 dominated the game, a long ball into their area in the 4th minute almost caught them napping. LR’s Jordan Cover and Matty Boland combined well but could only find the side netting.
Once into their stride, 1874 exerted almost constant pressure on their visitor’s goal. Mike Brandon going close to scoring several times, Craig Farnworth heading narrowly wide, Stuart Wellstead having a shot cleared off the line and LR goalkeeper Joshua Harris pulling off a number of fine saves in the opening twenty minutes.
7th in the table Atherton LR did not wilt under the barrage, causing a number of scares for the 1874 rearguard with Ben Hardcastle leading the way. He hit a shot which only just cleared the bar and, after Kristian Holt had been denied by an excellent Danny Thomas tackle, sent a shot just wide of the target.
Rick Bailey opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Lee Duckworth combined with Brandon to deliver the ball to Bailey on the edge of LR’s area. The midfielder jinked his way past a couple of defenders before shooting low into the bottom corner.
Harris saved well to stop Thomas adding a second with a header from a corner moments later, before Brandon bundled the ball into LR’s net in the 36th minute. However, the referee had already blown his whistle to stop play to allow Wellstead to receive treatment for a head injury.
On the stroke of half time Gareth Shaw raced onto a through ball, his goal bound shot was blocked by Farnworth who threw his body into the ball’s path. Only half cleared, the ball was played back into the danger area, from where it was headed clear by Thomas.
1874 doubled their advantage from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half. Chasing a though ball into the LR area Brandon was brought down by Harris, as the referee waved away the penalty claims, LR smuggled the ball out of play for a throw in. As he tried to control the ball as it was returned into the area, Brandon was hauled down by Adam McKillop. This time the referee pointed to the spot, up stepped Wellstead to send Harris the wrong way as his spot kick hit the back of the net.
A few minutes later 1874 goal keeper Matt Conkie was called upon to save well with his feet to deny Cover.
In the 63rd minute Matty Ward sent Daley Woods away down the right wing, his cross into the six yard box was met by Brandon, whose shot was blocked by McKillop, there was no stopping Brandon scoring three minutes later. Running beyond the last defender, he waited for a looping pass from Lee Jones to drop and unleashed a spectacular left footed volley which flew 25 yards over Harris’ head nestling in the back of the net.
Unbeaten in the league since 7th December, 1874 continued with attempts to boost their goal difference. Ryan Mitchell, Sakeel Abdullah, Woods and Brandon all going close to extending 1874’s lead.
As the final whistle approached LR launched one last attack with Boland firing past Conkie, but their consolation gaol was ruled out for offside.
1874 – Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Thomas, Jones, Abdullah, Bailey (Short 71mins), Brandon, Ward (Woolley), Wellsetad (Woods 62mins). Subs not used Aston, Bowyer.
ALR – Harris, Battersby (Berry HT), Boothby, McKay, Dickinson, Holt, Hardcastle, Cover (Heapy 71mins), Boland, Shaw. Sub not used Brooks.
GOALS – 1874 Bailey30, Wellstead 49 pen, Brandon 66.
Referee Michael Barlow
Sponsors men of the match. 1874 Matty Ward ALR Joshua Harris
|Sat 5 Apr 2014||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|