ALL SQUARE AS SEASON FINALLY DRAWS TO A CLOSE
BY GARRY CLARKE
WINSFORD UNITED 1-1 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 12TH MAY 2018
281 days after it kicked off in August, 1874 Northwich’s marathon 69 game season drew to a close with a 1-1 draw away to landlords Winsford United.
The home side’s player manager, and former 1874 defender, Lee Duckworth turned away a dangerous Ben Woods cross in the opening minutes, before the Blues started to gain the upper hand in a typical open end of season encounter.
Sam Howell nearly gave the home side the lead in the 15th minute when he tried to chip 1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall from the edge of the area. At full stretch the 1874 custodian responded by palming the ball away for a corner. Six minutes later Hall dived full length to his right to turn a Callum Gardner shot around the post.
1874 responded in the 30th minute with Sam Freakes driving free kick low into the Winsford area, where it was diverted for a corner , while ten minutes later after good build up play Kyle Riley had the ball nudged out of his path by a defender as he was about to shoot.
In the 42nd minute Ryan Mitchell played a long ball over the top of the Winsford defence into the path of Jake Parker, who attempted to lob Winsford’s keeper from the edge of the area, but was unable to clear the outstretched hands of Matt Green who caught the ball comfortably.
A minute later Dean Clarke intercepted a Hall clearance and fired a shot from distance just wide of the target with Hall scrambling back towards his goal.
Watched by St Luke’s Barton Stadium’s biggest crowd of the season, Winsford, who had the ball in 1874’s net in the 37th minute but the “goal” was ruled out for offside, broke the deadlock in the 44th minute. Good build up play on the left flank saw the ball crossed into the penalty area where it found Howell, who smashed the ball into the net.
Winsford started the second half on the attack with Danny Thomas clearing a Perry Bircumshaw header off the line and Jamie McLellan heading into the side netting in the opening minutes of the half.
As the game reached the hour mark 1874 seemed to get their second wind and started to come into the game more. Woods drew a fine save from Green and Kazim Waite-Jackson fired a free kick just over the bar.
Winsford full back Clarke was sent off by referee Joe Pettitt for a wild challenge on Waite-Jackson in the 82nd minute.
With time running out, in the 89th minute substitute Taylor Kennerley found himself with time and space 30 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt of a shot which flew past Green as 1874 Northwich claimed a share of the points.
WINSFORD – Green, Clarke, L Duckworth, Rothwell (J Duckworth 77), McLellan, Foster, Hopper, Howell, Daniels, Gardner, Bircumshaw (Fowles 68), subs not used Banks, Taylor.
1874 – Hall, Thomas, Woods (Waite-Jackson 70), Pritchard (Lever ht), Mitchell, Freakes, Hind (Kennerley 65), M Woolley, Riley, McGowan, Parker. Subs not used Winthrop, Bowyer.
GOALS – Winsford Howell 44 1874 Kennerley 89
ATTENDANCE 473 REFEREE J Pettitt
|Sat 12 May 2018||3:00 pm||Hallmark Security League Premier||2017/18||473|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|3||Ben Woods 15||0||0||0|
|4||Jack Pritchard 14||0||0||0|
|7||Sam Hind 12||0||0||0|
|12||Taylor Kennerley 7||0||0||1 (89')|
|14||Jack Lever 4||0||0||0|
|15||Kazim Waite-Jackson 3||0||0||0|
KO 45 65 70 89 FT
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Joseph Pettitt||Mark Ryder||Jamie Kilgannon|