1874 Northwich continued their amazing unbeaten run of games with a comfortable win at Stockport Sports.
The club has now gone twenty matches unbeaten with their last defeat being at the hands of Prescot Cables in an FA Cup replay at the beginning of September.
As ever the first goal is so important in games and 1874 didn’t have to wait too long as the opener came in the 11th minute, after the first ten minutes had seen both sides settling down and trying to create chances without too much success.
But when the first goal came, what a goal it was! Matty Ward picked up a loose ball on the right flank about 35 yards from goal, he promptly jinked past two would be tacklers, before advancing another ten yards to unleash a screaming shot into the bottom corner of the net giving keeper O’Keefe no chance of even attempting a save.
Four minutes later and Ward combined well with Chappell to send Tandy clear on the left, but his excellent deep cross evaded all of 1874’s support players in the box.
It was not long before the comfort of a second goal arrived and this time the chance was as a result of a defensive error. Wellstead reacted quickly to beat the keeper from ten yards.
It was nearly 3-0 straight from the kick off when the ball rebounded to the alert Beadle who had the foresight to volley the ball goal wards from just inside the Stockport half, but his effort just cleared the bar much to the relief of the home players. Although a “Beckhamisque” type goal would have been welcomed and remembered by all associated with 1874!
However it soon was 3-0 when a free kick from Wellstead was easily headed into the top corner by Danny Thomas.
Shortly afterwards Stockport had their best chance of the game when Tuanzebe was put clear into the penalty area but the alert Conkie saved his effort low down near the post.
Just past the half-hour mark and the game was effectively over as a contest, as the fourth was scored when a long ball from the defence found Beadle outstripping two defenders before slotting the ball home for his twentieth goal of the season.
In the second half the strong 1874 contingent of supporters might have been expecting a lot more goals, but they had to settle for just the one and that was in the 79th minute and it was a fortuitous one too! 1874 had forced a corner following an excellent move involving Chappell, Woolley and Ward and from the corner O’Keefe managed to paw the ball away from under his cross bar but as it fell forward one of his defenders in attempting to hack the ball clear, only managed to hit it against the chest of Chappell and the ball ricocheted into the net!
Prior to the goal, Wellstead, Beadle, Chappell and Ward had all looked as though another goal was about to come but good defending and some poor finishing prevented a score.
As the final quarter of an hour was being played out 1874 may well have conceded a goal with a little lackadaisical defending creeping in but the ship was steadied and the team claimed all three points and at the same time registered their fifteenth clean sheet of the season – a credit to all the team but especially Conkie and his defenders.
Team: Conkie; Mitchell; Bayley; Thomas; Duckworth; Woolley: Chappell; Ward; Tandy; Beadle and Wellstead. Subs: Short for Beadle; Connor for Bayley and Woods for Wellstead. Subs unused: Brandon and Jones. Scorers: Ward, Wellstead; Thomas, Beadle and Chappell.
Attendance 193 (Stockport Sports highest gate of the season so far)