MITCH’S LATE WINNER SNATCHES FIRST WIN AT MAIN ROAD
BY GARRY CLARKE
MAINE ROAD 2-3 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 20TH JANUARY 2018
A 94th minute goal secured 1874 Northwich their first ever win at Maine Road’s Brantingham Road home in a five goal thriller.
Playing their first away Hallmark Security League fixture since 1st November, 1874 extended their winning run of league games to seven but had to work hard for the victory against determined opponents.
Struggling at the wrong end of the table, Maine Road got off to a flying start when Sam Riley took advantage of 1874 failing to deal with a corner to open the scoring in the 3rd minute.
On a heavy pitch 1874 dominated the first half, despite crating several chances struggled to find a way through a hard working Maine Road team which defended resolutely.
Mark Jones and Jake Parker both had shots blocked by defenders, Scott McGowan and Taylor Kennerley fired just off target, Kazin Waite-Jackson struck a post while Road keeper Hayden Buckley-Smith tipped a Jones strike over the bar and several crosses were cut out by Road defenders.
1874 finally breached the Road defence on the stroke of half time. Kennerley delivered a free kick into the home side’s penalty area, the ball was only cleared as far as Matt Woolley, who from ten yards outside the box flighted the ball diagonally over the Road rearguard towards the far post where it was met by Jack Pritchard who headed past Buckley-Smith from close range.
The second half opened with Woolley and Road’s Jack Coop trading long range shots which were comfortably saved by Buckley-Smith and opposite number Greg Hall.
On the hour mark Waite-Jackson unleashed a 30 yard drive which beat Buckley-Smith’s dive, the ball cannoned off an upright bounced along the goal line struck the far post and rebounded into Buckley-Smith’s hands.
In the 65th minute Waite-Jackson swung in a corner from the left which Maine Road could not clear. In a goalmouth McGowan and Ryan Mitchell had attempts cleared off the line, before the ball broke to Parker who drilled a low shot through a packed six yard box to give 1874 the lead.
Moments later Hall pulled off a good save to deny Coop, however the 1874 custodian was unable to prevent Coop from equalizing in the last minute of normal time. A free kick caused confusion in the 1874 penalty area; the ball fell to Coop who smashed it into the back of the net from ten yards.
Looking like leaving Brantingham Road for 5th time without a win 1874 snatched a winner four minutes into stoppage time at the end of an entertaining, well refereed encounter.
A Waite-Jackson corner flicked off the head of a Maine Road defender at the near post. Travelling towards the far post the ball was met by Mitchell who bulleted a header into the back of the net sparking wild scenes of celebration as players and spectators joined together to celebrate 1874 Northwich’s first ever win at the ground.
MAINE ROAD: Buckley-Smith, Brown (Wright 61), Socha, Mason, Edwards, Wills, Langford, Riley (Pope 61), Coop, Burton (Ormrod 41), Cookson. Subs not used Hill, Pollitt.
1874: Hall. Connor (Meadowcroft 93), L Jackson, Pritchard, Mitchell, M Jones, Waite-Jackson, Woolley, McGowan, Parker, (Lever 77) Kennerley (Woods 70). Subs not used Haughton, Thomas.
GOALS: Maine Road Riley 3 1874 Pritchard 45, Parker 68, Mitchell 94
ATTENDANCE 175 REFEREE L Corrigan