Select Security Stadium - 1874 Northwich F.C.

Widnes vs 1874 Northwich

By Garry Clarke


In the proverbial “game of two halves” a late equaliser by Widnes substitute Billy Webb meant 1874 Northwich shared the points from a game which for a long time they looked like winning.

With 1874 struggling to adapt to the artificial surface at the Halton Stadium in the early going, Widnes started brightly forcing 1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall into action three times in the opening minutes. He had to palm away a dangerous cross in the 3rd minute, while Brad Smart and Jack Graham both drew good saves with shots from outside the area.

As 1874 started to find their feet, Kazim Waite-Jackson won the ball in mid field, played a pass out wide to Paul Connor who delivered the ball inside to Adam Whitlock who flashed a shot across the face of goal.

1874 opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Wearing the captains arm band for the 100th time, Matt Woolley played a one two off referee Mark Reeves to open up a gap in the Widnes defence into which he slipped the ball. Scott McGowan took Woolley’s pass and shot towards the far post where Sam Hind was on hand to score from close range.

1874 were now dominating the game. Widnes goalkeeper Ritchie Mottram pulled off a good save to deny McGowan and saw a Waite-Jackson shot fly inches wide of his goal.

1874 doubled their advantage in the 25th minute. A well worked corner found its way to Waite-Jackson who slotted the ball home from eight yards.

Widnes were relying on hitting their visitors on the break. Kevin Pollard had a shot deflected over the bar and Andy Gillespie hooked the ball over the bar from a corner, but 1874 looked the likelier to score again with Waite-Jackson again being just inches off target with a long range shot.

On the stroke of half time Whitlock drilled a low angled free kick towards the Widnes goal, Dylan Sweeney managed to clear the ball off the goal line, and from the ensuing corner Taylor Kennerley shot over the bar.

The second half was a mirror image of the first. 1874 started on the attack, with a battling Connor run setting up McGowan whose angled drive hit the far post and bounced out allowing Widnes to clear.

The home side started to work their way into the game and pulled a goal back in the 55th minute. Hall collected the ball as it entered 1874’s area, the referee deemed it to have been a back pass and gave an indirect free kick a couple of yards inside the area. Lee Jackson bravely threw his body in the way of Luke Edwards shot diverting the ball behind for a corner. The resulting set piece saw the ball find Widnes captain Pollard unmarked in the six yard box where he cushioned a volley past the out stretched arm of Hall.

Widnes were now dominating proceedings as 1874 started to drop deeper leaving McGowan isolated up front. 1874’s leading goal scorer had a great chance to put the ball out of the home sides reach in the 75th minute. Running onto a ball played over the top of the Widnes defence, McGowan’s scuffed shot scrapped the outside of the post.

Webb, who had been introduced into the game on the hour mark, announced his arrival by hitting a shot on the turn which Hal did well to save.

In the 70th minute of an open entertaining encounter a ball played into the 1874 area found Webb unmarked, his shot was blocked by an advancing Hall, who also kept out a second effort from Webb as the ball ricocheted around the 1874 area. The ball eventually fell to Edwards whose shot from outside the area deflected off an 1874 defender and forced Hall into making a good save at the foot of the post.

Hall pulled off another good save to deny Tony Donaldson but could not prevent Webb from slamming home the equaliser in the 87th minute as he ran onto a pass played over the top of the 1874 rear guard.

WIDNES – Mottram, Roberts, Sweeney, Sheen, Burke, Pollard, Graham (Davies 79), Edwards (Whyte 77), Gillespie (Webb 60), Donaldson, Smart. Subs not used Mitchell, Fielding.

1874 – Hall, Connor, L Jackson (Houghton 75), Pritchard, Lever, Waite-Jackson, Whitlock, M Woolley, McGowan, Hind, Kennerley (Woods 71). Subs not used Riley, Henry, Spencer.

GOALS – 1874 Hind 12, Waite-Jackson 25 WIDNES Pollard 55, Webb 87

Attendance 155 Referee M Reeves

1874 Northwich vs Daisy Hill


1874 Northwich maintained their 100% record on the Select Security Stadium i-pitch winning for the fourth time at the Widnes ground. Completing a NWCFL double over a team who have not won a game since September, 1874 were comfortable 3-0 winners over Daisy Hill.

The game almost exploded into life in the first minute when Daisy Hill goalkeeper Jakub Oleksy, possibly confused by the rugby markings still visible on the pitch, handled the ball outside his area. Receiving a yellow card, Oleksy could only stand and watch Daley Woods close range headed from the resultant free kick sail over the bar.

Two minutes later Daisy’s Greg Travers ran through a static 1874 midfield before firing a shot just over the bar. A mix up in the Daisy defence presented the ball to Mike Brandon on the edge of their area, the lethal striker made no mistake in firing home his 27th goal of the season to give 1874 a 4th minute lead.

Stuart Wellstead and Matty Ward went close to doubling 1874’s advantage, both shooting slightly off target before Woods found the net in the 13th minute. Daisy Hill cleared a corner only as far as Lee Jones, who from a couple of yards outside the area clipped the ball back into the area onto the head of Woods who head home.

Travers again almost caught 1874 on the hop as he breaker away but pulled his shot across the goal. Travers and his fellow forwards Nial Callaghan and Lee Green were a threat on the break throughout but were constantly thwarted by the 1874 rearguard expertly marshalled by man of the match Mike Aston.

Ward twice fired shots at the Daisy goal in the closing stages of the first half and Wellstead smacked a shot against a post.

Five minutes into the second half, on a rare foray into enemy territory, Lee Duckworth found himself free in the Daisy area but his goal bound shot was blocked by a defender. Ward and Matt Woolley both had shots on goal well saved by Oleksy, who later saved bravely at the feet of Wellstead as the 1874 forward tried to dribble round the keeper.

1874 went close to scoring several more times before Wellstead made it 3-0 in the 68th minute. From inside his own half Ward played an inch perfect defence splitting ball into the path of Wellstead who outpaced the Daisy defence to shoot past a helpless Oleksy.

Languishing in the lower reaches of the league table, a hard working Daisy Hill team despite being outplayed never gave up and on the break caused 1874 a few alarms in the second half.

Less than ten minutes after entering the fray as a late substitute Chris Lunn, making his NWCFL debut in a green shirt ended a mazy run through the Daisy defence by lifting a shot over Oleksy, however a covering defender was able to clear his goal bound effort.

As the game drew to a close the impressive Ward, who ran Aston close for the nod as Man of the Match, produced a piece of magic. Receiving the ball on the edge of the area with his back to goal, he trapped the ball, pirouetted, moved forward a couple of yards past two Daisy defenders but shot inches wide.

1874 – Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Aston, Woolley (Stewart 79mins), Woods (Lunn 69mins), Jones (Bailey 85mins), Brandon, Ward, Wellstead. Subs not used – McGregor, Thomas.

Goals Brandon 4mins, Woods 13mins, Wellstead 68mins.

DAISY HILL – Oleksy, Allcroft (Cocking 85mins), Hussey (Winstanley 79mins), Oldham, Mee, Parker, Harwood, Foster, Callaghan (Solademi 69mins), Travers, Green. Subs not used – Conway, Lancaster.

Attendance 215 Man of the match Mike Aston

1874 Northwich vs Formby


22ND FEBRUARY 2014 played at Widnes.

1874 Northwich finally staged their first home game of 2014, but it was not at their normal Barton Stadium home, where they last played 63 days previously. Taking advantage of a free afternoon on the i-pitch they switched their NWCFL Challenge Cup third round tie to the Select Security Stadium in Widnes. Having twice lost to Formby earlier in the season it was third time lucky for 1874 as they secured their place in the quarter final beating the Squirrels 1-0.

Unbeaten in their last ten games, Formby enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges exerting pressure on the 1874 goal. Unable to find a way past the 1874 rearguard Formby found goalkeeper Matt Conkie had carried his impressive form from the Tranmere game over into this game. Time after time Conkie pulled off top class saves to prevent the visitors from opening the scoring.

Somewhat against the run of play Mike Brandon struck with the decisive goal in the 35th minute. Matty Ward twisted and turned the defence out wide before whipping in a cross from the left which found Brandon unmarked on the six yard line. 1874’s top scorer had all the time in the world to pick his spot as he powerfully headed home.

Either side of half time Stuart Wellstead went close to doubling 1874’s advantage. Moments before the half time whistle he curled a free kick from the edge of the area inches over the bar. Four minutes after the re-start his in swinging corner bounced to safety off the top of the bar.

Formby pushed forward in search of an equaliser to take the game into extra time but found the resolute 1874 defence unbeatable. With defenders throwing their bodies in the way to block shots on goal, while Conkie continued making several good saves in the later stages of a game which kept the crowd of 158 entertained. 1874 held on to their lead maintain their 100% record at the ground and progressed to the NWCFL Challenge Cup quarter final where they will host Premier Division Abbey Hey.

1874 – Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Aston, Woolley, Wellstead, Bailey, Brandon (McGregor 85mins), Stewart, Ward (Woods 77mins). Subs not used Jones, Crane, Bowyer.

Goal scorer – Brandon 35 mins.

FORMBY – O’Connell. Turner, Swatton, Molyneux, White, Brislen, Edgerton, Speed (Rendall HT), Prescott, Smith, Adegbenro, Subs not used Sherlock, Simpson.

Man of the Match – Ryan Mitchell Attendance 158

Widnes Vikings vs 1874 Northwich

Winning 3-0 at Widnes Vikings, 1874 Northwich ended 2013 by leapfrogging Atherton Collieries and moving into second place in the NWCFL First Division table just one point behind leaders Nelson.

Watched by a crowd of 345, the largest to witness an 1874 game away from the Barton stadium and the biggest crowd in Widnes Vikings’ history, the men in green got off to a flying start, opening the scoring in the first minute. From wide out on the left wing, Stuart Wellstead whipped a low cross into the Vikings goalmouth, evading defenders and attackers alike the ball ended up nestled in the corner of the Vikings net.

Two minutes later top scorer Mike Brandon effectively ended the game as a contest with his 25th goal of the season. Dispossessing Jack Eales, as the Vikings keeper hesitated while trying to clear the ball, Brandon’s original shot, made while he was being brought down by Eales, hit a post. Reacting quickest, Brandon regained his feet to tap the rebound into an empty net.

Relying mainly on long balls over or through the 1874 rearguard, the home side rarely threatened. James Thomas fired a shot just wide in the first half and Ben Toilett shot into the side netting in the second.

1874 continued to press forward going close to adding a third to their tally before half time. Brandon chipped the ball just wide, shortly afterwards Eales cut out a dangerous cross from Wellsted as Brandon waited to pounce. Eales came to his sides rescue in the closing minutes of the first half with an amazing double save. First he saved from Brandon and from the rebound denied Steve Crane turning his close range up shot over the bar.

The second half started with 1874 on the attack and two minutes into the half should have scored. Daley Woods flashed a cross across the face of the Vikings goal. Sliding in at the far post with Eales beaten and the goal at his mercy, with it looking easier to score than miss, Brandon miscued and the ball went wide of the target.

Sloppy play on the Select Security Stadium’s i-pitch which saw 1874 give possession away too cheaply allowed the Vikings to stem the tide and in the 69th minute went close to scoring in a goalmouth scramble as 1874 struggled to clear their lines before scrambling the ball to safety.

With 6 minutes remaining on the clock, substitute Ryan Stewart slipped the ball behind the Vikings defence into the path of Wellstead, who round Eales to shoot home from a tight angle despite the best efforts of a Vikings defender who could only help the ball over the line.

WIDNES VIKINGS – Eales, Davies, Mitchell, McGiveron, Garvey, Colford (Donahue 60mins), Boyle, McCarthy, Thomas, Wilson (Hughes 66mins), Tollitt (Myers 62mins). Subs not used Foster, Pybus.

1874 NORTHWICH – Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Thomas, Crane (Woolley 79mins), Woods (Coffin 86mins) , Jones, Brandon, Bailey(Stewart 60mins), Wellstead. Subs not used Murphy, Bowyer.

GOALS – Wellstead 1min, 84mins. Brandon 3mins.