BARNOLDSWICK TOWN 2-1 1874 NORTHWICH NWCFL PREMIER 23RD JANUARY 2016
1874 Northwich were caught cold falling behind after just two minutes into their first game of 2016. Not having played since before Christmas, 1874 were still clearing away the cobwebs when Barnoldswick Town, playing their first home game since 3rd November, opened the scoring. A cross field ball was collected on the right flank by John Beckwith, cutting inside he ghosted past several 1874 defenders and unchallenged netted with an angled drive from the edge of the area.
As bad as the start had been it was to get worse for 1874. Loius James’ participation in the afternoon’s proceedings was brought to a premature end by the referee brandishing a red card. Chasing Beckwith as he raced onto a through ball, James as the last defender brought him down on the edge of the area prompting his dismissal.
With Barnoldswick dominating the opening exchanges 1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall was called into action to deny Beckwith and Joe Gaughon before the greens started to find their feet on a soft pitch.
Danny Thomas drew a fine save from Barnolsdwick goalkeeper Jordan Gidley who tipped his angled drive over the bar. As the half progressed 1874 fired several shots just off target, while Gidley produced good saves to deny Matty Ward, Ryan Jackson, Stuart Wellstead and Matt Beadle.
Being pushed back by a now dominant 1874 the home side were restricted to hitting 1874 on the break. Such counter attacks saw Barnoldswick go close to scoring a second before half time. Gaughon twice shot wide, Jake McEneaney fired a cross across the face of the goal and Harry Thompson lifted a shot over the bar.
The start of the second half was delayed while a replacement official was found to run the line in place of senior assistant Martin Rushworth, who moved into the middle replacing injured referee Colin Whittaker.
The extended break did not hamper the home side with Hall having to make an instinctive save from point blank range to deny Gaughon in the opening minutes of the half James Longley was on hand to tap home the rebound, however the stand in assistant – 1874 board member John Coats – raised his flag to indicate offside.
Barnoldswick doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when 1874 momentarily went to sleep at the Silentnight Stadium. A corner was drilled low into the 1874 area where amidst static defence the unmarked Gaughon smashed the ball home.
As the game entered its final quarter 1874 pushed extra players forward searching for a way back into an encounter which had kept the 184 strong crowd entertained throughout.
Wellstead shot wide after a good run by Jackson before Jackson handed 1874 a lifeline finding the back of the net in the 73rd minute. Matt Woolley launched a pin point long angled ball into the box, Jackson held of a defender’s challenge at the far post to drill a low shot into the net from a tight angle.
As 1874 committed more men forward looking for an equalizer they left themselves exposed to a swift breakaway. Although most breaks were dealt with by the two remaining defenders – Danny Thomas and Craig Farnworth – Gaughon twice managed to fire in shots which just cleared the bar.
Deep into stoppage time with the seconds ticking away a shot was fired through a packed Barnoldswick penalty area, Gidley pulled off a fine save but was unable to hold onto the ball and could only watch as Ryan Mitchell tucked it into the net. Wheeling away to celebrate his last gasp equaliser Mitchell’s joy was short lived as the assistant referee’s flag was raised to indicate he was offside.
BARNOLDSWICK – Gidley, Moore, McEneaney, Crorken, Barnes (Aidrie 78mins), Airey, Beckwith, Thompson, Threfall (Simpson 65mins), Longley, Gaughon. Subs not used Hutchinson, Gill, Cruz.
1874 – Hall, Mitchell, James, Farnworth, Thomas, Brandon, Wellstead (Brooks 70mins), M.Woolley (Stott 75mins), Beadle, Ward Chappell 67mins), Jackson. Subs not used Connor, J.Woolley.
GOALS – BARNOLDSWICK Beckwith 2, Gaughon 62 1874 Jackson 73
REFEREE – Colin Whittaker (Martin Ashworth) ATTENDANCE 184