With games in hand on the teams above, 1874 had the perfect opportunity to capitalise and take the top spot if they won against struggling opposition Squires Gate, and they did just that. 1874 were dealt a blow before the game as record goal scorer Scott McGowan was deemed unfit to start due to a hamstring injury, so the side saw an enforced change with Lee Knight leading the line and Harry Cain coming into the starting eleven.
This didn’t phase the greens though, 1874 started brightly pursuing with their high press and looking to force errors on the Gate backline. The first opportunity game 10 minutes into the game as Harry Cain’s effort was cleared off the line by the Squires Gate defence which left the keeper for dead.
However, 1874 soon broke the deadlock, a superb ball from Matt Russell found Jake Parker whose effort was palmed into the path of Taylor Kennerley, who fired home to give the greens the lead. Soon after the advantage was doubled. A through ball from Lee Knight found Jake Parker who stroked the ball past the keeper from a tight angle to give Squires Gate a mountain to climb.
1874 nearly added a third just minutes later as Lee Knight broke free in the penalty area but his audacious chip beat the keeper and narrowly beat the bar to keep the score 2-0. The greens minutes later did make it three. A relentless piece of attacking play saw Harry Cain brought down in the area which awarded 74 a penalty which Cain converted giving the greens the 3 points 60 minutes before time.
Just before half time Cain added a fourth, a superb volley into the bottom corner wrapped up the tie in an inch perfect first half performance. The second half saw Squires Gate make all three substitutions in an extremely below par performance in the first 45 minutes.
The second half followed a slightly different pattern to the first as 1874 couldn’t make the possession count in the final third, partially down to an excellent goalkeeping display from Jordan Gidley.
1874 came close to adding a 5th in the 73rd minute through a thumping effort from Lee Jackson who was denied by Gidley who commanded his area excellently during the second half. The half in truth became a scrappier affair with 1874 not making possession around the penalty area count whilst Squires Gate failed to threaten all afternoon thanks to Mark Jones and Lee Jackson.
However, the hosts were given a golden opportunity to take something from the game as a penalty was awarded five minutes from time but a first class save from Tony Aghayere kept his clean sheet intact. Saturday’s win saw 1874 climb to the top of the North West Counties in superb style ahead of Tuesday’s clash versus Hanley Town.
1874 RETURN HOME EMPTY HANDED
1874 are still searching for their first win of the season after suffering their third league defeat of the season at Squires Gate on Saturday.
1874’s supporters may well have been anticipating a first win of the season after beating their opponents twice in last season’s campaign but in truth 1874 didn’t really look as though they would get anything from this encounter even though they started brightly enough and in a frantic ten minute opening to the game 1874 did create the real first chance of a goal but after Mark Jones had headed a well delivered free kick towards goal but when this rebounded out to Beadle the striker hit his shot over the bar.
The home side responded well and in the 18th minute a good effort went narrowly wide of the target. 1874 did have the ball in the net five minutes later but the scorer – Beadle was rightly adjudged offside
Squires Gate also came close to opening the scoring after a good passage of play ended with their free kick on the edge of the box being well saved at the expense of a corner.
Just five minutes after the restart 1874 fell behind to a goal that should have easily been prevented and in truth this goal highlighted a somewhat recurring problem for 1874 so far this season. A defender under it a back pass to his goalkeeper who then kicked the ball out poorly and straight to Gate’s centre forward who didn’t hesitate finding the empty net from 20 yards
Perhaps 12 minutes later the chance of a comeback for 1874 almost disappeared when another goal was conceded that perhaps could and should have been prevented. In truth the 1874 defence created the goal for their opponents when a first time clearance rebounded off another defender into the path of a Gate forward who was subsequently fouled by Matt Green and the referee not only awarded a penalty but showed a red card to 1874’s keeper.
Skipper Matt Woolley donned the gloves for his side and although he got a hand to the spot kick he couldn’t prevent the strike from Dawson hitting the net for a two-nil lead which was increased to a 3-0 score line in the last minute as 1874 were searching a for a goal at the other end
1874:Matt Green; Jordan Tucker; Lee Jackson; Jack Pritchard; Ryan Mitchell; Mark Jones ;Joe Woolley Matt Woolley (Capt); Matty Beadle (rep by Freakes 58) Kazim Waite-Jackson(rep by Garner 58) &Taylor Kennerley. Unused subs: McGowan; Connor & Russell
Ref Ian Gittins
SEASIDE STROLL IN THE SUN
By Garry Clarke
SQUIRES GATE 0-3 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 5TH MAY 2018
1874 Northwich returned from their day trip to the seaside with all three points, but the victory was not as comfortable as the score line suggests.
1874, who completed a league double over their opponents, were made to work for their win by a Squires Gate side who had lost just once in their previous eleven games, and that at the hands of champions Runcorn Linnets.
Having enjoyed a day’s rest in their hectic schedule, 1874 started brightly with Sam Freakes, Kyle Riley and Ryan Mitchell all having goal bound efforts foiled by Gate keeper Ben Fletcher in the opening twenty minutes.
1874 had an early penalty appeal for hand ball turned down by referee Craig Buxton, officiating his last game before retirement, while Ryan Jackson and Scott McGowan were both off target from free kicks and Paul Connor headed narrowly wide.
The home side came more into the game as the half progressed with Darren Ing shooting over the bar while Tarren Moxon and Ryan Riley shot wide and Greg Hall pulled off a good save to deny Ing after he had swooped on an under hit back pass.
1874 had taken the lead in the 33rd minute when a Jack Pritchard free kick found Hind in a packed Gate area; working an opening he fired the ball under Fletcher.
Moments before half time running onto a Jackson pass Riley powered his way into the Gate area, unselfishly he squared the ball which just evaded Hind.
The second half started with play switching from end to end, in the opening minutes Jack Lever lofted the ball over the Gate bar, while Gary Pott’s shot went just wide of 1874’s goal and Scott Harries drew a fine save from Hall before Hind settled 1874’s nerves with a second goal in the 55th minute. Nipping in between a defender and Fletcher he steered a powerful header into the bottom corner of the net.
In the 75th minute Hall pulled off a remarkable double save to deny Pott and Moxon as chances went begging at both ends of the pitch before Jake Parker brought an entertaining game to a close with 1874’s third goal two minutes into stoppage time netting from close range after a good run and cross from Shelton Payne set him up.
SQUIRES – Fletcher, Richards (Finlayson 65), Salthouse, Moxon, Colquhoun, Bamba, Riley, Ing, Pott, Harries, Clarkson. Subs not used Rothwell, Pope, O’Mahoney, Moorhead.
1874 – Hall, Connor, Thomas, Pritchard, Mitchell (Lever 21), Freakes, R. Jackson (Payne 75), M Woolley (Parker 62), Riley, McGowan, Hind Subs not used: Bowyer, Winthrop.
GOALS 1874: Hind 33 & 55 Parker 90+2
ATTENDANCE 157 REFEREE C BUXTON
1874 UNABLE TO OPEN GATE
By Garry Clarke
SQUIRES GATE 4-1 1874 NORTHWICH HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE PREMIER
13TH AUGUST 2016
1874 Northwich returned home from the sea side with nothing but a stick of Blackpool Rock to show for their efforts
1874 started brightly with both Stuart Wellstead and Tom Bailey heading narrowly wide in the opening minutes before the home side took the lead in the 8th minute. The 1874 rearguard failed to clear a cross from the right, the ball fell to Anthony Stayts who smashed his shot into the roof of the net.
Stayts nearly added a second in the 21st minute but he pulled his shot inches wide of the target after Gate had broken away having cleared an 1874 corner.
1874 ended the first half in the ascendency but could not find a way through a resolute home defence. Defenders threw themselves in the way to block goal bound efforts from Paul Connor, Sam Hind, Danny Thomas and Mark Jones. Gate keeper Ben Fletcher saved well to prevent Wellstead from scoring and Ryan Mitchell guided a corner just wide of the post.
The second half started with a bang.
All too often in the first half passes went astray as 1874’s reconstructed team is still not firing on all cylinders, but good build up play involving several crisp first time passes set Connor free on the right, his cross was met at the far post by Bailey who from close range headed home a 50th minute equaliser.
Squires Gate restored their advantage two minutes later, when Ric Steear curled a shot just out of the reach of Greg Hall into the far side of the net.
Play became stretched as action switched from end to end.
Bailey’s shot on the turn just cleared the bar; Hall produced a good save to deny Steear, his opposite number saved well to keep out a Wellstead header, while Joe Noblet shot just wide of the target. Scott McGowan fired a free kick over the Gate bar before Seear increased the home side’s advantage hooking a shot on the turn past Hall in the 72nd minute.
1874 continued to push forward in an attempt to rescue the game. Bailey shot over the bar and Fletcher saved well to keep out a volley from debutant Shelton Payne before Squires Gate wrapped up a well deserved victory in the 90th minute.
Winning the ball in their own area they broke quickly down the left wing, exploiting the space left at the back, Brett Dawson’s in field pass found Noblet unmarked, he calmly chipped Hall from distance second before the final whistle blew on a day 1874 will wont to forget.
GATE: Fletcher, Richards, B Seear (Higham 80), Hall, Penswick, Carroll, Stayts, Noblet, Seear, Tanser (Dawson 72), Gibson (McKendrick 73). Subs not used Riley, Thornber.
1874: Hall, Connor (Welsh 71), Russell, Mitchell, Thomas, R Bailey (McGowan 63), Wellstead (Payne 61), Jones, T Bailey, Hind, Moran. Subs not used M Woolley, J Woolley.
GOALS – GATE: R Seear 52,78 Stayts 8 Noblet 90 1874: T Bailey 49
ATTENDANCE 185 REFEREE Michael Sutcliffe
NWCFL Premier Division – Saturday 12 March 2016
1874 fell to their eighth loss of the season as a spirited Squires Gate side came from a goal down to win the game in injury time and give themselves some breathing space from the bottom three. 1874 dropped to fifth, albeit with three games in hand on now fourth placed West Didsbury.
The game opened as expected, fast paced with both sides going for it and it was 1874 who edged the opening exchanges. Ryan Jackson was a threat, putting a great cross in to the box but the keeper made a good catch before it could reach Matt Beadle at the back post.
The game fell into a midfield battle with both teams pressing for the first goal. In the 25th minute, Greg Hall rushed out to collect a through ball and caught it just outside his box. After consulting his Assistant, the Referee decided it was not a goal scoring opportunity and awarded a free kick to Squires Gate and a yellow card to Hall.
A brilliant save followed from the Squires Gate keeper, acrobatically tipping over Mike Brandon’s left footed drive from the edge of the area, the resulting corner was volleyed wide by Ryan Mitchell as he met the cross on the penalty spot.
It was Greg Hall’s turn to make a great save on the 40 minute mark, Mark Buchan was one on one but Hall made himself big and pulled off an incredible save which earned the applause from all spectators.
There was another great opportunity for the Greens to take the lead on the 50th minute, as a cross from the left by Jackson found Brandon, who just couldn’t adjust his feet and put the ball in the net.
But only a minute later, 1874 had their lead, another Jackson cross was headed out but only as far as Matt Beadle who volleyed the ball hard and low which went underneath the keeper and gave 1874 a 1-0 advantage.
1874 pressed and looked for another goal however it was Squires Gate who would have the next say on the game, through Mark Buchan on the 67th minute. A cross from the right was not cleared and it found its way to the Gate forward who fired low past hall to bring the hosts level.
The game then resorted back to a midfield scrap, with both sides not finding any clear chances on goal. As the game looked to be heading for a draw, it was the home side who took all 3 points, in the 91st minute, as Ryan Tanser found himself on the end of a through ball by Buchan and slotted in to the bottom right corner of Hall’s goal to give the hosts a massive goal in their quest for survival.
1874 – Hall (GK), Connor, Farnworth, Mitchell, Lomas, M.Woolley (C), Riley, J.Woolley (Wellstead 58), Brandon, Jackson, Beadle.
ATT – 210
SQUIRES GATE 0 V 1 1874 NORTHWICH
1874 travelled to the seaside on Saturday for what looked like a difficult away trip in their endeavours to ensure a top 3 place come the end of the season. And a difficult trip it turned out to be!
Both teams took their time to come to terms with the windy conditions and at times ball control seemed quite difficult. In fairness the home side seem to adapt quicker to the situation and in the opening thirty minutes had the greater possession without creating any real chances to threaten the 1874 goal.
1874 did manage a couple of efforts on goal but both attempts by Beadle and Chappell didn’t cause the home goalkeeper any problems.
On 28 minutes Squires Gate had a promising attack but fortunately for 1874, Danny Thomas came to the rescue being well placed to avert the danger with a good clearing header. Two minutes later and the home side had an even better opportunity but McKenna shot wide when well placed.
The next half-chance of the game came 1874’s way courtesy of an excellent cross from the right but Stewart headed wide of the goal.
After the interval the sizeable crowd were hoping for a bit more entertainment in the sense of creativity and more opportunities. Their hopes were soon lifted as Chappell, Beadle and Connor combined well in the best move so far to create a goal-scoring opportunity for Chappell, but his shot just cleared the crossbar.
In the 50th minute it was skipper Woolley and Stewart who combined well to create an opening for Beadle but his cross-cum shot landed on top of the bar and bounced away with the keeper stranded.
15 minutes later and the crowd were very nearly treated to another “goal of the season” candidate. 1874 were awarded a free kick approximately 35 yards out and Woolley delivered a brilliant cross that cleared many attackers and defenders before being met on the volley by Chappell but his effort flashed narrowly wide. Minutes later and another free kick for 1874 again almost broke the deadlock. This time it was Stewart’s turn to hit the perfect free kick into the danger area but Beadle’s effort was saved by Fletcher – the now busier keeper.
However, it was certainly not all one-way traffic and Dunn and Kay combined well for Squires Gate but Kay’s shot was wide of goal.
Having been a steadying influence in 1874’s defence along with Danny Thomas, Adam Bayley then decided that he would venture forward and try and help break the deadlock. He eased past two tackles before passing the ball to Beadle and then the striker beat two defenders before hitting a left-foot shot that was heading into the top left corner of the goal but Fletcher dived full length to keep the game goal less at the expense of another corner to 1874. Substitute Wellstead took the corner and although Danny Thomas narrowly failed to meet the cross with his head his efforts were sufficient to distract two Squires Gate defenders and the ball was deflected into the net by one of them in the 80th minute for a “just about deserved” lead.
In the closing minutes more good work by Connor very nearly brought a second goal for 1874 but once again the effort was well saved by Fletcher.
When the final whistle went it was quite possibly a relief to some supporters as a one goal lead can of course very quickly be wiped out, but the home side didn’t really create much after the hour mark and so the 1874 run of victories continues and everyone can now look forward to the next game – at home to Congleton on Tuesday evening
Team: Conkie; Bayley; Ledwards; Mitchell; Thomas; Chappell; Connor; Woolley; Beadle; Ward and Stewart.
Substitutes:Wellstead (replaced Stewart 63 minutes). Unused: Lunn; Pouncey; Duckworth & Bowyer.
Referee: Peter Gooch Attendance: 205
1874 started this game at a high tempo taking the game to their opponents from the NWCFL Premier division and could easily have taken the lead as early as the 11th minute when they hit the woodwork twice in 20 seconds! Firstly leading scorer Brandon saw his brilliant header beat the keeper only to rebound from the bar and then when it arrived at the feet of Ward, he quickly shifted the ball from one foot to the other and hit a crisp drive from ten yards that unfortunately rebounded off an upright with the home keeper well beaten.
Squires Gate started to come in to the game but they found 1874’s defence in a mean mood – expertly marshaled by Danny Thomas and Lee Duckworth. It seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken and after 27 minutes 1874 deservedly took the lead with a well taken goal as Matty Ward met Lee Jones excellent cross into the box to volley past the keeper
However, although 1874 pressed for a second they were stunned in the 25th minute when Squires equalised with a stunning goal as Richards beat two men in midfield with a clever drag back before unleashing a brilliant shot from fully 35 yards which gave Conkie no chance whatsoever.
So one each at half time and all to play for in the second half and 1874 came out with a positive attitude and deservedly regained the lead after 54 minutes with an exquisite goal from Michael Brandon. Ryan Mitchell, who was enjoying an excellent game at full back, won the ball and then hit a wonderful 40 yard cross field pass directly into the path of Brandon who controlled the ball instantly before slotting the ball home from 10 yards.
Quarter of an hour later and the tie was as good as won as Brandon netted a second goal after good work by Foy and Ward. Then in the 82nd minute it looked as if a hat trick may be on the cards – but, after a mistake by the home keeper, Ward reacted seconds quicker than Brandon to score his second goal from close range.
Manager Street rang the changes using all of his allowed three substitutes and it was one of his replacements – Tom Peers – who scored the last goal of the game as he fired home from close range in the 89th minute .
So 1874 progress to the next round and a home meeting with Formby FC in February
Man of the match was Danny Thomas with Adam Foy, Lee Jones and Michael Brandon also outstanding
Team: Conkie; Mitchell; Thomas; Duckworth; Wellstead; Foy(capt); Jones; Bailey; Brandon and Ward
Subs: Peers replaced Wellstead (76); McKay replaced Mitchell (84) and Crane replaced Bailey (84) Bowyer (unused)