1874 remain top of the North West Counties Premier Division after a comfortable 2-0 away win over Burscough. Once again Jake Parker and Scott McGowan were the difference as they have been all season to make sure we took home all three points.
The game started with a golden opportunity for Burscough to take the lead against the league leaders however Joseph Fielding squandered his chance as his shot went wide of the post. Soon after 1874 were ahead. A great ball across the box by Callum Gardner found an unmarked Scott McGowan who headed home to give 1874 the lead seven minutes in.
1874 came close to doubling their advantage as a thunderbolt from Mike Koral from 25 yards out cannoned back off the crossbar and Nathan Okome couldn’t finish off the rebound leaving the scores still at 1-0 to the visiting 1874.
For the mid part of the first half it was a similar story to most of the season so far, 1874 were on top and dominating possession. Harry Cain and Callum Gardner were causing the Burscough full backs all sorts of problems as they were being stretched on either side, but neither could quite put in the perfect cross to double the lead.
However, just before the half time whistle, Harry Cain managed to do so. A good piece of play from him found Jake Parker’s deflected shoot looped over David Jones and gave 1874 a 2-0 lead going into the half time break.
1874 kept the pressure on after the restart, keeping the Burscough backline camped firmly in their own half. The story of the second half however came through a superb goalkeeping display from David Jones in the Burscough net. A floated corner came found its way into the six-yard box and Matt Woolley’s header was tipped over the bar incredibly from point blank range.
1874 came close to making it three shortly after but a header from Ryan Mitchell sailed over the cross bar. Jones again came to the rescue for Burscough with a double save after Sam Hare and Matt Woolley couldn’t extended the lead. However, arguably his best save came from a driven effort from Jake Parker whose effort was stopped thanks to Jones’ excellent reflex’s as he managed to keep the scores at 2-0 at full time.
After the game 1874 co-manager Wayne Goodison was delighted with the performance of Matt Woolley, “You need someone in the team like Matt on a day like today when the conditions aren’t great. We’ve got some great leaders and a nice trio of Matt Woolley, Ryan Mitchell and Mark Jones, it’s good to have them on games like this.
SKIPPER WOOLLEY NETS LATE DESERVED EQUALISER
BURSCOUGH 1 – 1 1874 NORTHWICH
HSL PREMIER 6TH OCTOBER 2018
This latest fixture for 1874 was actually the third time that the two sides have met this season as two FA Cup ties took place earlier in August with Burscough eventually wining the tie after a penalty shootout and so a close affair was to be expected this time around and so it proved.
1874 welcomed back Mark Jones and skipper Matt Woolley after their recent absences and as a result the back four and midfield looked more solid than had been the case in recent games whilst McGowan and Riley started the game together up front but try as they may the pair couldn’t quite get the all-important opening goal.
As was the case previously the playing surface was quite poor in places and this inevitably restricted both sides ability to play good football at times but nevertheless the crowd were treated to an exciting game with the result always in doubt until the final whistle.
Both goalkeepers were called into action early in the game and both were equal to the challenge as they made good saves and showed good handling skills.
As the half progressed it seemed very likely that whichever side scored first would probably secure all the points and although both sides did try to be creative the keepers didn’t really have too many saves to make and the opening goal of the game was a surprise to most as out of nothing Burscough’s Chad White found himself with the opportunity to score and he did this quite comfortably in the 42nd minute to give his side a half-time lead.
In the second half the pattern of play was very much the same as the first with both sides having half chances but rarely threatening the respective keepers although Riley was unlucky when he saw his instinctive header go narrowly wide of the target.
Burscough continued to search for the all-important second goal and to be fair they did this throughout the whole of the second half whilst 1874 having a greater share of possession pushed relentlessly forward in search of their much needed goal.
To the delight of the 1874 supporters the equaliser did arrive in the 89th minute when skipper Matt Woolley controlled the ball from a corned and swivelled quickly to slot the ball home for a share of the spoils.
1874: Coates; Connor; Russell; Pritchard; Jones; Irlam; Joe Woolley; Matt Woolley; Riley; McGowan & Kennerley. Subs: Gardner & Waite-Jackson. Unused Subs: Tucker; Clayton & Stevenson
WHITLOCK CORNERS THE POINTS
By Garry Clarke
BURSCOUGH 0-1 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 12TH AUGUST 2017
A 63rd minute goal direct from a corner was enough for 1874 Northwich to open their Hallmark Security League campaign with a win.
“It was not pretty, but its three points away from home on a poor pitch against a team which would have been happy with a draw” said co manager Wayne Goodison after his side had defeated a Burscough team relegated from the Evostik League at the end of last season.
1874 enjoyed the better of an open game on a bumpy pitch in which there few clear cut goal scoring opportunities. With a strong wind gusting down the pitch both sides struggled to adapt to the blustery conditions, and were both at their best when playing on the deck.
1874 forced a corner in the opening minute following a strong run down the left flank by Taylor Kennerley. Kazim Waite-Jackson whipped the corner into the penalty area where it looped off an 1874 player and cleared the bar by a matter of inches.
Mid-way through the first half the ever dangerous Kennerley combined with Lee Jackson to set up Sam Hind whose shot was blocked allowing Burscough to break away. Jake Connelly lofted the ball over Greg Hall on the edge of the area, but Danny Meadowcroft was on hand to clear.
On the half hour mark Scott McGowan met a Jack Lever cross with a shot on the turn which Burscough keeper Louis McCarthy did well to save. The Burscough No.1 was called into action again ten minutes later pouncing on an Adam Whitlock free kick which found its way through a packed penalty area.
Four minutes into the second half McCarthy pulled off a brilliant one handed reaction save to keep out a Whitlock shot from close range following a run and cross from Jackson. A few minutes later Hall produced an equally good flying save to deny Christy Devlin.
The decisive moment in the game arrived in the 63rd minute, Whitlock floated a corner kick from the right into a congested goalmouth, McCarthy was unable to deal with the wind assisted delivery as the ball nestled in the back of the net.
The home side tried to push forward in search of an equaliser but never seriously threatened 1874’s goal. If anyone was going to score it would be 1874, Whitlock pulled a shot across goal and McGowan drew a good save from McCarthy as the hosts, having already used their three substitutes, played out the closing minutes with just nine men as injuries forced Adam Gilchrist and Hafeez Hamzat to the sidelines.
As the game drew to a close Kennerley and Jackson combined on the left, Jackson’s cross found McGowan unmarked in the six yard box, with the goal at his mercy the ball took a wicked bounce and ballooned off his leg and over the bar.
BURSCOUGH – McCarthy, Cheetham, O’Brien, Szanto, Hamzat, Hulme, Connelly (Cummings 75), Devlin, Gilchrist, Hennerty (Diggle 63), Clark (Threkeld 61). Subs not used Hatton, Conaghan.
1874 – Hall, Lever, L Jackson, Pritchard, Medowcroft, Waite-Jackson (Riley 55), Whitlock, M Woolley, McGowan, Hind, Kennerley. Subs not used Clayton, Woods, Beadle, Spencer.
GOAL Whitlock 63
ATTENDANCE 175 REFEREE I Walsh
A DRAW does just enough to leave everybody feeling doubtful.
Less so Formby, who know that wins from their two remaining matches will make sure they are promoted to the Premier Division along with champions-elect Nelson.
1874 Northwich need victories from successive home games, plus a helping hand from a rival.
The Squirrels, understandably after playing extra time during a cup final on Thursday night, were short on stamina by the finish.
But last season’s champions were strong enough emotionally to resist their guests’ late push to score.
They did so in relative comfort, save for substitute David Short shooting wildly off target after Mike Brandon had flicked the ball into his path.
Had that combination been the other way around, then Ian Street’s men might have had cause for celebration.
They shaded the second half, going desperately close to a goal during their most prolonged spell of pressure in the minutes after half time.
Daley Woods’ attempt was deflected past an upright after Brandon nudged a pass his way before hitting a forceful effort too close to stand-in goalkeeper Josh O’Connell from the resulting corner.
Brandon then flashed a drive across the face of goal before Formby steadied themselves again in defence.
The hosts neared a breakthrough too, most notably when Kieran Brislen’s dipping shot dropped narrowly wide after Jason Carey had nipped in front Mike Aston.
His next try, also from distance, forced Northwich custodian Matt Conkie to parry.
All of those were mere glimpses of goal though, and none of the misses glaring.
The teams’ respective leading scorers, Brandon and Carey, have almost 60 goals between them this season.
That they were restricted to one opportunity each – the latter headed too high from Kurt Sherlock’s corner after a quarter of an hour – is proof of defenders’ dominance.
With so much at stake and neither side wishing to contemplate – never mind risk – defeat, that should have surprised nobody present.
Formby’s best chance fell for Mark Kirby shortly after Carey’s attempt but, perhaps surprised a cross from the left reached him at the back post, his stabbed finish lacked direction.
1874 Northwich, buoyed by the noise generated by a huge traveling support, started aggressively.
The visitors felt they had smuggled a ball over the line from a corner, but the match officials did not agree.
Formby responded by showing the solidity that has helped them to win every home league game in 2014, becoming the first team to shut out Street’s side on their travels.
They too toiled at the other end to penetrate Division One’s most stingy backline – marshalled with authority by Aston.
“There was nothing to choose between us,” said Street afterwards.
“We did all we could to win, but that’s not an easy thing to do here.
“I said beforehand that a draw isn’t the end, though Formby are now slight favourites.”
1874 Northwich Star man: Craig Farnworth. Battling an injury, but gritted his teeth to perform admirably alongside Mike Aston in the visitors’ defence. Dominant in the air, was also solid on the ground in a battle with Formby striker Jason Carey.
Formby (4-4-2) Simpson (GK) (O’Connell (GK) 46), Brislen, Turner, White, Swatton, Sherlock, Molyneux, Speed, Adegbenro (Gibson 37), Kirby, Carey (Forsyth 80) Subs not used Smith, Language Booked Carey (retaliation)
1874 (4-2-3-1) Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Farnworth, Aston, Duckworth, Jones, Stewart (Short 78), Woods (Abdullah 68), Ward, Wellstead, Brandon Subs not used Bailey, Woolley, Lunn Booked Wellstead (handball), Jones (foul)
Referee Anthony Parkinson (Preston)
FORMBY 4 V 2 1874 NORTHWICH
1874 finished second best in this quarter final of the NWCFL First Division Trophy although to their credit they did mount an impressive comeback late on in the game which may have had the home supporters holding their breath for a short while. Apart from a Cheshire Senior Cup tie, this game was 1874’s first since the 28th December win at Widnes and in truth it showed in many instances.
Manager Ian Street included new signing Michael Aston in midfield alongside skipper Lee Jones whilst Danny Thomas made a welcome return to the starting line-up.
The home side started the game at a high pace showing their visitors that they meant business and after an early yellow card was given to one of their players, another unsavoury incident soon followed when one of their forwards appeared to bite 1874’s defender Craig Farnworth. Craig then retaliated and both players were booked. Moments later the Formby skipper was extremely lucky to escape any punishment when he clearly pushed both of his hands into the face of Stuart Wellstead however the officials must have been unsighted as they took no action whatsoever.
In the 18th minute the home skipper made a rare error as he tripped over the ball leaving Mike Brandon with the opportunity to strike at goal and although his left foot shot beat the keeper, it went narrowly wide. This proved to be 1874’s only real worthwhile effort in the first half and on the half hour mark Formby took the lead as they benefited from the first of an alarming high number of mistakes by the 1874 players. Craig Farnworth lost the ball in his own half and Sherlock beat Conkie with a low shot. Formby then took a hold of the game and their passing game looked as though they would increase their lead whilst 1874 struggled to come to terms with the job in hand.
It was probable that both managers wanted the half time break to allow them to re-enforce their instructions to their respective sides but the strong following support for 1874 couldn’t have seen what was to quickly happen at the start of the second half. In the 49th minute Stuart Wellstead was tracking back and seemed to have the situation under control but somehow his opponent foxed him by preventing the ball from crossing the dead ball line and quickly passed into the six yard box allowing the onrushing Sherlock to score his and his side’s second goal.
The situation then got worse for 1874 just a minute later when a harmless looking ball into their half was misjudged by Aston and the hard-working Carey pounced on to the opportunity make the score line 3-0.
At this stage the game looked as good as won for Formby but Ryan Stewart had other ideas and in the 69th minute he reduced the arrears with a rasping left foot drive from the edge of the box that sailed past the keeper into the top corner to give his side a glimmer of hope to remain in the competition and that glimmer increased in the 86th minute when substitute Rick Bailey scored 1874’s second goal of the game by passing the ball into the net from 6 yards out.
Rick Bailey then hit the bar with a well struck left footed shot after he cut in from the left flank and then Ryan Stewart saw his free kick deflected away from the keeper but it went narrowly wide and from the resultant corner, 1874 saw their last chance pass them by as nobody could manage to get a final touch to the ball as it trickled out for a goal kick. The goal scoring for the hosts hadn’t finished however because in the last seconds of the game Kirby made the final score 4-2 with a well struck shot from 18 yards that gave Conkie no chance but once again this goal came about from a defensive error by 1874.
So Formby progress into the semi-final stage of this competition and can look forward to a two-legged contest with either Leek CSOB or AFC Darwen.
Team: Conkie, Mitchell, Duckworth, Farnworth, Thomas, Aston, Wellstead, Jones (Capt), Brandon, Ward and Stewart
Substitutes: Bailey (replaced Aston 76 mins) and Lunn (replaced Ward 67 mins) Unused Subs: Crane, Woolley and McGregor