HANLEY TOWN FC
Final 1 V 1 Score WINSFORD UNITED FC
August 16th, 2017
Hallmark Security League
Ross Heywood A
Danny Kerr (Capt.)
Lee Duckworth Y
Andrew Nicholls A
Jordan Johnson R
Theo Stair (Capt.)
Mike Koral Y
NEXT AWAY MATCH
NEXT HOME MATCH
Bank Holiday Monday
A = Man of the Match as voted by the opponents – Caution Y = Dissent Caution YD = Dismissal R
Winsford United Details
Intro – The Blues went into this first match away of the campaign boosted by their battling win against Barnoldswick Town. Their opponents had also kicked off with a home win and were fielding a team of experienced players. Winsford’s only change from the team that defeated Barnoldswick was the change of goalkeeper, something that never happened last season.
First Half –
GOAL!! The supporters hardly had time to settle in their seats before Winsford took the lead. There seemed little danger as the visitors slowly built up on the right but Damian Skolorzynski had other ideas as he charged in and smashed the ball into the top corner of the net from fully 30yards leaving goalkeeper Joe Hemmings grasping at thin air.
A free kick in a dangerous place on the edge of the area gave Callum Gardner chance to add to the lead but the ball was driven just wide of the upright.
The hosts hit back and the dangerous Theo Stair was off target when he was given space on the edge of the box. This was to be a pattern that was repeated throughout the game by the ex-Nantwich Town striker. One minute later Ross Heywood made what was to be the first of a series of fine saves, clearing Neville Thompson’s effort with an outstretched leg.
Raids by Hanley down the left flank were keeping the Winsford back four on their toes with left back Jonathan Sheldon looking a particular threat.
A short corner saw Gardner’s mishit shot scrambled round the post and the resulting corner saw Lee Duckworth’s header saved at point-blank range.
Hanley looked to have equalised on 23 minutes when Stair’s centre was headed home by Tom Ashton but the Linesman’s flag was raised for offside. A series of corners were putting Winsford under severe pressure but the defence held firm.
There was a serious setback for the visitors on the half hour mark when a reckless two-footed tackle by Jordan Johnson saw the Referee reach immediately for a red card and Winsford were down to ten men.
What the lack of numbers meant was that the hosts were allowed to progress unchallenged form the edge of their area to the halfway line and so build up a series of attacks.
Fortunately for Winsford the Hanley forwards were unable to provide an answer to Winsford offside tactics, the back four working as one unit.
Second Half –
The second half began with Heywood gathering Sheldon’s shot low down and there was an amazing miss by Stair, somehow putting the ball wide from the edge of the six-yard box. Daniel Cope was the next to spurn a clear chance, heading wide at the far post when it seemed easier to score.
GOAL!! The visitors defence finally broke down on 59 minutes and when Andrew Nicholls collected the ball on the edge of the box he found time to drive it low into the bottom right corner of the net.
Just after the hour mark Heywood made a save that could only be described as unbelievable, leaving the Hanley players holding their heads in their hands. When a cross came into the box, Charlie Goldstraw ran in to meet it with a header on the edge of the six-yard box that looked unstoppable. However, Heywood had other ideas and somehow changing direction in mid air he managed to get a hand on the ball and pushed it away for a corner.
Hanley were making good use of the extra space and it seemed only a matter of time before Winsford were to concede again and there followed a period of heavy pressure.
There were further wasted efforts by Stair and Nicholls while at the other end there seemed to be a stonewall penalty for the visitors when Danny Kerr was flattened in the area but the Referee was uninterested in the protests and waved play on.
There might well have been an unlikely injury time winner for Winsford when Mike Koral broke free down the left but faced with just Hemmings to beat tired legs let him down and his shot was weak and easily saved.
Verdict – An outstanding performance considering Winsford played with ten men for the last hour of the match. Problems now with Winsford’s only genuine striker out for three matches after the Northwich Victoria game.
Described by Hanley as the best goalkeeping performance they have ever seen at this level.
Candidate for Goal of the Season
As voted by the opponents
A A A
A A A A