1874 NORTHWICH 1-1 WINSFORD UNITED
The much anticipated Boxing Day derby ended all square, with both teams happy with a point but both also thinking they should have won. Manager Lee Duckworth made 1 change as in came new signing Jake Phillips to occupy the right hand side. With nothing short of 7 first teamers missing the bench consisted of 2 local 17 year olds who both changed the game in the Blues favour. 1874 included ex-blues Gardner, Koral and Riley, although only Gardner started with the other 2 on the bench.
The game started at a frantic pace with 1874 in the ascendancy. The Winsford rear guard seemed to be struggling with the constant long balls from 1874.
In the 9th minute 74 took the lead when an uncharacteristic error from Langley only cleared the ball as far as ex-Blue Callum Gardner. Despite Langley’s attempt to win the ball back, Gardner crossed the ball to the far post and to Taylor Kennerley who scored from close range.
Langley made amends minutes later when another long ball saw McGowan in on goal but for Langley to make a great save.
David Short was causing all sorts of problems for the blues with the 74 rear guard clearly ruffled. He was denied a shooting opportunity by an excellent Mark Jones tackle and then hit a free kick from the edge of the box which looked destined for goal had it not been a great save from Coates in the 74 goal.
Then a moment of controversy as the half was coming to an end, a cross from Phillips on the right appeared to have been caught by a 74 defender, but the referee was unsighted and despite the appeals of “handball” from the crowd he waved play on. The half ended 1-0 to the hosts and Winsford needed to find their recent form if they were to get anything out of this game after 74 had edged the 45.
The Winsford management changed the shape and introduced 17 year old local boy Kallum Boyle for the injured Steve Jenyons. This seemed to unsettle 1874 as the second half begun and they never regained composure.
On 60 minutes Winsford sub 17 year old Joe Duckworth (on for Howell) was at the centre of the action with his first touch as he charged down a 74 clearance, the ball ran to Short who unchallenged from the edge of the area hit a rasping shot which just cleared the left hand post. Winsford were growing in confidence all the time and it seemed like an equaliser was certainly on the cards.
The game was delayed when 74 defender Russell was stretchered from the field having sustained a serious looking injury following a contested 50/50 tackle with a Winsford attacker.
Goal – the equaliser came shortly after, a free kick for Winsford some 35 yards from goal was crossed by Short on to the head of Delaney who headed it across goal to the waiting Duckworth to send the supporters into rapture at a deserved equaliser.
Shortly after the goal 1874 were reduced to 10 men as the clearly rattled Pritchard took a swipe at young Duckworth off the ball and was rightly given his marching orders. The game became 1 way traffic as 74 sat in deep happy to take the point and stem the tide of blue shirts moving forward in search of a winner.
The winner never came and in the end both teams will feel they should of won but a draw a fair result. Winsford will need to learn to deal with the direct approach as we head into Jan / Feb where the pitches will be sticky and more teams will follow suit.
WINSFORD – Langley, Phillips, Clarke (Collinson 87), Delaney, Jenyons (Boyle HT), Foster, Jones. Hopper, Short, Howell (J Duckworth 61), Blackwell. sub not used L Duckworth.
MOM – Dean Clarke – Never stopped
Sponsors MOM – Dave Short – a constant threat