MATCH REPORT | West 1-2 Northwich Victoria

Tuesday 28th November 2017, NWCFL Premier Division

West 1 (Bailey 41)
Northwich Victoria 2 (Hart 55, Bennett 79)
Att: 140

West ended a nightmare November with another defeat as Northwich Victoria came from behind to claim an eighth win in ten games.

Tom Bailey’s 20th goal of the season, four minutes before the interval, put West in sight of a first league win since 18th October. But Vics were the better team for the majority of the match and completed the turnaround courtesy of Jason Hart’s long-range strike not long after the break and a John Bennett free-kick as the game entered the closing stages.

The visitors, resurgent under new boss Steve Wilkes, had their tails up from the off and peppered the West goal with attacks, with Matty Clarke, Hart and Kieron Kenny all going close. Vics top scorer Brian Matthews had the clearest opportunity in the opening period but could only blaze over when Aaron Ashley palmed a cross into his path.

The home side grew into the match, though, and made Vics pay for their missed chances in the 41st minute – Josh Tinker’s cross was only half-cleared by keeper Michael Donlon, but when Jack Sergeant opted to pass on the edge of the box it looked as though the moment had passed. Sergeant had made the right decision, though, and Bailey clipped the ball over a Vics defender on the line as West opened the scoring in a match for the first time since the 4-2 win against Squires Gate on 7th October.

West’s grip on the game was never wholly convincing, and Vics equalised ten minutes into the second half. Hart was off-target at the far post moments earlier, but made amends when he cut inside from the left and fired a low shot into Ashley’s bottom-left corner.

The sides shared half-chances – Ashley Woods half-volleying wide for West and Vics going close from a set-piece – but the visitors looked the more likely and duly found a winner with 11 minutes remaining, Bennett’s shot rolling inexorably past Ashley.

West pushed forward in an attempt to avoid a seventh straight league defeat, with Bailey narrowly missing a Woods cross and substitute Georgi Whyment twice forcing saves from Donlon. But Vics saw the game out and West must hope that December brings about a much-needed change in fortunes.

West: Ashley, Tinker, Pritchard (Mason 79), Eiselt, Hagon, Potts, Steer, Sergeant, Bailey, Shaw (Whyment 83), Woods. Not used: Dryden, Hilton.

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