MATCH REPORT | Barnoldswick Town 2-1 West

Saturday 3rd November 2018, NWCFL Premier Division

Barnoldswick Town 2 (Dale 43, 47)
West 1 (B. Woods 75)
Att: 136

Goals either side of half time condemned West to a sixth successive league defeat as Barnoldswick claimed an early-season double in East Lancashire.

West were looking to open November on a positive note after losing all seven games in October, but Zack Dale’s double knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and they left a sodden Silent Night Stadium empty-handed despite Ben Woods’ goal 15 minutes from time.

Dale’s first goal, two minutes before the interval, was a frustrating end to an otherwise tight first period – West showed more of the solidity they exhibited against City of Liverpool last weekend, but ultimately paid for their bluntness at the other end.

Former Maine Road keeper Ryan Livesey was barely called into action in an opening period where chances at either end were at a premium. West’s most promising opportunities came from a series of ultimately wasted set-pieces, while Marcus Burgess was similarly untroubled in the visitors’ goal until the dying embers of the first period. As the rain began to teem down, a through ball split the West defence and Zack Dale was free to run through and slip the ball into the net.

A good start to the second half was vital if West were to take anything back to Manchester, but Dale struck again in almost identical circumstances two minutes after the restart as the visitors lost their way in increasingly foul conditions. Despite having howling gales blowing in their favour, West found themselves unable to escape their own half as the home side took control of proceedings.

The home side’s tally remained at two despite a succession of clear chances – most notably, Dale should have had a hat-trick when he nodded over from a promising position. But West finally made the most of the conditions to pull a goal back with a quarter of an hour remaining, when Ben Woods’ wind-assisted corner flew directly in over Livesey.

A rejuvenated West pushed for a leveller. Danny McLaughlin prodded narrowly wide from a tight angle, but the clearest opening arrived in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Ryan Eiselt found space at the far post following a Scott Mason set-piece. However, Eiselt could only volley against the woodwork as Barlick held on to follow up their 3-2 win at Brookburn Road just over a month ago.

West: Burgess, S. Mason (Tinker 70), Pearson, Roberts, Eiselt, Eckersley, Crowther (Tsegaye 70), Andrews, McLaughlin, Shaw (Coombes 63), B. Woods. Not used: Potts.

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