Match Report | Northwich Victoria 6 – 0 West
|Northwich Victoria||6-0||West Didsbury & Chorlton||HT: 3-0|
|Brian Matthews (3)
Daryhll Mason (22)
Own Goal (32)
Joel Brownhill (78p)
Jordan Darr (87)
Joel Brownhill (90+3)
Having spent 120 minutes getting themselves through to the FA Vase semi final on the weekend, Northwich Victoria had the perfect warm down with a routine midweek win over a West side that only put up a fight in fits and starts.
Vics rarely had to get out of first gear in order to gain an emphatic victory – exemplified by their opening goal, which came from the first attack of the game. A cross from the right was looped home from a header by Matthews for the home side, who made the most of the space afforded him to skilfully direct the ball past Burgess. It would take another 20 minutes before they would seriously challenge West again, but as soon as they did it was 2 – 0: a corner from the right, and another header home. 10 minutes later, a third came through a slice of luck – a ball across the 6 yard box eluded everyone, before hitting a West shirt at the far post and sneaking in at the far post. There was the air that this had been a fairly even game: West had one chance when only 1 down, with Shaw – back in the team following an illness – free at the edge of the box only to see a bobble scupper his stab at goal. But still: a Victoria side that was far from fluid went into the break 3 goals to the good.
The second period started well for West, who showed glimpses of the attacking verve that has been absent in recent matches. Miranda was all pace and energy, McLaughlin winning knock downs, Bailey and Shaw interplaying well – but there the opposition goal stayed largely untroubled. As the game approached the hour, Victoria threatened to go up a gear without ever actually doing so – which was enough to stick the game into a state of stalemate for the meat of the second period. With the chances of a highly unlikely West comeback all but gone, Victoria were awarded a penalty – one that was hardly appealed for, nor celebrated by the home support. That’s not to say it wasn’t valid: there was presumably some form of coming together in the box, or the pulling of shirts. No card was given, but Brownhill slotted home emphatically to make it 4. In the dying embers of the game, the home side added varnish to a score with two goals that out of form sides are always wont to concede late on in a game: the first, a square ball in the box converted home unmarked at the far post; the second, a needless counter attack in the last action of the game.
Northwich Victoria will have much bigger tests ahead: the same can also be said of West. The home side have the chance to go to Wembley if they win in their forthcoming FA Vase semi final, whereas West site a point off safety in the NWCFL having played a game more than their nearest rival. Next up is Irlam, another side who’ve had their own FA Vase heroics this season. With only 7 games left to salvage safety, West can’t afford many performances like this one.
Teamsheets to follow.