MATCH REPORT | West 2-1 Nelson
West Didsbury & Chorlton came from a goal down to book their place in the second round of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy with a 2-1 win over an impressive Nelson side.
West made a host of changes as starts were handed to Michael Simcock, Sam Parr, Daryl Weston, Georgi Whyment, Andy Kilheeney, Saul Henderson, Jimmy Woodward and Rick Gleave whilst Kev McGrath, Tom Bailey and Declan Rydings dropped to the bench. Matty Kay, Ben Steer, Mark Rogers and Rory Carson were all given the night off whilst Settle offered minutes to much of his squad.
It was the visitors who were quicker out of the blocks playing some nice football in the final third but West created the game’s first chance when Henderson headed over from a Simcock free kick after two minutes. On 19 minutes, Nelson’s good play was almost rewarded when a terrific cross flew across the six yard box but Daniel Mort couldn’t turn it home. Moments later a goal mouth scramble saw Nelson go close again before West were eventually able to clear it away.
Nelson took the lead on 29 minutes when Ashley Hodson flicked a header on and Alex Mullin held off his marker long enough to fire his effort beyond Aaron Ashley into the bottom corner. Moments later Ashley was called to West’s rescue to push away an effort from a narrow angle by Anthony McGloughlin.
West stirred from their slumber and forced the first save of the game from Nelson goalkeeper Shane Hudson who did well to get down to his left to push a deflected first time effort from Henderson round the post on 32 minutes.
West would go close with chances from Weston, who drilled wide from long range, and Woodward, who fired over from a difficult angle inside the penalty area. Woodward went closer again when Josh Tinker’s throw in was flicked on by Henderson and Woodward hit hard left footed volley which was well saved by Hudson at the second attempt.
West drew themselves level on the stroke of half time as Nelson failed to clear a corner sufficiently seeing Sam Parr’s long range effort deflected into the path of Rick Gleave who slotted beyond the helpless Nelson goalkeeper to give parity to the half time score-line/
Two minutes into the second half Hudson was called into action again to save an effort at his near post from Henderson. However he could do nothing about the resulting corner which saw Woodward’s inswiniging effort find its way onto the head of Weston who made no mistake in heading home his first West goal.
West went in search of a third as Whyment saw an effort saved at the near post before Simcock saw his free kick curl just wide of the post. Hudson came to Nelson’s rescue again as he tipped a Woodward corner onto the crossbar.
At the other end Nelson saw a header fly just wide of the post from a free kick as they dragged themselves back into the game. A terrific cross from substitute Tom Bailey found Weston at the far post but this time his header deflected wide for another corner.
On 72 minutes Mullin curled a free kick just over the bar as Nelson sought to force a penalty shoot-out. Bailey almost added another goal to his total as he was played in following an excellent pass from Woodward; holding off two men he saw his shot saved by the feet of the Nelson goalkeeper.
Nelson put West under pressure in the game’s final stages and it was Ashley who again came to West’s rescue to make a big save one-on-one from a point blank range as Elliott Farrenden-Sharp was left unmarked at the far post and the West number came up with a big save.
Despite the Nelson goalkeeper coming up to provide a late extra player in the West penalty area, much to the delight of the home supporters, West hung on to reach the second round where a home draw against Lancaster City awaits.