West made it back-to-back wins from the Easter weekend as they overcame a determined Congleton Town thanks to late goals from Saul Henderson and Carlos Mendes Gomes.
There was just one change for Steve Settle’s side as Ben Steer replaced the injured Nic Evangelinos whilst Nia Bayunu returned to the squad on the bench. There was also a place on the bench for full back Michael Simcock making his first appearance in the side since the opening day of the season against AFC Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The visitors started quickly and goalkeeper Aaron Ashley was forced to tip a free kick from Brian Matthews round the post as the Congleton forward bent it low and round the wall after just 7 minutes. Matty Kay responded with an effort of his own a minute later when his dipping effort from 25 yards out was superbly pushed round the post by Ross Heywood. West would remain a threat from set pieces for most of the match as Steer’s long throw was turned round the post by the knee of Joe Shaw on 15 minutes. From the resulting corner Mark Rogers headed just over. At the other end Congleton went close with a series of corners themselves as Callum Jones and Scott Sephton both saw headers fail to hit the target.
On 36 minutes West had the ball in the net on 36 minutes when Henderson slid a ball through for Georgi Whyment who did superbly to round the keeper before slotting home from a narrow angle however the flag was up for offside. The visitors almost went into the half in front as a superbly struck free kick from Matthews from 25 yards out cannoned off the base of the right hand post to leave the two sides level at half time.
The first chance of the second half fell to West on 54 minutes when Steer did superbly on the left hand side to shake off Gittins before cutting inside and firing a hard effort over the bar. A minute later Steer combined with Scott Mason, this time on the right, but Mason fired over the bar from the edge of the area.
Congleton responded and on 59 minutes saw Sephton hit the top of the crossbar with a effort from the edge of the penalty area. A minute later the woodwork was struck a second time as Shaw hit the underside of the crossbar from a Steer throw in. Congleton immediately responded with an effort of their own as Koral forced Ashley into a save low to his left from long range.
On 64 minutes West went close again from another set piece as a Matty Kay corner was cleared only as far as Rogers who forced a superb save from the Congleton goalkeeper. Settle rang the changes as Nia Bayunu and Carlos Mendes Gomes replaced the impressive duo of Ben Steer and Georgi Whyment. The impact was immediate as Bayunu jumped highest to nod home a Kay corner with his first touch on 70 minutes.
With 8 minutes remaining Congleton pulled level as good work down the right from Koral saw his cut back find Gardner and his half volley fired into the top left hand corner. Congleton had chances to take all three points as Fletcher fired over from the edge of the area with the goal at his mercy before Hibbert race down the left but fired his effort into the hands of Ashley with Fletcher lurking at the far post.
The drama was only just beginning as with a minute remaining West as Henderson rose highest to a Kay corner heading into the bottom right hand corner to the delight of the home crowd. The drama wasn’t over however as a Congleton free kick was cleared by Ashley into the path of Mendes Gomes who did superbly to hold off his defender, turning him as he raced towards goal before opening his body up and firing an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner to send the home supporters home happy.