West slumped to their first away defeat of the season as they were soundly beaten 4-1 by 1874 Northwich.
West Manager’s pre-match plans were thrown into disarray with the late withdrawal of Richmond Botchey adding to the absence of Anthony Potts and Rick Gleave. Worse still was the traffic meaning that full back Scott Mason only arrived as the team’s were heading out. However West were able to welcome the return of Mark Rogers following an Achilles injury as Ben Woods made his first start for West and Ben Steer returned to the starting line-up.
West almost fell behind after 60 seconds when a move down the right freed Tom Bailey at the edge of the area but he struck the inside of the post with his first time effort. West started slowly but had a great chance to take the lead on 11 minutes when Ash Woods headed on a Ben Woods cross, reaching his own header but volleyed over from 10 yards out. Two minutes later Lee Gavin found Jonny Poizer who a superb through ball but the West forward could only fire wide at the near post.
1874 took the lead on 29 minutes when Dean Williams kick was sliced to a Northwich player who quickly played in Scott McGowan in arches of space; the forward rounded Williams and slotted home to give the home side the lead.
The lead last three minutes as a long ball from Ben Woods found Poize’rs head whose flick on was played into the path of Ash Woods; his first touch took the ball past his marker with the West forward quickly turning before firing an unstoppable shot into the rough of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
The goal lifted West who had created long range efforts from Gavin and Poizer but couldn’t force 1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall into a save. Five minutes before half time Williams was called into make a great save low to his left, reaching behind him to prevent the ball crossing the line. However the West goalkeeper suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by Hayden Buckley-Smith as the two sides went into the break level.
The second half began as uneventful as the first had been eventful and it took until 70 minutes before either side had a significant effort on goal with Neil Chappell firing just wide from 30 yards for the home side. The injury front would get worse for West as Matty Kay was forced out of the game due to a knee injury; and replaced with Paul Socha.
The deadlock was broken on 79 minutes when West conceded possession and a quick interchange of passing released Sam Hind down the left who lifted his shot over Buckley-Smith to give the home side the lead. Four minutes later Ben Woods responded and almost levelled as his shot clipped the top of the crossbar from the edge of the area. On 84 minutes Ben Woods was involved again as he played in Steer but the pass was under hit allowing Hall to save at his near post.
The points were made safe four minutes from time when Buckley-Smith made a great save from close range but McGowan was on hand to fire home the loose ball on the line. To add insult to injury 1874 made it 4-1 in stoppage time as Bailey stabbed home from close range after a low deflected cross from the right hand side.
The result left West 3rd in the table, three points behind leaders Atherton Collieries, having been overtaken by 1874 as a result of the loss.