West made it three wins in a week with a hard fought 2-1 win in the first ever meeting against Hanley Town.
West made two changes from the mid-week win at Glossop as Carlos Mendes Gomes returned to the starting XI having missed the mid-week game to allow himself to time to prepare for a trial game at Crewe Alexandra. Saul Henderson also returned to the line up having been cup tied in mid-week which saw Ben Steer and Jonny Poizer with the injured Rick Gleave forced to miss out altogether.
It was West who took the initiative from the kick off and took the lead after three minutes when a Matty Kay corner was only cleared as far as Nic Evangelinos who superbly volleyed it beyond the Hanley goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area. It was a just reward for their early pressure.
The game was just seven minutes old when Hanley went sent down to 10 men as a Hanley free kick was whipped in and saved by Williams who claimed the ball at the second attempt. However Hanley’s centre half Joshua Thorpe took exception to Williams diving at his feet, kicking him on the floor before being dismissed for forcing his head into the West’s goalkeepers.
West utilised their man advantage as Evangelinos forced a save from the Hanley goalkeeper Joseph Hemmings on 17 minutes. On 25 minutes Mendes Gomes latched onto a ball over the top, rounded the keeper, was tripped up by him but recovered, pulling his cross back to Matty Kay who forced another good stop from the Hanley goalkeeper. Two minutes later he was called into action again as Joe Shaw flicked on a free kick into the keepers hands.
On the half hour mark it was almost 2-0 as Evangelinos was tripped but Kay reacted quickest curling an effort millimetres wide of the post from 25 yards out. Moments later Mendes Gomes and Kay combined with Kay saying his effort blocked before Evangelinos saw his rebound superbly saved. On 33 minutes Henderson latched onto a cross from the left hand side but saw his header deflected onto the outside of the post. West continued to create chances up until the end of the first half but without forcing Hanley to make another save.
The second continued in the same manner as a superb pass from Mendes Gomes found Henderson who in turn forced another good save from Hemmings on 48 minutes. At the other end Hanley won a corner but Danny Hope header over unmarked. They were level on 54 minutes as a ball over the top allowed them to go through on goal, Paul Socha recovered but collided with the Hanley striker and the referee had no option but to give a penalty. Sean Mountford sent Williams the wrong way and fired his shot into the bottom right hand corner.
West almost responded immediately as Henderson was found at the edge of the area firing just over on the turn. West continued to create chances as Anthony Potts saw his header deflected wide of the post but Williams was called upon to make a big save on 68 minutes after a long punt over the top of the defence.
The save proved crucial as a minute later Potts rose highest to head home a corner at the far post to restore West’s lead on 68 minutes. Moments later Hanley responded as they headed over again from six yards out as they went for broke going all out in the search for a second.
On 77 minutes Shaw went close again as a superb cross from substitute Ben Steer but the West midfielders diving head bounced just wide of the post. West introduced Rob Black and Jonny Poizer who both combined as the former combined with Kay to set up the latter as Poizer volleyed just wide before Black rolled an effort just wide of the post on the counter. In the dying stages West went close again as three efforts were superbly saved by the Hanley goalkeeper to deny Steer and Kay as West secured a vital three points to lift them back above the Staffordshire based side.