PRE-SEASON 2018 | Cheadle Town 1-0 West
West returned to action last night with a solid showing away to NWCFL Division One South side Cheadle Town before succumbing to a late goal in their first pre-season game of 2018.
Manager Steve Settle named a strong starting XI with returns to West for Anthony Potts, Rick Gleave and Saul Henderson alongside debuts for Will Jones, Jack Langford and Rory Breslin,
West started brightly as Joe Shaw looked to catch former West youth team goalkeeper Dan Whiting off his line early doors with a 30 yard free kick just evading the cross bar. Shaw, playing in a more advanced role alongside Rick Gleave, Shaw proved a threat to goal as he saw another shot blocked inside the penalty area followed by another free kick deflecting off the wall.
With the game still in the early stages Henderson almost gave West the lead as Ben Steer’s long throw find the tall number 9 on the half turn but his shot whistled wide of the far post. He then combined well with Rick Gleave with a lovely one-two with the latter forcing a strong save from the Cheadle goalkeeper.
West’s pressure continued and the best chance of the first half fell to Shaw, a wide cross from the corner flag from Ben Reader found the West no.10 at the far post but, off balance, he could only produce a terrific block from the Cheadle goalkeeper.
Steer and Henderson would both come close again but it was Will Jones in the West goal who would ensure it would remain 0-0 at half time as West were undone by a big switch with the goalkeeper forced into making a low save down to his right.
Settle made six changes at half time but, despite the introduction of Tom Bailey, were limited to half chances as the home side sought to raise their game.
Indeed it was 16-year-old Ollie Culkin who was called into action first as a Cheadle Town free kick hit the post before the young goalkeeper was twice called into action to push the rebound onto the post to deny the home side. The home side who began to take the upper hand in the game but West defended resolutely.
Whilst the chances for either side remained limited the intensity did not before James Plumb settled the game eight minutes from time with a curled effort into the top corner from the edge of the area, an unstoppable strike.
First Half Team: Jones, Reader, Trialist, Potts, Eiselt, Breslin, Steer, Langford, Henderson, Shaw, Gleave.
Second Half Team: Culkin, Reader, Mason, Potts, Trialist, Breslin, Shaw, Trialist, Steer, Bailey, Trialist.