West 2016/17 Season Review: April

West finished the season in style as they rounded off the NWCFL Premier Division Club of the Month for April with six wins from their final seven games.

Following a 3-1 loss away to Padiham in mid-week in which Georgi Whyment scored his first league goal of the season West travelled to Barnoldswick three days later and fell behind to an early Barlick goal before losing Nic Evangelinos to a dislocated shoulder before half time.  However West roared back in the second half as Saul Henderson scored twice with Matty Kay also scoring from the penalty spot.

The win had a galvanising effect on West as they beat Congleton Town 48 hours later on the NWCFL groundhop.  Nia Bayunu gave West the lead with his first touch from a corner seconds after coming on as a substitute.  Despite Congleton levelling through a superb volley Henderson reclaimed the lead for West through a header of their own.  Carlos Mendes Gomes made the game safe with one of the goals of the season in stoppage time curling beyond the Congleton goalkeeper.

The following weekend Cammell Laird were also port to the sword as West ran riot in a 6-1 win.  Ben Steer started proceedings with a tap in made by Matty Kay before Joe Shaw made it 2-0 from a stunning free kick.  Matty Kay made it 3-0 with a panenka after Jos Tinker had been fouled in the box.  Georgi Whyment made it 4-0 with a stunning strike before adding his second in the second half with Tinker also finding the score sheet.  There was also time for Aaron Ashley to make a superb penalty save prompting the Norwegian supporters club to sponsor him for the following season.

The final week of the season saw a trio of away fixtures and none came bigger than the re-arranged South Manchester Derby away to Maine Road.  Given a second chance following the original abandonment due to an injury to Maine Road’s Rick Williams West lead inside two minutes when Matty Kay converted a penalty following a foul on Ash Woods in the area.  In the second half Joe Shaw made it 2-0 with a thunderous strike from 35 yards out before Saul Henderson made it 3-0 from a corner converting at the near post and finishing by celebrating shirtless in the crowd of delirious West supporters.

That momentum carried West into Wednesday night, boosted by the returns of Ash Woods and Michael Simcock, they registered a first ever win at the Barnton Stadium. Ash Woods converted from a Steer throw in before turning provider himself as Steer secured twice just after the break to give West a commanding 3-0 lead.  Despite a late goal from Winsford, West still had Ashley to thank as he made several saves to keep Winsford at bay with the score 0-0.

West saved the best performance for last as they travelled to Bootle on the final day of the season to face a side, a 20 goal swing aside, all but confirmed as runners up.  The meeting with the division’s top goalscorers was never likely to be 0-0 as Ben Steer gave West a deserved lead just after the half hour mark. However there was a further twist as Jamie Hay scored twice for Bootle, his final game before retirement, and it looked like they would head into the half ahead but for a superb Matty Kay strike on the brink of half time.

Bootle re-took the lead early in the second half but the day belonged to Matty Kay who, first helped draw West level, before turning provider for Ash Woods to make it 4-3.  Woods returned the favour to Matty to make it 5-3 and in turn see the two players share the West golden boot award.

The season ended in style as the players were given a standing ovation from the travelling West supporters as they confirmed 6th place and their second highest finish in club history.  Even, the post-match players celebrations would go viral as Steve Brockley lead the chants of ‘hummus’ and ‘quinoa’ to leave West with much momentum heading into the new season.

You can buy our 2016/17 Yearbook now. Created, designed and illustrated by Lew Currie, it features recollections, stats and writings on last season. Find out more here: http://wdcfc.co.uk/201617-yearbook-lew-currie-pre-order-launch-night/

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