West 2016/17 Season Review: October
The beginning of October saw yet more cup disappointment for West as they were knocked out at home at the first stage by finalists Barnoldswick Town despite taking an early lead through Ben Woods. However, Barlick retaliated scoring three unanswered goals on route to the final.
It proved to be the beginning of a poor run of form for West as their title challenge slipped from their grasp when they suffered back to back home defeats in the league. First they were defeated at home to Squires Gate in a real sense of déjà vu. West again fell behind to two first half goals in front of the smallest crowd of the season before they rallied level thanks to goals from Nia Bayunu and Rick Gleave. However, Squires Gate left with the points thanks to a late winner.
Bad became worst as West hosted their first Friday Night Lights game of the season when they took on Irlam in the return fixture. In front of a crowd of almost 300 West lead through a fine individual Ash Woods goal but Irlam levelled through a late penalty before adding a second from a corner in stoppage time to the delight of their travelling fans.
The rot was briefly stopped with a first ever win away to Ashton Athletic where West led 2-0 through Jonny Poizer and Rob Black before they were pegged back to 2-2 by Marcus Cusani. However Rob Black popped up 7 minutes from time to secure a vital three points for West.
Worst was yet to come for West as they surrendered three times in 11 days in the league; all to rival title challengers. A huge crowd was on hand for the visit of 1874 Northwich which looked to be heading to a 0-0 draw as the home side dominated the first half before Joe Shaw was sent off for violent conduct. The visitors then dominated the second half, also reduced to 10 men, and Rick Bailey secured the double over West for the third year on the bounce with a stoppage time free kick.
A mid-week home defeat to Atherton Collieries as West were 3-0 down at half time in the rain before a second half fightback saw Rick Ainsclough score his only goal for West but they were unable to take anything from the game. The following mid-week saw West take the lead twice at Runcorn Town through a first Carlos Mendes Gomes league goal and Matty Kay penalty. However the two sides went into the break level before Runcorn rattled off four unanswered goals in a second half to forget for West supporters.
The month ended on a positive note however as West secured a comfortable 3-0 win against a lowly AFC Darwen side thanks to goals from Rick Gleave, Ash Woods and Ben Steer.