MATCH REPORT | West 4 – 0 Nelson

A rampant performance saw West progress to the last 16 of the Playermatch Cup against a powerless Nelson side on a brisk autumn day in Chorltonville.

The script for the game was written when Zac Cooper found space down the left early doors, hitting the byline and cutting back for Grimshaw to expertly guide it in at the near post. Intricate passing beforehand has worked the opening, whereas the difficulty of the finish was disguised by how easy the forward made it look. After only four minutes, West were firmly on the front foot.

The difference between this performance and some of the other closer games so far this season perhaps came down to two things: being clinical in front of goal, and a helping of luck. It was the latter that brought about the second goal. That man Grimshaw again wormed his way into the area, finding himself turning away from goal and looking for an option as he was needlessly brought down. On 17 minutes, Matty Boland stepped up to take it, and could count himself fortunate – the direction of a firmly hit penalty was guessed by the Nelson goalkeeper, who could only palm it into the net.

The game settled down into a familiar pattern for much of the rest of the first half – West putting on pressure without taking needless risks – before recent signee James Sigsworth decided to wrest the game from its stupor. Electric all game, his running consistently put the visiting defence on the back foot: this reticence meant he was able to gain a yard just outside the box, swiftly whipping it to inside the side netting of the far post. The half time whistle blew with West 3 goals to the good, and with one foot already in the next round.

The second half started as quickly as the first – a cut back to Boland by the penalty spot expertly despatched only 1 minute in. He should’ve sealed his hat-trick shortly afterwards, with Sigsworth creating a chance that the Nelson keeper did well to push over. Despite more chances – the most notable being opposition selected Player of the Match Callum Jones effort that just squirted wide of the post with the visiting defence at sixes and sevens – scoring for the day had finished. The West defence looked at ease throughout, with Andrew Jones a spectator for much of the game in nets. Changes of personnel – Boland, Ash Woods, and a debut for Argent-Barnes – made things a little more ragged, but the result was never really in doubt. A competent and emphatic performance, with St Helens Town awaiting in the next round.

West XI: A Jones, Cook, Cooper, C Jones, Eckersley, Forbes, Grimshaw (Argent-Barnes, 60), Gavin, Cottee (A Woods, 78), Boland (Moloney, 63), Sigsworth Unused subs: Steer, Horner

Goalscorers: Grimshaw (4), Boland (17, 46), Sigsworth (38)

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