Report: West 3-2 Nostell Miners Welfare

Saturday 11th September 2021, FA Vase First Qualifying Round

West 3 (Gabidon 13, 36, Cottee 50)
Nostell Miners Welfare 2 (Penney-Larter 45+, Younis 47)
Att: 489

West edged out Nostell Miners Welfare to progress to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase.

Dontai Gabidon’s first-half brace looked to have West cruising towards progression, but the Northern Counties East visitors had other ideas and hauled themselves level with goals immediately before and after the interval. However, James Cottee’s first goal back at West settled matters and set up a home meeting with Parkgate, as well as seal a seventh straight win in all competitions.

With the two sides scoring a total of 54 goals in the league this season, entertainment was always likely to be on the agenda and West could have made an ideal start inside ten minutes, with Cottee heading a cross just the wrong side of the far post.

However, Chris Rowley’s side didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal as Gabidon continued his hot streak in front of goal. Liam Delaney switched play to the left channel, and the West winger considered his options before firing the ball into the bottom corner.

West continued to press and were rewarded with Gabidon’s fourth goal in three games, just after the half-hour mark. Sam Heathcote’s pass through the middle evaded two Nostell defenders, and Gabidon cut back onto his right foot before hammering the ball past the keeper.

Gabidon had a chance to wrap up a first-half hat-trick but was foiled by the goalkeeper, an intervention that proved to be crucial as the visitors made their way back into the game. They served notice of intent when a dipping shot from outside the area clipped the bar and went over, before reducing the arrears in the final moments of the first period – Luis Penney-Larter’s effort evading the grasp of Andrew Jones.

Nostell then completed their comeback seconds after the restart, as Anees Younis fired over Jones and into the top corner from the left channel.

But West weren’t to be denied and pulled themselves back ahead within three minutes of the equaliser. Delaney claimed another assist, prodding the ball into the box, and Cottee arrived just ahead of Aarron Grewal to convert first goal since re-signing back at Brookburn Road.

With 40 minutes still remaining, it looked as if further goals were inevitable but the game settled down after this flurry of excitement. West re-asserted control and Grewal and Rhain Davis both had half-chances, before substitute Billy Matthews almost added a fourth in the closing stages.

Nostell pushed bodies forward in the final moments as they looked for an equaliser that would force a shoot-out, but West were resolute through five minutes of injury time to book a date with Parkgate in two weeks’ time.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock, Delaney, Dibble, Heathcote, Grewal, Davis, Cottee, Ryan (Tinker 56 (Swift 76)), Gabidon (Matthews 86). Not used: Elliott, Eme, Lewis, Jackson.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Dontai Gabidon.

Post-match reaction from Chris Rowley