Report: West 2-0 Wythenshawe Amateurs

Saturday 30th October 2021, NWCFL First Division South

West 2 (Gabidon 28, Delaney pen 40)
Wythenshawe Amateurs 0
Att: 783

West extended their lead at the top of the First Division South with a professional win against local promotion rivals Wythenshawe Amateurs.

Chris Rowley’s side established a deserved half-time lead through Dontai Gabidon and a Liam Delaney penalty, before playing out a lower-key second half to secure a prized clean sheet and a 13th win of the league campaign.

The Sunday-morning league table shows a four-point gap at the summit thanks to results and postponements elsewhere, but with a testing second half of the season to come, the hard work is just beginning. But the assured nature of this derby win was a confidence-booster, coming against another of the division’s early pacesetters.

After drawing their last home game, West were looking to make amends in front of another exceptional Brookburn Road crowd and almost made a perfect start. Liam Delaney was the only player on the move in the Ammies six-yard box as he tapped in a loose ball, but after the referee initially gave the goal he overturned his decision after consulting with his assistant.

West continued to press, with Gabidon forcing a fine save from Ammies keeper Kyle Haslam and Ben Elliott inches away from connecting with a ball over the top. Delaney then rattled the post with a 25-yard free kick, but just as it looked as if West’s early dominance would go unrewarded, Gabidon struck for the seventh time this season.

Connor Hancock broke up play on the halfway line before finding the West winger, who cut inside from the right and arrowed a shot across Haslam and into the far corner.

The visitors, who were looking to shake off a heavy 4-0 defeat to Abbey Hey in their last game, roused themselves after the goal and began to make inroads into the West half. However, Andrew Jones was protected by a resolute West defence missing the suspended Sam Heathcote, with Elliott Messam proving a more than capable replacement.

West then took a giant stride towards all three points with five minutes of the first half remaining – after Haslam spilled a Delaney shot at the feet of Matthews, the West number 7 was taken out in the box and the referee had little option other than to point to the spot. Delaney assumed responsibility and rolled the ball into the corner to double West’s lead.

The second half is unlikely to go down as a Brookburn Road classic as West were content to see out the win. The excellent Elliott – ultimately withdrawn with 15 minutes remaining after a bruising battle with the Ammies centre backs – carved out a couple of half-chances and Callum Jones clipped the bar with a late free kick.

The visitors, meanwhile, offered precious little with top scorer, and former West man, Saul Henderson an unused substitute. Andrew Jones was kept active by a series of long shots, but the destination of the points had long since been decided as West remain in the First Division South pole position.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock, Delaney, Dibble, Messam, Matthews (Grewal 62), Gavin, Elliott (Swift 75), C. Jones, Gabidon (Westall 84). Not used: Cottee, Graham.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Andrew Jones.

Chris Rowley post-match reaction