Report: West 1-0 Cheadle Town

Tuesday 9th November 2021, NWCFL First Division South

West 1 (Heathcote pen 3)
Cheadle Town 0
Att: 505

Sam Heathcote’s early penalty was enough to edge West past Cheadle Town and secure three more valuable points.

Many of the 505 in attendance at The Step Places Stadium were barely in position when Ben Elliott was clattered by Cheadle keeper Elliot Wynne inside 40 seconds, and Heathcote sent the cautioned Wynne the wrong way to give West a lead they never seriously looked like relinquishing.

Driving rain hammering M21 for almost the entirety of the game meant that this encounter was never likely to be easy on the eye, but Chris Rowley’s side showed their battling qualities to claim a fourth consecutive clean sheet – no mean feat in any league, but particularly the NWCFL.

The visitors came into this game on the back of a 7-1 hammering of Ellesmere Rangers, but despite enjoying their fair share of possession were frustrated by an obstinate West back line, with Andrew Jones rarely called into serious action. It took until midway through the second half for them to eke out their clearest opportunities, with Pat Davin off-target when well-placed before a free kick sailed over Jones’ angle of post and crossbar.

West were a little more successful in creating chances, but the supporters behind the opposition goal were not as close to the action as they were for Saturday’s 5-0 rout of Eccleshall. Dontai Gabidon wriggled into the box before shooting into the side netting just before half time, and when Rhain Davis did find the net after the break, the assistant referee’s flag smothered what would have been his first West goal celebration since August.

Few inside a sodden Brookburn Road were interested in handing out points for artistic merit during a nervy closing period, but in truth West were comfortable in closing out a result which maintains a five-point lead at the top of the First Division South.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock, C. Jones, Dibble, Heathcote, Matthews, Gavin, Elliott, Davis, Gabidon. Not used: Graham, Westall, Swift.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Connor Hancock.

Chris Rowley post-match reaction