by Neil Hawkins · 07/10/2020
Reflecting on last weekend’s opening day NWCFL win over Stockport Town, manager Chris Rowley was quietly pleased with how his team went about their business.
A deserved 2-0 lead at half-time, thanks to goals from captain Sam Heathcote and Dontai Gabidon, made his team talk slightly easier. However, conceding straight from kick-off in the second half changed the momentum of the game almost instantly.
West dug in and hung on though in miserable conditions, limiting the visitors to just a couple of chances from long range, while also missing a number of opportunities ourselves to extend the lead.
However, a win on the first day of the season was what really mattered and carried on the great pre-season work and form of Chris’ team.
He said: “Pre-season is all about building to the opening day. There’s no point winning every game in pre-season 10-0 then coming into the first league game and getting beat. Stockport was a case of challenging people and making sure everyone was ready for the game, and they were.”
A number of players were out with injury, meaning the likes of Joshua Tinker was playing out of position at full back and Laurence Taylor was making his debut in the middle of the park. Chris added: “Some people came in who maybe didn’t expect to start, but we got together as a group and that’s what I’ve said all pre-season – we’re a group and there are a lot of games coming up.”
Next up is Charnock Richard in the FA Vase this Saturday at The Step Places Stadium, where there’ll be another full house cheering on the boys following their impressive first qualifying round win over Bury AFC.
Looking forward, Chris said: “We’re going into the game full of confidence. There’ll be some changes; we’re only a couple of game into the season but we need to take each game as it comes. We’ve said we want a cup run and we want to win our games in the league. We’re only looking at the next game, taking it as it comes, seeing what personnel are available fitness wise and we’re going to go into every game expecting to win.”