MATCH REPORT | Abbey Hey 06 West

MATCH REPORT | Abbey Hey 06 West

26 Dec 2018

MATCH REPORT | Abbey Hey 0-6 West

Wednesday 26th December 2018, NWCFL Premier Division

Abbey Hey 0
West 6 (Andrews 13, Kilheeney 20, Hall 36, 46, Shaw pen 61, pen 84)
Att: 96

West put on a festive feast of attacking football as they dismantled Abbey Hey to move out of the Premier Division relegation zone.

A dominant West could have had double figures at the Abbey Stadium but six goals was enough as they racked up their biggest away win since September 2016. Martyn Andrews, Ciaran Kilheeney and Stephen Hall all scored their first West goals of the season, with Hall claiming a brace and Joe Shaw also adding a pair of penalties after the hour.

There are still 14 league games to play, but less than a month after West slipped nine points adrift of the safety mark, this win to exit the bottom two symbolised the immediate impact of manager David Powell. West, who haven't tasted defeat at the Abbey Stadium since 2013, looked on course to continue their good record in Gorton from the moment Andrews converted a Shaw corner after 13 minutes.

Seven minutes later, Kilheeney finished a sweeping move involving Shaw and Ashley Leather to put West in a commanding position. The beleaguered home side, staring at the prospect of a seventh straight defeat, roused themselves in the aftermath of Kilheeney's goal but West's third was a critical blow. Shaw and Leather again combined, and the latter's ball across the face of goal evaded Kilheeney before Hall tapped in at the far post.

A comfortable Boxing Day afternoon became a rout when West added a fourth seconds after half-time. The Abbey defence were finding Leather simply too much to deal with, and the West winger flew down the right side before playing in Hall for another simple finish.

The home side entered into the spirit of giving in the final half an hour, with Leather and then substitute Steven Affleck sent tumbling in the penalty area. On both occasions, Shaw - an increasingly-influential fulcrum of West's engine room under Powell - assumed responsibility and easily beat Abbey keeper Ross Heywood from 12 yards.

West attacked at will in the closing stages, with Hall passing up numerous chances for a hat-trick and substitute Jack Langford also going close. At the other end, Ryan Eiselt and Matt Eckersley - helping to protect a third clean sheet in four games - were Scrooge-like as Abbey belatedly pressed for a consolation in the final few moments.

Powell's side will now test themselves at Brookburn Road with the looming visits of top-five pair Runcorn Town and Burscough, but have given themselves an excellent chance of ensuring the ghost of Christmas future points to Premier Division survival.

West: Burgess, Tinker, Atherton, Andrews, Eiselt, Eckersley, Leather (Affleck 73), Gavin (Langford 58), Kilheeney (Woods 63), Shaw, Hall. Not used: Brew-Butler, Whyment.