Dontai Gabidon’s second-half goal was enough to secure a third consecutive win for West at Hollyhedge Park.
For 70 minutes, the only frightening thing about this Halloween encounter was the fact that 300 people had paid to watch it. But Gabidon combined with substitute Aarron Grewal to provide the game’s only real moment of quality and clinch a hard-fought three points.
This was a untidy, stop-start local derby well out of keeping with the avalanche of goals in West’s last four games, but Chris Rowley will be immensely satisfied that after conceding nine goals in two matches earlier this month, his side have responded by shipping just one in the following three.
West were almost handed a treat early on when Ammies keeper Kyle Haslam allowed a long ball to trickle past his feet, but he was able to dive on the ball just ahead of the incoming Gabidon. That was about as good as it got for the West fans behind Haslam’s goal in the first half, though Sam Heathcote saw his goal-bound free-kick unfortunately deflected over by Billy Matthews.
At the other end, Dominic Lillie found the net from inside the area, but the assistant’s flag had been raised long enough to ensure there were barely any celebrations to cut short.
The game became even scrappier at the start of the second period with the referee’s whistle never far from his lips, with Heathcote’s cross-shot the only quarter-chance to speak of until Rowley turned to his substitutes. Grewal needed only eight minutes to make an impact, running at the Ammies defence before his perfectly-weighted pass set Gabidon through on goal. The West winger rounded Haslam before expertly steering the ball past a defender for his fourth goal of the season.
A resolute West ensured that any Ammies response failed to materialise, and the visitors looked more likely to double their lead in the closing stages. Gabidon saw his curling effort go over the bar before Liam Delaney’s free-kick was deflected narrowly wide, but ultimately one goal was enough for a gritty away win that Rowley will hope will become a West trademark.