NWCFL Premier Division 
17/02/2017, 19:45
Abbey Hey
2 - 2
Brookburn Road
Attendance: 127
First Team

Match Report

It was a hard earned point for West as they came from a goal down to earn a point thanks to an 88th minute Matty Kay penalty at Abbey Hey.


Pre-match West were boosted by the return to Anthony Potts and Mark Rogers into the starting line-up but were without Paul Socha and Scott Mason.


It was the home side who started on the front foot and created the games first opening chance on 11 minutes when a long ball over the top released Nico Collins who raced towards goal and forced West goalkeeper Dean Williams into a hard save at his near post. West responded with an effort of their own with Joe Shaw curling a 25 yard effort just wide of the post just a minute later.


The home side were on top in the opening stages and it was very much against the run of play as a free kick was cleared but only as far as Richmond Botchey whose ball back into the penalty was flicked on by Kevin McGrath into the path of Shaw. Shaw turned his marker brilliantly before drilling a low cross along the six yard line with Nic Evangelinos drilling home first time from close range.


The remainder of the first half became an end to end affair with Richmond Botchey diving full stretch on the half hour mark to deny Abbey Hey one-on-one.  It was followed up by Williams again being called into action to save a hard effort from Jonathan Hardy after the Hey’s run from deep and shot from the edge of the area. On 39 minutes an Abbey Hey corner found the head of a home player only to be cleared off the line by Jordan Poole at the far post.


West finished the half strongly however as Matty Kay forced Hey goalkeeper Wynee into a smart save pushing his curling free kick over the bar. A minute later his corner came back to him at the edge of the penalty area and he curled another effort just over the bar leaving West with a solitary goal lead at half time.


West were almost gifted a goal five minutes into the second half as Rick Gleave latched onto an under-hit back-pass with Wynne reacting in time to clear but only as far as Shaw who volleyed just over the bar from 25 yards out with the keeper out of his penalty area.


A tight second half burst into life on 59 minutes when Hey countered from a West attack with Nico Collins doing well to evade a challenge from Kev McGrath before slotting a shot under Williams in the West goal.  The Abbey Hey turnaround was completed four minutes later when Connor Martin was left unmarked at the far post and again slotted under Williams to make it 2-1.


West rang the changes with Jonny Poizer, Georgi Whyment and Ben Steer replacing Rick Gleave, Anthony Potts and Joe Shaw. The changes galvanised West and they almost levelled on 70 minutes when a Steer throw dropped for Mark Rogers at the near post but he fired wide from a tight angle.  Five minutes later West thought they should have had a penalty as Whyment and Rogers both saw shots blocked as they appealed for handball from the Abbey Hey backline but the referee saw fit to award a corner.  From the set piece Saul Henderson saw his header at the near post cleared away before Poole saw his header just wide.


Abbey Hey remained dangerous on the counter attack as Hardy again forced Williams into a save with another hard effort from long range on 79 minutes.  A minute later Collins saw his header rebound off the crossbar from a corner.  With 5 minutes remaining Abbey Hey sub Mafolo was denied by another superb Botchey tackle. Moments later West were down the other end as a Kay free kick looked to have been headed home by Henderson only for it to be clawed back over the line by the Abbey Hey captain Wager.  With the home side claiming ball to hand and the visitors claiming a goal the referee awarded West a penalty and showed Wager his marching orders.  Matty Kay stepped up confidently and dispatched the penalty into the bottom right hand corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, for his 12th goal of the season.


West might have won it in stoppage time as first Henderson chased onto a long ball over the top but under pressure from the Abbey Hey defender saw his shot tamely hit into Wynne’s hands.  Henderson then turned provider as his cross found Kay who headed into the keepers hands as the referee blew for full time on a thrilling second half.