NWCFL Premier Division 
15/04/2017, 15:00
Barnoldswick Town
1 - 3
Brookburn Road
Attendance: 101
First Team

Match Report

West came from a goal down to earn three points against a difficult Barnoldswick Town side in a game overshadowed by a serious shoulder injury to Nic Evangelinos.


With Josh Tinker suspended West manager Steve Settle was able to recall Scott Mason to the starting line-up with Saul Henderson also recalled to the starting line-up in the absence of Nia Bayunu for West’s first game in 10 days.


It was a tight start for both sides as the first chance came for the visitors on 6 minutes when Mason’s free kick found Kevin McGrath at the far post but he turned his effort just wide of the post.  A minute later Barlick thought they might have had a penalty for handball as McGrath came to West’s rescue making a superb block at the edge of the area from point blank range.


The game’s turning point came on 19 minutes when a superb through ball from the excellent Georgi Whyment released Nic Evangelinos through on goal but the West striker was brought down from behind with replays suggesting a penalty.  Worse was to come for Evangelinos who was hospitalised with a dislocated shoulder.


Ben Steer replaced the West winger as they looked to re-shuffle.  On 23 minutes good play from Georgi Whyment on the left saw him pick out Saul Henderson who fired just wide on the turn.  Three minutes later Whyment fired over himself after a charge through the middle.


West goalkeeper Aaron Ashley was called into action for the first time on 29 minutes as he was called to push away a hard Aaron Hollindrake effort low down to his left from close range. Two minutes later they were ahead when a low cross found Gohoreanu unmarked at the far post and he finished high into the roof of the net from close range.


From that point on the remainder of the half was all Barnoldswick as Hollindrake went close with a scissor kick from close range before Aaron Ashley was called upon to make a terrific double save with Barlick players queuing up at the far post to turn home a cross from Gohoreanu leaving West thankful to reach half time with just a single goal deficit.


Whatever words were said in the dressing room at half time had an immediate effect as a superb through ball from Whyment inside the first minute of the second half released Henderson one-on-one and the striker finished clinically into the bottom left hand corner.


West immediately went in search of a second as a McGrath header from a corner was tipped onto the bar by Gidley in the Barlick goal and away for a corner.  From the following corner Anthony Potts saw his initial header cleared off the line before McGrath saw his effort saved on the line by the arm of a Barnoldswick defender.  The referee pointed to the spot, but issued no card, and Matty Kay snuck his penalty inside the right hand post to give West a dramatic lead on 55 minutes.


The turnaround was complete just after the hour mark as a superb through ball again from Whyment released Ben Steer one-on-one, Gidley reached the ball first making a block with both his feet but Henderson reacted to the loose ball quickest firing it into the net from a narrow angle for his 10th West goal of the season. West almost immediately had a fourth as yet another through ball found Steer but this time Gidley was able to save well to deny the young striker.


The final stages saw little in the way of action as the home side, tiring from their third game in five days, failed to trouble Ashley in the West goal. The visitors had late chances to extend their lead through impressive substitute Jimmy Woodward who volleyed just over from a West corner before Botchey forced Gidley into a strong save in the final moments.

Credit to West who came out for the second half the stronger team and avenged the previous meeting when they surrendered a three goal half time lead at home.