MATCH REPORT | Barnton 2-4 West – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

MATCH REPORT | Barnton 2-4 West

Four goals in the final 22 minutes saw West come from two goals down to grab three points away to relegation threatened Barnton


On a wet and windy night in Cheshire; Manager Steve Settle was without Matty Kay, Michael Simcock, Gary Lilley, Anthony Potts, Mark Rogers, Richmond Botchey and Carlos Mendes Gomes as the West Manager was forced into a re-shuffle. There were starts for Rick Gleave and Daryl Weston whilst debutant Declan Rydings took his place on the bench.


Despite the re-shuffle West started brightly and almost led on three minutes when Nic Evangelinos showed great speed to turn his man before dragging his hard low effort just wide of the right hand post.  Four minutes later Evangelinos went close again as Josh Tinker drove down the left before finding Tom Bailey at the edge of the area; Bailey played in Evangelinos who cut inside before firing another effort just wide of the other post.


On 12 minutes West again threatened when Saul Henderson picked out Bailey on the right with a sweetly struck pass with the West number nine in turn firing a hard low shot across the Barnton goal. Barnton responded on 15 minutes when a counter down the right hand side found Chris Smith in the penalty area who did well to turn before firing his shot into the side netting at the near post.


Barnton took the lead on 20 minutes when Joe Shaw’s sliding tackle was adjudged to have been a foul by the referee. As the West players protested Barnton reacted quickest finding Smith from 30 yards out who curled a rocket into the top right hand corner; an incredible effort.  Barnton almost doubled their lead seconds later when a counter attack down their right saw Aaron Ashley come to West’s rescue saving an effort down to his right.


Barnton had the momentum and were awarded a penalty on 31 minutes following a trip by Rick Gleave at the edge of the area trying to clear the ball away.  Smith made no mistake drilling an impressive penalty to Ashley’s right.  Two minutes later Barnton should have had a third when West failed to clear their lines from a corner and four times West were forced to block efforts on goal inside their penalty area.  Bailey and Henderson both went close for West before the end of the half but they were unable to test the keeper as they went into the half with much work to do.


The half time team-talk saw a revitalised West come out quickly with Henderson seeing an effort from Evangelinos cross turned just round the post on 46 minutes. A minute later Tinker saw a low effort saved from the edge of the area as West signalled their attacking intent.


If that intent hadn’t already been clear Setts rang the changes introducing Rydings and Ben Steer for Gleave and Weston whilst briefly switching to a 4-2-4 system.  However, on 58 minutes Ashley again came to West’s rescue as he made another great save to deny Barnton at his near post.


Steer’s introduction had the desired impact as he fired a close range effort over the bar from a narrow angle after Henderson’s initial shot had been parried by the Barnton goalkeeper on 58 minutes.


The breakthrough came on 68 minutes when Steer’s throw in feel to Henderson inside the penalty area and he managed to stab his effort into the bottom right hand corner.  Two minutes later Harry Hagon almost brought West level as he tickled an effort onto the foot of the post from another Steer throw.


On 73 minutes Ashley was again called to West’s saviour as he made an outstanding save one-on-one, stretching himself to stop a hard shot dead with his left hand. The repercussions of the save would be felt seconds later when Scott Mason cut onto his left foot 25 yards out before firing a rocket beyond the helpless Robert Cooke.


Suddenly West were flying as Hagon saw another goal-bound effort deflected wide from a Joe Shaw free kick on 76 minutes.  Bailey again came close a minute later when his goal bound effort was bravely blocked from Steers deep cross from the right hand side.


The winning goal came on 78 minutes and Hagon wasn’t going to be denied a third time as he headed home Ben Steer’s corner from 6 yards out to send the West bench delirious.


With three minutes to go Ashley again came to West’s aid as he made another terrific save down to his right to deny Barnton. The game was made safe in the first seconds of stoppage time as Steer won the ball at the edge of the penalty area, beating his man before drawing out the keeper and coolly squaring to Bailey to drill home his 11th goal of the season and to secure West a vital three points.