MATCH REPORT | Cheadle Heath Nomads 0-5 West – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

MATCH REPORT | Cheadle Heath Nomads 0-5 West

Saturday 25th January 2020, NWCFL First Division South

Cheadle Heath Nomads 0
West 5 (Hooper 42, Blackwell 55, Matthews 70, Cottee 76, Tinker 89)
Att: 142

West crushed Cheadle Heath Nomads with a devastating second-half display to move up to fifth in the First Division South.

James Hooper’s debut goal gave West a slender lead at the interval, but Chris Rowley’s side turned on the style after the break as George Blackwell, Billy Matthews, James Cottee and Josh Tinker all scored to continue West’s increasingly-impressive start to 2020.

The sides’ last meeting was a forgettable goalless draw at Brookburn Road in November, but this promised to be a vastly different encounter from the first whistle as both sides began quickly. West created the better chances in the opening period, with Jamie McLellan shooting straight at the Nomads keeper and Lee Gavin firing into the side netting, but the home side responded when a header from a left-wing cross flashed wide of Andrew Jones’ far post.

Debutant Hooper served notice of intent when he shot just wide of the near post, but he adjusted his aim to open the scoring in the closing minutes of the first half – after Sam Heathcote’s aerial pass had dropped into the left channel, the attacking midfielder cut inside and left the home keeper flat-footed with a shot inside the same corner.

West’s half-time lead could have been doubled if Dontai Gabidon’s low shot in stoppage time hadn’t been tipped round the post, but the visitors, backed by another vociferous band of supporters, didn’t have to wait long to increase their lead. Seconds after firing over from a promising position, George Blackwell made amends against his former club when he seized on a Hooper through ball and impudently lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper.

Confidence was coursing through West and Hooper could have had his second when he shot too close to the home keeper, but Matthews, who scored a dramatic equaliser at Wythenshawe Town in midweek, got his name on the scoresheet again to add a third. It was a goal he had little right to score as he ran onto a loose ball with no support and facing two Nomads defenders, but he burrowed his way into the box and was rewarded for his perseverance when his shot nestled in the back of the net.

James Cottee, returning after limping off at nearby Cheadle Town ten days earlier, replaced Blackwell with 17 minutes remaining and inevitably marked his comeback with a goal, beating the beleaguered home keeper to a Hooper corner and nodding in his ninth goal in ten games.

Josh Tinker, West’s other goalscorer in Baguely on Tuesday night, added an exclamation mark to proceedings in the final seconds when he latched onto the ball on the edge of the box. He crashed a shot high into the corner of the net to spark delirium among the already exultant West support that have quickly become accustomed to success on the road. After failing to win a league away game from September to the end of 2019, West have now taken 10 points from a possible 15 in away trips this calendar year under Rowley’s stewardship.

With the promotion race intensifying West now return to Brookburn Road for a string of home games, and if Rowley’s side continue to play with this panache, there is every chance that West supporters will be celebrating an instant return to the Premier Division come April.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Gabidon, Tinker, McLellan, Heathcote, C. Jones, Gavin (Ryan 65), Matthews (Coley 79), Hooper, Blackwell (Cottee 73). Not used: Argent-Barnes, Dale.