by Robert Lee · 22/12/2019
Saturday 21st December 2019, NWCFL First Division South
Stockport Town 2 (Depeiaza 1, Neal 16)
West 1 (Cottee 26)
A nightmare first 16 minutes ultimately condemned West to defeat at Stockport Town in their final game before Christmas.
Chris Rowley’s side were up against it from the moment Jardel Depeiaza capitalised on a defensive mix-up after 30 seconds, and the home side effectively had the points wrapped up when Rourke Neal accepted another festive gift 15 minutes later.
James Cottee reduced the deficit midway through the first half but the second period fizzled out without the visitors ever seriously threatening to level the scores.
West had come from behind in their last game, albeit against a nine-man Wythenshawe Amateurs, but there was to be no comeback in Woodley as they gave themselves too much to do. The crowd were barely in position when Depeiaza seized on a loose ball on the edge of the West box and found the bottom corner.
The visitors responded well to this early setback, with Cottee heading wide from a Curtis Miller cross, but Town doubled their advantage soon afterwards with another goal purely of West’s own making. Neal robbed the ball in the West defensive third and had the simple task of placing it past Andrew Jones and into the net.
But West continued to press for a way back into the game and it arrived when Lee Grimshaw combined well with Cottee, and the latter’s shot was too powerful for the Town keeper who could only deflect it high into the net.
The visitors had the momentum going into the break but the second period was notable only for the lack of action in the Town half – if anything, the home side looked more likely to add the next goal, with a header rebounding off the top of the bar at the start of the half and a shot from outside the area narrowly missing the far post late on.
For the second game in succession West’s opposition were reduced in number as a Town substitute was sent off in the final minute of stoppage time. But it was too late to make any difference and with the gap to the top four now at 12 points, West face a huge South Manchester derby on Boxing Day.
West: A. Jones, Cook, Cooper, Tinker, Middleton, Forbes, Miller (Ryan 66), Moloney (Gabidon 62), Cottee, Boland, Grimshaw (Matthews 74). Not used: Hall, Blackwell.