MATCH REPORT | West 2-1 Cheadle Town – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

MATCH REPORT | West 2-1 Cheadle Town

Tuesday 20th August 2019, NWCFL First Division South

West 2 (Boland 42, Moloney 66)
Cheadle Town 1 (Shenton 36)
Att: 264

West’s unbeaten start to the season continued with an excellent win against Cheadle Town at a sodden Brookburn Road.

A Cheadle side still looking for their first victory of the campaign threatened to ruin the home support’s night when Ryan Shenton put the visitors ahead, but Brad Cooke’s side responded with interest – the returning Matty Boland opening his West account to level matters, before Dylan Moloney had the final say midway through the second half.

In many ways this win, which maintained West’s position in the First Division South promotion places, was the most impressive of Cooke’s reign so far – West answered entirely new questions after falling behind for the first time this season and, after a fragmented first half, took control of the game as the heavens opened over M21.

West were still struggling with absences but were able to welcome back the mercurial Boland, who replaced Tom Horner, with Ben Woods shifting to left back on his 50th West appearance.

Neither side was able to make much impression on the opening stages of a first period dominated by stoppages and the referee’s whistle – Cheadle eked out a half-chance after ten minutes when Andrew Jones blocked a cross at his near post. But West improved as the half went on and Ash Woods could have had his fourth goal in three games when he fired over after good work from Moloney.

However, the visitors stunned Brookburn Road with the opening goal – a ball down the right wing led to the unmarked Shenton nodding home a cross at the far post.

Cooke’s side were now in uncharted territory but adjusted well and were back level within six minutes thanks to an excellent Boland finish. Cheadle keeper Danny Whiting parried a shot high into the air and the former Irlam man watched it into his instep before burying his volley into the corner of the net, becoming West’s tenth different scorer this season after just six games.

The second period was immediately played at a far quicker tempo, and Andrew Jones displayed his shot-stopping skills when blocking Cheadle efforts from close range twice in succession. West looked more dangerous, though, and Moloney went close not long afterwards when his shot was turned round the near post.

Cooke introduced Ben Steer just after the hour and it was Steer who made a key contribution to the decisive goal five minutes later. His quick throw found Ash Woods inside the box, and Woods held the ball up before teeing up Moloney to sweep into the far corner for his second goal in as many games.

The increasingly-influential Moloney then rattled the crossbar from outside the area as West hunted a goal to put the outcome beyond doubt, while Boland and Kris Holt were both denied by a combination of Cheadle defending and goalkeeping.

But the home side had to remain wary of leaving the back door open and Jones capped an excellent all-round display with a superb save with 11 minutes remaining, blocking a shot with his legs as Cheadle looked destined to level the scores.

As the rain continued to teem down in the closing moments West went into preservation mode, seeing out a fifth win in six games. And after claiming a maximum nine points since the FA Cup win at Squires Gate, Cooke’s side can now fully look forward to this weekend’s red-letter day at Stalybridge Celtic.

West: A. Jones, Middleton, B. Woods, Tinker (Steer 61), Forbes, Eckersley, Moloney (McLaughlin 81), C. Jones, A. Woods, Holt, Boland. Not used: Horner, Dale, Cook.

West media man of the match: Andrew Jones.

Listen to/watch our post match reaction here.