MATCH REPORT | Whitchurch Alport 0-2 West – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

MATCH REPORT | Whitchurch Alport 0-2 West

Saturday 15th December 2018, NWCFL Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport 0
West 2 (Coombes 12, Gavin 32)
Att: 105

David Powell’s reign as West manager got off to a perfect start with an accomplished win over Whitchurch Alport.

West cruised to a half-time lead through an excellent Jamie Coombes goal and an opportunistic strike from Lee Gavin, and soaked up Whitchurch pressure in the second half to ensure a first league victory since September.

New boss Powell only had two days and one training session to prepare for the visit to Yockings Park, but this was an extremely promising display in atrocious conditions. West pressed high to seize control of proceedings and were inventive in attack, rewarded with two goals inside the first 35 minutes. And they were resolute after the break to restrict an increasingly frustrated home side to half-chances, keeping only their second clean sheet of the campaign.

Powell handed a debut to veteran striker Cieran Kilheeney, and the former Droylsden and Ashton United hitman had a pivotal role in both goals. The first goal of the new era arrived after just 12 minutes – Joe Shaw emerged from midfield with the ball before finding Kilheeney, who held play up on the edge of the box. Coombes latched on to Kilheeney’s pass, and the Gilbraltar international expertly rolled the ball past Alport keeper David Parton to register his first goal in West colours.

The visitors continued to press and Ashley Leather, who was instrumental in West’s win over Alport at Brookburn Road in August, was again a constant menace. He forced Parton into a smart stop at his near post before Kilheeney saw his shot pawed away, but West did double their lead just after the half-hour. Kilheeney’s effort from outside the area looked to be trundling out for a goal kick, but the unmarked Gavin was alert at the far post and tucked the ball into the net.

Marcuss Burgess had little to do but had to be switched on to deny Alport with his legs as the first half drew to a conclusion, but West were good value for their commanding lead as the sides headed for the sanctuary of the dressing rooms. Alport spent much more of the second period in the West half, but the visitors were happy to invite pressure and look to kill the game on the counter-attack.

Alport’s top scorer Arron Johns had a series of shots blocked at source by the excellent Ryan Eiselt and Matt Eckersley, but in truth West looked more likely to add the game’s next goal. Leather remained a nuisance and had another shot saved by Parton before he was upended by Darren Campion as he looked to launch another West counter.

Kilheeney was superbly denied by Parton in the final few seconds, but West had long since done enough to seal a vital win ahead of the festive period.

West: Burgess, Sergeant, Pearson, Andrews, Eiselt, Eckersley, Leather, Gavin, Kilheeney, Shaw (Langford 85), Coombes (Woods 59). Not used: Potts, Botchey, Tsegaye.