Report: West 6-0 Barnton – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

Report: West 6-0 Barnton

Tuesday 17th August 2021, NWCFL First Division South

West 6 (Elliott 14, 38, Heathcote 32, 74, 77, Matthews 41)
Barnton 0
Att: 276

West hit Barnton for six to claim a first home win of the season and move into the NWCFL First Division South play-off places.

Sam Heathcote continued his extraordinary start to the season, plundering a hat-trick from centre-back to move on to eight goals for the term, interspersed with a Ben Elliott brace and Billy Matthews registering for the first time this campaign.

The beleagured visitors, who arrived and left M21 as the only side in the division yet to earn a point, offered little resistance and Andrew Jones had one of his quietest evenings in a West shirt.

After a somewhat frustrating start to the season – albeit one in which West are still to taste defeat in the league – this display was much more like the free-flowing West that Brookburn Road was treated to in the curtailed 2020/21 campaign.

Looking as if they wanted to shake off the irritation of being pegged back late on by Cheadle Heath Nomads at the weekend, West started quickly and had their reward inside the first quarter of an hour. Elliott began what would become a rout with a sharp finish from the edge of the box, finding the bottom corner with a low drive.

Jack Ryan then shot wide when well-placed before West effectively wrapped the game up with a nine-minute burst just after the half-hour. After Barnton keeper Arron Lyons carried the ball out of his box taking a drop kick, Heathcote struck the resulting set-piece into the wall but was lurking to superbly convert Callum Jones’ ball back into the area.

Elliott then grabbed his second following excellent work from Ryan, whose pass opened up the visiting defence and allowed the West number 9 to combine with Matthews before tapping the ball home. And Matthews claimed a deserved goal four minutes before the break as Lyons’ evening continued to disintegrate, the Barnton keeper presenting him with the simplest of finishes after a clearance was charged down.

Remarkably, Lyons then overstepped his line again taking a kick, this time picking up a yellow card for his troubles, but Heathcote’s free kick was charged down and West had to be content with a four-goal lead at the interval.

No doubt with more than one eye on Saturday’s trip to Stafford Town, West lowered the pace in the second period. Manager for the evening Chris Adams took the opportunity to give Dontai Gabidon some more minutes as the West winger continues to approach full fitness, with Ezeikel Eme also making a first appearance since his promising debut at Alsager Town.

As the closing stages approached, though, Heathcote decided to take matters into his own hands – first dispatching a free kick into the top corner from all of 30 yards with 16 minutes remaining, shortly before completing his treble when a Rhain Davis corner found him unmarked at the far post.

Connor Hancock went close to a spectacular seventh in the final moments, but the referee put the Villagers out of their misery after three minutes of stoppage time. West moved up two places to 4th as a result of this win, but Chris Rowley will demand that this is just the beginning.

West: A. Jones, Hancock, Westall, Tinker, Dibble, Heathcote, Davis, C. Jones (Eme 79), Elliott, Ryan (Swift 69), Matthews (Gabidon 57). Not used: Leather, Jackson.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Man of the Match: Sam Heathcote.

Post-match reaction from Chris Adams