West 1-1 Northwich Victoria – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West 1-1 Northwich Victoria

Tuesday 14th February 2023, NWCFL Premier Division

West 1 (Elliott 83)
Northwich Victoria 1 (Dudley 5, Russell sent off 73)
Att: 302

Ben Elliott’s late header rescued a point for West against Northwich Victoria.

Chris Rowley’s side trailed to the promotion-chasing Vics for the vast majority of the game, following Matthew Dudley’s fifth-minute opener. Charlie Russell’s dismissal after 73 minutes gave West the opening they needed to breach the visitors’ rearguard, with Elliott pouncing with seven minutes remaining.

The weekend’s FA Vase exploits looked to have had an effect on West in the opening moments, while Vics – coming into this game on the back of six straight wins – started quickly, and were soon ahead. Dudley swooped from a corner to put the visitors ahead, and they were inches away from doubling their lead before the 20-minute mark when Kuda Chingwaro’s effort rattled the crossbar.

Chingwaro’s effort seemed to shake West into life, as they began to make inroads into Vics territory as the first half went on. Billy Matthews and Jean-Jacques Kirongozi both stung the palms of Vics keeper Ryan Hamer, but West went into the break still to create a chance worthy of its full definition.

As with Saturday’s game against Coventry Sphinx, West emerged for the restart with more intent and though Vics opened the second half by having a goal ruled out for offside, the home side began to dominate possession.

Even with their new-found territorial dominance, West still found it difficult to carve out real chances, with most attacks neatly put together but foundering on the edge of the Vics box.

Chris Rowley turned to Elliott as the game reached the three-quarter mark, and soon afterwards the momentum swung firmly in West’s favour. Russell was judged to have been excessive in a challenge with Tom Westall and found himself having first use of the Brookburn Road facilities.

Suddenly West were laying siege to the Vics goal, and another substitute, Liam Delaney, struck the bar before Markell Foulds had a header cleared off the line. But a goal did finally arrive when Westall’s wicked delivery was met by the flying Elliott, who superbly steered his header over Hamer and into the far corner.

The Brookburn crowd bayed for a second goal, and Sam Dickinson sent a long-range shot into Hamer’s gloves. But Vics were more than happy with the scoreline and stubbornly saw out the remaining minutes, ensuring the points were shared.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Westall, McKnight (Delaney 63), O’Brien (Vayro ht), Foulds, Matthews (Elliott 63), Dickinson, Kirongozi, Davis, Lewens (Swift 76). Not used: C. Jones.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Markell Foulds.

Chris Rowley post-match reaction

What it means

We remain 9th in the NWCFL Premier Division, with Congleton Town’s stoppage-time equaliser at home to Bury AFC preventing us from moving up a place.

What’s next

We take on another promotion challenger at home, as AFC Liverpool visit M21 on Saturday 18th February (3pm).