West 18-0 St Martins – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West 18-0 St Martins

Saturday 12th March 2022, NWCFL First Division South

West 18 (Heathcote pen 4, pen 18, 32, 43, 90+2, Elliott 6, 7, 28, 36, 81, Swift 24, 88, Gabidon 37, 69, Matthews 42, Davis 45, Delaney 75, Eme 76)
St Martins 0
Att: 940

West registered a new club and NWCFL-record win as stricken St Martins were beaten at Brookburn Road.

On a surreal afternoon in M21, a crowd of 940 – itself a new club high – saw West race into a 3-0 goal lead inside seven minutes and go into the interval 12 goals ahead, before adding a further six in the second period.

The youthful visitors, enduring a truly nightmarish season, were afforded an ovation from the Brookburn Road crowd at the final whistle, while for West the most important aspect of the afternoon was three points that increases their lead at the top of the table.

With the Saints sitting on just two points and a goal difference of minus 181 at the start of play, the supporters situated behind Andrew Jones’ goal might not have expected to see much of the action. West were three goals ahead in the blink of an eye, as Sam Heathcote rolled home a fourth-minute penalty shortly before Ben Elliott helped himself to a brace.

Thoughts of a big win turned to something very different as the scoreline took a bizarre form in the half-hour spell that closed the first period. Heathcote scored twice, including another from the spot, Elliott completed his hat-trick and grabbed a fourth, and Joel Swift, Billy Matthews, Dontai Gabidon and Rhain Davis added their names to the scoresheets as West racked up a dozen before the half-time whistle.

Saints keeper Fin Gunn produced a series of impressive saves to prevent the scoreline increasing even more, while the visitors’ only chance at the other end came and went when Jones smothered the ball to end a counter-attack.

The Saints kept West out for the first 24 minutes of the second half, but the floodgates reopened when Gabidon prodded home his second at the afternoon at Gunn’s near post. This was the signal for another avalanche of goals, with substitutes Liam Delaney and Ezeikel Eme finding the net and Elliott plundering his fifth.

Swift and Heathcote rounded off the scoring in spectacular fashion in the closing moments – Swift lashing a half-volley into the top corner, before Heathcote fired home from 30 yards in the second minute of stoppage time.

On an afternoon that will go down in West and NWCFL history – or infamy depending on your standpoint – West deserved credit for their professional approach, while a much-needed summer respite is on the horizon for the Saints.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Westall, Taylor, Dibble (Delaney ht), Heathcote, Matthews (Eme 72), Davis, Elliott (Ryan 82), Swift, Gabidon. Not used: Gavin, Vayro.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Dontai Gabidon.

Chris Rowley reaction