West 2-1 FC Isle of Man – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West 2-1 FC Isle of Man

Tuesday 11th October 2022, NWCFL Premier Division

West 2 (Davis 45+, Gabidon 85)
FC Isle of Man 1 (Murray 54)
Att: 669

West edged out FC Isle of Man thanks to Dontai Gabidon’s late goal.

Gabidon’s winner settled a fiercely-competitive battle between last season’s NWCFL First Division South graduates, after Luke Murray’s spectacular overhead kick had cancelled out Rhain Davis’ opener.

Fans of the referee’s whistle were kept enthralled in a stop-start opening period, though Liam Delaney rattled the crossbar from 30 yards and Sam Dickinson was narrowly off-target with a half-volley.

At the other end, Murray diverted a cross straight at Andrew Jones before Davis altered the half-time mood in additional time. Another long-range Delaney effort was deflected into the West number 10’s path, and he smartly finished for his second goal in as many games.

The match ball was coaxed out of hiding for the restart, but the opening moments of the second period were equally scrappy before Murray’s leveller. The Ravens centre-forward swivelled in mid-air to meet a right-wing cross, connecting perfectly to send his volley into the top corner of Jones’ net.

Murray’s goal increased the temperature but it took until the final 15 minutes for the game to open up. The Ravens somehow failed to take the lead when a combination of Jones and last-ditch defending prevented them from forcing the ball over the line.

The value of those interventions rose significantly with five minutes remaining thanks to Gabidon’s own moment of inspiration. After beating visiting keeper James Rice to the ball on the edge of the box, he checked back and flighted a shot into the only available square inch, over both Rice and a backpedalling Ravens defender.

West had to deal with a series of late free kicks as the visitors looked to snatch a late equaliser, but Gabidon’s goal was enough for a hard-earned seventh win in eight games.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Westall (Hancock), Delaney (McKnight), Hampson, Foulds, Eme (Swift), Dickinson, Elliott, Davis, Gabidon. Not used: Vayro, Graham.

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

What it means

Our eighth league win of the season takes us into the NWCFL Premier Division’s top five.

What’s next

We take a break from league action for three games in three different cup competitions – starting with Saturday’s Macron Cup visit to Pilkington.

Chris Rowley reaction