West 2-1 Nostell Miners Welfare – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West 2-1 Nostell Miners Welfare

Saturday 24th September 2022, FA Vase Second Qualifying Round

West 2 (Boyd 32, Elliott 53)
Nostell Miners Welfare 1 (Ahmed 88)
Att: 577

A goal in each half secured West’s passage to the FA Vase First Round Proper, at the expense of Nostell Miners Welfare.

A new face and a familiar face did the damage, with Lewis Boyd making an immediate impression on his West debut and Ben Elliott adding his 11th goal of the season after the break. Elliott’s strike proved decisive, with Tawheed Ahmed’s 88th-minute goal providing the visitors with a consolation to take back over the Pennines.

Injuries to Curtis Miller and Ezeikel Eme, coupled with Max Lewens being cup-tied, forced Chris Rowley into an attacking reshuffle that saw Elliott deployed in a wide position. Despite an unfamiliar-looking forward line, West looked fluid from the first whistle and created a series of chances, with Liam Delaney nodding a set-piece narrowly wide.

Elliott was left wondering how he hadn’t opened the scoring soon afterwards, when his powerful half-volley from inside the area was somehow pawed away by impressive Welfare keeper Rhys Westcarr. But the deadlock was broken just after the half-hour – Joel Swift and Darren McKnight combined to set Matthew Cook free inside the area, and Westcarr could only parry the West captain’s shot into the path of the obliging Boyd.

West’s name began to be inked in the First Round draw six minutes after the interval. Elliott still had plenty to do when he met Delaney’s raking delivery, but he superbly directed his header over Westcarr’s grasp and into the corner of the net.

Chances came and went for a third – Westcarr smothered the ball at Elliott’s feet as the West man looked to run clear, and Boyd flashed a shot over from a promising position. But the visitors began to establish a foothold in the game in the final 15 minutes, with the West back line needing to be alert to clear a series of dangerous wide deliveries.

In last season’s First Qualifying Round, Nostell had fought back from two goals down before James Cottee settled matters, so it wasn’t a surprise that this encounter went down to the wire. The visitors reduced the arrears with two minutes of normal time remaining, when Ahmed cut inside from the left wing and curled a shot past Andrew Jones and into the far corner.

Elliott almost restored West’s two-goal cushion immediately when his shot was shovelled wide. However, that was the final meaningful action as West saw out four additional minutes – securing a third consecutive win in all competitions, and a First Round Proper berth for the first time since 2019.

West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock (Graham), Taylor (Gavin), Hampson, Foulds (C. Jones), Elliott, Delaney, Swift, McKnight, Boyd. Not used: Vayro, Eme, Dickinson, Miller.

Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Matthew Cook.

What it means

We progress to the FA Vase First Round Proper, with the draw due to be made on Monday 26th September. Seven wins separate us from the Wembley final.

What’s next

We return to league action on Tuesday 27th September, travelling to Burscough for a 7:45pm kick-off.