by Robert Lee · 20/11/2022
Saturday 19th November 2022, NWCFL Premier Division
West 3 (Swift 10, 33, own goal 77)
Joel Swift’s first-half double set West on the way to a timely win against Padiham.
A Storks own goal with 13 minutes remaining put the gloss on a deserved first league win in over a month for West – though the outcome could have been different if the visitors had taken at least one of a string of presentable opportunities at the start of the second half.
October’s reverse fixture in East Lancashire was fiercly competitive, so it was no surprise that much of the early action this time around took place in the middle third. West took the lead with the first real opportunity of note – Zeke Eme’s shot spilled by goalkeeper Matthew Hamnett into the path of the lurking Swift, who snaffled the opportunity.
The visitors kept the West defence honest with a series of raids down the wings, and did have the ball in the net midway through the first period – though the assistant’s flag ensured there were barely any celebrations to cut short.
Swift kept on the right side of the visitors’ defensive line just after the half-hour, as West took a commanding lead. Rhain Davis’ through-ball set Swift free inside the area, who clipped the ball neatly past Hamnett and in off the post.
The returning James Hooper fired narrowly over with the final action of the first half, but the period following the restart had a very different complexion. The Storks sprurned three gilt-edged chances in the space of ten minutes, with two sent over from close range and the other forcing Andrew Jones into a reaction stop.
West were jolted back into life and began to regain control of proceedings, with Markell Foulds having a goalbound shot blocked and Eme shooting too close to Hamnett. The game ended as a contest when substitute Sam Dickinson split the visiting defence, leading to a Storks defender delivering to the wrong address under pressure from Darren McKnight.
Chris Rowley’s side saw out the win – and a first clean sheet in over two months – and will now look to recapture their early-season momentum.
West: A. Jones, Cook, Hancock, Delaney (Dickinson), Hampson, Foulds, Hooper (Kirongozi), McKnight, Swift (Miller), Davis, Eme (Lewens). Not used: Westall.
Eckersley’s Plumbers & Locksmiths Player of the Match: Joel Swift.
We move up into 8th in the NWCFL Premier Division, with 30 points from 18 games.
Our run of home games continues on Tuesday 22nd November (7:45pm), as we welcome Litherland REMYCA.