West 3-2 Congleton Town – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West 3-2 Congleton Town

Saturday 8th October 2022, NWCFL Premier Division

West 3 (Elliott 18, McKnight 45+, Davis 79)
Congleton Town 2 (Hampton 74, Pope 90+)
Att: 1185

West saw off Congleton Town to secure a seventh win of the NWCFL Premier Division season.

Chris Rowley’s side twice resisted Bears comebacks to respond perfectly to the midweek defeat to Lower Breck, and the win was particularly vital on a day where the division’s top eight all took maximum points.

Ben Elliott’s 50th goal for West opened the scoring, before Darren McKnight opened his account for the club moments before the break. Rhain Davis’ first goal of the season with eleven minutes remaining proved to be decisive, coming in between Thomas Hampton and Tom Pope’s strikes for the visitors.

The visitors, looking to shake off their midweek FA Cup exit at AFC Fylde, were the dominant side early on and could have been ahead inside the first ten minutes. Andrew Jones had to be alert to keep out a series of attempts including an inadvertent Markell Foulds effort, with the West defender almost nodding the ball over his keeper and into the net.

McKnight forced a Max Lewens cross wide of the far post as West began to take a modicum of control, but Elliott’s 18th-minute opener was still against the run of play. Lewens was the architect, with his excellent cross from the right wing perfectly placed for Elliott to nudge home his landmark goal.

The goal settled West and Elliott could have had a second shortly before half time, but his close-range header was pawed away by Bears keeper Daniel Roberts. However, Roberts could do nothing about McKnight’s excellent free kick in the second minute of stoppage time, which bypassed the Bears wall and nestled in the corner of the net.

The home side were the dominant force after the break, with Lewens, Elliott and Dontai Gabidon all going close to a third goal. The scoring resumed with 15 minutes remaining, but at the other end – Hampton hauling the visitors back within touching distance as he finished past Jones, with West’s offside appeals waved away by the officials.

Four minutes later, the excellent Davis restored the home side’s two-goal advantage with a deserved strike – latching onto the ball on the edge of the box, and curling a shot past Roberts’ fingertips and into the far corner.

In August’s meeting, Congleton stole a point with a 95th-minute equaliser, but Tom Pope’s stoppage-time goal on this occasion carried a little less drama. The Bears’ top scorer nodded home a corner at the far post, but there wasn’t enough time to prevent West from claiming an excellent three points.

What it means

The NWCFL Premier Division’s top eight all won, so we remain 7th – moving on to 24 points from 13 games.

What’s next

Our run of three consecutive home games concludes with the visit of FC Isle of Man (Tuesday 11th October, 7:45pm).