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1st Team - Match centre

Northwich Victoria
Runcorn Linnets
Mon 30 Apr 19:45 - Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 418

Northwich Vics v Runcorn Linnets. Monday 30th April 2018: League

Northwich Vics v Runcorn Linnets. Monday 30th April 2018: League

DATE - Monday 30th April 2018. COMPETITION - North West Counties League Premier Division. VENUE - Townfield Stadium, Barnton.

Attendance - 418.

Unavailable for Vics' - Matty Clarke (broken tibia), Adam Robinson (shin), Yaw Gyimah (knee), Brian Matthews (family), Sam Fitton (Work).

LINE-UP'S -
Vics' - Donlon, Oppong (caution), Allen Weston, Kenny, Barski, Mike McDonald, Adam Weston, Shinks (C), Stu McDonald, Whittington, Durnin. Un-used subs' - Lawrence, Bickett, Dale, Gorman, Johnson.

GOALS - Kieron Kenny 56', Oscar Durnin 89' (penalty), Stuart McDonald 90+1'.

Linnets' - Forth, Corrigan, Atherton (C), Moore, O'Brien (caution), Nolan (Bryant 64'), Holt, Simpson, Potter (caution), Wellstead (Houghton 84'), Jones (Hickey 58'.). Un-used subs' - Lawton, Morris.

The match started with Linnets' looking for the three points that would guarantee the league title. The opening 15 minutes was played at a fast pace but both sides were giving up possession far too easily. The first chance fell the visitors' way on 17' when Vics' gloveman Mike Donlon flew through the air to finger-tip away Kristian Holt's half-volley from twenty yards. Vics' saw penalty appeals waved away on 19' when Stu McDonald was bundled over by Linnets' Matt Atherton after collecting Joe Whittington's clever dinked through-ball. On 23' Freddie Potter sliced a shot horribly wide from 8 yards when well placed, a great cross being swung in from the right by Adam Jones. By 42' Vics' were without an attempt on target, but more than holding their own Vs a very good Linnets side. Just before the break Joe Whittington's low shot from distance went wide with Forth struggling to get across.

HALF-TIME
Vics' 0-0 Linnets' 0.

The second half began in very much the same vein as the first with some scrappy play on show from both sides.
Vics' took the lead on 56' however; Joe Whittington's perfectly arced free-kick was met by Kieron Kenny who slammed into the net from 6 yards.
The Linnets' were stung into action, and mounted a series of raids but Vics' defended resolutely, led by the excellent Brandon Barski. Oscar Durnin shot well wide when well placed on 67' before Linnets' sub' Mark Houghton's cross-cum shot was tipped onto the bar by Donlon on 86'.
Drama followed on 89' when Vics' Stuart McDonald raced clear clean through from make-shift midfielder Anthony Shinks' defence splitting pass. Linnets' defender Dan O'Brien hauled down the diminutive forward and a penalty was awarded. Luckily for O'Brien the referee only brandished a yellow card. Oscar Durnin duly dispatched the free-hit sending Forth the wrong way emphatically.
Better was to come for Vics' on 90+1' when James Oppong's long ball caught the Linnets' back-line napping and Stuart McDonald held off two of them expertly before drawing Forth and sliding a right-foot shot underneath him from 7 yards to cap a fine performance by the men in green and white.

FULL-TIME

Vics' 3-0 Linnets' 0

Vics' MOM - Brandon Barski. Really blossoming into a top class performer at the heart of the Vics' rearguard. Completely shut down the Linnets' attack and a fine distributor of the ball too.

Vics' boss Steve Wilkes' verdict -

I'm so proud of my players after tonight's performance. Brandon Barski got MOM, but every single player had a claim to be MOM tonight. This was our 3rd game in 5 days, Linnets played last Thursday, so have had a couple of days extra rest. A special mention must go to the lads that have stepped in to help out. I've currently got 9 players missing through injury. Stuart McDonald was immense tonight, working his socks off up front on his own, and James Oppong was solid at right back. Mike McDonald has come in at left back and not put a foot wrong. Tonight we had a game plan, to frustrate a very good Runcorn Linnets side, every player stuck to his task and we were rewarded with our best performance of the season.

Next match for the Vics'
- another NWCFL premier division fixture Vs City Of Liverpool AWAY on Saturday 5th May 2018. K.O 15:00. Stadium Address - Vesty Lane, Bootle, Liverpool. Postcode for Sat-nav systems is - L30 1NY.

Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
11. Squires Gate 44 64
12. Ashton Athletic 44 62
13. Northwich Victoria 45 59
14. Irlam 44 59
15. Winsford Utd 44 58
16. Congleton Town 44 56
17. Padiham 44 53

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