Vics 3 v Hanley Town 1
By Pete Tonge
Vics move up to 3rd in League
COMPETITION - North West Counties Premier Division.
VENUE - Wincham Park, Northwich.
DATE - Sunday 9th September 2018.
Attendance - 152.
Unavailable for Vics’ - Dom Craig, Kieron Kenny, Regan Jarrett (all work).
Referee - Carl Rooney.
Taberner, Camozzi (caution), (McDonald 89’), Monson, Shinks (caution), Barski, Whittle, Cooke (C), Connolly, Doran (caution) (Webb 80’), Matthews (Clarke 87’), Brownhill.
Un-used subs’ - Lawrence, Scott (GK).
Hanley Town -
Joe Mellor, Blowers, Connor, Bristow, Ollie Mellor, Nicholls (Vernon 72’), Stanyer (C) (caution), Ashton, Leigh Skellern (Lindop 80’), Ball (caution) (Erdmann 54’), Sheldon.
Un-used sub’ - Jamie Skellern.
Vics’ - Brian Matthews 6’, Joel Brownhill 17’ (Penalty), Billy Webb 83’.
Hanley Town - Thomas Ashton 86’.
Vics’ opened up this league game with real intent and on the front foot. An early chance on 3’ fell for Billly Whittle who saw his low drilled shot from 15 yards go wide after seizing on Hanley defender Josh Bristow’s poor clearance. The lead was taken on 6’ however; when Brian Matthews side-footed home right-footed forcefully into the far corner of the net from 10 yards after fellow forward’ Rob Doran’s tee-up. Doran looked to be upended seconds beforehand by Town defender Andy Nicholls but the referee played on, much to the Vics’ fortune - Matthews finished with aplomb. Game-star John Connolly had started the move from midfield initially.
On 10’ Vics’ countered from a Hanley break-out after clearing a corner and Doran worked his way into the box, and laid off to Connolly who skinned his defender. His curling ball across found Brownhill who's flashing header went just over the top of the bar with Town glove-man Joe Mellor a relieved spectator.
Vics’ early dominance continued and that dominance was rewarded with the lead doubled on 17’ when Josh Brownhill hammered home a penalty straight down the middle of the goal leaving custodian Joe Mellor with no chance after Town defender Ollie Mellor had shoved Rob Doran to the ground after he was perfectly primed to head Joel Brownhill’s superb lofted cross.
On 25’ a superb flowing move by the Green and Whites’ saw Cooke trade passes with Billy Whittle who in turn played the ball to John Connolly who impudently back-heeled the ball into the path of a rampaging Joe Camozzi, he took the ball in his stride and fired in a fizzing shot from eight yards on a tight angle but Mellor made a great save with his feet to thwart his effort.
Hanley mounted an attack of sorts on 36’ when Leigh Skellern finally worked Taberner in Vics’ goal but his shot was straight down his throat and he easily made the save.
On 42’ Vics’ hit-man Matthews wriggled free in a crowded area and fired in a well-struck shot across an exposed Mellor but the ball cannoned back into play off the base of the far post.
HALF-TIME - Vics 2-0 Hanley Town.
The second half began with Hanley looking to make inroads into the two-goal deficit; forward Jon Sheldon forced Taberner to save his volley low down on 53’. On 59’ a terrible two-footed tackle by Town skipper Martin Stanyer on Vics’ schemer John Connolly was punished by the referee with a yellow card when it could and should have been red.
Vics’ centre-back Brandon Barski’s bullet header from Billy Whittle’s centre was pushed round the post by Mellor on 68’.
Hanley sub’ Jacob Vernon then tried his luck soon after with a long-range speculative shot but Taberner was again equal to the effort.
Vics’ wrapped up the points when sub’ Billy Webb notched his first goal in Vics’ colours on 83’ with a 15 yard shot that went in via a slight deflection off centre-back Ollie Mellor.
Hanley grabbed a consolation goal on 86’ when midfielder Tom Ashton tucked a shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards after a series of shots were not cleared effectively enough by the Vics’ rearguard.
4 minutes were added on at the end of the game and the Vics’ saw this out with minimum of fuss to pick up the win and move up to third in the league table.
Vics' Man of the Match as chosen by Match Sponsor , The Spinner & Bergamot : Antony Shinks
Vics’ Man of the Match as chosen by Jamie Dewsbury - John Connolly : A midfield masterclass from the former City Of Liverpool schemer. Linked midfield to attack with consummate ease and was at the heart of all the Vics’ enterprising football in the first hour.
Vics’ boss Steve Wilkes’ verdict on the win -
"Another welcome three points on the board. I thought the first half was the best football we’ve played all season.
The passing and movement when we had the ball was excellent. Also knowing when to go short or long was really good; Hanley couldn’t handle us at all. It’s always difficult to keep that tempo up and we slowed down a little in the second half, but ran out comfortable winners.
It would have been nice to have finally kept a clean sheet in the league. That’s twice in the last two games we’ve conceded a goal in the final five minutes. The only disappointment from today is the news that Stuart McDonald has left the club, to join Runcorn Town.
I spoke to Stuart on Friday night when he’d messaged me to say he was leaving. I asked him if he was going to Runcorn Town and he said he was taking a couple of weeks out, but today we’ve received the transfer papers from Runcorn.
Stuart was a massive favourite with the fans and was highly rated by myself. Football’s a strange game at times but I wish him well wherever he turns up."
Up next for Vics’ is a HOME F.A Vase 2nd qualifying round match Vs Maltby Main F.C on SUNDAY 16th September with kick-off at 15:00.
Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.
Match Sponsor : The Spinner & Bergamot
Match Ball Sponsor : MCR Media Ltd