Vics' play-off charge gathered momentum with a 2-0 away win Vs Droylsden AFC this afternoon. After a tight first half, Gary Burnett opened the scoring just before the break, with in-form Iain Howard sealing the win in stoppage time at the end of the game with another textbook left-foot strike. It was a good day for the Greens' with play-off rivals Spennymoor and Bamber Bridge faltering elsewhere. The updated Evo-Stik NPL Division One North table can be viewed here -


Monday 6th April 2015. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - The Butcher's Arms ground, Droylsden.


LINE-UP'S - Droylsden AFC - Ellison, Brown, Ting, Kerr (S/O 63'), Dogan (S/O 90+4'), McNamara, Myler (Murphy 84'), Hall, Kilheeney (C), Sumner, Doran (Ellis 79').  Un-used subs - Pena, Alcock, Monaghan.


Vics' - Deasy (C), Smalley (caution), Grayson (caution), Clarke, Henry, Cook, Krou (Meadowcroft 81'), Roddy, Burnett (Ali 68'), Bennett (Sanogo 46'), Howard.  Un-used subs - Smith (GK), Amis.


GOALS - Vics' - Gary Burnett 44', Iain Howard 90'.


Unavailable for Vics' - Brian Summerskill (achilles), Guy Ansah-Palmer (knee).


The Bloods' started off the match slightly the brighter of the two sides but with no real inroads being made into the Vics' defence. On 16', Vics' Richie Bennett had the first attempt on goal at either end, his powerful shot from 20 yards being deflected away to safety by Bloods' right-back Ali Brown. Iain Howard sent a left-foot drive just over the bar after being played in down the left by Bennett on 25', before Droylsden had their first attempt on target - a shot straight at Deasy by Steve Hall on 31'. Controversy followed on 40' - a penalty was awarded for Droylsden but the free-hit was put well wide by Ciaran Kilheeney after an apparent Mike Roddy handball that was comitted outside the area. Vics' made the Bloods' pay for their profligacy a minute before the break, Gary Burnett fired into the net right-footed across glove-man Ellison from 7 yards into the bottom corner from a Mike Roddy slide-rule pass that set him free 20 yards out.


HALF-TIME - Droylsden 0-1 Vics'.


PICTURED BELOW - Vics' leading scorer Gary Burnett plunders his 21st goal of the season; controlling the ball and then steering into the far corner of the net to give the Green and Whites the lead.


Gary Burnett DroylsdenA 2015

Gary Burnett Goal DrotylsdenA 2015

Gary Burnett Droyls GOAL 2015

HALF-TIME - Droylsden 0-1 Vics'.

The second half adopted a scrappy pattern in the opening quarter, with Vics' Gary Burnett smashing a shot straight at the keeper when being clean through on 55', then a cute one-two between Stuart Cook & Mike Roddy ended with Cook's low shot from 10 yards out deflected for a corner 60'. On 63', a decisive moment in the game came when former Vics' centre half Nat Kerr was given his marching orders for a high and late tackle on Vics' full-back George Grayson. The Bloods' continued to try and force their way back into the game, with Rob Doran's drilled effort being beaten out by Vics' keeper' Deasy on 73'. As the game entered into injury time, Iain Howard continued his recent goal-scoring form; spinning on a six-pence and driving in a left-foot shot from just outside the box after a lung-busting run and assist by Stuart Cook. The game ended acrimoniously in the last minute when the referee gave Peter Dogan a yellow card for lashing out on Vics' substitute Abou Sanogo whilst he was on the floor; then seconds later Dogan was shown his marching orders with a straight red card for what appeared to be for foul and abusive language towards the official. Dogan then compounded his own and his teams' misery by refusing to leave the field and looking to further confront the referee.


Vics' M.O.M - Mike Roddy- Pictured below in action with team-mate Danny Meadowcroft. Superb in the engine room, an assist for the all-important first goal and marshalled the midfield with silk and steel.

Mike  Roddy DroylsdenA 2015


Manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the win -


Another 3 points, Jim. But at times, the game was a torrid affair and the shenanigans in the last minute summed it up. Away from the uglier side we scored two great goals again and other results went in our favour with play-off rivals faltering elsewhere.

Unfortunately there was some ugly scenes at the end of the game. I guess it was frustration and anger on behalf of the Droylsden players. The referee was at the centre of a number of big decisions and he left many in the ground unhappy in the manner in which he drew attention to himself. But I would like to think we rose above the madness and kept our discipline and control to see the game out professionally.

I like the way that Droylsden play and they seem a well-coached side with very good midfield movement, and rotation in wide areas which releases the full-backs beyond their wide attackers. We struggled a little to get to grips with their build up play and we were fortunate to not go in at half time one-nil down. However within a few minutes we are leading one-nil and heading into the break with the advantage. The danger with playing an expansive game is the gaps left throughout the defence line, which Gary Burnett again exposed ruthlessly to open the scoring.

I felt that our own energy and rhythm has not been there in the last two games. We made a few changes again to the starting line up and that didn't help the levels of cohesion and compactness between the players. I reserved Josh Amis to protect him from a tenth yellow card and two game suspension (which would have meant him missing both cup finals!) and the threat of that has now subsided. Reece was also nursing a tight calf. We were able to give Michael Roddy, Cedric Krou and Abou Sanogo plenty of match-play and that will help in the coming games as we need more options in midfield and greater depth and energy going into the final games. Our shape and momentum also took a hit as i once again made premature substitutions to protect Richie Bennett and Gary Burnett. I felt that we had the game won and could rely on the other players to see the game over the line.

It has been a tough weekend for the players physically and mentally. We have not played our optimum best football but we certainly have produced great moments of skill to score vital goals at good times in both games. We also have a great discipline and work ethic about the team which often serves winning teams better than just skill and flair. I have to give the players great credit as we now have 10 wins in the last 11 games and a further 8 clean sheets to add to our impressive defensive record this season so far.

The results have been kind to us with regards to consolidating a position in the play-offs with the three main contenders behind us dropping points. We now have it in our own hands to finish third which could be an important strategic position for the play-offs, but as with all our previous games we just look forward to the next game which is the visit of Scarborough this coming Saturday. And with Bamber Bridge playing Spennymoor and Darlington playing Mossley, we should see the play-off picture a little more clearly after those three games next weekend.


Up next for Vics' is a HOME Evo-Stik NPL Division One North fixture Vs Scarborough Athletic on Saturday 11th April. Kick-off is at 15:00.


Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.