Vics' were defeated by Vanarama Premier Macclesfield Town this evening in the Cheshire F.A Senior Cup final by the odd goal in five at the Weaver Stadium. After being 0-2 down, Vics' mounted a stirring comeback to level the game at 2-2 - and despite creating the chances to score the winner amidst heavy pressure on the Silkmen's goal in the last twenty minutes; a quick breakaway following a Vics' corner resulted in ex-Vics' loanee Danny Rowe sealing victory for Macc' with six minutes left.
Tuesday 21st April 2015. COMPETITION - Cheshire F.A Senior Cup Final 2014/15. VENUE - The Weaver Stadium, Nantwich.
LINE-UP'S - Vics' - Smith, Smalley, Grayson (Summerskill 60'), Ali, Clarke (C), Henry, Cook, Roddy (Fishwick 85'), Burnett, Amis, Sanogo. Un-used subs' - Deasy (GK), Bennett, Meadowcroft.
Macc Tn - Branagan, Halls, Hunter (Gibson 70'), Disney, Cowan, Haining, Moke, Lewis, Fairhurst, Rowe, Bailey-Jones. Un-used subs - Tighe, Thompson, Jenkins.
GOALS - Vics' - Joshua Amis 45', Abou Sanogo 69'. Macc - Waide Fairhurst 20', Bailey-Jones 43', Danny Rowe 84'.
No bookings for either side, and a fourth game in succession for Vics' with no cautions received.
The match opened at a frantic pace with both sides looking to get the upper hand early on. The first shot on target by Silkmen' forward Danny Rowe on 5' was well saved by back-up keeper' Smith in Vics' goal.
The next 15 minutes saw a period of prolonged pressure by Macc on Vics' goal; and that pressure told when Waide Fairhurst slammed in a left-foot shot from 20 yards past Smith on 20' following a quick break down the left by Paul Lewis. Vics' were struggling to get a foothold in the game but managed a riposte on 27' when Abou Sanogo worked Macc keeper' Branagan with a low shot after Gary Burnett slipped a pass into his path on the edge of the box. Macc' were in the driving seat two minutes before the break when Theo-Bailey Jones fired in at the back post from short range after Waide Fairhurst helped on a cross from the left, with the Vics' defence caught napping by another quick-fire Silkmen' raid. Vics' response from the re-start was swift; Abou Sanogo let fly with a trade-mark right-foot rocket shot that Branagan miraculously managed to push over the bar. The green and whites' were not to be denied though - on the stroke of half-time; Joshua Amis pummelled in a low right-foot drive six yards out from a partially blocked Abou Sanogo shot after a Stuart Cook cross had caused consternation in the Silkmen' box.
PICTURED - Joshua Amis hammers Vics' back into the game on the stroke of half-time.
HALF-TIME - Macclesfield Tn 2-1 Vics'.
Vics' started the second half on fire after Amis' goal just before the break had given them a huge shot in the arm. A goal was ruled out for offside - and then on 54', Chris Smalley released Gary Burnett who entered the box but could only send his low right-foot effort straight at a sprawling Richie Branagan's legs. Macc' winger Bailey-Jones fired well wide in a rare sortie on 63' - and Vics' levelled the game deservedly on 69' when the irrepressible Abou Sanogo powered the ball into the far corner of the net with a booming header across Branagan from Stuart Cook's perfectly flighted free-kick. The next fifteen minutes saw Vics' lay siege to the Macc' goal with impressive sub' Brian Summerskill leading the charge - yet another Abou Sanogo pilededriver; this time from short-range and an almost impossible angle; was somehow smuggled off the goal-line by Branagan on 77' from yet another cross by game-star Stuart Cook from the touchline. Following two Vics' corners in succession with seven minutes left, a swift counter-attack ended when Danny Rowe looped a shot into the top corner from 12 yards via Vics' players' player of the season and supporters' player of the season; Callum Henry's legs - which left Dane Smith in goal totally flat-footed. Referee Joe Hull denied a penalty for Vics' on 89' when Stuart Cook released Gary Burnett into the box and he skipped past Branagan only for the custodian to appear to trip him with his outstretched hands as he attempted to clear the ball. It was harsh on a Vics' side that had valiantly battled back into the game from 2-0 down but it wasn't to be as Macc' saw out the four minutes of added on time to claim a 21st Cheshire F.A Senior Cup title.
PICTURED - Abou Sanogo levels the game with a text-book header on 69', with Mike Clarke (left) and Joshua Amis in close.
Vics' M.O.M - Stuart Cook. Had a hand in the first goal and perfect free-kick for the second - binded everything together in a tough midfield battle. In fine form the last few weeks.
MANAGER JIM GANNON'S REACTION TO THE LOSS -
Mixed emotions there, Jim. A fantastic effort by all the players to recover a 0-2 deficit; and to cruelly have it snatched away by a quick-counter attack , after we had almost all of the play in the last half-hour; is tough to take.
It was a disappointing and a cruel way to lose the game with us conceding such a late goal, but overall there was a lot of positives to take from the game.
In the first half we disappointed ourselves with a lack of composure and control in our own game. To their credit Macclesfield Town started the game very well and played with a good purpose and tempo to their football. Although they played the better passing football the nature of their goals were very disappointing. We put ourselves in a difficult position after finding ourselves 2-0 down. However, to the players credit we got back into the game. As the first half wore on we started to get some decent passing attacks together and from the resulting pressure of those moves we got a deserved goal back.
That goal made the half-time team talk a little easier. I re-shaped slightly with the main emphasis being on getting our own game going and imposing ourselves on Macc during the second half. We certainly did that and created a lot of great chances. Their goalkeeper was their man of the match in the second half with a string of good stops as our front players began to dominate. We got a deserved equaliser during that period and could have easily got the winning goal ourselves. But in the end Macc clinched the win with a break-away goal.
We pushed hard to win the game as we didn't want extra time in what will undoubtedly be a very demanding week already. Perhaps the Cheshire FA felt my disappointment of the fixture madness, after they presented me with my commemorative trophy for the game then embarrassingly asked for it back in front of everyone!
Overall, reflecting on the most important thing - which is how the team is shaping up; I was pleased with the team shape, work rate and performance in the second half - and hopefully we can take that into the closing games - most especially the final league game and play-off semi-final. We had some very solid performances and it was great to see Stuart Cook and Abou Sanogo playing so well. We also saw the return of Brian Summerskill and our midfield looked more dynamic and energetic than recent games. It was also pleasing to score two goals from set-plays and the quality and presence from them has gone up in recent weeks and that could be crucial in deciding future games. Another small positive was to come through the game with no further injuries as once again we had to name injured players on the bench to fill the 16 man squad.
Up next for Vics' is the Mid-Cheshire Senior Challenge Cup FINAL on Thursday 23rd April Vs Witton Albion F.C - Kick-off is at 19:45. Venue - Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham, Northwich. Postcode for Sat-nav systems is - CW9 6DA.
Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.