Vics' swatted aside promotion rivals Spennymoor Town this afternoon with a crushing 3-0 victory. It is the Moors' first League defeat since December 2015. In a goal-less first half with Vics' unlucky not to be leading; second half goals - the first two both headers; from Iain Howard, and Josh Amis - and a low shot from leading scorer Richie Bennett - his 27th of the campaign, did for Moors' as Vics' recent good form gathers momentum. You can view the Evo-Stik NPL Division One North League table in full HERE | http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/northonenorth/league

 

Saturday 16th April 2016. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - The Net Dec Stadium, Northwich.

 

Vics' - Springthorpe, Byrne, Watson, Regan, Duxbury, Cook, Summerskill, Roddy (Simon Lakeland 74' caution), Howard (C), Amis (Bennett 64'), Burnett (Mike Clarke 82').  Un-used subs' - McCoy (GK), Gyimah.

 

Spennymoor Town - Lowson, Griffiths, Mason (C), Gott, Johnson, Capper, Anderson (caution), Henry, Taylor (Dowson 68' caution), Fisher (Henderson H/T), Risbrough (Stephenson H/T).  Un-used subs' - Watson, Tait.

 

GOALS - Vics' - Iain Howard 47', Josh Amis 60', Richie Bennett 79'.   Unavailable for Vics' - Abou Sanogo (groin), Cedric Krou (knee), Jimmy Ball (suspended.)

 

Vics' started this top four encounter with gusto and enjoyed most of the possession in the first half. On 3' Vics' midfielder Stuart Cook's jinking run down the left ended with him sending a low cross into the box that found striker Josh Amis but the ball ricocheted off his heel as he shaped to shoot from short range on his right foot. Eight minutes in and newly-crowned Vics' supporters' player of the year Alex Byrne made room for himself twenty-five yards out and sent in a fierce right-foot shot that Moors' keeper' Dan Lowson tipped round the post. Matt Regan hit the crossbar with a thumping header six yards out on 15' from Iain Howard's perfectly-flighted corner kick as the Green and Whites' dominated the second-placed visitors. On 22' Moors' had their first and only attempt on target in the 90 minutes when Shane Henry's cross from the right landed to skipper' Chris Mason who unleashed a low left-foot drive that looked destined to hit the back of the net but Vics' glove-man Mason Springthorpe got down late to stop the effort and parried the ball to safety. It was a brief sortie forward by the visitors' as one minute later, Iain Howard stung the fingers of Moors' keeper' Lowson with an angled left-foot shot from ten yards. On 26' Matt Regan sent another header goal-wards seven yards out from another Iain Howard delivery but the ball went centimetres wide with Moors' keeper' Dan Lowson a relieved spectator. Vics' superiority continued un-abated and Josh Amis shot just wide from seven yards via his left-foot after Gary Burnett had blazed a trail down the wing; his right-foot cross had picked out the tall hit-man to perfection. It was a surprise the teams went into the half-time break at 0-0 when Vics' had largely dominated proceedings.

 

HALF-TIME - Vics' 0-0 Spennymoor

 

Vics' took the lead within three minutes of the re-start through Iain Howard; who headed into the net from close range after Josh Amis' scuffed effort under pressure from Moors' defender Craig Gott at short range deflected into the air. Vics' doubled the advantage on the hour mark when Josh Amis found the bottom corner of the net with a powerful downward header from seven yards out after an inch-perfect free-kick by Iain Howard picked him out expertly. On 69' Moors' midfelder Shane Henry sent a header just too high and wide from Kal Griffiths' cross in their second attempt at goal. Vics' performance was rightfully rewarded with a third goal on 79' when Richie Bennett's cheeky and improvised back-heel shot from short range was saved by keeper' Lowson but he couldn't stop his follow-up effort hitting the back of the net after Brian Summerskill had rampaged into space down the right-hand side and sent over a cross that fell perfectly for Vics' leading scorer. It was the Green and Whites' 100th League goal of the campaign so far. Vics' saw out the last 10 minutes or so of the game with minimum of fuss and look to be gathering some real momentum heading into the promotion play-off series.

 

Vics' M.O.M - Brian Summerskill. Another virtuoso performance by the midfield dynamo, constantly leaving the Moors' engine room trailing in his wake. Another assist for the third goal, making it an impressive total of 18 assists so far this season.

 

PICTURED - Richie Bennett netted his 27th goal of the season and the Vics' 100th League goal so far with two games still left to play.

Richie Bennett indi

 Manager Adam Lakeland's verdict on a fifth straight League win -

A thoroughly well-deserved three points, Adam and pleasing to get some momentum now with a fifth straight League win and 100 goals now for the campaign.

This was a fantastic win for us against a very good Spennymoor side and I thought we were the better team from start to finish. They haven’t been beaten in the league since the 28th December 2015 so to beat them so convincingly should give us lots of confidence and it keeps our run going which is important at this stage of the season. 

I’m not only pleased with the three points but its more the manner in which we achieved them thats most satisfying. I thought we played the game with a good tempo, were in control throughout, used the ball well and looked a constant threat and most importantly we were solid again, keeping our 20th clean sheet of the season. Richie Bennett coming on and scoring our 100th League goal is another achievement that the players should be proud of so all in all it was an excellent day for us.
In the first half we had a number of opportunities which we failed to capitalise on otherwise we would have been deservedly ahead at the break. We had a couple of free headers from set-plays which we should have done better with, Iain (Howard) and Josh (Amis) had good chances but didn’t connect properly with them seeing the keeper make good saves and we hit the bar so we were well on top. Their only real chance in the first half was the second phase from a set play which saw Mason (Springthorpe) make an unbelievable save to keep the game 0-0. At half-time I asked the players to do things a bit quicker and try to find an extra 5-10% as I felt if we could up our intensity a bit we would break them down and full credit to the lads for doing just that and in the end coming out well on top. I was delighted for Josh (Amis) to score as he has been working tirelessly for the team but not getting his rewards in front of goal and you could see him getting a bit frustrated so for him to get on the score-sheet comes at a good time for both him and the team. I was pleased for Richie (Bennett) to come on and score as well, an excellent team goal following some fantastic build-up play and I thought he made a real impact on the game when he was introduced. The back four looked solid throughout with both centre backs having another good game and in midfield I thought we were hard working, competitive and composed so all in all it was a brilliant team performance.
Its important that whilst we enjoy this win and take the positives away from it, we also remember that its just another three points and that we have another big game here on Wednesday night against fourth placed Glossop. They are a hard-working well organised team who don’t concede many goals so we will face another difficult test but one which we go into brimming with confidence and improving game by game.

 

Match report & interviews by Jamie Dewsbury.