Vics' defied the odds this afternoon against high-flying Witton Albion with a brilliant performance in the Northwich Derby, only being denied victory by a last minute goal from home wide-man Brad Bauress. Yaw Gyimah steered the Green and Whites' in front on 73' with a clinical right-foot finish. Albion' hit-man Rob Hopley was shown a red card in injury time for raising his hands in the ensuing melee after Bauress' equaliser. Vics' boss Paul Moore earned a point in his first game in charge as Manager.


Monday 26th December 2016. COMPETITION - EvoStik NPL Division One South. VENUE - The Net Dec Stadium, Northwich


LINE-UP'S - Witton Albion - Roberts, Gardner (C), Wilson, Brown, Lycett, Haywood (Davies 86'), Noon (Hickman 79'), Owens, Hopley (S/O 90+1'), Hinchliffe (Williams 62'), Bauress (caution).  Un-used subs' - Adigun, Garner.


Vics' - Forth, Olopade, Fitzgerald, Nolan (C), Pritchard, Doran (D), Clarke, Burey, Gyimah, McDonald (D), Johnson.  Un-used subs' - Coffey, McCoy (GK), Moore.  No bookings or red cards for Vics'.   *D* - Denotes Debut.   Unavailable for Vics' - Godwin Abadaki (shoulder) - expected absence is around 5-6 weeks


GOALS - Witton - Brad Bauress 90'.   Vics' - Yaw Gyimah 73'.


After a slow start by both teams to this Northwich Derby - Albion created the first real opening on 13' when Karl Noon, after Tom Owens nudged the ball into his path; fired a stinging shot straight at Vics' glove-man Dylan Forth.

Vics’ custodian then denied Rob Hopley on 15' after he helped on captain Anthony Gardner’s long throw. Two minutes later on 17' Forth made a flying save from Scott Lycett's header which had been diverted goal-wards by Vics' front-man Yaw Gyimah's head. Albion survived on 21' when Vics' lone striker Alex Johnson tapped in the hard-working John Pritchard’s driven cross into the net from close range, only to be flagged offside as Vics' showed they were fully in the contest.

Albion's midfield man Tom Owens couldn't control a header after latching on to Scott Lycett’s lofted free-kick near half-time as the teams went into the break locked at 0-0.


HALF-TIME - Witton 0-0 Vics'.


The second half opened with Vics' still more than matching Albion. Home striker Rob Hopley’s daisy-cutting effort found Forth rushing low down to his left to make a reasonably routine save on 53'. Vics' responded on 58' as full debutant Bevan Burey stripped Anthony Gardner for pace near the edge of the box and managed to get away a fierce shot that Gardner managed to block for a corner after redeeming himself by busting a gut to get back into a defensive position.  

Vics' keeper Dylan Forth made his best of the afternoon on 65', reacting instinctively to miraculously divert Prince Haywood’s volley on the full from 25 yards out of the bottom corner via an out-stretched left-hand low down after Rob Hopley had headed smartly into his path.

Vics' took the lead from their best move of the match on 73', started by Lanre Olopade’s rampaging burst down the right that took him around 60 yards down the pitch.

Another Vics' debutant; Stuart McDonald then took over after receiving Olopade's square pass, and his inch-perfect cross from the right to the back post was met by Yaw Gyimah around 7 yards out on a slight angle with a perfect contact on the volley, right-footed; steering the ball into the corner of the net - across the helpless Albion net-minder Danny Roberts. It was the Vics' wide-man's ninth goal of the season; and most important.

Vics' defended stoically in the remaining quarter; whilst looking dangerous on the break but they were finally breached as the game ticked into the four minutes of additional time when wing-man Brad Bauress nodded in across Dylan Forth in Vics' net from close range after pouncing on a loose ball. Albion striker Rob Hopley was sent off by referee Dean Watson after the goal as punishment for grabbing a Vics' player by the throat while retrieving the ball from the net in an attempt to gain a quick re-start as the spoils were shared with a point for each side.


Vics' M.O.M - Lanre Olopade. Pushed close by Dylan Forth and Matty Clarke, Lanre was immense in the right-back position. Tough tackling, last-ditch blocks and fearless defending to keep a lid on Albion's attacks out wide and through the middle. Produced a lung-busting down-field rampaging run that ultimately yielded a fine team goal for the Vics'.


Vics' Manager Paul Moores' verdict on his first game in charge of the Green and Whites'


A baptism of fire in your first game in charge, Paul - but what a response from the players given the recent adversity and with three players making full debuts.


On a day when having taken over a new team couldn't be hard enough, it had to be the derby game against Witton, who have not lost at home all season. Players during the week had decided that it was time to move on and start afresh elsewhere and throw that in with the fact it was over the Christmas period, you could say "why would I want to put myself through this".

I met the players for the first time on Thursday, signed 2 new lads to register them Friday and we still have not conducted a training session. We were up-front on Thursday in the discussions when we first met, and it was quite evident that the squad were very much together in what they want to achieve for the club and its loyal supporters' this season.

So I began to set us up for what was to be faced, a Witton side unbeaten at home and a local derby with what would be a very vocal crowd. We had 12 fit players and a goalkeeping coach (Paul McCoy), along with myself to select from backs to the wall you could say.

I felt that we had to adopt a more defensive shape, having seen us at Stocksbridge (the previous game), and we would need to be quick out wide and look to break quickly to give us a chance. I selected 3 new players, and went with what I believed to be a strong defensive shape.

We started the game with the strong wind in our faces and defended really well, and rode our luck on one or two occasions; but we did have a goal disallowed during the first 45 minutes. Witton tried very hard to open us up but our keeper and back four were excellent in keeping their shape, and discipline; to give the springboard to attack. We didn't create any real openings, but had a number of set-pieces that had we had chance to work on previously may have given us something.

The half-time whistle came and we had put in a great shift to keep them out, and with the wind in the 2nd half I thought we had a chance to take the game to Witton. I was really pleased with the way we continued with our game plan, didn't chase the game to win it; but kept calm and professional in our approach. When we scored I felt we deserved the goal, and didn't feel they were going to reply as we had weathered the storm. However, football is cruel and against the run of play they equalised at the death.

I was disappointed about the goal as we could have prevented the delivery, and we did speak about it after the game. It felt like a defeat, but with everything that had gone on previous to the game, a draw is not a defeat and something we can build upon. The lads worked incredibly hard, and a special mention goes to our keeper Dylan Forth; who for me was outstanding with his kicking, handling and the saves he made. The outfield lads can be proud of the standard they have now set.


Match report and interview by Jamie Dewsbury.