cheshire fa

 

Vics' made it through to the final of the Cheshire F.A Senior Cup with a fantastic 1-0 victory over Skrill Premier side Macclesfield Town last night.

The run to the final has seen Vics' eliminate NWCL outfit Winsford United, League One side Crewe Alexandra, Skrill Premier Hyde F.C, and now Macclesfield Town en-route.

Scott Harries' close-range strike with half-time looming was enough to seal the win and extend the unbeaten sequence to an outstanding 12 matches in all competitions.

League One side Tranmere Rovers now await in the final with the date and venue to be confirmed.

 

Thursday 3rd April 2014. Valley Rd, Flixton.

Cheshire F.A Senior Cup Semi-Final.

 

LINE-UPS

 

Vics   Deasy, Smalley, Henry, Schofield, Wisdom (C), Sanogo, Summerskill, Hadfield (Amis 63'), Harries, Clarke, Burnett.  Subs all used.

 

Macclesfield Town  Branagan, Halls, Cowan, Bailey, Sodje (C), Connor, Rowe, Haynes, Prescott, Kay, Winn.  Subs -  Baker, Thompson, Tighe, Rokka, O'Keefe (GK).

 

Bookings - Vics' -  Clarke 32',  Hadfield 44',  Deasy 87'  Sanogo 51' & 89'.   Red card - Sanogo (89') - second booking.

 

Unavailable for Vics -  Marc Joseph, Ashley Stott and Matt Greenwood (all cup-tied).  Daniel Meadowcroft (thigh strain).

 

This semi-final opened at a frenetic pace - in the second minute, Macc 'skipper Efe Sodje's goal-bound header from Scott Kay's deep cross deflected off Ryan Schofield and went out for a goal-kick when a corner should have been awarded to the visitors. Vics created their first real chance of the game in the 9th minute; Gary Burnett swivelling and firing in a left-foot shot from just inside the box following a fine lay-off into his path by strike partner Michael Clarke - 'keeper Branagan beat away the effort and Efe Sodje cleared the loose ball away to safety.

The first half continued at a high pace but no real openings presented themselves for either side until the 35th minute, when Vics' skipper Dan Wisdom struck a lofted shot over Branagans head from 20 yards out and Macc defender Andy Halls headed the ball out to prevent a certain goal. Vics' opened the scoring with a well-worked goal in the 43rd minute - Gary Burnett embarked on a run with the ball from centre-field, he battled past Macc defender Joe Connor and managed to whip in a cross from the right-hand edge of the box that Michael Clarke diverted into the path of the un-marked Scott Harries at the back post and he bundled the ball in from two yards out.  Half-time arrived with Vics leading by a goal to nil.

The first fifteen minutes of the second half were very scrappy - not helped by a fussy referee that made the game very stop-start. Macc nearly levelled the game in the 58th minute, sub Elliot Rokka collected a pass from Danny Rowe on the edge of the box and curled a right-foot effort towards goal - the outstanding Ryan Schofield diverted the effort wide with his out-stretched leg - it was an outstanding piece of defending. Brian Summerskill nearly doubled Vics' lead in the 65th minute, breaking from midfield to collect a searching pass from the left by Scott Harries, shooting just wide of Branagan's left post.  Vics' were now happy to soak up the visitors' pressure, but had no real scares of note until the 82nd minute when ex-Vics' loanee Danny Rowe burst past left-back Danny Wisdom, he cut into the box and unleashed a searing left-foot drive that Deasy did well to hold on to low down at the foot of his near post. Abou Sanogo was harshly dismissed in the 89th minute - already on a caution, he had the ball in his hands and dropped it onto the floor for Chris Smalley to take a throw-in - the referee amazingly brandished a second yellow card for time-wasting.

Vics saw out the additional four minutes amidst some desperate Macclesfield attacks to claim a famous victory and book their place in the Cheshire F.A Cup final versus League One Tranmere Rovers.

 

Vics' M.O.M  Ryan Schofield - filled the void at centre-back left by the injured Danny Meadowcroft in style - some amazing last-ditch defending and totally dominant against the visitors' front-men.

 

Vics' skipper Dan Wisdom spoke with me after the game''Another great result tonight! We worked our socks off in the second half and it was a really big effort from all the team to pull through under heavy pressure in the last 15 minutes. Another clean sheet to add to the now 12 match unbeaten run. We will look to push on again at Bamber Bridge on Saturday and finish a tough week (four games in eight days) very strongly''.

 

 

 clarkey

Pictured aboveMichael Clarke stretching to pass the ball across the box for Scott Harries' to strike the match-winning goal.

 

Pictured below -  Gary Burnett looks for an opening with Macc 'skipper Efe Sodje in hot pursuit.

 

burnett

 

The Cheshire Senior Cup final - Northwich Victoria Vs Tranmere Rovers - The Weaver Stadium - Nantwich Town - Tuesday 29th April - KIck-off 19:45

 

 

Vics' manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the win with team update and his views ahead of the Bamber Bridge F.C away fixture on Saturday April 5th - 15:00 Kick-off.

 

Another win, against a higher level of opposition again - how did you view the game, Jim?
 
I thought the back four, and in particular Ryan Schofield - were excellent tonight.
 
Yes it was another great win on the back of Tuesday’s excellent result. It was a big task for our part time players to play a further midweek fixture against a fresh full time team, but the lads worked really hard again, and on the basis of the overall game I thought the win was well deserved again. You are right to single out individual players like Ryan for praise, but I thought the whole back four were impeccable last night. But it wouldn’t do justice to the overall effort of all 12 players if we discuss one or two. Everyone put a massive effort in and the effects of fatigue were clear on the players at the end. But as I always say to the players it is rare to have such an ecstatic emotional feeling of winning without the extreme physical tiredness of their efforts. As you rarely get one without the other!
In terms of the game tactically I thought that Macclesfield displayed a cautious approach in the first half with their 4.1.4.1 formation which allowed us to have the better of the first half and we created enough chances to deserve the lead. It was a well taken goal and I am delighted for Scott as he has had a tough time coming back from injury and working his way back to the level of sharpness and confidence that he knows he is capable of. Hopefully the full game, and the winning goal, will give him the boost that he needs to energise his self belief.
 
In the second half we started well but the game become scrappy as the intensity of Macclesfield’s approach moved up. The subs enabled them to lift their tempo and unfortunately we were only able to make one substitution. That coupled with the poor performance of the referee meant that we had to endure an increasing amount of pressure as the game wore on, but we weathered it well. The solid defensive shape, discipline and work ethic ensured a great win.
 
 
The unbeaten sequence now extends to twelve matches, the confidence in the squad is now really starting to show and with an appearance in the Cheshire Senior Cup final - no mean feat. Bamber Bridge away this Saturday - another tough fixture but one to look forward to.
 
We all knew that this would be a real tough week for the players as we had two high flying play off contenders either side of the Macclesfield Game and all in the same week! We have done brilliant to get two wins so far this week but it would be easy to regard the Bamber Bridge FC away game as the toughest of the three. Playing away to a form side in promotion contention is in itself a tough ask, but allied to that the efforts of the players so far this week it looks an extremely tough prospect. Hopefully, we come out of Thursdays game with no new injuries and can add Danny Meadowcroft (thigh strain), Matt Greenwood and Ashley Stott (both cup-tied) to the squad. Come tomorrow we will re-focus and if we get the game plan tactically right and are able to raise our energy then we should rightly feel confident of getting a positive result from the game. I feel the players are as determined as me to not give up this great run of results easily.
 
Bamber Bridge Vs Vics - Saturday April 5th - Irongate - PR5 6UU - 15:00 Kick-off.
 
Match report and interviews by Jamie Dewsbury.