Jim Gannon's Northwich Victoria suffered their first defeat in 17 games when Salford City under the guidance of Vics trophy winner Phil Power ; visited Valley Road.
Date – Saturday, April 19th 2014
Competition – Evo Stik Division One North
Venue – Valley Road, Flixton
Collins – Reed
Smith, Edghill, Gaskin, Moss
Purcell, Rother, Walters c, Messer (Fieldhouse 50)
Cook, Williams (Rudd 87)
Subs Not Used - Chadwick
Goals – Messer 20, Purcell 76
Smalley, Joseph, Meadowcroft (Harries 56), Schofield
Hadfield, Summerskill, Greenwood
Subs Not Used – NONE
Cautions – Hadfield, Schofield
Goals – Summerskill 29 (Penalty)
Unavailable for Vics – Sanogo (One match suspension), Stott (Knee), Wisdom (Groin), Phoenix (n/k), Henry (Ankle)
Salford City included our Conference North title winning forward Chris Williams in their ranks, whilst Victoria saw a late change to the starting line up as Ashley Stott pulled up with a knee injury in the pre match warm up, seeing Michael Clarke take his place. Callum Henry and Jamie Phoenix were both unavailable due to injury as Matty Greenwood returned. Aboubacar Sanogo sat out the game following a suspension.
The game enjoyed a fast paced opening with the first chance falling to the Ammies when Greenwood was judged to have felled Chris Williams outside the area. The Salford forward stepped up and hit a ferocious free kick toward Tim Deasy’s goal that whistled narrowly over the bar.
As Vics looked to find an opening Josh Amis made the most of a sloppy City clearance as his snap shot was spilled by the visiting makeshift custodian Christopher Collins – Reed.
Brian Summerskill was next to try his luck when he hit a trademark powered shot at goal, the keeper got a hand to it, pushing it around the post.
On the 20th minute Phil Power’s Salford City had the advantage when Stuart Cook accelerated past Schofield to play Williams in down the left flank, The ex Vics man’s cross was parried by Deasy out to Joshua Messer, who made no mistake in side-footing the ball into the back of the net.
The visitors lead lasted nine minutes, as Referee Nicholas Barnard pointed to the spot when Michael Clarke was fouled as he rose for a header inside the Salford area.
Brian Summerskill stepped up to take the spot kick and smashed it straight down the middle of goal to restore parity.
Moments before the break, Amis struck wide as he attempted to give Northwich the lead after linking up well with Gary Burnett.
After the interval Vics were forced into an early substitution as Danny Meadowcroft left the field with a groin injury. Jim Gannon had to reshuffle his pack as he brought on tricky winger Scott Harries. Ryan Schofield slotted in beside Joseph at centre back as Greenwood reverted to left back.
Chris Williams saw a glimpse of goal as both teams were still very much in the contest however the forward could only fire the ball into the crowd.
Salford skipper Walters played his part with a crucial block on the 60th minute when he got in the way of a thumping Josh Amis strike after the forward was played in again by Gary Burnett.
Williams was again involved in the visiting attack when he turned assist for the second time as he delivered a fine pass to see Matthew Purcell slot the ball past Tim Deasy with a tidy right foot finish.
Brian Summerskill went close moments later when he curled a free kick inches wide after Michael Clarke was tripped.
Collins – Reed denied Michael Clarke late on as the tall striker rose to flick a Marc Joseph throw toward goal with a headed effort. Jordan Hadfield also went close for the hosts in the dying embers when his well-hit volley landed wide of the mark.
Vics’ unbeaten run came to an end but they will look to bounce back against North West neighbours Cammell Laird as we travel to Birkenhead on East Monday, Kick off is 3pm.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Matty Greenwood
@VicsNews says “Efficient in midfield and filled in at left-back brilliantly today. Well done”
Report by Jason Dudley