Saturday April 14th, 3pm
THE Magpies put in a somewhat under par performance on their first every visit to Nantwich Town’s Weaver Stadium, losing to a goal five minutes from time.
From the early stages it didn’t look like a game that was going to ignite into action, and indeed the game somewhat plodded along throughout with the occasional spurt of action, but otherwise it had the feel of a typical end of season game with little to play for, even though there is still work to do for the Magpies.
Following the announcement the day before by the Evo-Stik League that Northwich Victoria will not be allowed to enter the play-offs and will be expelled from the league at the end of the season (subject to appeal), the Magpies need to finish higher than Bradford Park Avenue to ensure home advantage in both the semi-final and final of the play-offs, should be take part in both games.
However today’s defeat and Bradford’s victory mean that we need to at least match Bradford’s result in mid-week and then beat the Yorkshire side on the final day of the season next week.
Back to today’s game and chances where at a premium throughout for both sides. Going closest first for the visitors was Ally Brown with a 25 yard attempt that was easy for the keeper.
Chris Denham had a half shout for a penalty, but it would have been softer than many recently awarded in the Premier League had it been given.
Nantwich had their chances and Russell Saunders had to be alert just after the half hour mark.
At the other end as hailstone started to rattle down Andy Russell had a shot deflected just wide then just before the interval Ashley Parillon was unlucky not to connect with a cross just inches from goal.
After the restart Town had two chance in the opening seconds, but a combination of defenders and keeper kept them out, then immediately down the other end the Magpies best chance of the game saw a Denham strike rattle the cross-bar before bouncing to safety off the line.
Tom Williams was withdrawn with what looked a painful knock to the knee with Adam Roscoe replacing him, then minutes later Matt Walwyn replaced Ciaran Kilheeney who unusually hadn’t had a sniff all game.
As the end approached the hosts began to take the upper hand and their goal looked to have be coming for a while and substitute Tom Unwin finished unchallenged from 12 yards, putting the ball just inside Russell Saunders near post.
There was to be no last minute reprieve as the game ended after six additional minutes. The only consolation was that as FC United have now lost their last three games they can no longer catch us and a single point from our final two games will mean the same for Hednesford Town who appear to be finding form after a sticky patch. Bradford are there to be caught!
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Ally Brown, Tom Williams, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Ashley Parillon, Chris Denham, Steve Flitcroft, Ciaran Kilheeney, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Adam Roscoe (Williams, 51), Mark Ross, Matt Walwyn (Kilheeney, 54), Bowen (Parillon, 71), Porter
Goal: Tom Unwin (85)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Andy Russell, won everything thrown at him and nearly scored in first half