Cheadle Town 3-0 Cammell Laird

It was quite a day.

First of all we signed a deal that meant the future of the club is secured and then we went and put three goals past a Cammell Laird side that were doing rather well.

We hadn't kicked a ball in anger since the 1-4 home defeat to Whitchurch Alport at the start of December so we were desperate to get the game on. Kudos therefore to Phil, our groundsman, who worked very hard - in the face of some very trying weather the night before - to ensure that we had a game with which to end the calendar year.

The match itself took a full 20-odd minutes to get going.

Lairds had netted on the 14 minute mark but it was flagged offside and any forays that we were making into their box were thwarted by us being repeatedly caught offside.

And then, on 21 minutes, the breakthrough as the match suddenly woke up.

A bad clearance by the Lairds keeper was seized upon by Rick Whyattwho advanced on goal and only just managed to stick out a leg and slide it under the keeper just in time.

Three minutes later and the Lairds keeper made amends with a fantastic save, stretching out his right hand to stop Rick Whyatt's effort after he had connected with a through ball from Chris Sherrington.

Rick then threw a back-breaking shape to connect with a cross on 31 minutes only for it to be ruled offside. And that was pretty much that for the first half.

The second half started with Adam Gardiner curling an effort just inches wide of the post before Lairds then went in on the right and poked it just wide.

Then came a break in play that really seemed to upset our rhythm.

Chris Sherrington was unceremoniously upended by Lairds' no11 who received a red card for his efforts. The footballing lore of "it being harder to play against ten men" then kicked in as Lairds then threw the kitchen sink at us to try and snatch an equaliser.

The closest they came was in the 73rd minute. Not helped in the slightest by some sloppy defending from us, Danny Whiting was forced to get down low and quick to make an excellent block.

That seemed to serve as the turning point as it was Cheadle that carved out the better chances from that point forward, going on to win the match 3-0.

Adam Gardiner fizzed in a free-kick from the right on 76 minutes; all it needed was a touch!

Substitute Callum Collinson then threaded the ball through to Rick Whyatt but he couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet with James Dunn then finding himself all alone on the right of the area only to lash a tame shot straight into the keeper's arms.

As injury time loomed, we got our second thanks to substitute Collinson; seizing upon a slip by a Lairds defender on the edge of the area, he advanced on goal and slammed home the sealing goal.

There was time for one more. Collinson instrumental again, getting to the byline down the left and squaring for Rick Whyatt to tap home his second of the match with literally the last kick of the game.

Onto the Potteries we go this Saturday and an away trip to Abbey Hulton United. It's good to be playing football again after a weather-enforced hiatus.

Everybody connected with the club had a smile on their face and a spring in their step as they went about their duties today, be they on or off the pitch, as if a huge black cloud had been lifted from the club.

It felt good. And long may it continue.

TEAM: Whiting, Nield, Pearson, Trucca, Shaw, Harrison, Ambrose, Fleming, Gardiner, Whyatt, C Sherrington. SUBS: Collinson, Kilheeney, Dunn, Piggott (gk).