Cheadle Town 1-2 Alsager Town

A tale of two halves, of sorts.

A first half of some hesitant, nee shambolic defending on our part; a second half of a resilient comeback, continual forays into the opposition box sprinkled with some ill fortune.

One Cheadle player who will be scratching his head wondering how he didn't net in this match will be Joe Shaw. On at least three occasions during the second half the ball came to him on the edge of the area, following a corner or whathaveyou, and three times his worthwhile efforts were blocked by some resolute defending and/or goalkeeping.

Ditto Rick Whyatt. He was fed the ball by Liam Tongue on the hour mark only to see his shot saved, headed over from close range from the resulting corner and, if he was blessed with another couple of inches of height, would have got his header to a Chris Sherrington cross on the 75th minute.

In saying that, Rick Whyatt probably would have got more sleep than Joe Shaw as he set up the goal in the second half that reduced the arrears and got us back into the match.

His floated cross from the right was met by the head of Liam Tongue who did well to get ahead of his marker and bury the ball from inside the box.

As mentioned, that reduced arrears as a lot of the damage had already been done in the first 45 minutes. It wasn't all Alsager as we had chances of our own in the first period, but we certainly gave them a helping hand towards their 2-0 half-time lead.

Alsager's opening goal on 10 minutes was a gift via some hesitant defending from a corner; Michael Lennon didn't have to move an inch to simply connect with a corner from the left and nod home from a yard out. Even more galling was the fact that the corner came as a result of Steve Piggott mis-firing a clearance.

Ten minutes later on they went two up, again via an unforced error as a cross wasn't cleared correctly, instead being shinned onto our own post with Alsager's Grice there to then gobble up the loose ball.

Alsager almost profited twice more from unforced errors in the first half. On 25 minutes a loose backwards header almost saw Lennon advance on goal and round Steve Piggott, but he was denied by a good recovery from our keeper. Just three minutes later a clearing header fell straight to a red Alsager shirt with the resulting effort being cleared off the line.

Seconds after Alsager went 2-0 up we almost cut the deficit thanks to Sam Noar after he burst through on the right only to see his strike cannon off the crossbar.

Sam also forced the Alsager keeper into a good block early doors, with Liam Tongue also testing his custodial skills and Nathan Tosum heading wide from a Chris Sherrington cross.

We're on the road again this Saturday (at high-flying Charnock Richard) which perhaps isn't such a bad thing. Our record at Park Road isn't pretty thus far: played 9, won 1, drawn 1, lost 7. In the league we're unbeaten away from home (granted we've only played 3 league matches away) so perhaps that is something to build on as we look to get more points on the table.

There has been plenty of promise shown from the last two matches to suggest that Charnock Richard won't have it all their own way this weekend.

Aux armes!

TEAM: Piggott, Todd, Pearson, German, Shaw, Waldron, Whyatt (Russell), Tongue, Noar, Tosum (Hincks), C Sherrington (Magida). SUBS: Jupp (gk), Hincks, Magida, Russell, Dunn.