Alsager Town 1-4 Cheadle Town

From the ridiculous to the sublime.

With some players missing - one of which our leading goalscorer - and facing a trip to a difficult Alsager Town outfit those of a gambling persuasion may have been tempted to put their collective mortgages on yet another defeat.

Alas, in keeping with our half-decent away record this season - that's now a massive 70% of our league points amassed away from Park Road - we put in a measured performance and ran away comfortable, and deserved, winners.

This was a passion play with many acts where the passion from certain elements was misguided at times. More of that later.

Act One: Danny Whiting, He Of Safe Hand

It's fair to say that Danny Whiting had a very busy opening half hour, keeping us within reach of the match with some quality stops.

The start was a tad ring-rusty, mind, as confusion betwixt him and Joe Shaw with only three minutes gone almost let an Alsager forward through but thankfully he lobbed his effort over the bar.

Joe Shaw had to get a great last-ditch tackle in a few minutes later but it was on the turning of the 20th minute that Danny Whiting was repeatedly called into action.

He made a superb one-handed stop to deny their no11 and then did very well to alter his direction to block a deflected effort moments later.

He then palmed away a close-range header from a corner and was glad to see the loose ball blazed over his bar from a yard out, before managing to claw a well-struck free-kick around the post.

Act Two: The Turning Of The Screw

In amongst Alsager's attempts to keep Danny Whiting warm, we had our own little moments that suggested that we weren't going to be left out-of-sight in this match.

Luke Cotton, leading the front in the absence of Rick Whyatt, got his head onto an arrowed cross from Joe Nield on 12 minutes, sending his looping effort just over the bar. He got his head to another cross - a searching one from Luke Pearson this time - to force a great save from the Alsager keeper.

Five minutes before half-time we got the breakthrough.

Some great hold-up play by Jake Ambrose on the edge of the area was rewarded as he laid it off for an onrushing Callum Collinson to drive home from around 20 yards out.

Would the half-time break disrupt our momentum?

No. Just one minute into the restart Jake Ambrose was in on the right but saw his effort blocked.

Sixty seconds later and he would be in again, collecting the ball on the edge of the area from a free-kick, turning neatly, and finishing from inside the box.

Add another sixty seconds. We are awarded a penalty for which Luke Pearson steps up, only for him to plant it over the bar.

This gives Alsager a little bit of hope and they go on to have a decent spell around the hour mark. Danny Whiting has to come out to bravely gather the ball at a player's feet, Alsager actually net but it is given offside and Whiting is on-hand again, pushing a curling effort around the post.

But then on 72 minutes we re-seize the initiative.

Luke Cotton managed to round the keeper (after he had made a poor kick) but pushed the ball a little too wide for him to make anything of it before the next phase of play saw us take a 3-0 lead; Chris Sherrington's cross-shot from the left evading everybody and finding its way to the corner of the net. I had initially given Luke Cotton the goal on Twitter as I thought he got a touch to it but alas not. Sorry Luke.

On 82 minutes Chris Sherrington netted again but with a more deliberate effort this time around. Callum Collinson's dinked cross from the right fell just at the height for him to unleash an unstoppable drive from the left.

Act Three: Minds Lost

We don't usually call out referees on here as they have a difficult enough job as it is but we are absolutely baffled by the decision he made - or didn't make - on the 90th minute mark following what appeared, and most certainly sounded, like an elbow/arm to Joe Nield's face.

What we thought would be the inevitable red card turned out to be a yellow, for both the accused and Joe Nield.

And then there was ex-Cheadle midfielder Matt German, whose tightly-coiled temperament was slowly starting to unravel. Our coaching staff's genuine attempts to calm him down were only met with shoves. We can only hope that the headed goal he got as consolation six minutes into injury time served as some sort of comfort.

Perhaps it was a good job that certain elements of Alsager's home "support" had drifted away by then because I'm not sure their close proximity to all of this would have helped.

At 0-2 down and facing a defeat their calls for their own players to, and we quote, "break the legs of" and "end the season of" Cheadle players could be heard loud and clear by myself and other members of the visiting Cheadle committee. An attitude like that isn't "football support" and those individuals are a disgrace and a tarnish on Alsager Town FC.

Anyhow. Our thanks to the good folk at Alsager Town - of which there are plenty - for their hospitality.

For us we look ahead to another home match this weekend as AFC Blackpool visit Park Road.

TEAM: Whiting, Nield, Pearson, Wood, Shaw, Harrison, Collinson, Fleming (Delaney), Cotton (Ratican), Ambrose, C Sherrington. SUBS: Ratican, Delaney, Piggott (gk).