No matter how many times you close your eyes tight and then open them again, this bad start to the 2019-20 campaign hasn’t gone away I’m afraid.
Another day, another dollar, another match where we haven’t been able to put a ‘W’ on the string of results. The start of an NWCFL season is always busy with two matches a week in August but perhaps it’s a good thing we go again as soon as Friday evening.
Uncharacteristically for us we took the lead in a match but then went on to lose it, coming oh-so close to coming away with a point towards the end.
The opening 25 minutes of this match was as drab as the evening sky above it; neither team seemingly bothered to carve out a clear-cut chance for themselves.
But then came the first shot in anger as a West through-ball saw Danny Whiting facing a one-on-one situation; thankfully he did enough to put the player off and force him wide and the resulting cross was volleyed high and wide.
Three minutes later and Danny was called into action again, making a superb double-save to deny a long-range shot and then block the rebound.
On 35 minutes a Cheadle breakaway saw us take the lead. Pat Davin cut loose down the right and had acres of space to plant a teasing cross to the far post where an unmarked Ryan Shenton was waiting to nod home.
Unfortunately our lead only lasted six minutes. We failed to clear our lines effectively and the loose ball was piledriven from the right. Danny Whiting did very well to parry the shot but could do nothing about Matt Boland’s acrobatic volley from the edge of the box to draw the match level.
As half-time approached another fluffed clearance gave West the opportunity to snatch the lead, but Danny Whiting was equal to another fierce drive from the edge of the area.
We had a decent opening 15 minutes of the second half in which we had opportunities to regain the lead.
The West keeper had to tip a snapshot over the bar before he then almost gifted us a goal just before the hour mark; his rushed clearance allowing Pat Davin in whose tackle sent the ball into mid air with all manner of chaos ensuing. An Ash Curran header didn’t quite have enough power behind it and the West keeper was eventually able to recover the ball.
Just two minutes later Curran sped down the right and zipped a ball in for Pat Davin who slid in and stabbed the ball just wide.
West then had vast control of the remainder of the match , going ahead on the 64th minute after a long throw-in found Dylan Moloney who made space for himself in the box before rifling home.
The hosts then clattered the crossbar on 74 minutes before we had one last chance shortly afterwards to level matters; Pat Davin’s square ball finding Aaron Taylor on the edge of the area only for his side-footed effort to be saved by the keeper’s legs.
West kept pushing for the third in the final ten minutes and came closest on 83 minutes when a free-kick was headed onto the crossbar and somehow not bundled home in the resulting melee.
With little else to say it’s onto Friday evening and the search for that elusive first win of the season….
TEAM: Whiting, Machado Le-Gal, Lunt, Clarke, Johnson, Gaskin, Phelan, Shenton, Davin, Sunderland, Curran. SUBS: Naughton, Piggott (gk), Hopkins, Rezayan, Taylor.