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Eccleshall FC

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2

Chadderton FC

Sat 2 Sep 2017 | The Hallmark Security League Division One | Away

Stadium

Pershall Park

Attendance

57

Kick-Off

15:00

Mark Howard and the squad braved the Saturday afternoon traffic on the M6 to travel down to  Eccleshall FC in the Staffordshire countryside. This fixture last season resulted in a resounding 1-7 win for Chaddy, but no-one was under any illusions that Eccleshall would be anything other than tough opponents, buoyed by their recent win 3-2 over St Helens Town at Pershall Park.

Back into the team came captain Mike Smith and Tim Astley after periods of unavailability and it was great to see Leon Iluobe back in the squad after suffering a hand injury.

Tank decided to go for 2 up front with Mike and Lewis playing up top in an effort to stamp our quality and football on the game and turn it into goals. The sun was shining and the stage was set for perfectly for a game of football, Chadderton wearing their change strip of lime green shirts/black shorts/lime green socks.

There have been lots of changes over the Summer at Pershall Park, and it was clear from the word go that the reports that had reached us  of this Eccleshall team were true, they were full of running and no lack of confidence.

After 12 minutes the first chance came by the way of Eccleshall with a shot into the corner saved by Mike Smith. Chaddy responded with a neat chip from Vinny Howells and then on the 14th minute the ball came in from the right from James Dwyer after a good run and was finished neatly by Mikey Moss in the centre. 0-1  After 19minutes saw a fine chipped effort  go very close from Mikey Moss from a  lovely pass from Dale Minor, worthy of a goal in anyone’s book . This was a good period of Chadderton pressure and on 25 minutes Lewis went close jumping with the keeper who just got to the ball before him.

Eccleshall then seemed to respond with some good attacks which resulted on 27 minutes in a controversial  penalty award for an adjudged foul, but Mike Smith guessed right and made a fine save to keep Chaddy in front. The referee then seemed to lose control of the game a little and tempers became frayed as Chadderton management sought explanations from the officials for some decisions, with none forthcoming. On the half hour Eccleshall then seemed to have a good penalty shout, this time ignored by the referee which seemed justice done as the move had begun with a clear push in the back on a Chaddy player. On 35 minutes saw a great break from Gaz Hill which ended with Eccleshall counter attack going forward and dragging a shot wide of Mike Smith’s right post. Frustrations really began to show now and the referee brandished  yellow cards to Chadderton FC’s ; Dale Minor, Vinny Howells and Tom Hughes all going in the referee’s book just before the break. Half-time came at the right time for us to re-group.

In the 2nd half Chadderton looked to keep their heads and impose their quality passing game and this looked to be successful when Luke Heron scored on 52 minutes, his 3rd of the season, with a shot to the keepers left : 0-2

It now looked as if we would go on and press home our advantage, but this Eccleshall side are a different side to last season,and on 61 minutes they got themselves back in the game with a spectacular direct free-kick which Mike Smith could do nothing about. 1-2. Before Chaddy had time to draw breath it was 2-2 with a neat curled finish from the lively Thomas Lowe on 63 minutes.

 

The thing about a Mark Howard/Ian Hulme  Chadderton side  is that they are never beaten and Tank sent on Leon Iluobe, Nathan Quinlan and Craig Schuman in an attempt to get  a winner. This resulted in lots of pressure from Chaddy, with Lewis shooting over the bar and Leon going close as Chaddy camped in the Eccleshall final third for the last part of the game and turned the screw. The home side were desperate for the final whistle to go, and when it finally did, it signalled the end to a hugely frustrating afternoon for us. Full-Time 2-2

After the game I spoke briefly to Tank, who as usual, would make no excuses for us not taking the 3 points from the game. Whilst I pointed to some questionable decisions which went against us and broke our rhythm and concentration up at times, and also the travelling, Tank would have nothing of it and pointed out that we have enough quality in the side to win these frustrating games. Hats off to Eccleshall thoughwho played their game and were determined not to lose, the hurt from the  two results last season seemed to have stuck with them and they worked hard to get this result with two great finishes. We move onto another tough away game (aren’t they all?) on Monday night at Daisy Hill, knowing that in these early days of the season a couple of wins together can fire you up the table and back in contention at the top where we all have the belief our football will take us.

 

Mark. 

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