Eccleshill United 1 Thackley 1 - Match Report.
Honours even in season's opening 'derby'.
Eccleshill United 1 v Thackley 1.
Thackley made their shortest away trip of the season to play local rivals Eccleshill United in their opening fixture. The Eagles were promoted through the play offs last season after nine years in the lower division and would certainly be looking to start with a win. After an indifferent pre season against some formidable opposition, Thackley’s manager Pat McGuire’s starting eleven were part of last season’s squad, all the new boys were on the bench. Conditions were perfect for a competitive and entertaining encounter.
It was the home side that took the early initiative and went close on four minutes; James Ngoe, positioned perfectly on the line, got his head to Sam Bradley’s header, the ball hitting the underside of the bar before bouncing clear. The home side looked dangerous going forward; whilst Thackley were taking some time to settle. The game was fifteen minutes old before they created anything; Jordan Hendrie, then Ngoe had shots go wide before Dominic Smith pushed away a Luke Robinson effort. Thackley were now having the majority of the possession but Eccleshill were finding plenty of room on the flanks when they pushed forward. From one such move, Thackley’s keeper Luke Wilson did well to help a Steve Hollingworth effort over. Thackley went in front on twenty six minutes, Jordan Hines firing past Smith after a one two in the box with Robinson. The game moved from end to end as both sides looked for the next important goal. Hendrie picked up a rather harsh yellow card before Wilson got down well to save from Andrew Cooper. Thackley maintained their one goal advantage into the break.
Half time: Eccleshill United 0 Thackley 1.
Nicky Matthews picked up Thackley’s second yellow card, again it seemed a little unnecessary; before Bradley’s timely tackle prevented him getting a shot off after being put in the clear. Hollingworth headed wide before Thackley made their first change, Robert Marsh coming on for Hendrie. The second half was following a similar pattern to the first; Thackley had the possession, whilst Eccleshill were more direct when going forward. The Eagles equalised in the seventieth minute. The goal came from a corner given after mix up between the match officials, a half clearance ending up at the feet of substitute Jassim Alali; he poked the ball home. Hines and Robinson made way for Louis Hutton and Redmond Lee, Marsh picking up Thackley’s third booking between the substitutions. The goal and the substitutions lead to a hectic last ten minutes as both teams wanted the victory. James Rothel fired over from a Marsh cross, Smith saved after Lee was put clear by Hutton. At the other end Wilson saved well from Alali. Hutton put Ngoe in the clear but Smith saved well before Wilson came out to thwart substitute Jonny Irving. In time added on Thackley could have nicked it, Rothel firing over after running onto Hutton’s cross. It was not to be and the game finished with the scores level.
Full time: Eccleshill United 1 Thackley 1.
It had been an entertaining opener for the 196 spectators and probably a fair result. Both sides showing different aspects of play from which both managers will take some positives. An away point in a local ‘derby’, I think Pat will be take that.
Next up for the Dennyboys is their first step on the road to Wembley, a home tie against Northern League side Whitley Bay. A win will leave them with just twelve more victories to play on the hallowed turf of our national stadium.
Eccleshill United: Smith; Stor; Thomas; Cooper (Thompson); Bradley (C); Basi; Harrop; Flaherty; Hollingworth; Lever (Irving); Shazad (Alali). Subs not used Pownall; Grech.
Thackley: Wilson; Hargreaves; White; Whiteley (C); Thompson; Rothel; Hendrie (Marsh 58 mins); Hines (L Hutton 71 mins); Robinson (Lee 75 mins); Matthews; Ngoe. Subs not used: W Hutton; Basi.
Eccleshill United scorer: Jassim Alali 70 mins.
Thackley scorer: Jordan Hines 26 mins.
Referee: Ian Johnson.
Photo by Phil Whiteley.