REPORT: Widnes 5-0 Eccleshall
Five-star Widnes stretch winning run to 10 games with commanding victory
Billy Webb and Chad Whyte both scored twice as Widnes FC recorded a 10th consecutive league victory with a commanding 5-0 win over second-bottom Eccleshall at the Select Security Stadium.
Webb (pictured) marked his return from suspension with a first half brace as he headed home Jay Roberts’ cross after 15 minutes before stroking home Chris Lomax’s cutback on the stroke of half-time to put Widnes 2-0 up at half-time.
The hosts maintained control in the second half and increased their lead shortly after the hour-mark as Whyte netted his first of the afternoon before substitute George Lomax added Widnes’ fourth five minutes later.
Striker Whyte completed the scoring 10 minutes from time with a fine finish as Widnes moved back up to second in the Hallmark Security League First Division with four games left to play.
Manager Joey Dunn made five changes to the side that beat Silsden in midweek. Quartet Kev Towey, George Lomax, Jack Graham and Sam Sheen all dropped to the bench as Whyte, Webb, Chris Lomax and Adam Weston were all handed recalls.
Meanwhile, Mike Burke was rested and replaced at the heart of the defence by River Humphreys.
Widnes started well and came close to taking an early lead. Chris Lomax’s deflected cross from the right eventually fell to stand-in skipper Steve Akrigg, whose header on goal was brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Eccleshall ‘keeper Alexander Bushe.
After Humphreys headed wide from the resulting corner, the visitors went route one with Jack Flanaghan’s neatly cushioned header releasing Elliott Booth who could only shoot straight at Mottram after bursting through the Widnes backline.
Widnes’ early pressure eventually told as the hosts took the lead. Alex Davies and Jay Roberts combined on the right as the latter lifted a well-weighted cross into the area, where Billy Webb out-jumped his marker and headed into the far corner.
The visitors had ‘keeper Bushe to thank for in the game midway through the first half. Bushe made a decent save to deny Whyte after the Widnes man held off two defenders, before comfortably gathering a goalbound Webb header from a Chris Lomax cross.
Widnes spurned a great chance to increase their lead 10 minutes before the break. Davies showed a terrific turn of pace to race away from Jordan Bennion. His drilled cross was cleverly dummied by Whyte but Chris Lomax could only turn his shot over when he should have hit the target at the very least.
Just on the stroke of half-time, Widnes doubled their advantage. Chris Lomax turned his man and fizzed a cross into the six-yard area where Billy Webb was on-hand to apply a lovely cushioned finish to net his second goal of the afternoon.
Halftime: Widnes 2-0 Eccleshall
The one-way traffic continued into the second-half and Widnes came close to making a perfect start. Webb latched on to Adam Weston’s well-weighted ball over the top and looked certain to bag his hat-trick only to be denied by the legs of ‘keeper Bushe.
Widnes were soon back on the attack and a third goal followed the hour-mark. Davies intercepted a miss-placed pass and burst forward. He neatly rolled a pass through to Whyte who cleverly netted his sixth goal of the season and Widnes’ third of the afternoon.
Dunn’s side didn’t have to wait long for a fourth. Davies was again involved as he played a one-two with Roberts before surging into space down the right. His cutback into the area was turned home first time by substitute George Lomax, with the shot slipping beneath the outstretched ‘keeper Bushe.
The woodwork denied Widnes from adding a fifth 12 minutes from time. The hosts patiently worked the ball around with substitute Kev Pollard rolling the ball into the feet of Chris Lomax, who held off the challenges of both Dyer and Dunne before striking the foot of the post with his effort.
Less than two minutes later, Widnes increased their lead with a fifth goal. Substitute Jack Graham won the ball back in midfield and played a one-two with Whyte who released the winger into space down the right. Graham lifted a cross into the area where Whyte brilliantly brought the ball down to find the corner with a tidy finish.