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First Team - Match centre

Widnes
AFC Liverpool
M Grogan (19'), J Banister (36')
Full time
R Evans (96' Sent Off)
Sat 7 Apr 15:00 - Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League - Premier Division Attendance 69

REPORT: Widnes 2-0 AFC Liverpool

Widnes continue promotion push with home win

Widnes FC produced a professional performance on Saturday to return to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over AFC Liverpool.

Two first half goals from Michael Grogan and Jack Banister gave the home side a valuable three points to move six points clear of third-placed Hanley Town, putting last week’s 6-1 loss at Barnoldswick Town firmly in the rear view.

Co-bosses Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey made three changes to the side that were heavily beaten in North East Lancashire. Akrigg was rested while Kev Pollard and George Lomax both dropped to the bench. Stuart Cook, Ben Hodkinson and Banister returned to the starting XI.

The relegation-threatened visitors had an early chance to take the lead, with Elliott Nevitt racing in-behind the Widnes backline but Richie Mottram was out quickly to make a decent save.

Hodkinson then went close for Widnes, evading the offside trap to latch on to Phil Doran’s pass but the former Bootle striker could only lift his lobbed effort over.

Nevitt then tested Mottram from distance, before Widnes had a penalty shout turned down as Banister went down in the area, with Hodkinson striking a follow-up effort over.

Widnes took the lead on the 19-minute mark. Chris Lomax floated a corner towards the six-yard area, where Grogan directed a header towards goal that eventually found its way over the line with the defender netted his third goal in four games.

It was an energetic opening 25 minutes from the hosts, with Cook, Banister and Hodkinson all playing with a real zest.

Hodkinson spurned a glorious opportunity to add a second on the half-hour mark. Towey twisted and turned to release his strike-partner in behind but Hodkinson’s first touch was poor as he attempted to round AFC Liverpool goalkeeper Jack Cookson.

Banister was giving the visitors’ Christopher Brady a torrid time on the left-hand side, with the Widnes winger rewarded with a goal nine minutes before half-time.

Cook magnificently released Banister over the top who raced clear, rounding Cookson before slotting into an empty net.

Half-time: Widnes 2-0 AFC Liverpool

Despite rarely troubling Widnes in the first half, the Non-League Reds began the second half the better of the two sides.

Callum Schorah forced an early stop out of Mottram as he raced clear albeit from an offside position.

Clear-cut chances were rare in the second period, with Widnes’ best chance of the half coming 17 minutes from time.

Hodkinson floated a deep cross towards the back-post, collected by Towey who superbly dropped his shoulder to engineer space for a shot that he could only direct into the side-netting.

There was some real concern late on as Widnes youngster Tom Croughan went down under a heavy collision with the visitors’ John Beattie.

Croughan, who had only just been brought on as a substitute, was legitimately knocked unconscious in the incident, before walking off the pitch minutes later. Unable to continue, the ex-Tranmere Rovers player was applauded off by both sets of supporters and players.

With eight minutes of injury time added, there was still time for late drama as the visitors’ skipper Robert Evans was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Lomax.

Full-time: Widnes 2-0 AFC Liverpool

Next up for Widnes is a trip to AFC Darwen on Tuesday night, before visiting promotion rivals 1874 Northwich on Saturday.

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Michael Grogan

Player of the Match

Michael Grogan

Key moments

19:00
Goal Michael Grogan scores for Widnes
36:00
Goal Jack Banister scores for Widnes
90:00 +6:00
Red Card Robert Evans is sent off for AFC Liverpool

Highlights

View 0 new events
90:00 +8:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Richie Mottram keeps a clean sheet for Widnes
90:00 +8:00 Player of the Match
Michael Grogan is awarded player of the match for Widnes
90:00 +6:00 Red Card 2 - 0
Robert Evans is sent off for AFC Liverpool
89:00 Sub On
Tom Croughan is substituted on for Widnes
89:00 Sub Off
Kev Towey is substituted off for Widnes
88:00 Yellow Card
Phil Doran is yellow carded for Widnes
87:00 Yellow Card
Kev Towey is yellow carded for Widnes
86:00 Sub Off
Jack Banister is substituted off for Widnes
86:00 Sub On
Danny Laverty is substituted on for Widnes
60:00 Sub Off
Sean Myler is substituted off for Widnes
60:00 Sub On
Kev Pollard is substituted on for Widnes
50:00 Yellow Card
Stuart Cook is yellow carded for Widnes
End of period 1
36:00 Assist
Stuart Cook makes an assist for Widnes
36:00 Goal 2 - 0
Jack Banister scores for Widnes
19:00 Assist
Chris Lomax makes an assist for Widnes
19:00 Goal 1 - 0
Michael Grogan scores for Widnes
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Widnes
  • AFC Liverpool
  • 0
  • Chris Lomax Assist 19:00'
  • Michael Grogan Goal 19:00'
  • Stuart Cook Assist 36:00'
  • Jack Banister Goal 36:00'
  • Stuart Cook Yellow Card 50:00'
  • Sean Myler Sub Off 60:00'
  • Kev Pollard Sub On 60:00'
  • Jack Banister Sub Off 86:00'
  • Danny Laverty Sub On 86:00'
  • Kev Towey Yellow Card 87:00'
  • Phil Doran Yellow Card 88:00'
  • Kev Towey Sub Off 89:00'
  • Tom Croughan Sub On 89:00'
  • Robert Evans Red Card 90:00 +6:00'

Team selection

Mottram, Richie Mottram, Richie
Roberts, Jay Roberts, Jay
Grogan, Michael Grogan, Michael
Banister, Jack Banister, Jack
Burke, Mike Burke, Mike
Doran, Phil Doran, Phil
Lomax, Chris Lomax, Chris
Cook, Stuart Cook, Stuart
Hodkinson, Ben Hodkinson, Ben
Towey, Kev Towey, Kev
Myler, Sean Myler, Sean
AFC Liverpool
  • 1. Jack Cookson
  • 2. Christopher Brady
  • 3. Callum Schorah
  • 4. Harry Avis
  • 5. John Croasdale
  • 6. John Beattie
  • 7. Rhys Hardacre
  • 8. James Howell
  • 9. Anthony Lyons
  • 10. Robert Evans
  • 11. Elliott Nevitt
  • 12. Christopher Anderson
  • 13. Kieran Hughes
  • 14. Ellis Wrench

League round up

Other Premier Division results

Charnock Richard
P
P
Irlam
0
3
1874 Northwich
0
5
Runcorn Linnets
Runcorn Town
P
P
AFC Darwen
Winsford Utd
2
3

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Runcorn Linnets 39 91
2. Widnes 38 78
3. Runcorn Town 36 74
4. City of Liverpool 37 69
5. Hanley Town 37 69
6. Bootle 35 65
7. Charnock Richard 36 63

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