URMSTON 2 – 6 KESWICK WEST CUMBRIA
BARNES x 3
This week, KWC made the trip South to Urmston to kick off the second half of the league campaign after the winter break.
Having had last week’s fixture postponed due to frost West’s lead at the top of the table had been wiped out from the chasing pack and now only sat aloft of the rest on goal difference, although now have a game in hand.
With this in mind it is now fact that the league is in their own hands and with only 8 games remaining, each fixture is potentially either another giant stride to the pre-season unthinkable of promotion, or a costly banana skin in the run in.
The hosts today currently sit rock bottom of the table and had yet to register a point and if they had any aspiration of avoiding the drop, a significant post Christmas change was needed. Both teams needed maximum points for completely contrasting motives.
Wests were at full strength with the exception of Elliot Dessert and Mark Bowen who were out through injury but were however bolstered with the inclusion of Paul Sloan and Dan Chippendale making his 1st team debut.
The game began with Urmston doing all the work while Wests seemed to be chasing shadows and although only half chances, the home side calved out a couple of early opportunities which fizzed narrowly wide of the target.
However, having taken 10 minutes to blow off the cobwebs KWC started to play like they are capable of and soon the game was a different affair. Urmston continued to push forward but after being caught out, were vulnerable to the counter attack with Wests used significantly. Once in the D though the chances were minimal and along with a couple of nice saves from the keeper, the score remained goal-less for the opening quarter.
Having experienced an unnecessarily frustrating game away at Bebington earlier in the campaign Wests could be forgiven for beginning to think a repeat could be on the cards but just as soon as the ideas were appearing so was Tom Morgan down the right and after playing a neat 1-2 with Chippendale, cracked the ball through the keepers legs and against the backboard for West opening goal of 2012 and into the lead.
Moments later Urmston found them selfs level through a exquisite drag flick finish off a short corner,
This was a wake up call for the west Cumbrians and continued to apply pressure.
West's took the lead again was via Rikki Barnes from a trademark Wests short corner; a neat deflection past the keeper from a Morgan drag.
Swanston then teed up Chippendale for this first goal but his shot was saved well and the rebound ball across the goal-line could not find a finishing touch.
Another short corner a few minutes later resulted in the same outcome as previous, this time Rob Cook applying the finish close range from another Morgan assist.
Urmston did cause some problems though and it would be unfair to say Wests had this all their own way.
The margin between the two teams were in Wests favour as it was made bigger with a debut goal from Chippendale. After good midfield work from Proctor and Wilson to regain possession the ball was moved to Chippendale who found himself a yard of space and fired towards goal. The hint of a deflection was irrelevant as the ball crashed over the line for West's 4th,
But just before the half time was blown,
Urmston grab another back, Niggling dribbling enabled the ball to be moved into the D and despite a questionable call, the home side won a short corner which they converted beautifully to reduce the margin.
The second half brought about much of the same. Urmston causing problems in spells while Wests never really got out of 3rd gear as much as they tried.
West’s fifth arrived from a flowing counter attack. Proctor and Sloan moved the ball from midfield into the D and offloaded to Swanston whos shot was deflected and as Cook collected the rebound, Barnes made sure with the final touch.
Urmston pushed for more out of the game but anything they tried was cleaned up by West's centre backs Mattear and Fennel,
Soon after Wests finished ontop with Barnes completing the hat-trick from another well worked short corner routine.
West remain in the driving seat but face local rivals Glaxo next week in what will certainly be a tight battle as they look to move closer to NWL Div 2.