Eccleshall 0-1 Cheadle Town
By Karl Florczak, 28th Aug 2014
Cheadle Town got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Eccleshall.
Hallelujah. Not that things were getting desperate, you understand, but three consecutive defeats does start to play on the mind and you do wonder when the bad run is going to be broken.
Broken it was, though, with 90 minutes of sheer, hard graft. No half measures this time; it couldn’t afford to be, in the face of a decent, busy Eccleshall outfit the work rate had to be high and unrelenting.
Redemption too for Dean Nolan. After his sleepless night two weeks ago following his glaring misses that might have given us a result versus Northwich Flxton Villa he would have rested a little easier this time around, coolly slotting home on the 7th minute after James Horan had put him through.
That was the first notable action of a fractious and frantic match. Steve Piggott was then called into action on 15 minutes to tip a looping header over the bar with Joe Armstrong then making a vital interception to cut out a dangerous-looking cross.
We replied with two decent chances of our own around the 25 minute mark. Luke Pearson was unlucky to see his goal-bound free-kick blocked with Andy Lindon then seeing one of his trademark piledrivers excellently tipped over the bar by the Eccleshall keeper.
Back down the other end and Steve Piggott had to be alert to claw a cross – that had caught in the stiff breeze – onto the post before the half was capped by two more chances for us: Dean Nolan forcing a good block from the keeper and James Horan collecting the ball in the box, wriggling free and curling an effort inches wide of the post.
The second half was only nine minutes old when an Eccleshall shot cannoned off the underside of the bar – where’s the “Goal Decision System” when you need it? – before Luke Hincks then had a fierce drive tipped around the post.
The air of irritability that had shrouded the game from the get-go claimed its first victim on 63 minutes when Eccleshall went down to men following a second bookable offence. Despite being a man short the home side still looked capable of grabbing an equaliser and would have done on 71 minutes were it not for an incredible piece of goalkeeping from Steve Piggott; how he managed to get his body down and low for the point-blank effort, and then manage to swipe the ball away from all manner of swinging Eccleshall feet, only he will know.
That was to be the last significant act as the game trudged to its conclusion with a few heart-attack moments as clearances and passes went wayward. All part of the “fun”, I suppose.
And so onto this Saturday with another tough away assignment at Atherton LR. Another 90 minutes in the same mould as this one and anything is possible.