Hallmark Security NWCFL Division One South – Saturday 15th September 2018
Eccleshall 3 Alsager Town 1
Two goals from Dan Needham and a fantastic free kick from Jordan Bennion ensured that Nick Farrington’s Eccleshall got the better of local rivals Alsager Town.
With skipper Harvey Collins serving the first of a three-game ban and Louis Downs and Matt Quimby both missing out due to injuries, Izaak Walsh and Jordan Bennion came into the starting line-up, whilst newcomer Joe Griffiths was named on the bench.
After an even twenty minutes, the game came to life with Serkari Ahmadi being brought down 25 yards from goal, Bennion’s strike from the free kick was tipped over by Alsager ‘keeper Rhys Bills.
Bennion was again in the action five minutes before the break, his cross from the left was deflected into the path of Dan Needham, who fired into the bottom left corner of the net putting the Eagles in front.
On the stroke of half time, Bennion doubled the lead. Needham had been fouled in a similar area to the earlier free kick, however this time Bennion went the opposite way and his superb free kick found the same spot as Needham had.
HT. Eccleshall 2 Alsager Town 0
The contest was almost over within a minute of the restart, Ahmadi chasing down a poor clearance by Bills, but he couldn’t find the target as he shot on the turn.
Alsager then had their best spell of the game in terms of territory, although Eagles ‘keeper Owen Wyatt was rarely called into action.
With twenty minutes to go Farrington made a double change, Tom Wakefield and Callum Thomas being replaced by Jake Standbridge and teenager Joe Griffiths for his Eccleshall debut.
Five minutes later, Alsager were back in the game. Wyatt was caught in possession by Paul McMahon from Lewis Dunn’s pass back and he easily found the net. Eccleshall had been fortunate a moment before when losing possession just outside their own area only resulted with a shot off target.
As Alsager pushed for an equaliser, Eccleshall had to defend several corners, but again the home defence protected the lead.
With Wyatt struggling with a knee injury, acting skipper Callum Feeney took over goal kick duties and with five minutes left he picked out Brad Carr on the right, who found Needham on the right wing. Needham then danced around defenders inside the box before blasting his left foot effort against the far post with Bills beaten.
Needham was again involved as he got away down the right, picking out Carr whose effort was quite clearly kept out by the defender’s hand, but referee Cassidy waved away Eccleshall’s appeals.
In the last-minute, Needham latched on to a ball from Feeney and fired past Bills from a tight angle to ensure the win.
FT. Eccleshall FC 3 Alsager Town 1
Referee: Mr. Thomas Cassidy
Eagles: Wyatt, Baker-Haynes, Dunn, Walsh, Thomas (Griffiths), Feeney, Carr, Needham, Ahmadi (Lewis), Wakefield (Standbridge), Bennion.
Unused Subs: Gittins, Finney
Eccleshall are at Pershall Park again on Saturday 22nd September when Wythenshawe Town are the visitors (3.00pm)