Welcome to the 1874 Northwich Supporters Trust Website
FC United 4 - 1 Northwich Victoria
- Parent Category: Match Reports
- Written by Ben
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This is a game that will be remembered more for the 1874 protest, a protest that was designed to commemorate the year Northwich were formed, and to help ensure a further 138 years of history. The rally set up by Northwich fan Mark Riding gave supporters of both Northwich and FC United the chance to show the red card in the eighteenth and seventy fourth minute of the game, against the running of Northwich over the last decade, and to campaign for change.
At the same time, a group of Northwich supporters were singing their hearts out with chants such as ‘bounce bounce green army’ and ‘loyal’ supporters, to create a sizzling atmosphere at Gigg Lane, ironically the temporary home of fan ran FC United while they wait to move into their new community share funded ground, a business model that the Northwich Victoria Supporter’s Trust will potentially take similar inspiration from on a smaller scale in the future.
The game itself was always going to be a FC United win, once Jake Cotrell had given FC United the lead in the twenty fourth minute. Northwich came up against an inspired FC United side, desperate for three points that would secure them a play-off spot, if Northwich lose their appeal against being kicked out of the league at Wembley on Tuesday. Northwich manager Martin Foyle depended on the same team that beat Bradford Park Avenue in midweek to get him the result. FC United went into the game with one win in six matches.
This record clearly had to be resurrected and FC United came racing out of the blocks straight from the kick off. Attacking full back Lee Neville burst down the left flank and fed through former Northwich man Carlos Roca, one on one with Northwich keeper Ben Hinchliffe, Roca struck a shot that bristled past the far post from an angle.
The pace of the game was rapid and Northwich responded instantly from Hinchliffe’s long goal kick, a trait that has proved to be a powerful weapon all season. On this occasion, tricky winger Nathan Woolfe collected the ball with terrific control and produced a cross that flashed towards the back post, before Neville, the provider of the earlier opportunity was there to head out for a corner.
The game crept along until a sea of red around the stadium greeted the eighteenth minute of the game, with the fans against the protest trying to drown this rally for change out. Not long after the first part of this protest, FC United profited from poor Northwich defending and took a deserved lead. Greg Stone’s pass found Kyle Jacobs in space down the right hand side, the full back raced clear and crossed into the centre of the box. An unmarked Cotrell smashed home the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Northwich looked to respond and came close through of a bit of their own luck. Midfield man Tom Field claimed the ball, before finding Chris Budrys, who held the ball and passed it back to Ryan Wade. The former Skelmersdale man’s cross appeared to be seemingly going over the crossbar, but instead it caught another former Northwich keeper James Spencer out and bounced on to the upright.
But FC United always looked the more dangerous side, unsurprisingly their lead was doubled on thirty four minutes in almost carbon copy fashion from the first goal. The provider once more was Neville with a cross into the box from the left hand side. The ball should have been cleared out of danger, but instead Stephen Johnson was given the time and space to slot home from the inside of the box.
Things got worse for Northwich at the start of the second half when FC United went three up. The source of so many problems for Northwich, Roca earnt a corner on the right hand side. The following corner was met with a vicious volley from top scorer Michael Norton that was saved from point blank range by Hinchliffe, but fell into the path of Matthew Wolfenden, who claimed the rebound and thumped the ball home.
Both teams exchanged chances after the third goal. First, Roca’s run and cross down the left hand channel was met with a header over the bar by Norton. Then substitute Michael Clarke headed over after Woolfe had crossed for Northwich.
This was a rare opportunity for an outplayed Northwich side. FC United were dominant and playing some superb, fluent attacking football and got the fourth goal they deserved on sixty one minutes. The outstanding Roca manoeuvred into the box and produced a low cross that was beaten away by Hinchliffe, but into the path of Norton who hit the upright, before Woolfenden claimed the rebound and side footed home.
The rest of the game petered out with FC United certain to win and the second part of the protest taking place on seventy four minutes. Noticeably chants of ‘we want change’ could be heard far clearer on this occasion.
Northwich did manage to salvage a late consolation in second half stoppage time. Wade beat his marker and produced a cross that was flicked on by Tony Evans, into the path of Clarke to tap in at the back post.
The whistle then went to put to an end what has been a superb season for Northwich on the pitch, with second position secured but the future of the current club at least, the complete opposite.
FC United: James Spencer (GK), Kyle Jacobs (C), Lee Neville, Jake Cotrell (Daniel Grisham 87), Dean Stott, Greg Stones, Carlos Roca, Matthew Wolfenden, Michael Norton (Richard Battersby 77), Nicky Platt, Stephen Johnson (Scott Cheetham 72)
Substitutes: Scott Cheetham, Daniel Grisham, Richard Battersby, Ashley Mullholland, Jon Worsnop
Bookings: Richard Battersby (y86)
Goals: Jake Cotrell (24), Stephen Johnson (34), Matthew Wolfended (49 & 61)
Northwich: Ben Hinchliffe (GK), Graeme Law, David Fitzpatrick, Dominic Collins, Ian Kearney (C), Tom Field (Tony Evans 57), Michael Roddy (Jordan Johnson 57), Kyle Armstrong, Chris Budrys (Michael Clarke 57), Ryan Wade, Nathan Woolfe
Substitutes: Tony Evans, Steve Abbott, Jordan Johnson, Michael Clarke, Tom Smyth
Goal: Michael Clarke (90)
Referee: Ian Hussin
Assistant (Red) Mark Stewart
Assistant (Yellow) Chris Budworth
Man of the match: Carlos Roca, a superb game on the wing against his former club with his skills, pace and crossing. One of the biggest differences between the two sides.