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Victory over Witton
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Cheshire Senior Cup
Witton 1 (Moleseley 29)
Vics 2 (Townson 3 Barrass og 57)
A makeshift Vics line up eventually won through to the Cheshire Senior Cup Final to give their loyal supporters, that had made up considerably more than half of tonight's attendance, an opportunity to savour a victory against the "old enemy" while, at the same time, providing them with the chance of seeing their team possibly lift the once prestigious trophy for the first time since 1994.
All looked set for a comfortable Vics win when a James Dean knock down was collected by TOWNSON inside the Albion box and a neat turn and clinical finish gave Vics an early lead. Moments later Moleseley was booked for the first of what was to become a number of histrionic plunges to the ground that, quite frankly, did little to add to the integrity or quality of the game. The impressive Connors had a 25 yard shot dip inches over the bar as Witton gave notice of a growing threat. But Townson ought to have extended Vics lead when indifferent defending following a long punt forward from Senior left him with an uninterrupted channel to goal but he lifted the opportunity wide. Moments later the same player spurned what effectively should have been a hat trick by placing his shot wide of both Kennedy and the post having been set one-on-one with the keeper. Former Vics winger Chris Gaghan warmed the hands of Phil Senior when he cut inside to execute a powerful drive. Witton were slowly making their mark on the game and drew level with what was to prove to be the best goal of the game. Ryan Brown lost possession in the Albion half and from the break Gaghan split the Vics defence with an inch perfect through pass that allowed MOLESELEY to demonstrate the skills that he is better concentrating on and to execute the precisest of finishes. Albion ended the half the stronger and the determined Jones got the better of Elliott to drill a shot from the edge of the box that Senior did well to fingertip over the bar.
All seemed set for an enthralling second half, but once Vics had taken the lead it was left to Witton to try and claw their way back into the game. The eventual winning goal came in the 57th minute when a Stuart Elliott free kick from just outside the box was wickedy deflected off home defender BARRASS and beyond the despairing dive of Kennedy. It was no more than Elliott deserved having overcome a difficult few weeks, the rival fans having taken every opportunity of reminding him tonight of his recent troubles, while having been asked to play at centre back this evening and left back in recent crucial games and having acquitted himself on all occassions with distinction.
Unsurprisingly the home side did their best to get themselves back on level terms and very often it was Gaghan that provided the ammunition. Elliott blocked out a Gaghan shot and from another Gaghan run Vics were happy to concede a corner from which Senior made the save of the game to keep out a point blank shot from Pritchard from barely 5 yards. Senior continued to dominate his box and relieved the pressure from two more corner kicks before the Albion threat began to diminish. Despite late substitutions Albion had clearly lost their impetus and in the end Vics held onto their advantage with an ever increasing ease.
McCarthy, Elliott, Charnock, Brown /
Mayman, Beaumont, Barwick, Roca (Battersby 67) /
Dean, Townson /
Subs not used: Connett, Griffiths, Brayson & Byrne
Man of the Match: Phil Senior