NWCFL Matchday Review 2019/20 #54

Thu 27th February 2020 | Match Reviews
By Martin Fallon

With the bad weather continuing to batter the North West of England, it was postponements that got the upper hand this midweek, with eleven of the scheduled 13 games postponed.

On Tuesday evening, all three Premier Division games, one First Division North game and two First Division South games were postponed. This meant that just one league game took place, and it's no suprise that this was on the 3G surface at FC Oswestry Town as they took on Maine Road.

Oswestry came into the game in second place in the league and looking to close the gap on leaders Vauxhall Motors at the top. They were in good form coming into the game, with just one defeat in their previous eight matches. Maine Road could still reach one of the four promotion places on offer, but they had failed to win any of their previous six games coming into this game.

The opening goal came after 23 minutes of the game, with a through ball played up to recent signing Craig Pritchard who kept his calm to slot home his first goal for the club. Maine Road were level just 24 seconds into the second half, with Jack Coop scoring his 28th goal of the season.

Throughout the second half it looked increasingly likely that neither side could add to their goal tally. That was until the first minute of stoppage time when substitute Gareth Partridge picked a supreme moment to notch his first goal of the season to give Oswestry a 2-1 win.

Vauxhall's lead over Oswestry is now seven points although the Shropshire side have played two games more. Defeat for Maine Road sees them remain in 9th place, and also meant that they mathmatically can't win the title now. They can however still make the promotion spots, they lie 15 points behind 4th place with 30 points still to play for.

There were two County Cup matches scheduled for Tuesday night also. New Mills against Belper Town was postponed however Vauxhall Motors' clash with Northern Premier League side Hyde United did go ahead. 49 league places separated the two sides with Hyde three leagues higher than their opponents, but there was little to choose between the sides on the night.

Hyde opened the scoring on 26 minutes with a superb free kick from Ashley Young that found the top left corner, with Ryan Crump having no chance. Karl Noon equalised for the Motormen on the stroke of half time, capitalising on a defensive mistake to slide it past the keeper.

The Northern Premier League regained the lead on 57 minutes in somewhat fortuitous fashion, a cross from the right put into his own net by a defender. However back came Vauxhall again, with substitute Michael Burkey conjuring up an equaliser on 76 minutes when he cut inside and slotted the ball across goal to level.

With scores level at 2-2, Hyde made their experience count with a 4-2 win in the shootout, Vauxhall guilty of three misses from four taken. Hyde take on Chester or Tranmere in the Semi Final, whereas Vauxhall have their eye on a bigger trophy in the form of the First Division South.

Onto Wednesday's games, and nothing to write about. Four games, four different competitions, and four postponements.

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