Albion follow midweek victory with another scoring five times
By Phil Chadwick
Match Report kindly supplied by: Andrew Simpson, Senior Sports Writer, Northwich Guardian http://www.northwichguardian.co.uk/sport/
IF the previous result was one that Witton Albion hoped would reignite their season, then this is proof it has. They were better than Coalville, opponents that had beaten them a month earlier, on every measure.
A narrow defeat seven days earlier at Hednesford, the fifth in a sequence, feels a long time ago. This version of Witton was unrecognisable from that one. It played at a brisker tempo, and took more risks when attacking.
That approach was vindicated when Tom Owens tapped in an opening goal in the third minute, continuing a forward run into the six-yard box to meet Rob Hopley’s cross.
A second goal midway through the first-half was identical. This time Prince Haywood fired across the face of goal for James Foley to nudge the ball into the net from close-range.
Coalville, smarting from four successive defeats before arriving in Northwich, were simply caught cold. They remained spirited though, and Daniel Creaney thought he had halved their arrears before Danny McKenna smuggled his goal-bound attempt off the line from a corner.
He contributed at the other end too when curling a direct free-kick onto the crossbar.
Despite their dominance, the home team’s lead was felt more slender than it should by the break after midfielder Lee Cox speared a rising past goalkeeper Calvin Hare after Creaney teed him up.
Momentum was back with Witton shortly after the interval when Hopley, after Will Jones had expertly cushioned a header into his path from Haywood’s centre, restored his side’s two-goal advantage.
It had almost evaporated 60 seconds earlier though when Anthony Gardner’s headed interception from Massiah McDonald’s cross brushed a post with Hare helpless to intervene.
Witton appeared comfortable again, and added to their advantage on 67 minutes. Jones picked out Hopley, and he slalomed along the visitors’ 18-yard line before timing perfectly a pass for Ben Hedley. The midfielder steadied himself before using an instep to place the ball where Coalville goalkeeper Matthew Coton could not reach it.
Albion boss Carl Macauley has called for a scoring burden to be shared better, and his players were taking notice – four midfielders have found the net since.
He was right to be irked by a lapse in concentration that allowed Dean Freeman to meet Nathan Watson’s corner with a header that made it 4-2 from the restart. It buoyed Coalville, and Creaney cursed his luck again when he stretched to poke against an upright.
Witton were still adjusting to losing captain Anthony Brown to an injury when the visitors fluffed another chance. Substitute Tom McGlinchey had only Hare to beat when he scampered into the penalty area, but inexplicably attempted to square for Creaney and a defender intercepted.
Their hopes of mounting a recovery were then dashed by Hopley, who hooked in a fifth goal for Albion after Coton had hopelessly misjudged the flight of Hedley’s set-piece. The goalkeeper redeemed himself in part with a smart stop to deny Foley late on.
Witton | 4-4-2 | Hare (GK), Gardner, Brown (Wilson 70), Ryan, McKenna (Williams 86), Haywood, Owens, Hedley (Cesaire 87), Foley, Jones & Hopley. Sub not used: Neild (GK). Goals: Owens 3, Foley 23, Hopley 52, 82 & Hedley 67
Coalville | 4-4-2 | Coton (GK), Bryant, Freeman, Jenno, Taylor, Mellors-Blair (Kyle Dixon 46), Cox (McGlinchey 66), Hollis, Watson, McDonald (Anderson 66) & Creaney. Subs not used: Pycock & Nathaniel Dixon. Goals: Cox 41 & Freeman 69. Booked: Freeman (ungentlemanly conduct)
Referee Lee Hibble Attendance 259