Congleton Rovers JFC

Congleton Rovers JFC
Last update: Wednesday 16th October 2019 @ 20:19
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  • Sun 13th Oct
  • U16 won 9-0 vs Holmes Chapel Red
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Rovers 'v' Northwich Victoria. 10.02.19

(Mark Arneil 12/02/2019)
This week Rovers and Northwich clashed to battle it out to take a firm grip on 2nd place in the league at CHS.
After a cagey opening by both teams chances were few and far between. Northwich were trying to cut out the midfield and release their front players as early as possible. Rovers knew this was going to be the case and very little was getting past the back quartet of Braisby, Johnston, Hopkins and Moreno, and F. Evans in goal behind was quickly of his line to gather the ball at any given opportunity.
Rovers soon started to fashion some chances. The first fell to Negus after some good strength and composure from Wedgbury down the left and he cut the ball back and Negus saw his effort come back off the bar.
J. Evans was protecting the back line with some brilliant break up play, both wide players Reardon and Negus were giving the Northwich full backs a torrid time. Statham as ever was trying to be the architect and create openings and some of the diagonal balls in to the channels by Riley were nothing short of stunning.
Rovers however found themselves one down when a player coming back from an off side position caused some confusion allowing an advancing attacker to score.
Rovers hit straight back with an equaliser when Riley won a header from a goal kick and Wedgbury twisted and turned and scored despite the efforts of the Northwich keeper.
Rovers almost took the lead when Riley pinged one of his diagonals in to the path of Negus who lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper but a number of defenders were on hand to clear.
It was all Rovers going forward and sonly ome excellent Northwich defending kept the scores level.
Rovers had a free kick in a central position which Braisby delivered a beauty, Wedgbury timed his run to perfection but was unable to make any meaningful contact on what was a difficult chance.
Northwich were trying to get forward but every time they seemed to hit a yellow wall of Johnston and Hopkins, this partnership has blossomed throughout the season a real understanding between the two of them.
Rovers again tried to get there noses in front and some good play between Negus and Statham created an opening for Braisby who fired wide.
Northwich were really holding on now and Rovers continued to stream forward.
A Negus free kick on the right was met by the head of Riley who was unlucky to see it strike the post.
With half time nearly upon us Riley drove straight through the Northwich defence and found himself one on one with the keeper but again the woodwork denied Rovers the lead.
Half time 1-1.
Two changes at half time as Sharp replaced F. Evans in goal and Simpson slotted in to left back for Moreno.
The 2nd half started as the 1st ended with constant Rovers pressure and it wasn't long before the first opportunity came, as Reardon released Riley who hit a crisp left footed shot across the keeper who did well to save and Wedgbury was on hand to tap home the rebound. A deserved 2-1 lead for Rovers.
Wedgbury was finding pockets of space everywhere and causing mayhem for Northwich and he flashed a ball across the 6 yard box but nobody was on hand to tap home.
A Rovers third surely wasn't too far away, Riley received the ball and turned his opponent all in one movement and unleashed a powerful strike again narrowly missing the target.
Riley soon had an opportunity when Wedgbury crossed and a point blank save denied him. Riley had the bit between his teeth and was again denied by some excellent goalkeeping, following an exquisite Statham pass, and after rising highest from the resulting corner only to see his header flash just wide.
Northwich were somehow still in this game and some brilliant defending between Hopkins and Braisby denied them an opening.
Eventually Rovers did score a third when another defence splitting Statham pass found Wedgbury who completed his hat trick.
Rovers were then awarded a penalty when Riley unselfishly headed to Negus who clashed with the keeper and the ref pointed to the spot.
J. Evans stepped up and slotted the ball in to the bottom left corner 4-1 and game over.
Sharp who was mainly a spectator in this half due the brilliance of his team mates in front of him was called in to action towards the end and he produced a good stop diving to his right.
One more chance for Rovers before the end when Wedgbury cut the ball back to Statham who forced another good stop from the keeper.
Full time 4-1

Roy of the Rovers performance - The whole team