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Match Report - 1874 Northwich FC vs Newcastle Town FC


By Chris Gibbs

New look Castle edge 1874 closer to trap door

With an eye perhaps on the big local derby with soon to be league champions Leek tomorrow afternoon, we fielded a much-changed side at 1874 yesterday and picked up a narrow win thanks to a late goal from one of the players making their full debut yesterday – Nathan Barry.

In a game lacking in quality on a difficult pitch, which was only cleared on the morning of the game after the torrential rain we’ve had this week, our beleaguered opponents who now sit 15 points off league safety with five games to go, put up a good fight and ensured we had to work hard to break our own sequence of no wins in four games.

Our team featured three players, Ben Kershaw, Lewis Nolan and Ewan Catt making their first appearances in a Castle shirt while goal-scorer Nathan Barry was playing for the second time having come as a sub in the defeat at Prescot Cables last week.

With Tommy van der Laan, Jack Sherratt and Callum Holland all watching on from the sidelines, Isaac Graham still unavailable and Josh Jordan being rested as an unused substitute ahead of the derby tomorrow, the team led out by Kyle Stubbs was unfamiliar to many, including yours truly.

The truth is, it was fairly attritional fare at times. One of our new players Ewan Catt, playing wide left, had a good chance after 12 minutes but the home side got a block in to deny the debutant the perfect start to his Castle career.

Nathan Barry then had a sight of goal after a neat interchange of passes but sliced his shot wide. The only other chance of note came from a Liam Nolan strike, which was parried by home keeper Matt Wonnacott.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with a fairly disjointed pattern of play but with Castle continuing to have the lion’s share of the chances.

There was however a greater sense of urgency from our boys, Wonnacott blocking a Catt shot with his body in the early stages, as we continued to create but not convert our chances.

Ben Kershaw, who had a composed debut in our back four, had a curling free kick pushed out after George Lewis was felled on the edge of the box and it seemed that we might have to settle for a point until Nathan’s late intervention.

Before that though, we still had to call upon Slinny to make a great stop from the magnificently named Anisio Jesus. The big man was out like a lightning bolt to make a fine save.

After Slinny’s vital contribution, Niall Osbourne – who himself has only played in a handful of games – got forward with real purpose down the 1874 defensive left, put in a fine cross which Jack van der Laan – on for Lewis Nolan – was unable to stick away. His blushes were spared though as Nathan hammered home after we kept the ball alive.

Having scored what turned out to be the winner, Nathan was immediately replaced by the returning Jack Derbyshire and we held on for a win which was much needed after our recent run of results.

Now it’s time to take on the champions elect in an Easter Bank Holiday Monday special.

Come on Castle!

Team: Slinn, Osbourne, Ritchie, Kershaw, Smith, Stubbs (c), Avery, Nolan, (J. Van der Laan 72), Barry, (Derbyshire 84), Catt, (Jones 72), Lewis.

Man of the match: Kyle Stubbs – marshalled the troops well, especially given the youthfulness of our team


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