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Match Report - Widnes FC vs Newcastle Town FC


16/09/2023

By Chris Gibbs


Controlled performance sends us up to sixth

 

Tommy Van der Laan’s fourth goal of the season and Dan Cockerline’s first goal for the club ensured that we earned a straightforward three points on the road this afternoon against Widnes in a very professional performance at the home of rugby league club Widnes Vikings.



On a day when Isaac Graham made a solid debut in midfield, there was much to be impressed with on when we kept our heads while our hosts – who had their manager and one of their substitutes dismissed – lost theirs.


Widnes, who had lost unluckily to our local rivals Hanley on Wednesday night, gave as good as they got for the opening half hour, before we started to take control. We got our noses in front when our big number nine Dan Cockerline headed against the bar and skipper Tommy van der Laan picked up the pieces to put us in front after 36 minutes.


We nearly doubled our lead four minutes later when Jack van der Laan chipped an inch perfect pass into Cockerline, who then played a square pass into Joe Berks. Joe tried to pick his spot with a curling shot and unfortunately for the Widnes centre half the spot he did pick was right in the fella’s lower midriff leaving the poor bloke writhing about in some discomfort for a few minutes.


On the stroke of half time, we doubled our lead. Isaac Graham spread the play out wide and almost without breaking stride our nippy wide man Callum Speed stuck one on a plate for Dan who did the rest.


After the break, Isaac had a gilt-edged chance to put the game out of sight when he was clean through, but Widnes’ goalkeeper Joe Mason earnt his corn by spreading himself well.


While it was 2-0 there was always a way back into the game for the home side and Kris Holt nearly found it.


Only a magnificent stop from Joe Slinn kept the hosts out. From the corner that followed that incredible save, a Widnes player managed to block a goalbound shot with Slinny beaten before the ball ended up in our net from another corner only for the referee’s whistle to intervene.


Widnes started to show their frustrations and their manager Michael Ellison was sent to the stands for railing against what you might describe politely as an eccentric refereeing performance. Widnes sent a sub on five minutes from the timeand he didn’t make it to the final whistle either, remarkably picking up two bookings in a matter of seconds.


Our hosts’ indiscipline certainly didn’t help their cause but ultimately this was a really clinical performance from the boys and will serve us well for the rest of the season.


Well played ‘Castle!

 

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