Vics' picked up their first three points of the embryonic Evo-StikNPL Division One North Season last night with a battling performance away at Mossley AFC last night (Tuesday).

Hit-man and last season's N.V.S.A player of the season Gary Burnett proved to be the match-winner with the only goal in the 7th minute.

 

TUESDAY 19TH AUGUST. - Venue - SEEL PARK. Competition - EVO-STIK NPL DIVISION ONE NORTH.

 

LINE-UP'S -

 

Mossley
1. Liam Higginbotham
2. Andy Brown
3. John Bennett
4. Tom Dean
5. Josh Granite
6. Charlie Anderson
7. Andy Keogh
8. Arron Hevingham
9. Steve Foster (C)
10. Mike Fish
11. Dougie Carroll 
 Substitutes -
12. Daryl Weston ( Bennett 52')
14. Brian Matthews ( Brown 71')
15. Tom Pratt (not used)
16. Kevin McGrath (not used)
17. Mitchell Bryant ( Carroll 56')
Yellow cards:
Anderson, Granite. 

            Northwich Victoria

            1. Tim Deasy (C)
            2. Chris Smalley
            3. Mohamud Ali
            4. Danny Meadowcroft
            5. Callum Henry
            6. Stuart Cook
            7. Godwin Abadaki
            8. Brian Summerskill
            9. Gary Burnett
            10. Josh Amis
            11. Matty Greenwood 

Substitutes -
            12. Owen Davies ( Abadaki 46')            
            14. Bohan Dixon (not used)            
            15. Aboubacar Sanogo ( Greenwood 46')            
            16. Michael Clarke ( Amis 71')
            17. Scott Harries (not used)         

Yellow cards:
            Amis, Greenwood.

 

Vics' started the match with pace and panache aplenty; Stuart Cook stamping his authority on proceedings in the opening exchanges; busy and prompting and probing with abandon.

It was no surprise when the visiting Vics' took the lead - a superb block tackle was made by Stuart Cook around twenty-five yards out on Andrew Keogh to win the ball and he sent Gary Burnett scampering clear, with a first-time slide-rule pass and he flashed a right-foot shot across Liam Higginbotham in the hosts' goal in off the far post from around 12 yards - under huge pressure from centre-back Charlie Anderson. The rest of the half continued with Vics' enjoying more of the possession without really threatening the hosts' goal, other than a Josh Amis header in the 37th minute from a Gary Burnett cross that he should have done better with; sending a tame effort into Higginbotham's hands when well placed around eight yards out. The Lillywhites' only opportunity of note came just before half-time, a Mike Fish shot was blocked by the impressive Mo Ali and the ball fell to striker Steve Foster who tried an impudent back-heeled effort that Deasy collected easily.

Half-time came with Vics' a single goal to the good.

The second half began with Vics' boss Jim Gannon making a double substitution. In the 57th minute, Gary Burnett was sent clear by again by that man Stuart Cook and his slide-rule shot from just outside the box was parried by the 'keeper, who then dived on the loose ball at the second attempt. The game then adopted a fractious and scrappy pattern from the 60th minute onwards, punctuated by a lot of niggly fouls by both sides and a some-what fussy referee. The next chance came the hosts' way in the 72nd minute though; Steve Foster teed up Andy Keogh perfectly around ten yards out but he rolled a tame shot into Deasy's hands, and he should have scored. Vics' Gary Burnett then blew a golden chance to make sure of the points in the 82nd minute, being sent through by the outstanding Stuart Cook yet again, he poked the ball around the on-rushing 'keeper Higginbotham, and had a clear sight of the empty net from the left-hand edge of the box; but as he shaped to fire into the empty net he fell flat on his face losing his footing on a small divot - much to the home supporters' glee. Vics' saw out the additional four minutes of added time to collect a very welcome three points.

 

Vics' M.O.M -

 

Stuart Cook A thoroughly dominant performance in midfield, he mixed grit with silk & needed to. Top class assist for Burnetts winner, just one amongst many killer passes.

 

Burnett Vs Mossley

 

Pictured above - Gary Burnett is high-fived upon scoring the match-winning goal in the 7th minute by Callum Henry.

Picture courtesy of Mike Smith.

 

Manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the victory and his thoughts looking ahead to the Ossett Albion (A) game this Saturday 23rd August K.O 15:00   Stadium Address - Queens Terrace, Dimplewells Road, Ossett.  Postcode for Sat-nav systems - WF5 8JT.

 

A very welcome three points, Jim. A gritty win, you must be pleased with the defensive effort overall; if not the offensive side too much?
 
My main thoughts after this game was that we were strong and professional. We deserved the three points for the manner in which we played the game. We played with greater mental control in a game that deteriorated into a tough, rough game. We started the game very brightly and played some very purposeful football. Like Saturday if we had shown a little bit more composure or quality then we could easily have scored more than the solitary Gaz Burnett strike. 
 
As the first half wore on Mossley worked their way into the game and started to put our defence under pressure. However, we always looked the more threatening team, mainly due to the different attacking dimensions we had compared to Mossley's simple, direct approach.
 
Due to injury concerns and a worry over the erratic refereeing of the game I made two changes to protect Godwin and Matty. A slight change of shape and the more physical presence of Owen and Abou meant we looked fairly strong across the pitch throughout the second half and the lads withstood anything that Mossley had to offer.  
 
The win was a great squad effort and I am pleased that the subs are playing a big part in keeping us strong throughout the game. We are hoping to manage the players to ensure we don't have any injuries and that all the players get fitter and sharper and not over-used. The strength and fitness of the players will certainly be challenged over the coming weekend as we play 2 games in 3 days. 
 
Looking ahead to the Ossett Albion game, what comes into your thinking as regards the attacking side of the team, as the defence looks extremely solid - following on from last season in particular. 
 
At this stage I am not overly worried about the attacking side of the team as we have created plenty of chances. Defending and attacking are very much whole team aspects in the modern game. The defensive strength of the team starts with the positioning and work ethic of the front players who make the midfield and back-lines job easier. Similarly our attacking involves everyone from the goalkeeper to the point attackers. We do need to improve our ruthlessness in front of goal but we also need to improve the distribution into the front men and our set plays. As these parts of our game improve I am sure we will slowly see the goals ratio improve. However, at this stage I am happy with only one goal a game if the team continues to be so mean defensively!
 
Match report & interviews by Jamie Dewsbury.