Athletico Kidsgrove 4 Cheadle Town U15s 1
CHEADLE finally returned to action with a League Cup quarter-final against Kidsgrove; incredibly, this was Cheadle’s first away game since November.
Unfortunately, the game was played in freezing cold conditions, with a horrible biting wind on a poor, tight pitch, making football a difficult proposition for either side.
The conditions were always going to play an important role and the first half saw Cheadle benefit from the strong wind and dominate the half, in terms of territory and chances.
Town won a number of corners that were initially well-defended by the hosts.
However, on 11 minutes a Sam Jervis corner resulted in Jack Derbyshire laying the ball back to Dan Harper, who hit a beautiful strike that cruelly struck the post and rebounded to safety.
Cheadle continued to press but were dealt a cruel blow on 18 minutes when against the run of play, Kidsgrove broke from a Cheadle corner.
Despite dragging a Town defender to the floor on the halfway line, the striker was allowed to continue and rounded the keeper to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Cheadle continued to push and created numerous opportunities. Macauley Rowe blazed over from close range and Andy Coxon was frustrated by a bobble that resulted in him driving wide of the target when well-placed.
On 28 minutes, the equaliser finally came when Rowe notched his 15th of the season following another goalmouth scramble.
The remainder of the half saw the hosts on the back foot but luck was on their side and they held out for a 1-1 half-time scoreline.
Cheadle knew they would be forced to defend in the second half but they stood up to the challenge, with Billy Johnson particularly impressive.
It meant that George Webb did not have to make a save in the first 20 minutes of the half.
However, the game was sealed during eight minutes of the second half.
Kidsgrove scored twice from two windassisted long throws that caused chaos in the Cheadle box, then benefited from the gift of a penalty that was awarded without a single appeal from any player or spectator.
Despite the game now being beyond Cheadle, the team didn’t let their head drops and with Derbyshire and Jervis driving their side forwards, the visitors produced some of the best football of the game, resulting in a series of free kicks and corners that frustratingly failed to deliver any additional goals.
Cheadle manager Glyn Pattinson said after the game: “Today was just a horrible day for football and we really needed a couple of goals lead at half-time.
“It was great to see the return of Jervis and that means I now have a selection headache for the final few games of the season – the squad of 16 is as strong as we have ever had, and promotion remains our target.”