MID-CHESHIRE LEAGUE DIV 1 ? 21/3/2006<br><br>WITTON ALBION RESERVES 1 KNUTSFORD FC 1<br><br>Right at the death ANDY HURST got on the end of a terrific long ball cross from Rick Bailey, at the far post, to head past keeper Jamie Mottershead and get Albion what may in the end prove to be their most vital point of the season. With the two teams sitting comfortably in 2nd and 3rd places they will surely battle out the runners-up spot and now with just five matches remaining Albion?s six point advantage and better goal difference may well see them carry off the division?s runners-up trophy.<br><br>Knutsford certainly gave their all, not only had Mottershead, who?d played a couple of games for Witton back in August, been signed on for the match but they?d also secured the services of a player from Hyde United. The evening?s proceedings weren?t for the feint hearted amongst the fifty or so onlookers as some crunching challenges, mainly from the visitors and especially Ryan Gilligan, came in. Surprisingly though referee Wright only served the one caution and that was near the end.<br><br>Albion had David Ness, playing his first game for a month, in their starting line-up as well as Sam McNutt. The former didn?t look too comfortable in his central role but still got in 45 minutes vital match practice. Meanwhile McNutt, aside from a good attempt on goal when his low shot went inches wide, failed to really justify his 1st team re-instatement just yet. <br><br>Knutsford?s goal came early in the match from a dubious free-kick in the 8th minute, awarded when the ball seemed to strike Simon Hughes?s arm with no intention proffered by the veteran defender. Nonetheless it was a cracking 20 yard shot from Aidan Brodigan, that took the slightest of deflections, before flying past Brett Walker. Really though despite their praiseworthy efforts Walker wasn?t severely tested the rest of the match although central defender Paul Ashwell, up for a corner shaved the top of the cross-bar, with his header, minutes after their goal. <br><br>Mike Cartner was having a brilliant match for the Albion and it took a particularly great save from Mottershead, who had a fine game himself, to deny the midfield dynamo when he pushed his dipping long distance effort over the cross-bar ten minutes into the second period. On the hour mark Danny McNamara had a similar shot to Cartner?s but this time his effort went just over. The match officials, perhaps themselves caught up in the hectic pace of the match, then failed to spot Gilligan impeding Hughes?s in the penalty area.<br><br>Steve Hardy introduced Will Hurley in the hope of salvaging something but despite waves of attack it looked in vain, until that piece of magic conjured up from Bailey and Hurst, two of the heroes at Altrincham seven days prior!<br><br><br>Team: Brett Walker, Matt Murray, Simon Hughes, David Ness (Rick Bailey H/T), Andy Parkinson; Mike Cartner, Danny McNamara, Sam McNutt (Will Hurley 78), Danny Jarrett; Leon Williams, Andy Hurst. Subs n/u: Stuart Tulloch, Chris Jump & Craig Ward.<br><br>

They where possibly the most physical side that have visited us so far, I thought at one point they where having a private competition to see who could kick the ball the furthest out of the ground, I think Damo and Jim Vince senior spent more time out of the ground retrieving balls than they spent in it. on a serious note it was a battling performance and a point that will serve us well, lets have a real go at Middlewich on Saturday and lets see what happens.<br>Its a long way to gateshead come along and support the reserves they have had a great season so far but your support is needed more than ever now. <br>

I wouldnt go and get any more balls if I were you Len!