Vodkat Premier Division
New Mills 2
New Mills rounded off a highly productive week with another efficient team performance against Formby on Saturday.
The visitors gave as good as they got in the opening stages, and possibly had the best chance to open the scoring when Philip Stancombe flashed a shot narrowly wide of Ben Procter’s upright. Chris Hirst was at the hub of most of the Millers’ attacking play.
His pass saw Luke Horrocks burst free of the Formby defence but despite his effort beating goalkeeper Dennis Barlow, there was insufficient pace on the ball to carry it into the net and a covering defender cleared the danger.
The home side took the lead in the 22nd minute courtesy of poor play by Formby keeper Barlow. A supposed clearance only found Hirst about 30 yards from goal. The New Mills midfielder capitalised on the mistake clinically as he carried the ball forward before executing the perfect chip over the quickly-advancing keeper.
Two good opportunities to increase their lead quickly followed when firstly Luke Horrocks, whose pace was causing the Formby defence several problems, beat the offside trap but his subsequent shot just cleared the crossbar. Moments later, Syd Pickford found himself with time and space about ten yards from goal but with a rare goal at his mercy, the midfielder played the percentage ball across the face of the goal which only found a covering Formby defender.
The first half ended with a melee which involved most of the 22 players getting involved with their handbags. The catalyst was a late challenge by Jack Sinnott on Syd Pickford, who understandably reacted to the poor tackle and once the commotion had died down and peace had prevailed, referee Mr Rawcliffe flourished four yellow cards to the main offenders. The second half won’t live long in supporters’ memories as neither side attacked with much purpose and credit in that respect must go to the respective defences who stood up well to most things thrown at them.
While home keeper Ben Procter had very little to do, he had to be alert to make possibly his only save of the afternoon with 18 minutes of the game remaining as he reacted superbly to parry James Birkenhead’s close range header around the post.
Leading scorer Carlos Meakin, on as a second half substitute, wrapped up the points with just over ten minutes to go. He linked up well with Chris Hirst and, after an exchange of passes, showed his class with a great finish from the edge of the box.
New Mills: Procter, Bowler (Coyne), Mather, Rowe, Swirad, Innes, K Grandison (Carey), Pickford, L Grandison, Horrocks (Meakin), Hirst.