Cheshire Football League Premier Division
Greenhalls Padgate 2, Whaley Bridge 3
Whaley Bridge edged a thrilling game against last year’s Cheshire League runners-up Greenhalls Padgate.
The visitors got off to a flying start, with Lee Morris forcing a low save out of Greenhall’s keeper Paul Dobson. Micky Ryan, having had a goal ruled out for offside, then smashed a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper against the top of the post.
These missed chances came back to haunt Whaley when, against the run of play, Greenhall’s Alex Hardman beat his marker and found Danny Wilcox, who blasted the ball into Whaley’s goal.
Whaley were soon level as Bill Sutton linked with Rob Newton to pick out the run of Damien Morrison. He found Morris, whose cross was headed home by Ryan.
Minutes later, Scott Dignan picked out Ryan with a 40-yard pass and he calmly struck the ball past Dobson to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Morris went close to adding a third goal for Whaley after the break but was denied by Dobson; the keeper minutes later being forced to magnificently head clear a backpass off his own goal-line.
Whaley eventually made it 3-1 when Newton controlled Sutton’s corner to volley into the far corner.
At the other end, Lee Deakin forced a match-winning save from James Tattersall. But from the resulting corner a cross hit Dignan’s hand for a penalty, which was converted by Mike Evans to set-up a nervy final ten minutes.
Whaley saw out the rest of the match without incident to secure a well earned and deserved three points.
Whaley: J Tattersall, C Moss, S Dignan (C), P Walker, B Sutton, D Morrison, J Gregory, R Newton, M Brown, L Morris, M Ryan. Subs used: G Langford, G Burgess, C Fluery. Man of the match: Michael Ryan.