City v Nelson


The pitch survived the week’s wet weather but was clearly softer than on any previous occasion this season. City moved the versatile Michael Slack into central defence with skipper Dan Greenslade starting at left back. This match was to show what a strange game football can be, as City were fresh from the 11-2 thrashing of Eccleshall, whilst Nelson had lost 2-1 to the same opponents in the previous round of the Division 1 cup.

City’s leading scorer McCartney had the first shot of the game after 4 minutes but this was saved by Wsiewicz. Moments later, City’s keeper Townsley was extremely lucky as he fumbled the greasy ball which must have been perilously close to crossing the line before the big stopper retrieved it. City then forced a couple of corners in quick succession with McCartney shooting over after a scramble in the 6-yard box.

The closest either side came to the first goal was in the 15th minute when Nelson’s Jake Lloyd was unlucky to see his shot hit the bar and bounce down into Townsley’s hands. At this stage, Nelson were in the ascendancy and City had to clear Sharples’ free-kick. The visitors continued to look the better team and were close to scoring after 22 minutes, with City struggling to clear their lines.

It was something of a feature of City’s afternoon that their shooting was wild and erratic, and this began with Renyard’s 23rd minute effort that flew well wide. Nelson had a goal disallowed on 26 minutes as the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside. The next wild effort from City came from Blair on 28 minutes with his effort not remotely threatening the goal.

Nelson’s keeper Wsiewicz was called into action on 31 minutes when he did well to save from Renyard at close range. It was still possibly against the run of play when City went ahead on 36 minutes with Marc Shiel’s calm left-foot volley being his 7th goal in the last four games, and he benefitted from a good right-wing cross from Allison that was headed back by McCartney.

Nelson were straight back on the attack and they forced a corner and further pressure close to City’s goal. Their equaliser on the stroke of half-time was undoubtedly deserved and was scored by their leading marksman Hill.


The second half was to be largely dominated by a rash of cards from a match official who seemed more concerned by marshalling verbal contact than monitoring physical actions. This began with an early second-half dissent caution for Corcoran, who seemed to have a legitimate claim for being fouled, with the decision going against him. City’s wild attempts at goal continued, with Hoolickin having time to line up a shot but blasting well over.

City then re-took the lead on 50 minutes with an excellent individual goal from Renyard, who beat two men before firing past Wsiewicz for his 9th of the season. City never looked comfortable with their lead and a free header from Fagan should really have brought another equaliser, but it flew wide. The best move of the game from City on 57 minutes should have brought another goal, but this time Shiel’s finish was just wide from 12 yards out.

There was another turning point on the far touch-line when Allison slid into a tackle onto Corcoran, who did not seem too delicate in putting down his feet, and the City full-back bore the stud marks after the game. The referee probably had a decision to make, with the Nelson player already on a yellow, but he was conveniently substituted during a long injury stoppage, and Allison was booked for dissent, to add insult to his injury. City were further hampered at this point as Allison was replaced by Armstrong with Shiel bizarrely switching to full-back, and City never looked the same attacking force from then on.

Nelson equalised on 73 minutes as a free-kick was awarded just outside the area and substitute Meredith stepped up to curl a delightful left-footed shot past Townsley for his first goal of the season. At this point, events turned really silly with dissent bookings in quick succession for Addison, Greenslade and Hoolickin, with a novelty in the game that Armstrong actually received a caution for a foul, in what seemed a fairly genuine challenge to win the ball. City’s manager Tose reacted to one of the decisions with a round of applause for the official, never a wise thing to do, but hardly meriting his dismissal from the dug-out, as the referee continued his march for authority, whilst all the time diminishing it.

All these events diminished City’s chances of actually winning the game and, for the final quarter-hour, the visitors often looked the more likely victors. Townsley produced one great flying save to keep a shot out but he was lucky when he ventured far from his box with no chance of getting the ball but the shot was just wide. City did have chances too and Armstrong’s side-footed effort was saved by Wsiewicz

TEAMS- CITY- Townsley, Allison, Greenslade, Addison, Slack, Hoolickin, Blair, Earl, McCartney, Shiel, Renyard SUBS- Armstrong, Heath, Errington, Hickey, Ballantyne

NELSON- Wsiewicz, Brierley, Corcoran, C Lloyd, Fagan, Grice, J Lloyd, Sharples, Harris, Hill, Macadam SUBS- Meredith, Fenton, Hesketh

STAR MEN- Renyard (City), Brierley (Nelson)

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