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Dunn delighted as Widnes battle to pick up further three points

7 months ago By Callum Chadwick

Manager reflected on Widnes' 11th consecutive league victory

Joey Dunn was delighted with his side's gutsy and determined performance as Widnes edged Chadderton 2-1 at the Ark Fleetech Stadium, recording their 11th straight league victory as the Whites moved one step closer to promotion.

Widnes controlled much of the first half and took the lead after 16 minutes through skipper Kev Pollard. It could have been 2-0 at half-time, had Chaddy 'keeper Michael Smith not produced a good save to deny a Sam Sheen penalty.

A change in system saw an improvement in the second half for the hosts, with Jack Tuohy equalising shortly after the hour-mark. However, Widnes kept going and George Lomax headed home the winner 20 minutes from time to seal all three points for the visitors.

Speaking after the game, Dunn credited his side for producing a gutsy performance to extend their winning run and earn what could prove to be a vital three points.

"Relief is probably the first word that comes to mind but I'm really happy with the result," Dunn said.

"Fabulous grit, guts and determination from our lads and no lack of quality in a game that we probably could have controlled better by putting our chances away in the first half which made it really difficult.

"Chadderton are a good side. You can see that as they're in the Macron Cup semi-final and I wish them well in that.

"In the second half, they dropped the No.10 deeper and he dictated the pace of the game. I didn't switch on to that quickly enough.

"We switched to 3-5-2 to try and match them and regain control in midfield. Once we did that and took the lead, we controlled the game even with the amount of injury time that the referee played."

Dunn felt that his side's defensive performance gave themselves a platform for success. With goalkeeper Richie Mottram limping off injured late on, goalscorer Lomax went in goal and preserved his side's lead with a clean sheet.

He said: "We've conceded two goals in 11 games now and you saw that we never really looked like conceding once we went 2-1 up.

"George has gone in goal after Richie went off injured - most don't know that he played in goal for a season as a youngster - so we knew that he had the ability to do a job.

"He's scored the winner and then gone in goal where he has dictated the game and was superb - I'm made up for him!

"It's a shame for Richie. He's done really well for us recently.

"He took a knock to the thigh and it was one of them where the blood flows and you can't move. Once Ron the physio - whose opinion we trust - says that he can't continue, then we had to make the change.

"It's unfortunate for Richie, but we have Owen Wheeler back for Saturday so we'll have a clean bill of a health heading into that game."

Next up for second placed Widnes is a home game against league leaders Charnock Richard in a game that could go a long way into deciding the outcome at the top of the Hallmark Security League First Division come the end of the season.

Dunn believes his side have the wherewithal to pick up a crucial victory in the race for promotion.

He said: "It's probably what the league would have wanted - a shootout for the main prize. But we're happy with that.

"We believe that we have the wherewithal to be able to beat any team but I'm sure that they will feel the same way. They're on a good run like ourselves.

"We're only a point behind them on 87 points, so I think both sides have put themselves in a position to rightfully claim an automatic promotion place.

"Next Saturday will probably dictate who picks the trophy up.

"We'll train on Thursday, regroup and make sure that everyone's fit and raring to go."

Updated 21:09 - 17 Apr 2017 by Callum Chadwick

Where next?

PREVIEW: Widnes v Charnock Richard All you need to know ahead of Saturday's top-of-the-table clash
PREVIEW: Chadderton v Widnes A look ahead to Widnes' penultimate away game of the season at Chadderton

Fixtures
Mon 11 Dec
h
First Team Winsford Utd
League 19:45
Sat 16 Dec
h
Under 9s Cadishead JFC
League TBC
a
First Team Charnock Richard
League 15:00
Sat 23 Dec
a
First Team Congleton Town
League 15:00

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