REPORT: Widnes 6-1 New Mills
Widnes hit New Mills for six in pre-season opener
Widnes FC cruised to a 6-1 victory over New Mills in the opening friendly of their pre-season schedule.
Striker Chad Whyte netted a first half brace for Widnes who lead 3-0 at half-time, finding the net either side of a George Lomax strike.
Substitute Kev Towey nodded home a fourth after the break that effectively put the game to bed. However, New Mills did give themselves a lifeline six minutes later when the Millers’ No.11 found the bottom corner with a half-volley.
Steve Akrigg scored the goal of the evening, lobbing the New Mills goalkeeper from inside of his own-half with a spectacular effort before Towey netted his second five minutes from time with a fine finish of his own, turning away from his man in the area before finding the net with a delightful chip to seal an impressive first run out for Joey Dunn’s men.
Dunn named a team for each half at the Select Security Stadium, with only two players playing 90 minutes. Dunn also took the opportunity to blood debutants in the Widnes squad.
Of those debutants, midfielder Colin Quirk provided the first real threat of the evening when he drove forward into space before cleverly threading a pass through to Whyte who took the ball in his stride before finishing neatly to give Widnes the lead.
The visitors thought that they’d hit back 10 minutes later as Widnes ‘keeper Jack Cookson spilled a powerful shot on goal with the New Mills No.5 being flagged offside as he turned the loose ball home.
New Mills grew into the half but Widnes looked sharp offensively and routinely caused the visitors problems. Quirk was involved again as he capitalised on a defensive error before quickly releasing Chris Lomax who was denied a certain goal by a tremendous sliding challenge.
Less than a minute later, Widnes doubled their advantage as George Lomax latched on to a Quirk through-ball before hitting a first-time volley inside of the near-post, nestling in the back of the net.
Whyte came close to adding his second when the ball broke kindly for him in the area but his effort on goal was tipped over by the New Mills shot-stopper.
However, right on half-time, Whyte doubled his account for the evening. Chris Lomax was denied a stone wall penalty as he was dragged off the ball in the area but Whyte was on-hand to lash home the rebound as Widnes headed in for the interval in complete control.
Halftime: Widnes 3-0 New Mills
Widnes kicked off the second half having made nine changes but with the same intent and it took just three minutes for Dunn’s side to add to their tally.
There was a familiar ring to the announcement of the opening goalscorer. Widnes hitman Kev Towey – who found the net 40 times last season – drifted away from his man in the area to nod home a superb Alex Davies cross from the right.
The Whites were enjoying themselves and were hungry for more as young winger Tom Freeman burst forward before stinging the gloves of the New Mills goalkeeper with a powerful effort.
However, it was the visitors who struck back as Widnes failed to clear their lines from a corner, allowing the New Mills No.11 to find the far corner with a half-volley.
The pace dropped in the second half but Widnes continued to control the game with Davies and Towey both testing the New Mills keeper with efforts on goal.
Five minutes later, Widnes added a fifth. Defender Steve Akrigg was the unlikely goalscorer but it was a special one nevertheless. Akrigg spotted the New Mills goalkeeper off his line and tried his luck from inside his own-half, with the defender’s speculative effort floating over the head of the stranded keeper and into the net.
Bradley Woods grazed the crossbar with a stinging drive minutes later, before defender Adam Donohue headed a deep Luke Edwards corner over the bar.
There was still more to come from Widnes as Towey completed the rout five minutes from time. The talisman backed into and then turned his man with relative ease before lifting an exquisite chip over the head of the New Mills shot-stopper and into the back of the net.
Fulltime: Widnes 6-1 New Mills
Widnes travel to Welsh side Denbigh Town on Saturday as preparations continue for the forthcoming Hallmark Security League Premier Division campaign.
Widnes 1st half: Cookson, Roberts, Rigby, White, Mitchell, Sheen, C. Lomax, Quirk, G. Lomax, Graham, Whyte.
Widnes 2nd half: Cookson, Davies, Rigby, Donohue, Akrigg, Woods, Pollard, Askew, Edwards, Freeman, Towey.