REPORT: Widnes 2-1 Congleton Town
Lomax strikes twice as Widnes end winless run
Chris Lomax netted a brace as Widnes FC ended a three-game winless run with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Congleton Town at the Halton Stadium on Monday night.
Widnes took the lead inside 19 minutes as Lomax turned superbly into the area before finishing well beyond Andrew Jones but the hosts’ lead only lasted six minutes as Emini Adegbenro quickly equalised for Congleton.
However, Lomax grabbed what proved to be the winner two minutes into the second half, driving home a long-range effort.
Billy Webb missed a penalty for Widnes 17 minutes from time but Joey Dunn’s side hung on for an important victory.
Manager Dunn made seven changes to the side beaten at Bootle on Saturday. Richie Mottram – re-signed from Northwich Victoria earlier that same day – returned in goal in place of Louis Mackin whilst Luke Edwards made his 50th Widnes appearance, replacing Sean Myler who dropped to the bench.
Elsewhere, Lomax, Jack Graham, Alex Davies, Andy Gillespie and Webb came in for Jay Roberts, Tom Mitchell, Colin Quirk, George Lomax and Kev Towey.
Widnes started brightly and went close early through Webb who latched on to a wayward Jonah O’Reilly header before forcing a decent save out of Congleton ‘keeper Jones.
From the resulting corner, Widnes were denied by the woodwork as Edwards floated the set-piece into the area, met by Gillespie who shook of his marker only to direct his header against the crossbar.
Winger Lomax, who was lively from the outset for Widnes, twice went close as he blazed over after good work by Davies before scuffing a shot wide after linking up with Gillespie.
‘Keeper Mottram was then called into action twice as he had to be alert to beat Declan Fletcher to a loose ball before making a decent save to deny the same Congleton player less than one minute later.
Widnes took the lead on the 19-minute mark. Lomax received the ball from a throw-in and brilliantly turned into the area before cutting inside and finishing tidily beyond Jones to net his second goal of the season.
However, Widnes’ lead didn’t last long as Congleton equalised six minutes later. Emini Adegbenro was afforded too much time to cut inside from the left and hit a powerful effort on goal that nestled in the far corner beyond the outstretched Mottram.
Congleton grew into the game following their equaliser as Adegbenro used his pace to race clear before losing the ball under pressure from Tony Donaldson. The loose ball fell to Fletcher who was denied by the feet of Mottram.
Halftime: Widnes 1-1 Congleton Town
Widnes regained their lead two minutes into the second half. Lomax picked the ball up in midfield and advanced forward before driving a fine long-range effort inside of the far post with Jones well-beaten.
Davies then blazed a shot over before youngster Donaldson was played through on-goal by Edwards but couldn’t convert one-on-one with Jones who made a decent block.
Another Widnes chance went begging midway through the second half as Lomax superbly latched on to an Edwards pass before picking out Donaldson at the back-post who headed narrowly over from close-range.
Widnes were presented with a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed as Dunn’s side were awarded a penalty. Billy Webb was bundled over in the area by O’Reilly and confidently placed the ball down on the spot himself only to see his spot-kick saved well by Jones.
Widnes were rarely troubled in the second half and could have made sure of the three points late on as Jones produced a terrific save to deny Edwards before substitutes Towey and Myler combined only for the latter to shoot straight at Congleton custodian Jones.
Fulltime: Widnes 2-1 Congleton Town
Widnes now face a welcomed break from league action as Dunn’s side entertain Castleford-based Glasshoughton Welfare in the FA Vase on Saturday.