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First Team - Match centre

Widnes
West Didsbury and Chorlton
B Hodkinson (2' Pen), C Lomax (28', 77'), K Pollard (58')
Full time
Sat 28 Apr 15:00 - Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League - Premier Division Attendance 79

REPORT: Widnes 4-0 West Didsbury & Chorlton

Widnes net four to end home campaign with impressive display

Widnes FC moved three points clear in the race for automatic promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League with a 4-0 win over West Didsbury & Chorlton, ending their home campaign with another assured display.

The hosts were in control from the moment Ben Hodkinson swept home a controversial penalty with just two minutes gone with Chris Lomax firing home a second as Widnes led 2-0 at half-time.

Skipper Kev Pollard added a third after the break before Lomax netted his second 13 minutes from time to maintain Widnes’ promotion push with three games remaining.

Widnes’ win, coupled with Runcorn Town’s defeat at Ashton Athletic, means that Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey’s men now sit three points clear of their third-placed neighbours, with Runcorn Linnets’ promotion to the Evo-Stik now confirmed after Town’s defeat on Saturday.

Akrigg and Towey made two changes to the side that edged 1874 Northwich last time out. Towey and Mike Burke were both rested as George Lomax and Akrigg were named in the starting XI.

Widnes took an almost-immediate lead. Hodkinson raced clear of the West backline only to be bundled over by Lanre Olapade. It appeared as though the foul had taken place outside of the area, but referee Robert Wainwright pointed to the spot, with Hodkinson successfully dispatching his spot-kick beyond keeper Jordan Poole.

Already one down, West searched for a foothold but struggled against a stout Widnes defence that had kept six clean sheets in their previous eight outings in all competitions. Ben Steer fired wide, while Ashley Woods was unable to turn home from Tom Bailey’s cross after the latter had robbed Akrigg of possession.

In response, Widnes continued to probe forward with Chris Lomax seeing an effort comfortably thwarted by Poole before brother George dragged an effort wide after finding a pocket of space inside of the area.

Widnes doubled their advantage on the stroke of the half-hour mark in some style. A free-flowing, one-touch move saw Jay Roberts played in-behind, delivering a cross towards the back-post allowing Chris Lomax to crash home from close-range via the underside of the bar.

The hosts were enjoying all of the ball, creating a sense of inevitability that Widnes would soon find a third.

West remained resolute for the remainder of the first half, with Hodkinson coming closest as he directed a diving header off target after good work by Jack Banister.

Half-time: Widnes 2-0 West Didsbury & Chorlton

Widnes continued where they’d left off after the break and after George Lomax won a free-kick some 30 yards from goal, Phil Doran’s floated free-kick was headed back across goal by Akrigg, but West managed to scramble away any danger.

Towey and Akrigg’s men were visibly enjoying their football, producing slick passing football as they patiently pushed forward into West territory, recycling the ball well through midfield.

Widnes’ third was an incisive one at that. Stuart Cook, who was magnificent pulling the strings in midfield all afternoon, picked off West with a looping header that found Hodkinson on the edge of the area. The striker teed up skipper Pollard, who hit a fine half-volley into the back of the net that was too hot for Poole to handle.

Winger Banister came close to quickly adding a fourth, cutting inside from the left but Poole got down extremely well to push the Widnes man’s effort away to safety.

Jack Graham, Danny Laverty and Tom Croughan were all brought off the bench for Widnes with the hosts coasting to victory.

A fourth was still to come however. Graham rolled a pass into the feet of Chris Lomax, who had both the time and the space to find the top corner with a fantastic effort from the edge of the D that left Poole rooted to his spot, bagging his second goal of the afternoon.

There would be no further goals at the Halton Stadium, as Widnes signed off on their 2017/18 home campaign with a 16th straight victory on their own patch in all competitions.

Full-time: Widnes 4-0 West Didsbury & Chorlton

Widnes now face a busy week to end their season. Akrigg and Towey’s side face a run of four games in seven days, beginning with a trip to Maine Road on Monday night before facing Winsford United in the second leg of the Macron Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

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Phil Doran

Player of the Match

Phil Doran

Key moments

2:00
Scored Penalty Ben Hodkinson scores a penalty for Widnes
28:00
Goal Chris Lomax scores for Widnes
58:00
Goal Kev Pollard scores for Widnes
77:00
Goal Chris Lomax scores for Widnes

Highlights

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90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Richie Mottram keeps a clean sheet for Widnes
90:00 Player of the Match
Phil Doran is awarded player of the match for Widnes
77:00 Assist
Jack Graham makes an assist for Widnes
77:00 Goal 4 - 0
Chris Lomax scores for Widnes
76:00 Sub Off
Ben Hodkinson is substituted off for Widnes
76:00 Sub On
Tom Croughan is substituted on for Widnes
71:00 Sub On
Danny Laverty is substituted on for Widnes
71:00 Sub Off
Jack Banister is substituted off for Widnes
66:00 Sub Off
Stuart Cook is substituted off for Widnes
66:00 Sub On
Jack Graham is substituted on for Widnes
58:00 Assist
Ben Hodkinson makes an assist for Widnes
58:00 Goal 3 - 0
Kev Pollard scores for Widnes
56:00 Yellow Card
Ben Hodkinson is yellow carded for Widnes
46:00 Kickoff
West Didsbury and Chorlton kick off
End of period 1
28:00 Assist
Jay Roberts makes an assist for Widnes
28:00 Goal 2 - 0
Chris Lomax scores for Widnes
2:00 Scored Penalty 1 - 0
Ben Hodkinson scores a penalty for Widnes
1:00 Kickoff
Widnes kick off
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Widnes
  • West Didsbury and Chorlton
  • 0
  • Ben Hodkinson Scored Penalty 2:00'
  • Jay Roberts Assist 28:00'
  • Chris Lomax Goal 28:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Yellow Card 56:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Assist 58:00'
  • Kev Pollard Goal 58:00'
  • Stuart Cook Sub Off 66:00'
  • Jack Graham Sub On 66:00'
  • Jack Banister Sub Off 71:00'
  • Danny Laverty Sub On 71:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Sub Off 76:00'
  • Tom Croughan Sub On 76:00'
  • Jack Graham Assist 77:00'
  • Chris Lomax Goal 77:00'

Team selection

Mottram, Richie Mottram, Richie
Roberts, Jay Roberts, Jay
Grogan, Michael Grogan, Michael
Lomax, Chris Lomax, Chris
Akrigg, Steve Akrigg, Steve
Doran, Phil Doran, Phil
Banister, Jack Banister, Jack
Cook, Stuart Cook, Stuart
Hodkinson, Ben Hodkinson, Ben
Lomax, George Lomax, George
Pollard, Kev Pollard, Kev

League round up

Other Premier Division results

1874 Northwich
2
1
Charnock Richard
AFC Darwen
3
3
AFC Liverpool
0
1
Irlam
3
1
Runcorn Town
3
0
Winsford Utd
3
2
Abbey Hey
2
0
City of Liverpool
1
1
Squires Gate

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Runcorn Linnets 44 100
2. Widnes 44 96
3. Runcorn Town 44 93
4. City of Liverpool 44 84
5. Bootle 44 83
6. Charnock Richard 44 79
7. 1874 Northwich 44 79

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