REPORT | Widnes 2-1 Prescot Cables
By Callum Chadwick
Dale’s double cuts Cables down
Dale Korie-Butler struck twice in two second-half minutes as Widnes earned a 2-1 local derby win over Prescot Cables.
Cables took a 20th minute lead when Chris Almond reacted quickest to blast home from close-range despite having a penalty well-saved by Owen Wheeler.
Widnes would stun their neighbours with a quickfire double to turn the game on its head, as Korie-Butler netted twice within 90 seconds of the hour-mark to earn a second successive win for the Whites.
Joint-managers Kev Towey and Steve Akrigg named an unchanged side that had beaten league-leaders Atherton Collieries one week previously. Sean Myler had been in contention to return for Widnes but was ruled out of the contest through illness.
Cables started positively but it was Widnes who carved out the game’s first real opportunity. Ben Hodkinson headed a Rhain Hellawell cross back across goal towards Korie-Butler who was unable to grab an elusive touch to divert the ball goalwards.
Prescot enjoyed a period of sustained pressure which frustrated a camped-in Widnes, with Michael Grogan booked for an early succession of fouls after a coming together with Valter Fernandes.
From the resulting free-kick, the visitors were awarded a penalty. Cables skipper James McCulloch – who had earlier gone down in the build-up to a Prescot corner after grappling with Grogan – won the spot-kick as Danny Ventre looked to close down a short free-kick.
Referee Lewis Dawson pointed to the spot despite Widnes protests who felt that McCulloch had gone down far too easily.
Almond stepped up for Cables but was thwarted by the impressive Wheeler – who had saved a penalty one week earlier in the win at Atherton. The Widnes custodian was however powerless to prevent Almond from smashing home the rebound to net his 16th goal of the season.
It was a frustrating opening period for Widnes, compounded by Grogan’s withdrawal on the half-hour with the former Marine man running the risk of picking up a red card.
Both sides’ struggles continued into the second half, with neither stamping their authority on a game played on a difficult surface at Widnes’ temporary home of Barnton’s Offside Trust Stadium.
Cables spurned an early half-chance to extend their lead, but Wheeler made a comfortable diving save to collect a Jack Lenehan header.
Chances were at a premium for Widnes, but the Whites mustered an equaliser on the hour.
A long ball was played over the top to release Korie-Butler in-behind. Cables keeper Kyle Haslam looked to have won the race to the loose ball, but he made a hash of his attempted clearance, allowing Korie-Butler to hold off the challenge of McCulloch to slot into an empty net.
Widnes stunned their neighbours with a second goal almost immediately. The Whites won possession back deep in Prescot’s half, with a pass quickly worked through to Korie-Butler in the area who did the rest, applying a brilliant finish on the turn to leave Haslam with no chance.
Cables put Widnes under inevitable pressure in the closing stages, with Wheeler having to tip an aerial ball against the woodwork with Sam Sheen making a magnificent block to deny Michael Monaghan’s follow-up.
Widnes weathered the storm however, holding on to earn an impressive three points.