CHADDERTON 1 GREAT HARWOOD TOWN 0
April 24th 1985
A GOAL after just six minutes, headed home from a corner on the left, decided Wednesday’s match in Chadderton’s favour.
But in an evenly fought, entertaining encounter, Harwood had their chances and really deserved a share of the spoils.
Seven minutes before the interval, a good move involving Stuart Lally and Ian Nugent left Phil Greenhalgh in the clear, but he failed to make proper contact with the ball.
A minute into the second half, Harwood striker Roger Walker was left in the clear after a good ‘one-two’ with Lally, but Walker shot wide of the target. Much of Harwood’s best football around the latter stages of the first half and the early part of the second half was inspired by substitute Nigel Burton, who came on for the injured Russell Clayton, on the half hour, with Brian Moran switching to left-back to enable Burton to go straight into midfield.
Chadderton came more into the match in the latter stages, however, and Harwood ‘keeper Phil Maher produced two very impressive saves to keep his side’s arrears down to a single goal.
Maher, Vercoe, Martin, Dobson, Clayton (sub. Burton 30 mins.), Nugent, Lally, Eastwood, Moran, Greenhalgh, Walker.
HARWOOD 3 CHADDERTON 0
HARWOOD continued against Chadderton where they had left off against Oldham Town nine days earlier with another win and another clean sheet. The Robins were without Darren Rogers who had left to join Ramsbottom United during the week and his place was taken by Gary Ingham.
On the attack right from the kick off, and despite spending the opening ten minutes camped in the Chadderton half, Harwood failed to make the breakthrough and the visitors came more into the game.
Several chances were created by the Robins but wayward shooting and some excellent goalkeeping kept them out till half time. The Red’s defence were not idle having to repel some dangerous attacks inspired the speedy Leon Walters and ever-dangerous Troy Hayder. Bobby Harris was also called upon to make two terrific saves, the second of which was a spectacular tip over from Hayder.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Harwood calling the shots and Chadderton relying on the counter-attack. The visiting keeper excelled during the sustained period of pressure pulling off several great saves from Eastham, Khan and O’Neil amongst others.
Always looking capable of making the break-through, it was no surprise when it came on 70 minutes. John Eastham was fouled on the edge of the box and dusted himself down before curling a superb left-foot shot over the wall and into the top corner giving the gallant keeper no chance. The Chadderton captain who had been given a stern warning about his language in the first half was booked for arguing about the award of the free-kick and immediately continued with his berating of the referee after the goal was scored. The official had no option but to send him off and Chadderton’s chances disappeared down the tunnel with him.
Determined to press home their advantage, the Reds swarmed all over the visitor’s defence and midfield, and Chadderton had no answer to the excellent passing and running off the ball of the confident Harwood players. Some great crosses were put into the box from both wings with the majority being supplied by the superb Dennis Hill, who came in for some nasty treatment from the opposing midfielders. He wasn’t the only one to suffer as Chadderton abandoned their own good passing for a ‘If it moves kick it’ policy and only some very lenient refereeing ensured that they finished the game with ten men. They complained bitterly at every decision in an attempt to influence the officials who all enjoyed excellent games and refused to be intimidated.
Despite their overwhelming dominance in the latter stages, Harwood didn’t seal the game until 7 minutes from time when a great solo run, one of several in the game by Yaqoob Khan, saw him evade two defenders and side step the keeper before firing in from a narrow angle.
Chadderton were now on a damage limitation exercise and the keeper had to be alert once more to keep out Hill’s shot. Eastham and Khan both came close to adding to the score before the former was brought down by the keeper as he was about to fire home from ten yards. Once again the referee used common sense and played the advantage as the ball fell invitingly to Kieran Fletcher on the edge of the box, and he fired in for number three. The Chadderton players surrounded the referee as the linesman had raised his flag during the build up but as he explained, the flag was raised for a penalty for Harwood and not for a Chadderton free-kick. For the final few minutes it was just a matter of whether Harwood would score again and as the whistle blew, Harwood ended the game as they had begun it, on the attack.