HomeFeaturedLocal SportFirst league win in ten for Kidsgrove as they stun promotion chasing...

First league win in ten for Kidsgrove as they stun promotion chasing Warrington Rylands

Kidsgrove Athletic upset the form book by pulling off a stunning 1-0 win to beat promotion chasing Warrington Rylands to secure their first win in 10 league games.

Captain fantastic Anthony Malbon scored the only goal of the game just after the hour mark when he headed in Oliver Jepson’s flick on from a John Johnston corner to seal a massive win for the Grove as they look to climb away from the relegation places and, if the players can continue to put in performances like this one, then it will be only a matter of time as to when the team will be moving back into the midtable spots in the table.

Scott Dundas made one change to the team that comfortably beat Rocester in the Staffordshire FA Senior Cup on Tuesday night. Winger Danny Cocks was rested after he picked up a slight hamstring strain towards the end of Tuesday’s game, his place was taken by Callum Leigh who impressed on the wing for the Grove.

It was Kidsgrove who created the early chances in the game with mercurial winger John Johnston going close on 10 minutes. The former Chester man darted inside from his position on the wing before getting a shot away. However, the shot wasn’t the most powerful and, it was a comfortable save for Rylands’ keeper Graeme McCall.

While at the other end David Webb, who has recently joined Rylands from Nantwich Town, had two great chances for the visitors but, he was to put his shots straight over Ryan Brown’s goal and, into the car park behind the Swinton Insurance Stand.

Kingsley Adu-Gyamfi scored a hat-trick in the midweek win against Rocester and, he almost got on the scoresheet again after 22 minutes when he got his head on a long free-kick but, the effort was to comfortably nestle into the gloves of McCall.

Warrington Rylands felt they could have had a penalty on 28 minutes when Kane Drummond was pushed over in the area. However, the referee Oliver Nolan emphatically waved away the appeals from the visitors.

Dundas was forced into two changes midway through the first half due to injuries. First of all, defender Will Byers pulled his hamstring when chasing back a Warrington attack, he was replaced by Jack Bromfield. Then just five minutes later Tom Urwin collided with a Rylands’ defender as he looked to get a shot away. The challenge looked innocuous but, it left Urwin needing to be stretchered off and replaced by Callum Lovatt.

Despite having to shuffle the pack twice in quick succession, the Grove players kept to their task and, didn’t seem to be effected by the changes.

Shortly before the interval, Malbon could have broken the deadlock when he crashed a volley goalwards after a knockdown from Adu-Gyamfi, much to the relief of McCall it flew wide of his goal as he was left rooted to the spot.

The second half was played much like how the first half was played with the Grove having the majority of the chances but, not testing McCall too much. Although they were left frustrated that they didn’t have a penalty on 55 minutes when Adu-Gyamfi took a boot to the face as he went to attack the ball from a corner.

Kidsgrove did finally take the lead on 66 minutes when a corner from Johnston was headed goalwards by Jepson. It could have been going wide but, Malbon did what all good strikers do and got his head on the ball to ensure the only place it was going was the back of the net. It was the least the hosts deserved as they dominated the game from start to finish.

From there, Kidsgrove had to defend stoutly as Warrington Ryland threw everything at the Grove. Thankfully for Kidsgrove, the returning Jepson was on hand to clear everything away from the penalty area. It was a performance that earnt him the club’s man of the match award, but in truth, any one of the players in Blue could have taken the award for how well they played.

Kidsgrove did have one mini scare on 90 minutes when Matty Hughes beat Ryan Brown from an acute angle before rolling the ball across the face of the goal. Thankfully from a Kidsgrove perspective it went out for a goal kick, much to the relief of the Kidsgrove players, fans and management team.

The full-time whistle was greeted by lots of hugs and backslapping from the Kidsgrove players and, you could see what it meant to them as they celebrated the win with their fans who had backed them for 90 minutes with non-stop singing.

Dundas, his management team and the players will be hoping to build on this result next Saturday as they head to play-off chasing Mossley for another tricky Northern Premier League West encounter. However, if this performance is anything to go by, then the Grove will be okay.

Kidsgrove Athletic: R.Brown, Byers (Bromfield, 30), Bridge, Urwin (Lovatt, 37), Jepson, O’Riordan, Leigh, Blake, Adu-Gyamfi, Malbon and Johnston (K.Brown, 56).
Unused subs: Morris and Cocks.

Warrington Rylands: McCall, Walker (Bentham, 60), Allen, Neild, Smith, Gerrard (Coveney, 72), Doyle (Hughes, 72) Webb, Dolan, Scarisbrick and Drummond.
Unused subs: Simpson and Tinning.

Richard Scott
Sports Reporter

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