2:24pm Monday 31st March 2014
By Andrew Simpson
SUBSTITUTE Chris Lunn scored a decisive goal as 1874 Northwich continued their fine away form with a fifth successive victory.
The front man was quickest to react with a quarter of an hour left when he applied the finishing touch after Stuart Wellstead’s effort had been diverted in his direction.
It marked his first goal since joining the club at the turn of the year.
Ian Street’s men will also have disappointed their direct rivals in the race for promotion from Division One, conscious that Holker had yet to lose a league game during 2014.
It was no simple task.
Wellstead was first to strike at goal on 14 minutes, but custodian Ollie Bell was equal to his effort.
The visitors went closer shortly afterwards when Craig Farnworth, restored to their defence following a suspension, headed narrowly wide from a corner.
At the other end, leading scorer Jamie Pattinson was wasteful while Liam Shields fluffed a glorious chance when picked out by Dave Swarbrick.
A frantic goalmouth scramble brought the half to a close, during which no Northwich player managed to apply a finishing touch.
The teams continued to trade chances after the interval, first when Matty Ward’s assist was directed off target by Mike Brandon.
Farnworth timed to perfection a tackle on Guy Heffernan when Swarbrick again conjured a chance for the Cumbrian hosts.
Street sent on Lunn to replace Matthew Woolley, a switch that almost provided instant dividend when the striker was inches away from connecting with a cross in front of goal.
He headed too close to Bell from Lee Duckworth’s set piece from his next attempt.
Not to be denied, Lunn nodded in a loose ball after Heffernan had blocked Wellstead’s close range shot, with Bell unable to intervene.
Swarbrick, the hosts’ best player, forced goalkeeper Northwich Matt Conkie to parry as Holker applied late pressure before heading over from their last chance during stoppage time.
Holker Bell (GK), Danny Pattinson, Smith, Redhead, Heffernan, Stu Pattinson, Jamie Pattinson, Grundy (Hubbold 54), Shields, Swarbrick, Reid (Jones 82) Subs not used Parker, Coombe
1874 Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Farnworth, Aston, Duckworth, Jones, Woolley (Lunn 63), Abdullah (Stewart 81), Ward, Wellstead, Brandon (Short 70) Sub not used Bowyer
Referee John Dilnut
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