Peter Tonge looks back at a disappointing midweek outing for Northwich Victoria…

AN entertaining match which ultimately ended in disappointment for the Vics.

An even first half with both teams playing good football. In the first minute, Kieron Curtis played in Mather who got into the box but took a touch too many and failed to get a shot in.

Three minutes in and it was Towns's turn as a corner was played in, Johns had a free header which he put well over.

Vics immediately countered and Birchall fired in a shot from the edge of the box which went just wide.

Both teams were knocking the ball around well, with Vics doing slightly more of the pressing.

Dave Sherlock had a first time shot in the 18th minute which skimmed the post, but Vics were indebted to Danny Taberner in net just three minutes later as he came out to block a close range effort

In the 35th minute, Curtis skipped past the left back and put a great low cross in but no one could get on the end of it.

Three minutes later, Vics really should have scored as they quickly broke, with Jack Fleming putting in a brilliant cross to find Curtis free at the far post with the goal at his mercy and it looked a goal all the way until it went the wrong side of the post – great chance!

Congleton started the second half better, pressing Vics back. In the 48th minute, Fenton charged into the area and went down and the referee immediately gave a penalty, which looked stonewall from the far end though video evidence showed different I believe.

Up stepped Tom Pope to send Taberner the wrong way from the spot.

This was Town's best period of the match now and Taberner was forced into a good save, pushing a shot from Needham around the post for a corner.

A few minutes later, Needham fired in another shot which Taberner could only parry into the feet of Pope, who couldn't miss from close range though he looked suspiciously offside.

Vics could have got back into the match almost immediately as the hard-working Curtis put in another fantastic low cross, which the onrushing Ash Dunn was a whisker away from converting.

In the 71st minute, Vics came close again as Brandon Barski flicked a near post corner goalward, forcing a fine save from the keeper, but 2 minutes later Vics got the goal they deserved as Chad Whyte stabbed a loose ball home after a scramble in the box.

However, their hopes of getting an equaliser faded as Ryan Winder received a 10-minute sin-bin for throwing the ball away a minute later after a decision went against him.

Vics were trying to push now but were susceptible to Town's quick breaks.

Whyte just failed to be turn the ball home after collecting it in the box in the 83rd minute and Vics were undone in the first minute of injury time as a bad pass allowed in Johns, who fired past Taberner to make the game safe for Town.

A tough defeat to take for Vics, who more than matched their opponents for a large part of the match but key decisions went against them.