Pete Tonge goes into depth with the two Northwich Victoria games this week…

VERDICT: Uttoxeter Town 1 Northwich Victoria 1

VICS will be pleased to have grabbed a late equaliser, but they should have been well ahead by then.

They dominated the first half, but couldn’t find the breakthrough they desired.

Five minutes in, Caelan Kilheeney glanced a header wide, after Dylan Switters had skinned his man and put in a superb cross.

Vics kept up the pressure without really creating chances, but it was Uttoxeter who thought they had taken the lead in the 18th minute when a good cross was headed past Adam Reid into the net, but it was rightly given offside.

However, Vics kept pressing forward, Samual Unwin had a shot into the side netting after 20 minutes whilst Marcus Perry forced a good save from Wood in the Uttoxeter goal when he fizzed in a powerful strike which was pushed round the post.

From the resulting corner, Perry's flick was cleared off the line.

Unwin, then Perry, had speculative shots at goals as Vics kept pressing, but the best chance for Vics came in the 38th minute as Unwin was sent through one on one but Wood made a great save.

The impressive Switters had the final chance of the half as a good cross fell to him in front of goal, but his effort was well blocked by the Town defence.

The second half was a little more stop-start, and the match became a little more scrappier with Uttoxeter having more of the ball than they did in the first.

Vics' defence were coping well though they were indebted to a great save from Reid as he dived to his left to keep out a goal-bound effort from Town.

A minute later, a deep cross was put in by Town, and the inrushing Town winger dived to the floor under pressure from Leo Roberts. The referee bought it, and gave a penalty. Poor decision!

The penalty was duly despatched by Kieron Wild as he sent Reid the wrong way.

Vics very nearly equalised straight away, as a corner was sent into the far post where Matty Clarke prodded the ball towards goal but Wood somehow managed to push the ball over the bar without knowing too much about it.

Then came a bizarre 10-minute delay as the keeper got treated for a gash on his chin caused by colliding with his own defender.

For some reason, it took five people to attend to him, and four failed attempts to put a bandage over the cut, before someone put tape over it.

Vics were still pressing, and Anton Smith should have done better in the 81st minute as he found himself free in the box but slammed his shot against a defender.

Reid then made two important saves as the game approached added-on time, firstly diving to his left to keep a downwards header out, then diving low to keep out a shot when Uttoxeter should have done better.

Then as time was running out, Vics earned a corner from the left which was put in, and Cookson came steaming in to power a header into the back of the net . Nothing less than Vics deserved.

Overall, a much better performance from Vics, and they will be disappointed they didn't claim all three points but they need to start taking more of the chances they create. I won't mention the referee's or the far-side assistant's performance.

MATCH FACTS: Uttoxeter Town 1 Northwich Victoria 1

Midland League Premier Division.

Tuesday 12th September 2023.

At Oldfields Sports Ground, Uttoxeter.

Vics: Reid, Cookson, Cole, Battersby, Roberts, Clarke ( Krakue 90+2'), Smith, Kilheeney (Parker 85'), Switters, Unwin, Perry. Unused subs : Chapman, Exell, Grindrod.

Goals: Uttoxeter Town: Wild 68'. Northwich Vics: Cookson 90+8'.

VERDICT: Northwich Victoria 0 Tividale 3

A MATCH that Vics proved profligate at both ends of the pitch, and Tividale took full advantage.

Vics forced a corner in the first minute which was played short between Switters and Parker, and it was Switters who nearly caught out Louis Connor in the Tividale net with a curled cross.

It was mainly Vics in possession but they didn’t have much of an impact in the Tividale penalty area.

Their best chance came in the 17th minute as great build-up play from Chapman, Callum Parker and Joe Camozzi combined led to a Chapman shot over the bar.

Two minutes later, Switters curled an effort in, which was dealt with well by the impressive Connor.

Tividale took the lead, however, with their first real effort, and what a strike it was as well.

The ball was played across the edge of the Vics area to Dom Bell who hit it with the outside of his foot first time and it flew into the top corner giving Reid no chance.

Minutes later, Vics came close as Parker was inches away from turning in a Matty Clarke cross-shot.

Tividale then started to press more, and Reid had to produce a smart stop from a drilled shot from a tight angle in the 38th minute.

Then came a killer blow for Vics just before half time as a corner was sent in for Tividale from the right, Reid missed it, and the ball fell for Ryan Snape to poke the ball home.

Vics seemed to come out for the second half with more purpose, and pushed Tividale onto the back foot.

Perry, now wide on the left, clipped a shot just over in the 50th minute, whilst two minute later, he forced Connor to tip another shot around the post after he beat his man and raced towards goal.

Next it was substitute Ryan Jackson's turn to test Connor as he fired a shot in from the edge of the area, but the keeper just managed to push the shot away.

Jackson and Camozzi were teaming up well down the right and it was good interplay between them which led to Camozzi firing a first-time effort just over the bar.

In the 77th minute, Vics were denied by a wonderful double save by Connor, as he managed to first push out a stinging shot from Kilheeney before somehow turning over Jackson's header from the rebound.

It just wasn’t going to be Vics’ day!

Indeed, Tividale then made the game safe in the 83rd minute as a cross from the right somehow found its way across goal for Lewis Taylor-Boyce to tap in from two yards out.

A very disappointing result, and Vics will need to improve at both ends of the pitch. Too many easy goals given away, and too many good chances not being finished off.

A special word for the Tividale keeper, Connor, a real star performance to keep a clean sheet for the visitors.

MATCH FACTS: Northwich Victoria 0 Tividale 3

Midland League Premier Division.

Saturday 9th September 2023.

At U Lock It Stadium, Wincham.

Vics: Reid, Camozzi, Cole, Battersby, Chapman (Jackson 45’’), Clarke, Exell (Smith 45’), Kilheeney, Switters ( Angles 66’), Parker, Perry. Unused Subs: Cookson, Griman.

Goals: Tividale: Wonder 37’, Edwards 56’, Kirton 76’.

Northwich Victoria fixtures:

Saturday: Northwich Vics v AFC Wulfrunians, Midland League Premier Division, U Lock It Stadium, Wincham, kick-off 3pm.

Tuesday, September 19: Congleton Town v Northwich Vics, Midland League Cup, kick-off 7.45pm.