Pete Tonge looks back over Northwich Victoria’s 2-1 loss at Atherstone Town…

VICS never recovered from a dismal first-half display despite a much better second half.

The first half that totally belonged to Atherstone as Vics looked lethargic all over the pitch.

It only took Town 8 minutes to go ahead as Thornton played the ball through a static Vics defence for Tom Smith to calmly slot the ball low into the corner of the net.

They then shot wildly wide after the front two teamed up well as they continued to dominate.

Adam Reid was forced into a great save after a powerful shot from the edge of the area but a second goal duly came as they earned a very dubious corner which was swung over to the far post, headed back across to the middle where Hemagou rose highest to head home from 1 yard.

It was a half in which Vics never tested their keeper and got exactly what they deserved, absolutely nothing.

Vics made a tactical change at half time with Callum Parker replacing Niall Battersby, and Vics slowly started to get into the game.

However it wasn’t until the 58th minute that they had their first shot on target, and that was a tame effort from Parker as he broke down the right.

Vics were pushing forward but looking vulnerable to a break and they were indebted to Reid for a marvellous save as he flew to his right to keep out a curling shot which was heading for the top corner.

Vics got back in the game in the 69th minute as Parker was bundled over in the box, and Marcus Perry duly scored from the penalty spot.

It was all Vics now.

Unwin volleyed a shot straight at the keeper, then Parker had a stinging shot tipped wide after he linked up well with Joe Camozzi.

Vics kept pressing but couldn’t find a way through a hard-working Town defence which hung on for a well deserved victory.

A flat and disappointing display by the Vics who need to learn there are no easy games in this league and they need to perform from the very first minute.

Match facts:

Atherstone Town 2 Northwich Victoria 1

Midland League Premier Division

Saturday, 30th September, 2023

At Sheepy Road, Atherstone

Vics: Reid, Camozzi, Cole, Battersby (Parker 45), Cookson, Roberts, Smith, Kilheeney, Clarke (Angles 81), Perry, Unwin

Goals: Atherstone Town: Smith 8’, Hemagou. Vics: Perry 69’ (pen)

Attendance: 20, due to sanctions imposed upon Atherstone Town

Next match: Saturday, Vics v Romulus FC, 3pm; October 10, Cheshire Cup, Vics v Cheadle Town.