Pete Tonge delves into Northwich Victoria’s 2-1 defeat at Studley in the Midland League Premier Division…

ANOTHER depressing away day defeat for the Vics.

Northwich started slowly (again) and were a goal down after just six minutes as Reiss Taylor-Randle was allowed to come in from the right across the edge of the box and fire a shot just inside the post.

Vics were virtually non-existent as an attacking force in the first 25 minutes, though Sam Unwin did fire a free-kick just wide of the post in the 13th minute.

Things got worse for Vics in the 28th minute as Studley were awarded a penalty after Brandon Barski got the wrong side of the attacker in the box, and pushed him to the floor in an attempt to get back round, though the attacker did make the most of it.

To be fair to the referee, this was probably the one and only decision he got right (for both teams) all game!

Romario Martin fired the ball into the bottom left corner to put Studley two up.

The rest of the half was fairly uneventful though Vics were starting to press forward more, and Fraser Cookson went close with a header while Barski and McKenzie both had shots well blocked just before the break.

The second half was delayed 10 minutes as the floodlights failed as the players came onto the pitch.

When it eventually started, Studley were in control and Adam Reid was forced into a good save early on.

On a rare Vics attack in the 60th minute, Marcus Perry was pressuring the Studley left back who went down without a touch, and the referee promptly blew the whistle for a foul, a decision that Perry didn’t agree with and was quickly sin binned for 10 minutes (though it was 13 before the ref let him back on!).

Vics were down to 10, and soon it was nine as four minutes later Niall Sultan was harshly given a second yellow card for an alleged foul.

Studley pressed forward looking for the killer third goal but Vics defended well and Reid did have to produce a couple of top-class saves.

Perry came back on the pitch after 73 minutes, and four minutes later, Vics brilliantly broke quickly.

Joe Camozzi found Perry down the right and he crossed low and hard for Callum Parker to poke the ball home to put Vics right back in it.

It was all Vics now, and indeed they should have had an equaliser in the 85th minute as the Studley keeper made a hash of a back pass and presented the ball to Camozzi but he could only volley the ball straight back at the keeper.

Two minutes later, a melee occurred after a foul and resulted in Taylor Eades being sent off for Studley, and Perry given a yellow for Vics.

Vics kept pressing and went close to a deserved equaliser in added on time as a header went just wide of the post.

A match in which there was only one winner, the referee, who gave as poor a performance as I’ve ever seen.

Vics kept pressing and never gave up and probably deserved a point after a poor start.

Match facts:

Studley 2 Northwich Victoria 1

Midland League Premier Division

Saturday December 9, 2023

At The Beehive, Studley

Vics: Reid, Camozzi, Barski, Cookson, Bembo-Leta (Ogundare 73’), McKenzie, Clarke (Causer 70’), Sixsmith, Unwin (Parker 57’), Mills ( Perry 41’), Coop (Sultan 20’).

Red card: Sultan 64’

Yellow card: Clarke 25’, Camozzi 55’, Perry 87’

Goals: Studley: Taylor-Randle 6’, Martin 29’. Vics: Parker  77’.

Next match: Saturday, league, Vics v Stourport Swifts, kick-off 3pm, at Barton Stadium, Winsford