TRINITY’S ATTACK IS BLUNTED BY ALBION
THESE are still the early stages of a new season but both teams were satisfied despite playing out a stalemate.
Gainsborough Trinity arrived in Northwich buoyed by scoring eight goals during an FA Cup replay victory against Chasetown in midweek.
However they were greeted by hosts with a sturdier defence.
Indeed, Witton Albion have shut out their opponents in half of their Northern Premier League matches to date this season.
“My players deserve credit for how they defended,” said manager Carl Macauley afterwards on his side’s share of the spoils.
“They never lost focus on every corner, throw-in or situation when a ball was sent into our penalty area.
“That kept us in a contest with a side that came here second in the table and who I believe will chal- lenge for the title. We went toe-to-toe with them, and have been rewarded for our efforts with a hard-earned point.”
A terse contest was repeatedly interrupted by the sound of referee Daniel Bruce’s whistle, and he showed a yellow card to five players before the break.
Witton went closest to scoring when Rob Hopley’s looping header from Danny McKenna’s cross dipped too late to cause goalkeeper Jon Stewart any concern.
The latter then curled a
free-kick past an upright, while at the other end Albion custodian Greg Hall needed two attempts to eventually tame a set-piece struck powerfully by Alex Byrne.
There were more attempts on goal after the interval although Josh Wardle couldn’t control a header from James Foley’s set-piece.
At the other end, Byrne’s effort flashed over after he conjured an opening.
Ashley Worsfold, Gainsborough’s centre-forward, was brave to throw himself in the way of River Humphreys’ goal-bound drive after Stewart had failed to meet a free-kick with his fist.
McKenna’s arcing shot, after he had driven infield from the right, then brushed an upright.
The visitors’ best spell followed as Witton tired, and the force of Damian Reeves’ attempt on goal ebbed after striking a defender.
Alex Simmons’ free-kick was too close to Hall, while Billy Smart’s header was off-target from Will Jones’ scooped cross when Albion managed to muster one final attack.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I thought we adapted well,” reflected Gainsborough midfielder Simon Russell afterwards.
“We’re content with a point away from home, more so with a clean-sheet which is something that we wanted.
“It was a tough game, and we had to match them in a battle because they were up for one.”
NO WAY THROUGH: Witton’s James Foley takes on two men
UNDER PRESSURE: Witton’s Danny McKenna drives forward