Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Widnes get off the mark


WIDNES bagged their first Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One West win of the season on Tuesday night, beating Market Drayton Town

2-0 at the DCBL Stadium.

Goals from Ryan Watters and James Steele ensured a winning return home after 234 days away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-bosses Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey made two changes to the side beaten at Runcorn Linnets on the opening day.

Liam Kennington, sent off in Murdishaw, was available for selection as he came in for Fisnik Hajdari who was named amongst the substitute­s while Ryan Watters was handed his first start in a Widnes shirt, with Ryan Gibson making way.

Widnes always looked the likelier side to open the scoring, with Jack Banister twice forcing visiting keeper Ashley Rawlins into a decent save. Kennington would then have an effort pushed over the bar, while Rawlins was again called into action to deny Ben Wharton with a strong glove.

On the 17-minute mark, Widnes grabbed a deserved opener. Market Drayton could only half-clear a corner that was sent back in by Jordan Barrow. His cross was a deep one, and Watters found space to turn home at the back-post to net his first goal for the club.

Akrigg and Towey’s side maintained control of the contest early in the second half with Rawlins again called into action to deny Steele after Banister evaded the visitors’ offside trap.

Banister then almost put forward a very early contender for goal of the season. He drifted inside from the left before turning on the jets, effortless­ly gliding beyond the challenges of four Market Drayton defenders before his shot crashed against the crossbar with Rawlins well-beaten.

Within seconds, Widnes had recycled possession and doubled their lead. The Whites kept the ball alive with skipper Jay Roberts sending a delicious cross towards the back-post where Steele arrived late to prod home his first goal of the campaign. Richard Brown’s side looked to respond and they came within inches of halving their deficit but Dimitri Dunkley’s powerful effort smashed the angle of the crossbar from just inside the area.

At the other end, Liam Riley-Stewart flashed a free-kick across the face of goal but that was as close as the Gingerbrea­d Men came to breaking down Widnes’ stout rear-guard. With their first win of the season, Widnes climb to 10th in the division with a trip to Kidsgrove Athletic to come next Tuesday.

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