Town turnaround in 3-3 thriller

25 Aug 2019 in Match Reports

Captain Smalley

Wellstead bags a brace

Stuart Wellstead secured his second brace in consecutive games as Town overturned a two-goal deficit to rescue a point at Kirklands.

The new number nine struck twice in the space of 15 second half minutes to restore parity before interim captain Dom Smalley’s strike across the goalkeeper saw Town take the lead for the first time.


However, Town’s elation was somewhat subdued when Ricci Neill’s long-range set-piece ten minutes from time found its way past the diving Callum Jakovlevs.


Again, the Blues found themselves trailing early on despite revelling in the majority of the opening exchanges when Luke Blondel followed up on Kial Callacher’s initial interception at the near post, to fire into the roof of the net.


Town continued to dominate proceedings without being able to find the chink in the armour of Laird’s rear-guard.


Blondel added his and the host’s second after a miscommunication left Jakovlevs stranded and the forward took full advantage of the empty net.


On a sun-soaked afternoon where a water break may have come as a pleasant relief, the referee called time on the first period to allow Kinsey and Whiteside to re-strategize.


The half-time team talk evidently worked a treat as Town came out all guns blazing; Wellstead scoring his third goal in as many matches after a neat turn on the edge of the area before stroking an unerring finish into the right corner.


He soon doubled his tally from the spot after Brad Byrne was caught late in the area.


No such penalty-taking drama in these parts of Manchester as Wellstead, who appears to exude confidence, picked up the ball decisively and sent the keeper the wrong way without so much as a stutter.


Dom Smalley had taken up the responsibility of the captain’s armband in the absence of Grant Spencer and led by example throughout the match, displaying his relentless industrial abilities in the middle of the park.


The summer signing put Town ahead for the first time with 18 minutes left to play after Wellstead had turned provider on the edge of the area allowing Smalley to roll it past the keeper’s right with a hint of elegant impudence about it.


However, Ricci Neill snatched a point for Cammell Laird in the dying embers of the game as he struck a sweet freekick from 35 yards out, that nestled into the bottom left corner of the net.


The result leaves Town in 11th place but a win on Bank holiday Monday against Cheadle could potentially see them rocket to 6th position.

Post-Match thoughts


James Kinsey- “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish. I think we had four chances that their keeper has made unbelievable saves. They were very effective on the break and two mistakes have meant we’ve gone in 2-0 down at half time.


“It wasn’t a case of everyone on each other’s case at half time because on another day it could have been so different. We just emphasised to keep doing what we had been doing and it will come.


“We then go 3-2 up and was well in the driving seat. There were several frustrations yesterday but they’ve been given a free kick that was never a foul in my opinion. The video backs me up on that. The lad has caught it well and you have to hold your hands up and take it.


“Considering there were several forced moves we are happy. Cammell Laird were a decent side on the whole and they will take points off teams. We need a win on Monday and it will have been a good weekend for us.”


-Harry Shephard


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