Kidsgrove Athletic 2 Northwich Victoria 1
Novus Stadium, Saturday 21st January 2017, 3pm
Kidsgrove made hard work of overcoming bottom side Northwich Victoria at the Novus Stadium, with some wasteful finishing, particularly in the second half, leading to an edgy conclusion. Athletic managed to hold on to earn a win that sees them move into the top half of the league table.
Grove were under no illusions that the game against a Vics side managed by former Kidsgrove manager Paul Moore would be a straightforward affair, and the opening exchanges were even, with Harry Clayton stinging the palms of visiting keeper Dylan Forth on nine minutes. The visitors won a couple of free kicks on the right of the area but were unable to trouble Chris Martin.
Ant Malbon's mazy across the box on 19 minutes lacked an end product, before Leon Ashman headed a free kick back across goal but the ball was hacked clear.
Although Athletic were enjoying the better of the possession, they were grateful to a sharp save from Martin on 23 minutes, tipping over a powerful shot from the lively Yaw Gyimah after he had got the better of the home defence.
Another spell of pressure for the home side followed, and Kidsgrove took the lead on 37 minutes when Malbon cleverly flicked the ball into the path of CLAYTON, who fired the ball under Forth from 12 yards out.
Clayton almost had the chance to double the lead two minutes later as George Mannion's back pass left Forth in trouble, but he was just able to clear as the home forward closed in.
The half ended with the visitors looking for an equaliser and after John Bennett had been fouled, David Short unleashed a powerful free kick that Martin did well to palm away for a corner.
HALF TIME: Kidsgrove Athletic 1 Northwich Victoria 0