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Crewe FC go four points from Cheshire League summit with Garswood United scalp
8:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
Crewe FC 1 Garswood United 0
SKIPPER Stevie McNicholl ended Garswood United’s unbeaten run as Crewe FC claimed a second top-two scalp in as many weeks on Saturday.
The hosts beat Cheshire League Division One champions Knutsford last week and inflicted league-leaders Garswood’s first defeat in 10 games at the Cumberland Arena thanks to McNicholl’s solitary strike.
Matt Pearson saw an early goal disallowed for offside after good work between Chris Jackson and PJ Hudson down the left.
Crewe, who made one change to the side that beat Knutsford, limited the previously free-scoring Garswood to a single shot on goal in first half.
The hosts included an influx of coaches along the back line, with B-License holders Josh Brehaut and Craig Malbon alongside assistant Luke Goddard and boss Carl Everall.
Crewe’s defensive experience showed as Garswood, boasting two of the top three goalscorers in the league, suffered a frustrating afternoon.
The hosts had carved open several chances, but failed to take the lead before the break after several moves involving neat, intricate build-up play could not be matched by the standard of finishing.
Hudson went closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the woodwork from a 25-yard free kick, before the rebound was squandered by Ethan Tizard from four yards out.
Tizard went close again before the interval, only to be denied by the Garswood goalkeeper.
Crewe continued to press in the second half and man-of-the-match Matt Pearson was beginning to cause Garswood problems.
But it was the in-form skipper McNicholl who popped up with the winner on the hour mark..
Pearson drove down the left, skipping past two players, before laying the ball to McNicholl, whose clever first touch and turn crafted an opening to swerve the ball into the top corner.
Former Nantwich Town man Hudson could have added a second late on, but fired narrowly over the bar from two yards.
Garswood applied some pressure in the final minutes, but failed to really test Crewe stopper Wes Newton as the hosts sealed the win to move within four points of the league-leaders.
Crewe Newton, Everall, Goddard, Malbon, Brehaut, Hudson, McNicholl, Carr, Jackson Tizard, Pearson. Subs Rowley, Parker.