WIFC recorded their first ever win in Lancashire at the weekend, as Hornets legendary goalkeeper Tony Coton stopped in to inspire the Internet ‘Orns to a 5-4 win. The game was not as close as the scoreline might suggest, though WIFC did let a 4 goal lead slip as the home side mounted a valiant comeback in the closing stages of an action packed match at Astley Park in Chorley.
It was the home side who drew first blood on a bitterly cold morning in the North West, when Alex Snape made the most of a mix-up in the visitors defence to lob keeper Tom Beck. However, debutant Alan McTavish and Richard Walker got organised at the centre of the defence, allowing the visitors to begin to dominate proceedings and it was no surprise when Rob Stone equalised from close range on 10 minutes.
Having lost Martin Owen to injury, WIFC then took control with three quickfire strikes. Having already tested the keeper, debutant Richard Everitt gave the visitors the lead on 26 minutes after being teed up by Jez Hinds, starting a game up front for the second time this season. A minute later, Mark Brennan capped a fine run from the wing with a smart finish from the edge of the area, then Paul Norgate made it three in three minutes when he beat a man on the edge of the box and blasted home his first goal for the club.
The second half continued with WIFC in the ascendancy, and the lead was extended to 5-1 on 49 minutes. Man of the match Stone’s pass set Hinds free and the stand-in striker finished with aplomb for a birthday weekend goal. However, the home side finally stepped up a gear as their younger legs came to the fore and just as WIFC started to look comfortable, a long range free-kick from Adam McCullagh brought Chorley back into the game.
Galvanised by the goal, the home side poured forward as the game became stretched. On 80 minutes they further reduced the arrears with a diving header from Sean Wood, and when McCullagh added his second in the last minute, WIFC nerves became somewhat stretched. Chorley tried to mount one last assault on the visitors goal, but there were no further scares as WIFC held on for a fourth win on the bounce.
Speaking after the game, Coton was quick to praise the WIFC players, most of whom had made early starts to be there. “I don’t think I could have got up that early” said Coton. “Fair play to all the lads, they just about held on and it was good to see a few goals”.
WIFC return to action this coming Saturday with a home game against Northampton at Met Police Sports Club in Aldenham Road, with a 10am kick off.
Team, 4-4-2, R to L. Tom Beck; Brad Simmons, Alan McTavish, Richard Walker, Phil McBride; Mark Brennan, Paul Norgate, Martin Owen, Rob Stone; Jeremy Hinds, Alex Prentice. Subs Richard Everitt, Chris Gilbert-Anderson and Chris Davis.