Written by Rob Overfield Hits: 1524
Beavers crash out of Trophy in dismal display
In a windswept Weaver Stadium, the Beavers were humiliated in a display which suggested they were the team without a ground and facing an uncertain future, not their hosts. In addition, the loss of skipper Matt Ruby with a suspected dislocated knee after just 8 minutes further hampered their task, writes Rob Overfield.
The Beavers started the game facing into a strong and gusty wind but the Vics were the first to put the ball in the net with just 4 minutes played, as Riley put away the rebound from a Kearney shot, but he was deemed offside.
The loss of Matt Ruby on a stretcher meant Dean Inman had to introduced early on, the captain's armband being passed to veteran Darren Powell.
Already it was obvious that the hosts were using the conditions better and on 15 minutes, Nathan Woolfe made the Beavers pay with a well taken finish from about 15 yds out, a low cross being allowed to run into his path.
On 37 minutes, the game took a further turn away from the Beavers as Woolfe once again latched on to a good pass to crash the ball past Craig Ross from about 25 yds; no doubt the shot took off in the wind but it was a finish that would probably beaten most keepers.
The restart saw the Beavers have the advantage of the wind but it made little difference to the flow of the game.
On 52 minutes, the Vics won a corner; the cross held up in the wind and dropped at the feet of Riley, who swept the ball in to the net with the defence helpless.
Up to this point, Vics keeper Hinchliffe had had nothing at all to do, such was the Vics dominance, but on 57 minutes he could do nothing to prevent Dave Tarpey from giving the Beavers a ray of hope, as he took a deflected cross and hit it past him with relish.
This served to wake up the team and most of the best play came from Tarpey himself; a crisply struck half volley was punched clear by Hinchliffe then the keeper defied Tarpey in a one on one, first blocking the initial shot then forcing the striker wide so that he ran out of space.
On 67 minutes, the Vics reasserted their overwhelming dominance as Kyle Armstrong continued his fine run from the penalty spot, sending Ross the wrong way to make it 4-1; this after Lewis Ferrell was deemed to have pulled back Woolfe.
The Beavers then managed to create some half chances for Tarpey and Inman but in truth Hinchliffe was never in any serious trouble.
The last meaningful action saw a Vics free kick from the left beat everyone, leaving Craig Ross to have to fly across his goal to claw the ball round the post.
In truth, the better team won in the night, the apparent gap in performance suggesting to a neutral that the respective clubs positions were the reverse of what is actually the case.
Northwich Victoria 4
Woolfe 15,37; Riley 53, Armstrong 67 (p)
Ross, Ferrell, Johnson, Powell, Ruby (c) (Inman 8), Huggins, Collier (Moone 71), Andrews (Hickey 63), Tarpey, Simmonds, Alabi
Bench: Beadle, Jeffreys.