Match Report – Cheadle Town (2) vs FC Isle of Man (1)

A sixth versus seventh clash last night at Park Road Stadium in Stockport ultimately ended in disappointment as Cheadle Town beat the Ravens by the odd goal in three.

Perhaps with one eye on our first home league game of the season, there were several changes to the FCIOM line-up for this match. The key defensive pairing of Alex Maitland and Cameron Avery were still missing through injury, while Ste Whitley didn’t travel and Ryan Burns started on the bench.

The match started evenly, with both teams attempting to work each other out with a mixture of long balls and left-to-right switches.

Early Cheadle Town pressure forced Ravens ‘keeper Matt Quirk into two good saves while forward Furo Davies tried his luck from range with powerful drives from distance.

After just 11 minutes however the deadlock was broken with the home side scoring first after some indecision in our defensive third allowed their forward to capitalise to make it 1-0.

Literally one minute later though the Ravens were level, as a long throw from Dan Simpson was returned to him to cross for an unmarked Lee Gale at the back post to head home and make it 1-1.

The proximity of the teams’ positions in the table began to become clear as the half wore on as they seemed to cancel each other out. For every half-chance each side created, the other snuffed out. And despite a flurry of free-kicks, corners and offsides the first half ended level at 1-1.

After the break, the game started much like the first with neither team able to find the rhythm required to get on the ball and play. There was a rare moment of excitement, however as Cheadle Town saw a shot fly just wide then straight up the other end Dan Simpson appeared to be barged off the ball in the area but the referee waved play-on.

On 59 minutes Cheadle Town bagged their second goal of the game. A poor clearance from FCIOM enabled the home side’s winger to latch onto the ball and square for their striker to find the net to make it 2-1.

The Ravens continued to huff and puff but the quality of their passing wasn’t up to normal standards and the chances never really came.

Despite his best efforts, Man of the Match Michael Williams couldn’t unlock the defence and was replaced by Nathan Cardy on 72 minutes along with the instructions to “keep pushing” from the Ravens’ bench.

As the game ebbed into injury time, Cheadle Town kept the ball well to restrict FCIOM from endangering their goal and despite a late shot, which whipped past the post, from Sam Baines the game sadly finished 2-1 to the home side.

So the Ravens unbeaten run in the league is over and attention is now very much turned to our first home game of the season against Brocton on 30 October.

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