Heys and Northwich draw blanks
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Vase tie goes to a replay
Heys and Northwich Victoria must go to a replay to see whom will progress in to the last 64 of the FA Vase after a goalless second round tie at Adie Moran Park.
On a blustery afternoon, it was the visitors who had the best of an often untidy, scrappy game. However, whilst Heys found it difficult to make much headway going forward their defensive resilience was excellent making them good value for a second bite at the cherry.
Heys keeper Michael Smith was again in fine form with series of key saves whilst Vic’s also missed a penalty to give the hosts hope of grabbing victory which made for a tense afternoon for the 182 in attendance.
The opening exchanges were tight. It was Vic’s who created the first opening in the 8th minute as Brandon Barski cut inside before picking out Dominic Craig whose first time shot flew wide.
Heys responded in similar fashion as Rio Wilson-Heyes broke into box before pulling the ball back for Chris Baguley whose first time shot whistled past the post.
However, Northwich, who play a division higher than Heys in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division, were emerging the stronger.
Quicker to the ball and more incisive with their passing they began to stretch Heys defence.
Billy Whittle perhaps should have scored but put a free header wide of the post but overall despite their overall superiority Northwich were finding it difficult to create any real openings against a determined Heys rear guard.
However, Heys were struggling to make any noticeable impression going forward and as the half drew to a close, they were indebted to Smith to keep them on level terms. The Heys stopper firstly dropped smartly to hold a Robert Doran shot before on the stroke of half-time tipping a cross come shot from Craig over the bar.
Having fed largely on scraps in the first period, Heys came out looking to make a greater attacking impression and some slick passing created an opening for Chris Baguley but his shot from 20 yards went over.
The visitors, backed by their noisy band of supporters behind the goal, hit back and some patient passing culminated in Kurtis Howson darting into the penalty area before pulling his shot across the face of goal.
Just after the hour, Vic’s has the chance to take the lead. Amidst, a scramble in the goal area, Smith was harshly adjudged to have fouled in gathering the ball and the referee pointed to the spot.
However, from the resultant penalty, Joel Brownhill, smashed his kick against the crossbar and Heys were able to clear.
The miss appeared to take some of the sting out of the visitors and give Heys belief that it could be their day. Although chances at either end were non-existent, Heys attacks began to carry more potency than at any time in the afternoon, with the pace of Michael Itela, off the bench, giving their opponents more to think about.
There were some anxious moments for Vic’s in the closing stages as they twice scrambled clear from corners.
Indeed, the first period of extra time saw Heys in the ascendancy with Vic’s and former Heys ‘keeper Danny Taberner having to drop to collect a Chris Baguley free kick.
As the game entered the second period of extra time Northwich hit back and that they didn’t progress into the draw for the next round was down to two great saves by Smith. He first clawed, at full stretch, a Matthew Clarke shot from under the bar then moments later dropped low to save a long-range shot.
TEAM: Michael Smith, Darius Photiou, Jacob Holt, Max White, Mark Ayres, Jake Wood (Capt), Justin Pickering, Jamie Baguley, Lee Grimshaw, Chris Baguley, Rio Wilson-Heyes,
Subs: Carl Fitton, Calum Jakovlevs, Danny Warburton (for 80 mins), Michael Itela (for Pickering 63 mins)