North West Counties First Division South: Wythenshawe Town 4-0 New Mills
The Millers slumped to a heavy defeat at the hands of an Aaron Dwyer-inspired Wythenshawe Town, yet joint managers Dave Birch and Mike Norton will have left Ericstan Park wondering quite how their side failed to take anything from a game that they dominated for long periods.
Having recorded their first win of the season at Wythenshawe Amateurs on the Saturday, the Millers bosses retained the majority of the victorious line up, new signing Cheikh Thiam in for the unavailable Nathan Webb being the only change.
The Millers started the game brightly, on three minutes Benito Lowe headed straight at the keeper following a right wing free-kick, and just moments later Lowe again won a header in the area from a corner, but Ed Driver just failed to connect cleanly to the knock down and the goalkeeper was able to gather. With nine minutes on the clock Driver was sent racing clear of the home defence, but as he cut back inside onto his stronger right foot the defence was able to block his shot. A minute later and Lowe went close again, turning a defender 25 yards out and fizzing a low shot against the post with the keeper well beaten.
Darren McKnight saw his free-kick pushed clear by Callum Jakovlevs in the Town goal on 15 minutes, while Lowe went close again on the 20 minute mark curling narrowly wide from the edge of the area. Cheikh Thiam was looking lively on his debut, enjoying a battle with experienced full back Jerome Wright, and from his low cross on 31 minutes Driver just failed to connect as Brotherton made a last ditch clearance. From the resulting corner Adam Jones headed over the cross bar and on 40 minutes Jones went close again, volleying just wide from a set piece.
As half-time approached the contest took a seismic twist. Former Church Lane favourite Aaron Dwyer, quiet up until this point, turned Adam Cooper 30 yards from goal before racing clear and firing past Alex Fowell to give the home side the lead. Moments later and it was 2-0, Dwyer once again latching onto a through ball before rounding Fowell and slotting home.
Just minutes into the second half and Dwyer completed his hat trick, cutting inside from the left, the Millers defence failed to make a challenge, and his effort from the edge of the area squeezed into the corner of the net.
The introduction of Nathan Ntalu for Benito Lowe on the hour mark gave the Millers added attacking thrust as they reclaimed control of the contest, but at three goals behind it was too late for hopes of a come back. McKnight went close again with a free-kick, but it was the home side that enjoyed the final say, Brad Byrne cutting into the area and smashing past Fowell to make it four.
New Mills team: 1. Alex Fowell, 2. Adam Cooper, 3. Mason Fallon, 4. Darren McKnight, 5. Adam Jones (c), 6. James Neild, 7. Cheikh Thiam (Brad McLaughlin), 8. Ryan Shenton, 9. Benito Lowe (Nathan Ntalu), 10. Will Ozono, 11. Ed Driver. Unused subs: Mike Norton, Chris Carroll.