Tuesday 7th October 2008

Congleton Town 0 Abbey Hey 2
Vodkat League Premier Division
At: Booth Street
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 81
Weather: -

Congleton missed out on the chance to move into the top three when their run of four straight league victories came to an abrupt end against lowly Abbey Hey.

In contrast, the visitors had lost seven of the opening eight league games but it didn’t stop them pulling off an unexpected result at Booth Street with a goal in each half.

Second-from-bottom Abbey Hey had the first effort on target when Rob Hackney parried a long-range drive from Dominic Lilley.

The near miss provided Congleton with a warning sign and they responded by creating a series of really good chances.

Graham Molley twice had shots blocked by defenders and also headed against a post while defender Steve Millington fired narrowly wide. In what was one-way traffic, Abbey keeper Andrew Ralph produced diving saves from both Stuart Tulloch and Simon Robinson.

However, the visitors grew in confidence and their two forwards, Alex Monde-Leke and Adie Nevins, started to cause problems with their speed and movement.

Midway through the first half, Hackney was again called into action to turn round a bullet header from Nevins.

The Bears keeper also made a remarkable save to keep out a deflected shot hit by Danny Heffernan. Abbey Hey, however, took a 28th-minute lead from the resulting corner when Monde-Leke headed home.

There certainly didn’t look a gulf of league positions between the teams and Hackney needed to remain alert to hold a near-post shot from Carl Maylott.

Congleton should have been awarded a penalty three minutes after the restart. Tulloch was clearly brought down inside the area but the referee opted to awarded a free-kick outside instead.

Ralph continued to frustrate the Bears and he kept out a shot from Carl Nesbitt and also Wolley’s 20-yard rising drive.

Abbey Hey doubled their lead in the 62nd minute. Lilley fed Astley Mulholland who beat Hackney with a low drive across goal into the bottom left corner.

It could have got even worse. Nevins slipped the ball past the advancing Hackney only to see it rebound off the right-hand post.

Congletom manager Darren Twigg threw on both Matt Quinn and James Marrow, and later himself, but the Bears just couldn’t get on the scoresheet.

Congleton Town: Hackney, Vickers, Bostock, Brotherton (Twigg, 82), Millington, Nesbitt, Woolley, Robinson (Quinn, 72), Tulloch, Molloy (Marrow, 72), Greene.

Abbey Hey: Ralph, Maloney, A. Brown, Dennis, Doherty, Lilley, Mulholland (Taylor, 87), Heffernan, Monde-Leke, Nevins, Maylott (Marshall, 82). Unused subs: M. Brown, Massey.

Referee: Nigel Smith.