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Match Report | West Auckland

Updated: 18 hours ago

Town were back in action for the first time in more than three weeks as they took on high-flying West Auckland at the Calvert Stadium. 

Making his debut at right-back was 23-year-old Alex Zachariou, just signed from NCEL Premier Division side Garforth Town, and there were also first full starts for centre-back Luke Drummond and attacking midfielder Connor Dunlavey

First half

Clear-cut chances were few in an even start. Dale Hopson tried his luck with a shot outside the box after 10 minutes that flew wide. At the other end, Nathan Fisher fired in a long-range shot that failed to trouble Town keeper Ben Fairless

After their heavy defeat at Newcastle Benfield last time out, the Town back line looked a lot tighter and did well to block a shot from Auckland striker Lee Hume on 17 minutes. 

Although the visitors were a constant threat, they were indebted to a large slice of luck when they took the lead in the 40th minute. A deep cross from right-back Dale Benjamin was deflected by Drummond into his own goal, with Fairless helpless to keep it out of the net. 

It was a bitter blow for Town, who had been moving the ball well in midfield and were matching title contenders Auckland for energy and effort. But although they rallied strongly, they were unable to erase the deficit before the break. 

HT – Northallerton Town 0 - West Auckland 1

Skilful striker McKenzie Dicicco shot wide after 64 minutes as Town pressed for an equaliser. Auckland were a constant threat, however, and Fairless had to be alert to save from Corey Nicholson as the visitors continued to press forwards. 

It was Drummond to the rescue after 66 minutes when the defender made a great saving block from the lively Corey. Auckland were not to be denied, however, and it was centre-forward Fisher who sealed all three points for them after 77 minutes. 

The Town defence missed their chance to clear the ball, leaving Fisher clear on goal for a clinical conversion. 

Town manager Jamie Tunstall rung the changes with several substitutions, but with victory in sight Auckland managed the game well with experienced heads such as the much-travelled Gary Brown a vital presence at the back. 

FT – Northallerton Town 0 – West Auckland 2

Northallerton Town 

Fairless, Zachariou, Graham, Scott (Moan 52’), McGuckin, Drummond, Chidanyika, Tchounga (Spenceley 42’), Dicicco (Thomson 87’), Hopson (Hardy 72’), Dunlavey (Banks 60’). 

West Auckland 

Liversedge, Dale, Hope, Wood, Brown, Potter (Cocks 45'), Harrison, Hume, Fisher (Blinco 89’), Bailey, Nicholson (Shevels 80’). 

Goals: Drummond og (40’), Fisher (77’).

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