AFTER last week’s defeat in a game that should have been won, Northern men’s first XI knew they had to step up a gear and fight for three points and start heading back up the table to where the team wants to be.
Stockport Bramhall have always been a tough team to play, with previous meetings being end-to-end action.
With Northern prepared for this type of encounter, it instantly played into their hands and they enjoyed the majority of the play.
This resulted in Northern scoring the first goal. Mark Watts turned a defender on the 25, passing the ball to Adam Batty. He then passed across the D for captain Anthony Symondson to slap it past the keeper.
Ahead 1-0 up, Northern continued to press the game but Stockport Bramhall managed to level by a cross deflecting off Jonathan Breeze in to the path of Pete Corrigan to slot home just before the half-time break.
After some calming words from Northern's coach Andy Halpin it was time to keep the ball moving and continue with the high possession rate.
Northern pulled ahead again when a well-worked short corner slipped left for Phil Calder to fire the ball underneath the keeper for 2-1.
Northern were pegged back once again when a Stockport Bramhall shot was saved by keeper Alex Daly but unfortunately the rebound found its way to Liam Dudley to make it 2-2.
Shortly after they had been pegged back Northern were punished by having Tom Pfeiffer sin -binned for what was alleged a deliberate back stick.
This put pressure on 10-man Northern and as a result they went behind 3-2 when a cross deflected in from Northern defender Craig Moran.
With frustration building with numerous missed chances and the game closing in, Northern needed to find the breakthrough.
This came when Northern were awarded a short corner.
Jason Batty’s pull out was off line so with a quick change of plan at the top, Symondson delivered the leveller making it 3-3.
Northern soon ended up with a player advantage after two Stockport Bramhall players were sent off in quick concession.
And with Northern applying the pressure in the final minutes, they got what they deserved.
Adam Batty drove round the back of the defence and slipped the ball to Matty Morris. His shot was saved but the rebound landed at the feet of Pfeiffer who got his reward from being wrongly sin-binned by flicking the ball passed the keeper to make it 4-3 and the three points to Northern.
NORTHERN travel to bottom of the table Wrexham on Saturday hoping to take their fighting spirit with them and bring home another three points.
Northern II 3 Goldborne I 4
NORTHERN unfortunately could not stretch their winning run to four games after a close encounter against a strong Goldborne side who eventually went on to win 4-3.
The Crosby side were 2-0 down after five minutes after some slack defending but they did manage to draw level by half-time after some great forward play with goals from Jamie McCaffrey and Kent Thorburn.
In the second-half, Northern conceded another goal but again managed to level proceedings with a further goal from captain McCaffrey.
They looked to have sealed a point until the last minute of the game when Goldborne managed to win a controversial short corner which they converted with the last shot of the game.
This week they will look to get back to winning ways with a home game against local side Southport.
NORTHERN men’s third XI lost a tight game 2-1 at home to Goldborne men’s second XI.
ON Saturday afternoon, Northern Ladies seconds took on lowly Mossley Hill seconds at St Edward’s College.
Despite some eye-catching individual skills from Emma Short and the added strength from first team players Eleanor James and Emily Anderson, the game remained a goalless stalemate at the change-around.
Northern had been in control for much of the opening half and had earned several penalty corners but could not find the final touch to convert them.
The second period was much the same – more corners but no chances taken. The unthinkable then happened and Mossley got a goal from a quick breakaway.
But Northern dug in and in the last five minutes an equaliser from the skilful Short brought the game level at 1-1.
At the final whistle, Northern rued the fact that Mossley had fielded an ex-international goalkeeper (Carolyn Reid) and without her playing they would have won convincingly.
Player-of-the-match went to goalscorer Short but all the regular seconds ladies played fantastic despite the awful weather.
The team’s next match is this Saturday against Liverpool Sefton seconds.