Rylands Reserves 2 Middlewich Town Reserves 1

TWO second-half goals in as many minutes saw Rylands Reserves grab an all-important three points in a scrappy Cheshire League affair at Gorsey Lane.

The first half had few chances, with both sides’ defences restricting opposition attempts on goal from a distance, however one golden opportunity for Rylands was missed when new signing Dan Lichman lost control of a neat through ball from Nick Jordan.

The visiting side's best chance of the half came from a Jamie Smithers header, which flew narrowly wide of Matt Latham's goal.

After the interval, the game came to life, Lichman hit the bar when well placed, and after 70 minutes, the deadlock was broken.

A scramble in the Middlewich box saw Jordan tripped by a Middlewich defender, and the referee awarded the penalty.

Kenny Rushton's spot kick was acrobatically pushed on to the post by the visiting 'stopper, but Aaron Williams was the fastest to react, and drove home off the post.

Minutes later the home side doubled the lead, a neat interchange between Chris Trowbridge and Williams put Craig Mather through on goal, and the striker calmly slotted home underneath the advancing keeper.

As the latter stages of the game approached, Middlewich threw players forward in a desperate attempt to save the result, and Dan Garner saw his effort kicked away by Latham in the Rylands goal.

Shortly into stoppage time, the visitors grabbed a consolation goal, when substitute, Tom Brain, broke away from his marker from a corner, and shot in to the roof of the net, despite the efforts of Latham, and Rushton on the post to keep it out.

Rylands managed to hold on to the lead, and secure a victory in only their fourth game of 2014.

Rylands: Latham, McAuliffe, Rushton, Anderson, Watson, N Jordan, Shepherd, Lichman (Mannion), Trowbridge, Williams, Mather.