Congleton Town FC

Hartshorn's late header secures all three points for The Bears

Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes

A first-half strike from Dan Needham and a last-minute winner from Ethan Hartshorn secured all three points for Congleton.

Lower Breck welcomed The Bears to the Anfield Sports and Community centre for a NWCFL Premier Division clash a few days on from Congleton’s FA Vase triumph.

It was a nightmare start for the visitor’s who found themselves behind within the opening ten minutes as Jawad Jebrin glided past several challenges before arrowing an effort past Dave Parton from distance.

From then on, Congleton began to assert their dominance on the game without really creating any clear-cut opportunities. A combination of Lower Breck solidity and Congleton’s misfortune with the ball never falling to the feet of a Town player in the Lower Breck box, was the reason why the hosts’ goal was unthreatened..

Moments before the interval saw the Bears drew level, a scramble in the Lower Breck was finished off by Dan Needham who smashed home from ten yards out.

Despite getting what they deserved on the stroke of half-time, Congleton believed they should’ve been ahead at the break as Lower Breck’s goalkeeper seemed to handle the ball over his goal line.

Normal business resumed after the interval with Congleton Town seeking for a winner, and minutes into the second-half The Bears had thought they’d got a second but once more, the referee believed that the ball hadn’t fully gone over the line.

The introduction of George Sankey, like always, made a huge difference to the game. Speed, energy and his directness provided the Lower Breck backline with all sorts of issues, and it came as no surprise the 18-year-old was at the heart of The Bears’ winner.

Sankey’s troublesome cross picked out Ethan Hartshorn in the box who glanced his header into the far corner in the dying embers of the game. A goal that was nothing less than what Congleton deserved.

The Bears will now look to follow up this result with another win as they travel to Lancashire for a clash with 10th place Padiham on Saturday afternoon.