by Richard Tigwell
Spring was almost certainly in the air on Saturday afternoon at Volair Park. With calm, sunny weather and on the back of last week’s commanding second half performance against Colne, there was an air of positivity about the ground which had been missing thus far in 2019. With neither local Premier League club in action, a bumper crowd was treated to a classic Cables performance against a doughty Kidsgrove Athletic side. The visitors came to Hope Street with a clear game plan; disrupt and frustrate Prescot Cables’ normal free-flowing attacking football while relying on set pieces in the hope of snatching the three points themselves. In fairness to Kidsgrove, the plan nearly worked. Nearly.
The opening half-hour of the game was a scrappy affair which, barring an early cross-come-shot from full back Valter Fernandes on 8 minutes, produced no real moments of quality. Aaron Tuner produced the best moment of the first half from a Cables perspective when he was able to tee up a volley for himself, only to strike it right at the Kidsgrove ‘keeper. Soon after James Cooper was unable to convert a Luke Griffiths corner. Lloyd Dean also saw an effort cleared from danger by a covering defender after beating the ‘keeper.
As has been the case so often this season, after a period of sustained Cables pressure, the visitors took the lead. Kidsgrove were awarded a free kick in the 37th minute when captain James McCulloch was deemed to have committed a foul 25 yards from goal. The resulting free kick from Kyle Diskin was hit powerfully into the bottom left corner of Ollie Taylor’s net to give the visitors the lead at half time with their first, and only shot on target of the game. It was starting to become one of ‘those’ afternoons.
The second half saw a more dominant Cables performance. Josh Klein Davies, Chris Almond and Dean were making life difficult for the visiting back four, creating several goalscoring chances which were not converted. While Turner and Griffiths were dominating the midfield area, Jordan Wynne yet again ran himself into the ground for the cause. When Kidsgrove did break out of their own half, Ollie Taylor made two excellent saves with his legs and gathered any cross that came near to his six-yard box.
The equaliser on 77 minutes was one that had more than a touch of class about it. A well-worked free kick routine between James Edgar and Fernandes saw the Portuguese set free to surge into the box. His effort on goal was brilliantly flicked in past the keeper by the quick-thinking Klein-Davies to bring Cables level. The relief, both on and off the pitch, was palpable.
Once level, there was only ever going to be one team to score next. With the visitors visibly deflated by that equaliser, Cables took the lead on 84 minutes when, having seen his initial shot saved, Klein-Davies was able to recover his composure and knock the ball to Dean who was able to finish into an empty net. Hope Street erupted.
If anyone thought that this would be the end of the drama, they clearly don’t know Cables, they like to do things the hard way. When substitute Reece Fishwick set Almond free in the Kidsgrove area, the Cables man was brought down for a penalty on 87 minutes. With the chance to kill the game off once and for all, Almond saw his penalty saved brilliantly by the Kidsgrove ‘keeper.