St Helens Town made it a maximum return for the month of January as they recorded their third consecutive road victory with an impressive performance against the hosts who came into the contest sitting third in the table.
The visitors started off quickly and in the third minute created the first chance of the contest when Aaron Morris sent a right wing cross into the box which was half cleared to Connor Murphy he tried his luck from the edge of the box and his effort was turned behind for a corner by Daniel O’Donnell.
The resultant set piece saw the deadlock broken as Sam Sheen sent the corner into the six yard box and after a bit of pinball skipper Andy Gillespie took control of the situation firing the loose ball home.
The rest of the half belonged to the hosts as they tried to get on level terms Chris Sherrington on the left wing and Luke Hincks on the right were constant threats using the ample width of the Park Road pitch to cause problems for the visitors. Sherrington fired an effort off the crossbar from the left wing and had an effort headed off the line by Morris to keep St Helens in front.
For all the hosts dominance the visitors could have doubled their lead just before the half hour mark when a short free kick in the box from the home stopper caused problems for Michael Sacks and Sheen was quickly on his toes stealing the ball and getting a quick shot off which went just wide of the left hand upright when any shot on target would have found the back of the net with Cheadle’s keeper stranded.
The teams went into the break level when Hincks found space on the right wing and sent a dangerous cross into the box James Horan got a touch on the centre and Mathew Hodge blocked the effort which broke to Sherrington and he made no mistake this time finding the top right hand corner of the net from the left of the box.
Injury forced St Helens into a change for the start of the second half as Murphy was replaced by George Lomax and he made a massive impact changing the game for the visitors giving them an extra treat with his direct running at the Cheadle backline. The first chance of the second half fell to Gillespie as a counter attack culminated saw Lomax have a shot blocked and the rebound broke to the skipper who saw Thomas Elford in the home goal turn his effort away and a defender was able to complete the clearance. Lomax then had an effort stopper by Elford and Sheen latched onto the rebound and fired it home only to somehow be denied by the assistant flagging for offside when he appeared to have come from behind a defender to collect the loose ball. Gillespie and Lomax linked up in the 58th minute with Lomax able to advance and drew a fine save from Elford. On the hour mark St Helens were back in front and it was the substitute who was responsible. Gillespie played a fine through ball over the top of the backline and released Lomax he got into the area, drew the stopper and lofted a well weighted effort over the keeper and into the net.
Lomax was involved in a trio of great chances to secure the victory in the final ten minutes of the contest as first he broke away from the Cheadle defence after intercepting getting into the box and shooting just wide of the left hand post he then collected a through ball shot past the keeper but a recovering defender was able to clear the ball off the line.
With time running out and the hosts pressing for a leveller a counter attack saw Lomax advance and at the edge of the box he squared towards Daniel Greene who dummied the cross with Ste Rigby on the left side of the area he collected the ball but his effort went over the bar.
Deep in added on time Cheadle thought they had levelled when a free kick was sent into the box from just inside their own half Hodge came for the delivery and went down under pressure with the ball finding the back of the net but the hosts celebrations were cut short with the referee awarding a free kick to the visitors who were able to see out the remainder of the contest and secure the points.
Town are next in action this Saturday (February 6) when they welcome Bacup Borough to Brocstedes Park with a 3pm kick-off.