Widnes 1 St Helens 2

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St Helens Town made it five wins out of the last six away matches as they secured a maximum return from the short trip to Widnes and a league double over their near neighbours.

The early signs were promising with Town dominating the possession and they broke the deadlock with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Danny Greene did well on the right wing beating his man before sending a dangerous ball into the box it flashed past Andy Gillespie on the near post and was collected by his strike partner George Lomax he collected the loose ball turning deftly and firing a pinpoint shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net with the first real chance of the contest.

A couple of minutes later Sam Sheen hit the target with a free kick from the left of the penalty area which Ben Morrow got down quickly to his left pushing the effort away from goal, Ed Pegler sent the loose ball back into the danger area where it was met by Aaron Morris at the far post but he couldn’t steer his effort on target.

Morris then turned provider when he sent a cross into the Widnes box which Gillespie met but Morrow was able to field his header comfortably.

The lead was doubled after 20 minutes when Greene’s free kick from the right was met by Gillespie and his powerful header from 12 yards was too hot to handle for Morrow the ball evading his grasp and finding the back of the net for the skipper’s 22nd goal of the season.

Morris almost made it 3-0 when just before the half hour mark he found space to advance into the box beat his defender and his resultant effort was well saved by Morrow.

Moments later the hosts called Town stopper Mathew Hodge into action for the first time when he had to be alert to keep out an effort from Jamil Campbell-Joseph from a tight angle which he diverted behind and the resultant corner was cleared by the visitors.

As the half wound down a quick Town throw in saw Morris find Gillespie who centred from the right hand edge of the box which Lomax met steering his header on target by Morrow was again Widnes’s saviour holding on to the well-directed effort.

Hodge was called into action soon afterwards when Thomas Hackett warmed his fingers from all of 35 yards an effort which the stopper had to push over the bar.

The final chance of the half fell to the hosts when a long ball saw Tunde Owalabi get the better of Hodge with the striker taking advantage of the prostrate goalkeeper flashing a shot come cross across the face of goal with Campbell-Joseph in attendance, any touch would have seen the hosts reduce the arrears but Town managed to clear their lines and take a two goal advantage into the interval.

For the restart the hosts made a double substitution with George McGrogan and Antoine Reciac coming into the fray and this saw a change of shape and paying dividends quickly as they pulled a goal back on 54 minutes.

Luke Edwards did well on the left but then overhit his cross which was collected on the right edge of the area by Campbell-Joseph and he picked out the unmarked Reciac centrally who made no mistake heading home.

St Helens responded quickly and almost immediately restored the two goal cushion when Lomax latched on to an incisive through ball finding himself one on one with Morrow but the keeper made a fine save at his feet.

The hosts were pushing forward in an attempt to level matters and this made them vulnerable to the counter attack and this was evident on 70 minutes when a quick move saw Greene feed Gillespie from the left he powered an effort goalwards which Morrow had react quickly to getting a strong hand to his effort from close range and the skipper had another effort a couple of minutes later this time firing wide when he probably should have squared to the better placed Lomax centrally.

As the game reached the final 10 minutes of normal time, Pegler had an effort from 20 yards cleared off the line before Sheen fired the rebound wide and Sheen then almost netted direct from a free kick with Morrow having to be alert with Lomax loitering with intent to score, the keeper blocked the shot and was aided by his defenders who cleared their lines.

For all of Town’s chances and dominance they almost let their advantage slip when in the 90th minute Paul Carney flicked on into the path of Owalabi who looked certain to score but Hodge had other ideas closing the ground between them quickly and blocking the strikers effort with his legs before Jack Marshall hooked the ball clear, a golden chance for the hosts.

In the third minute of added on time Morrow capped off a fine display which had kept his side in the contest when he was on hand to deny Gillespie this time after fine link up play with Lomax but the visitors had done enough to earn the spoils and keep their fine form and push towards the play off places on the rails.

Town are next in action this Saturday, 19th March when they take a trip to East Lancashire to take on Bacup Borough with a 3pm kick off.