Going into this match, all the talk was of how many goals, top team and promotion dreaming Rylands would beat Congleton by. Congleton were a good way down the table, had been beaten by Avro (whom Rylands had beaten well earlier at Gorsey Lane).
However, football isn’t played on paper and in the first 2 minutes, Congleton took the lead. A well worked counter attack leaving striker Daniel Cope one on one with Rylands ‘keeper, Graeme McCall. Cope opened his body and curved the ball around the giant in the goal and in to the corner of the net.
From the restart, there was a steely determination about Rylands’ play. The final ball wasn’t quite happening for them but it wasn’t for want of trying with sterling midfield displays from Wolhuter, Scarisbrick and Gerrard. Striker Jay White was causing a lot of problems for the Congleton defence with his darting runs forward and into wide channels. White was bundled over in a bad challenge and twisted his ankle, forcing him out of the game.
If Rylands were determined after the goal went in, they were laser focused now. Club captain, Gary Kenny came on in the heart of the defence with Callum Lees and John Shaw and Adam Jones pushed into a more advanced role in the midfield. The change worked wonders for Rylands with Jones’ darting runs and Scarisbrick’s support play causing massive problems for the Congleton defence, who were soaking up constant pressure.
With a couple of minutes to go in the first half, Rylands struck with a well worked move, involving Jones, Scarisbrick and George Lomax to finish off the job and put Rylands back in the game, finishing the half at 1-1.
HALF TIME - Rylands 1 v 1 Congleton Town
In the second half, Rylands came out of the blocks fast and were applying extreme pressure on the visitors defence, Andy Scarisbrick in particular the most beneficial.
Scarisbrick scored in the 48th minute, putting Rylands in front for the first time. His well struck shot passed Craig Ellison at point blank range in the Congleton goal and Rylands led.
Four minutes later, Ellison was receiving a back pass and got the ball caught up in his feet. Scarisbrick nipped in again, taking the ball off his feet and tapping it into an empty net to make it 3-1 to the blues.
The hosts continued to play in the Congleton half for the rest of the game, adding another goal in the 89th minute when Scarisbrick combined with Harry Molyneux for the youngster on loan at Rylands to score his first and Rylands fourth.
In the 92nd minute, Congleton got a consolation goal through Joseph Taylor-Mountford through some sloppy defending but again the response from the kick off was positive and Rylands continued to camp out in the Congleton defensive third until the referee blew the whistle.
FULL TIME - Rylands 4 v 2 Congleton Town
Rylands: 1. Graeme McCall, 2. Alex Davies, 3. Tom Freeman, 4. Adam Jones, 5. John Shaw, 6. Callum Lees, 7. Warren Gerrard, 8. Ste Wolhuter, 9. Jay White, 10. George Lomax, 11. Andy Scarisbrick
Subs used: 12. Gary Kenny, 14. Tom Parry, 15. Harry Molyneux
"We set the team up and hoped the get a fast start today but for some reason, it took us 15 minutes to get out of bed. Fair play to Congleton they took full advantage and got the early goal. It was a bit scrappy early on after the first goal but then we started to get a grip of the game.
"I thought it was only a matter of time before we got the equaliser and we finally did just on the stroke of half time. Second half I thought we were very good, we scored a brilliant second goal shortly followed by a third. We killed the game after that and got a good fourth goal to kill the contest.
"I was disappointed to concede a late sloppy goal but overall the lads did enough to deserve the win. Good luck to Pritch and Congleton for the rest of the season."
Report by Dave Burley