Norwood helping the tide turn for Admirals

Charlie Collinge, pictured in action for Clitheroe, scored a free kick on his debut for Nelson
Charlie Collinge, pictured in action for Clitheroe, scored a free kick on his debut for Nelson

It hasn’t taken new Nelson FC manager Alex Norwood long to turn things around at Little Wembley.

After Phil Eastwood parted company with the club, following a run of just one win in 10 league outings, the Admirals turned to their Youth Team manager in a bid to turn their season around.

And the caretaker boss, who is the cousin of Brighton and Northern Ireland midfielder Oliver Norwood, hasn’t disappointed.

The Blues progressed in the Macron Cup with a dramatic victory over Barnton at the weekend before crusing to a derby victory over AFC Darwen midweek.

At the Hinchcliffe Holmes Stadium, Nelson trailed to Christopher Smith’s 22nd minute penalty with just a couple of minutes of the tie remaining.

The hosts were given the opportunity to score from the spot when Lee Vaughan’s cross struck the hand of new recruit Danny Thompson.

However, a sustained period of pressure from the visitors was rewarded in an action-packed finale.

With time running out, French forward Yves Zama leveled proceedings when curling the ball exquisitiely in to the far corner.

Another new addition, Charlie Lloyd, whose older brother Jake has made more than 200 appearances for the club, thought he’d won it when his phenomenal strike from 30 yards out smashed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced down on the line.

However, with the game heading to extra-time, the Blues were awarded a penalty which teenage debutant Corey-Joe Cook, formerly of Padiham, converted to secure a 2-1 win.

In preparation for the North West Counties Premier Division fixture with AFC Darwen at the WEC Group Anchor Ground, Norwood continued his recruitment drive.

Twin brothers Matt and Josh Baldwin were promoted from the club’s youth team, defender Andrew Smith and full back Joshua Dunroe joined on loan from Ramsbottom United, striker Nathan Egan was drafted in while former Clitheroe defender Charlie Collinge was added to the ranks.

Two more goals from Zama put the Blues well on their way to their first back-to-back wins of the season while Collinge netted on his bow in the last minute.

Zama showed great composure to open the scoring in the 18th minute when latching on to Cook’s pass and sliding the ball in to the bottom corner.

The powerful forward doubled the lead with a contender for goal of the season after the half-hour mark with an unstoppable volley from 25 yards out that looped over the keeper and dropped in to the net.

In time added on, the away side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which was dispatched by Collinge who found the bottom corner to make it 3-0.