FC Isle of Man and Chadderton engaged in a pulsating footballing spectacle at the Bowl on Easter Monday. 

The match kicked off after an impeccable minute’s applause for Winsford United’s Ross Aikenhead who sadly passed away at the weekend.  

The Ravens showed some early intent, pressing high up the pitch and looking to exploit any gaps in Chadderton’s defence.  

But within minutes it was the visitors who took the lead when Llyton Chapman whipped in a cross from the right that found Adam Dale who expertly glanced a header past the outstretched arms of Adam Killey. 

FC Isle of Man refused to be deterred though, highlighted when Charlie Higgins unleashed a vicious effort from outside the area that was acrobatically tipped around the post by keeper Morgan Bacon. 

As the first half progressed, the Manx side began to assert their dominance, dictating the tempo of the game with slick passing and fluid movement. The Ravens’ efforts were finally rewarded in the 38th minute when Dan Hattersley was brought down in the box, prompting referee James Milburn to point to the spot.  

Hattersley sauntered up to the ball before sending Bacon the wrong way with a sizzling penalty into the bottom corner, levelling the scores and leaving honours even at half-time. 

FC Isle of Man emerged for the second half with even more determination and purpose. They wasted no time in grasping the lead when Ste Whitley capitalised on some exquisite build-up play by Charlie Higgins down the right to slot home from just inside the box in the 49th minute. 

Buoyed by their lead, the Ravens continued to pile on the pressure as Higgins then added his own name to the scoresheet in the 59th minute. After a scramble in the Chad box following a corner, he reacted quickest to turn and rifle a volley into the net, extending the hosts’ lead to 3-1.    The game became quite cagey after this, with a midfield battle breaking out between the sides, but it was clear Chadderton wouldn’t go down without a fight and they launched a spirited comeback during injury time.    Five minutes into added time, the Ravens were caught off guard when Chadderton countered at pace, allowing Chapman to pounce on a second ball and fire past Killey to reduce the deficit. 

Tensions then boiled over as Chadderton’s Ethan Sutcliffe saw red after an altercation with Killey when trying to retrieve the ball, reducing his side to 10 men. Adam Dale was then sin-binned for dissent and Chad were down to nine before the final whistle. 

After 100 minutes of football, FC Isle of Man held on to claim a hard-fought 3-2 victory much to the delight of the Ravens fans.