Title dream over for Reserves

Wedmore vs Wrington Redhill Reserves

Weston and District Division 3

5 May 2015 6:30pm

Wrington’s hopes of achieving promotion as champions were ended as defeat to Wedmore combined with a Westend win to put the league title beyond the Reserves. Wrington had previously beaten the same opposition in league and cup this season, but a weakened side combined with a continued inability to hold on to the ball presented Wedmore with the opportunity to keep their own promotion hopes alive with a victory.

In the absence of first, second and third choice goalkeepers, Paul Faulkner took the gloves and put in a strong performance, particularly in the first half as Wedmore kicked off with a strong wind behind them, suiting their direct approach which almost saw their captain get in behind in the first few minutes of the game.

Defenders Chris Holland, Nick Curtis and captain Dan Burnett coped admirably as the away side were penned back in their own half, with Kyle Selman and Tom Johnson also forced into defensive duties. Oliver Cozza earned his first start of the season alongside Joe Moore to put in energetic performances in the middle to break up play, and former captain Simon Garrett dusted off his boots to show glimpses of the vision and calm temperament that had characterised his historic displays before his retirement.

Wrington’s best chance of the first half fell to Johnson as Holland’s clearance put the winger through, but the home centre-back recovered with an excellent tackle from behind. Just as it appeared that the visitors would end the half unscathed, they switched off from a short-corner as the same centre-back was allowed to run untracked to collect the ball and hit a scuffed shot from the angle of the box that somehow went through three or four bodies to trickle into the far corner.

Despite the set-back, Wrington still believed they could get something out of the game, but despite a lot a running on a pitch that was more sand than grass, never really held the ball long enough to create any sustained pressure in dangerous areas, as Dan McMullen and debutant Mike Clements toiled in attack, probably not helped by the visitor’s formation which left them isolated from wide men Selman and Johnson.

Despite some good chances, the equaliser remained beyond Wrington as Moore scuffed a shot wide, two excellent free kicks from Garrett were tipped over, Cozza fired over from inside the box after a neat one-two, Johnson fired narrowly wide from the angle and Curtis saw a goal ruled out for offside.

Young referee Craig Scriven had an excellent game that is encouraging for the future standard of refereeing at this level, and it was from his correct award of a free kick that Wedmore doubled their advantage against the run of play as a low shot squirmed under the unfortunate Faulkner.

McMullen was replaced by Cozza with Buck joining the midfield, but when fellow midfielder Moore lost the ball cheaply in the build-up to the hosts’ third goal, the game was up, despite a well-taken late consolation from Holland and an even later chance which fell to the same player but was fired over.

Wrington need a further 2 points from their remaining two games to be assured of finishing as runners up. Particular thanks go to Mike Clements and Simon Garrett who both put in strong performances to help the depleted team out and to ensure that the fixture could be fulfilled, and Faulkner for taking the gloves in windy conditions.

FULL TIME Wedmore 3-1 Wrington

Wrington: Faulkner, Holland, Curtis, Burnett (C), Moore, Cozza, Garrett, Selman, Johnson, McMullen (Buck), Clements

MOTM: Moore (awarded by Nick Curtis)