Wrington Reserves 6 V Portishead A 1
Many good coaches have stumbled on a new winning system in adversity. Who knew James Milner could play left full back? With leading goal scorer Tommy Johnson unavailable for the first time this season, and the rest of the forward line stranded with transport problems, Edmunds, Faulkner and Clements started up front.
The selection of Clements up front raised a few eyebrows after last week’s disappointing performance and the fact that he has struggled to find a settled position in the side, his undoubted energy impossible to mould into a disciplined system. Following a respectful minutes silence for Wrington Stalwart, Vernon Stokes, the afternoon started ominously for the home side. A youthful Portishead side started confidently and knocked the ball around nicely. With Callum Briggs diving in to ruin his chances of MOM for the third time running, a low cross found its way across the face of goal for an easy tap in. With the conditions worsening and playing up hill, it needed real energy and character led by Joe Moore and Adam Caulfield to get back into the game.
With Mick Edmunds and Paul Faulkner holding the ball up well, Clements was released down the right wing and the cut back was hammered in left footed by Moore. Now back into the game, the settled back three of Holland, Briggs and Curtis continued their good form allowing the midfield of Lenny, Thomas, Moore and Caulfield to dominate. Edmunds again released Faulkner whose exquisite chip from distance turned the game in Wringtons’ favour. They had the chance to extend their lead before half time as Mickey Edmunds won a penalty but with no one keen to take responsibility the unfortunate Curtis had his shot saved. There was also time for Thomas to hit the post with the ‘keeper beaten. Mindful of their slender lead and expecting Portishead to respond strongly, it was in fact Wrington who showed more energy and urgency in the second half and extended their lead. Another cross from Thomas saw Lenny and Edmunds pressure the defence until the ball fell to Clements who was first to the ball and his deflected shot found the net. To their credit Portishead responded and it took a super full length save from James Williams to keep them out after which you could see that it wasn’t going to be the away teams’ day. Adam Caulfield who was carrying an injury had run himself to a standstill and was replaced by his Dad Ali, whose control and short passing game was perfect to protect the lead. The game was effectively settled when Paul Faulkner’s pin point cross allowed Clements to slide in for his second.
Clements returned the favour shortly afterwards as Faulkner slotted the fifth. Chances continued with both hunting a hat-trick. In the last minute Edmunds, stood over a corner and with Clements lurking on the edge of the box, delivered the cross with the shout of ‘Scholes’ . Although he couldn’t meet it on the full, the ball bounced kindly and Clements’ gentle volley squeezed into the corner for his hat trick. Who knew evergreen Mighty Mino Clements could play up front let alone score?
Wrington will now hope to keep a more settled side as they go into another crucial game in this hugely competitive League away to rivals KVFC. They will be looking for revenge after throwing away a vital 3 points at home having led up to the final few minutes. A win and they could realistically be challenging in the New Year otherwise they may be looking over their shoulder with teams having games in hand.