Wrington Redhill Reserves vs Clapton in Gordano

Knock-out Cup

17 January 2015 2.30pm

Wrington’s poor run of form continued into a third week as their Knock-out Cup run was ended by fourth division high-fliers, Clapton in Gordano, who fully deserved their progression to the Quarter-Finals. The “home” game was played on the astro-turf at Clevedon’s Hand Stadium, with the players grateful to the club for forking out the funds to try and alleviate the annual end-of-season pressure with fixtures backing up.

Once again the Reserves were 3-0 down before they started playing, for a worrying third consecutive week. The first two goals came early in the first period in the easiest of fashion, Clapton using the height and size of their centre-forward to win two simple flick-ons, which undid the home side’s defence and were cooly converted, leaving keeper James Vowles with no chance.

Wrington’s best chance of the first period fell to Joe Moore, who joined club stalwart Chris Vowles in attack in the latter’s final game for the club, an occasion that was recognised by manager Julian Moss by making Vowles captain and later presenting the striker with a club jacket as a gift from the playing squad. A goal mouth scramble saw the lively Kyle Selman’s initial shot saved, with Moore’s follow ups also saved by a combination of the goalkeeper and the centre-half, whose clear hand-ball was fortunate to go unpunished with a penalty and sending off.

There was further bad news in the first period as sweeper Phil Williams was forced off with a hamstring injury, the returning Nick Curtis stepping in to join Louis Rouvrais and Paul Burnett at the back.

Moss made changes at half-time, bringing Moore and Rouvrais into midfield, with Mick Edmunds pushing further forward and Burnett moving back into defence, although they quickly fell further behind as a smart move was finished well by the Clapton forward. Clapton’s pacy winger had caused Wrington problems all afternoon, and will surely be playing at a higher level in the future.

Wrington were finally shocked into action, and set about trying to regain some pride, if not force the game to extra time. As the pressure began to build, the away side soaked up a spell of 5 or 6 corners in quick succession, with defenders putting their bodies on the line to maintain a clean sheet. Wrington must have felt it was not to be their day, as first Rouvrais headed powerfully over, before Selman went closer still with a another header that struck the woodwork. Selman then turned provider with an excellent cross that Moore could only head past the upright, before another header was finally converted excellently by Vowles from another Selman cross.

By now Wrington were looking the more likely, and were racing the referee’s watch as full time approached. Another corner was bundled home by substitute Curtis, but the full time whistle came shortly afterwards, and the home side were left rueing yet another poor start.

Manager Moss will take some positives from a much improved second half, as the Reserves’ focus now turns exclusively to the league and their primary goal of achieving a third successive promotion.

FULL TIME Wrington 2-3 Clapton in Gordano

Wrington: J. Vowles, P. Burnett (McMullen), Williams (Curtis), Rouvrais, D. Burnett, Edmunds, Buck, Selman, Johnson, Moore, C. Vowles.

MOTM: C. Vowles