Winscombe 2 Wrington Redhill 1
This game was brought forward to Friday night rather than the scheduled Saturday afternoon with the second half under floodlights adding atmosphere to an excellent game of football between two evenly matched teams.
Player manager Leigh White made two changes with Rory Thomas and Corey Thomas-Barker in the starting eleven in place of Mark Brown and Ollie Clements carrying an injury. With veteran White himself conducting the play from his central defensive role his team were on the front foot right from the start disrupting the usual composure of the hosts. This young team is getting better with each game and impressive passing movements involving Dan Ferguson, Corey Thomas-Baxter, Reece Ferguson-Obamwonyi and Matt Walsh was causing plenty of problems as Joe Creese and Ethan Williams were more than willing to attack at every opportunity. Despite having the better of the first half Wrington Redhill could not carve out the clear chances which would have deserved them taking the lead. It was certainly not one sided as Winscombe are a very talented side and James Williams gave another confident display in goal and White being supported valiantly by Callum Briggs, Ethan Johnson and the tough tackling Rory Thomas.
The second half did not relent, and no quarter was being given by both sides and free kicks were in abundance despite there being no malice in the wholehearted challenges from both sides. Ten minutes after the restart Winscombe took the lead inevitably from a free kick. Callum McManus delivered a curving ball into the area and it looked like James Williams was going to pluck it from the air but in nipped Rob Harraway at the far post and headed past Williams into the net.
Heads did not go down despite this disappointing setback and Wrington Redhill kept to their own game plan to salvage the game. Yet another setback came when Thomas-Baxter was dismissed for back chat which was harsh bearing in mind the heat of the game and other incidents going unpunished. It took several minutes for the visitors to adjust to being a player short and a period of lengthy possession was enjoyed by the home side without breaking down the dogged defensive quartet being reinforced with Chris Bradley forinjured Callum Briggs.
The young tigers were soon back to their passing best and again took the game to Winscombe. With the introduction of the experienced Ollie Clements and George Fake chance were being created and deservedly an equaliser came. It was a ball from defence to Dan Ferguson who spotted Ferguson-Obamwonyi on the right flank and his pinpoint pass found him perfectly to take a touch and deliver the perfect cross to George Fake who powerfully headed the ball into the net. There was much celebration, but the game still had a way to go.
Both sides could have tried to see the game out with the spoils shared but that is not the nature of these teams. With the clock ticking down rapidly Winscombe were awarded a penalty. Matt Walsh was adjudged to have tripped his opponent when it looked like to most people that he had been run into and the player fell to the ground. With White helping the referee to find the exact spot for the ball to be placed and nerves jangling Jory Cureton’s strike was superbly pushed away by James Williams for a corner. A short ball was played to Nick Hyden who seemed to be going nowhere sideways in front of a packed penalty area. He tried his luck with a left footed shot and was rewarded with the ball finding a pathway through the crowded area and into the net for a winner with the last kick of the game.
So a splendid game ended 2-1 in favour of the home side and there were plenty of plaudits from those watching. Player manager Leigh White told his players he was delighted with their attitude, commitment and their all-round performance which needs to be embraced in every contest going forward which will stand them in good stead..
Club Chairman, Steve Porter, the following morning, added ‘I just wanted to say well done on a fab performance last night in what was a great match. OK, Winscombe shaved it on the night but we did ourselves proud and I do feel we are improving with a relatively young but committed side. If we can generate as much excitement as last night, we can all look forward to good things next season.’
Goalkeeper: James Williams
Midfield: Matt Walsh, Corey Thomas-Barker, Dan Ferguson, Joe Creese
Strikers: Ethan Williams, Reece Ferguson-Obamwonyi
Subs. Chris Bradley, Ollie Clements, George Fake