Banwell Reserves V Wrington Redhill Reserves Double Header at Banwell in W & D div 2
Banwell 0. V Wrington 1
Wrington 0. V Banwell 3
Back to back wins have buoyed both Wrington and Banwellsince the restart of the season with Banwell looking particularly strong with no first team fixtures. The visitors were therefore wary of the novel double header fixture at Riverside with 6 points at stake.
Coach Burnett brought James Marshall back in to hold up the ball whilst Max Brean and Tommy Johnson provided the width and mobility needed to stretch the home side. Both sides started brightly with several well struck long range shots testing Williams in the Wrington goal. But as planned the in form Johnson raided down the left and as the ball ricocheted to Marshall his sweet strike cutting across the ball swerved into the bottom corner to put the visitors ahead. It’s the sort of goal that will have Marshall ringing the manager to ask why he is not starting every week!
Goals always change matches and now Wrington had a lead to hold onto, they seemed to be first to every second ball, constantly intercepted passes and Banwell could not get into any rhythm. Joe Moore and Captain Chris Holland constantly harassed and frustrated the home midfield and typically Moore made a fine covering tackle when for once Ryan Eardley wriggled free and seemed to be in on goal. Wrington’s new look defence also looked assured with Nick Curtis and Mark Skudamore returning to join Nick Tucker and another returning Wrington Legend …Jonny Marsh. Curtis even ventured forward enough to try an outrageous lob which just cleared the bar. As Banwell started to settle they forced a number of corners which needed several good clearing headers from Curtis, Skudamore and that man Marshall, to keep them at bay. Goalkeeper James Williams is also having an outstanding season and handled everything thrown at him with little fuss and clean handling. Dan Burnett was also perfect for the holding role putting in several robust challenges and generally mopping up so Holland and Moore could pressure the ball.
Unfortunately, injury forced Burnett off at half time and the idea of keeping Rouvais and Briggs fresh for the second game was shelved to protect the precious lead. Jonny Marsh had marked talented winger Morgan Bacon out of the game but as he tired, Bacon seemed to find an extra yard of speed and raced clear to fire over the bar. However, Wrington remained comfortable and Banwell resulted to a longer game with James Brown using his height to cause problems from corners and long throws. From one corner, Williams was forced to punch the ball and the returning volley was blocked on the line by Moore. Banwell became more and more frustrated and committed several fouls as Wrington ran down the clock. Ross Stockhall had one last chance as he latched onto a long ball but as Wiilliams again rushed from his line to claim bravely at the strikers feet, the whistle blew and the visitors had secured a hard fought win.
Following the minutes silence for Prince Phillip, both clubs tinkered with their sides and kicked off again. Both teams seemed affected by the new format and it took the game longer than normal to settle down. Whether this was caused by the new team setups, tiredness or injury wasn’t clear. However, it was clear that Banwell were determined to change their formation and pushed both full backs further forward. With Marshall replaced and fatigue beginning to slow down the Wrington Midfield, they were not winning as many second balls and Banwell started to have more time on the ball. Fraser Ham came more and more into the game and his perfect cross driven across the ‘corridor of uncertainty between the 6 and 18 yard lines sat up perfectly for Bailey Welham to open the scoring. Wrington could have responded almost immediately as a Tucker freekick was flicked on by Nico Anderson to the feet of Johnson but his first time shot was deflected wide by a desperate block. The boot was definitely on the other foot from the first game as Wringtonwere now behind and chasing the game but whilst still only one goal down at half time, they were still in it. Cal Briggs and Nico Anderson were spent and replaced by Phil Williams and Jonny Marsh. Williams still had time to show his organisation skills and simple passing moves but Banwellwere now fully in control and Bacon in particularw had more space up and down Banwell’s left wing and he eventually won a penalty when held back by Rouvais. Even then Williams saved the resulting penalty but Stockham buried the follow up to virtually settle the second game. There was still time for Rory Thomas to clear off the line before George Darch added a third with a fine curling shot. Tommy Johnson and Holland were even then still full of running and were unlucky not to pull one back as a one two released Holland only for Cawte to save.