Wrington Redhill Reserves vs Westend

Weston and District Division 2

19 September 2015 3:00pm

Wrington Reserves bounced back from a disappointing opening day defeat with a solid performance against Westend, last season’s Division 3 champions, to get their season up and running. Manager Julian Moss was able to field a stronger line-up than on opening day, welcoming back last season’s top-scorer Tom Johnson and striker Louis Rouvrais to the starting XI, along with Matt Lally who had impressed last week for Wrington “A”. The hosts were also able to benefit from strength in depth, being able to name three substitutes on the bench.

In Phil William’s absence, Moss named a back three of Chris Holland, Nick Curtis and Callum Briggs (Pictured), and Joe Moore took the captain’s armband for the first time alongside Mick Edmunds and Lally in midfield. In a strong attacking statement, Kyle Selman and Tom Johnson supported Michak O’Connor and Louis Rouvrais in attack.

Both teams started brightly, and once the game settled Wrington took an early lead as O’Connor coolly finished a fine passing move which took the ball quickly from defence through to attack. Wrington then rode their luck as Westend saw a goal disallowed for offside and a second goal-bound effort deflected wide by a teammate.

Rouvrais barely lost a header throughout the game in an excellent performance, and he linked up well with O’Connor on a number of occasions. Westend were playing a very high line, which left Wrington a lot of space on the counter-attack, although on a number of occasions the hosts failed to take full advantage, firing shots directly at the visitors’ keeper from promising positions.

Playing downhill in the second half, Wrington were made to wait before extending their lead, which they owed to keeper Jacob Burnett, playing his second game for the Reserves. Burnett showed real signs of improvement from his debut, with some assured handling and two excellent stops from close range leading to a well-deserved clean sheet for him and his excellent defensive unit.

Moss used the luxury of freshening the team up with the hard-working Lally being replaced by Oliver Hubbard in a “like-for-like” replacement to marshal the area in front of the defence. Hubbard showed real assurance and slotted seamlessly into the mid-field. Chris Vowles was also introduced in place of Selman, who had run himself into the ground in a very disciplined wing-back performance.

Wrington passed up a good opportunity to extend their lead as Moore shot past the far following an intelligent short free-kick by Edmunds. The hosts didn’t have to wait long though, as another flowing move was converted by O’Connor. Holland and Rouvrais exchanged passes before the latter chested the ball inside to Johnson, whose inch perfect through-ball allowed O’Connor to round the keeper and tap home.

Youngster Kieran White was introduced late on in place of Rouvrais, as the hosts saw out the game with another fine finger-tip save from Burnett meaning it was not to be Westend’s day.

FULL TIME Wrington 2-0 Westend

Wrington: J. Burnett, C. Briggs, N. Curtis, C. Holland, T. Johnson, J. Moore (C), M. Edmunds, M. Lally (O. Hubbard), K.Selman (C. Vowles), M. O’Connor, L. Rouvrais (K. White)

MOTM J Burnett