Wrington Redhill Reserves vs Portishead Town “B”

Weston & District Division 3

27 September 2014 3pm

The reserves welcomed Portishead to the Recreation Ground for their second home game of the season, looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season which currently sees them top the division. Manager Julian Moss welcomed back Nick Curtis and Dan Burnett to join captain Phil Williams and Louis Rouvrais in an experienced back four. The return of winger Tom Johnson was the only other change from the previous outing, meaning Wrington fielded a strong and balanced side.

The home team started brightly, and should have been ahead inside the first 5 minutes – Johnson finding space on the right wing to deliver a terrific cross, only for Joe Moore to fire awkwardly over the bar from close range when a header was perhaps a better option. The midfielder could and should have had a first half hat-trick, arriving into the box twice more but fluffing good chances with his weaker foot.

Wrington played with a lot of energy, albeit without any end product – the excellent playing surface allowing a slick passing game that Portishead struggled to match. Rouvrais, struggling with apparent de-hydration, won two headers from excellent attacking corners by Kyle Selman, but was unable to guide them on target. Rouvrais was replaced at half time by Callum Briggs to take on some fluid, and both Briggs and Curtis made adventurous runs forward early in the second half, the latter shooting tamely at the keeper after good link-up play with Vowles.

Selman and Johnson continued where they had left off previously, tormenting their opposite numbers with pace and skill, and former captains Nick Buck and Mick Edmunds took turns in protecting the Wrington defence and starting attacks – Moss’ decision to load the midfield paying off as the home side dominated the middle of the pitch.

11 minutes into the second half, Wrington finally got the lead their patient play had deserved – Moore finally converted one of his chances, slotting past the Portishead keeper from the right channel. Less than 5 minutes later Wrington finally put the game safe, striker Chris Vowles opening his account for the season with a good finish, which was no more than he deserved from a hard-working performance as a lone forward.

Moss will be pleased with the chance in system, which encouraged Wrington keep the ball on the floor and be more patient with their attacks. This played to Vowles’ strengths and allowed the midfield to join the attacks. Moss will also be pleased with the multiple sources of goals – Moore and Vowles becoming Wrington’s 6th and 7th different scorers in only the 4th game of the season.

Several players from the increasingly frustrated Portishead side talked themselves needlessly into the referees’ notebook, following the example set by their manager who was sent to the stands – Wrington’s new pitch-side barrier put to good use for the first time.

Largely untroubled owing to the excellent protection afforded to him by his solid back four, James Vowles gave a commanding performance in goal for Wrington, twice claiming well from corners and using his box well to snuff out any danger. In a sign of Wrington’s dominance, Portishead’s best chance actually came from a Wrington player – Burnett flicking a header on that looked to be destined for the far corner of the net until Vowles dived athletically to tip the ball around the post to ensure a first clean sheet of the season.

Moore was replaced by last week’s goal-scoring hero James Marshall, his last involvement being an untidy back-heel attempt, and Alex Blake came on for Burnett. There was time for Portishead to clear one final chance from their goal-line before the referee brought the game to an end.

FULL TIME Wrington 2-0 Portishead

Wrington: J. Vowles, Rouvrais (Briggs), Williams (C), D. Burnett (Blake), Curtis, Buck, Moore (Marshall),