Wrington Redhill Reserves vs Shipham

Weston and District Division 3

15 April 2015 6:15pm

FULL TIME Wrington 3-1 Shipham

A scrappy victory saw Wrington rise to the top of the division, although promotion rivals Westend can retake the position with their game in hand this weekend. Despite the convincing scoreline, Wrington were made to work hard by an energetic Shipham side who offered more than their league position suggested, and who remained in the game until the final 10 minutes.

The hosts began with the same team who had finished the previous fixture so strongly, and again the solid defensive unit were able to cope with everything that was thrown at them, with James Vowles’ claiming a couple of long balls successfully and Nick Curtis putting in a faultless performance. Another week of hot, dry weather meant that the playing surface was well-baked, and both teams struggled to get the bouncing ball under control in a very disjointed opening.

Utility player Louis Rouvrais was making a nuisance of himself in attack, and his willingness to chase a lost cause presented him with a difficult opportunity to take the lead. Shipham’s goalkeeper had rushed from his box to deal with a long ball into the channel, but under pressure from Rouvrais he lost possession, leaving his goal unguarded. There was still plenty for Rouvrais to do, however, as from over 30 yards he steadied himself and fired goalwards, with the ball just beating the chasing goalkeeper into the net.

Having picked up an injury Paul Faulkner was replaced by Jes Oliphant midway through the first half, and the latter twice tested the goalkeeper with strong runs forward, and only a third smart save prevented a square ball from presenting Rouvrais with a tap-in for a second.

Having been restricted to long-range efforts, Shipham found themselves back in the game just before the interval. Midfielder Joe Moore had filled in at the back to defend a long ball over the top, but his poor hooked clearance hit the onrushing winger in the face, with the ball falling kindly for the Shipham man to square for the striker to slot past Vowles one-on-one.

After the break, Wrington came out strongly as they looked to regain their lead. Rouvrais, Oliphant and winger Kyle Selman all had good chances to score, as Mick Edmunds continued to pick intelligent passes forward, but a combination of good goalkeeping and rushed shots saw the ball evade the goal. Just as it seemed as if Shipham would be able to hold on for a point, Moore atoned for his earlier mistake by finishing a move he started in his own half for Wrington’s second. Playing the ball into the channel for Oliphant to chase, Moore continued his run into the box and met Oliphant’s perfect cross to volley home.

There was still time for Wrington to put a slightly undeserved gloss on the scoreline. With time running out the largely untroubled Chris Holland overlapped Tom Johnson on the right wing to charge forward, and he looked up to square intelligently for Cozza, who having been introduced only moments earlier, poked home with only his second touch.

Wrington: Vowles, Holland, Curtis, Williams (C), Faulkner (Oliphant), Moore (Cozza), D. Burnett, Edmunds, Selman, Rouvrais, Johnson

MOTM: Curtis