Westend vs Wrington Redhill Reserves

Weston and District Division 2

28 November 2015 2:30pm

After a month of postponements and cancellations, Wrington Reserves travelled to Weston to take on last season’s champions and fellow promoted side Westend. In truth, the pitch was probably not fit to play, but having travelled both sides were keen to get the game on despite very difficult conditions.

The entire game was expectedly disjointed, but Wrington managed to string some neat passing together at times, particularly at the top end of the pitch, where Michak O’Connor, Tom Johnson, Louis Rouvrais and Kyle Selman linked up well. A neat move down the right flank early in the game saw the ball squared to Mick Edmunds, who lashed the ball home with a neat finish from outside the box. When O’Connor squared for Rouvrais to tap home after 30 minutes to double their advantage, Wrington were on top, and disappointed to concede a soft goal immediately afterwards, allowing the Westend number 9 to bring down the ball and pick his spot, lobbing Jacob Burnett from the edge of the box.

Wrington bounced back, however, as a good run from Selman saw him round the keeper, only for his shot to cannon back off the post with the goal gaping. Fortunately, the loose ball fell to O’Connor, who again calmly squared to Rouvrais whose shot squirmed into the far corner for a 3-1 half time lead.

Wrington knew that Westend would attack hard after the interval, but some good last-ditch tackling by Nick Curtis and Chris Holland maintained the scoreline, and at the other end the visitors could count themselves very unfortunate not to be given the opportunity to extend their lead from the penalty spot as O’Connor was brought down. To the bemusement of everyone on the pitch (including the sheepish defender!), the referee waved away the appeals, and compounded the injustice moments later when only awarding a yellow card as O’Connor was felled again, this time just outside the box, but clearly by the last man.

To their credit, Westend took full advantage of the confidence boost given to them, and once they scored a second by firing home following a corner, there was a certain inevitability about what would follow. Again the Westend striker was not closed down quickly enough, as he was awarded time and space to pick a gap at Burnett’s near post.

Wrington were guilty of inviting the pressure onto themselves, and failed to clear their lines twice from long throw ins as chaos in the box allowed Westend to stab home two further goals from close range as the game raced towards its conclusion with the hosts capitalising on their momentum. Wrington still created further chances of their own – Selman heading narrowly over following a cross from Joe Moore, and the same man firing narrowly past the post after another penalty shout went unanswered. Westend also had their keeper to thank for a couple of fine saves including one at full stretch from Johnson and a more comfortable one following O’Connor’s acrobatic overhead kick.

It was clear that it wasn’t to be Wrington’s day when the Westend keeper saved again, and as the ball was cleared to Moore from the resulting corner his strike cannoned off the underside of the crossbar, bouncing down to the wrong side of the line and into the keeper’s hands as the final whistle went.

It would be easy to point to the penalty and sending-off decisions as the key points of the game, but such a simplistic analysis would absolve Wrington of a fair share of the blame for the way they folded under the pressure applied, and the credit that Westend deserve for capitalising on their momentum.

FULL TIME Westend 4-3 Wrington

Wrington: J. Burnett, R. Thomas, N. Curtis, C. Holland, M. Clements, J. Moore (C), M. Edmunds, L.Rouvrais (O. Withers), K.Selman, T. Johnson, M. O’Connor

MOTM: Rouvrais (pictured)