Report By Joe Moore
Police were called to Banwell’s Riverside ground on Saturday following reports that Wrington’s reserves kicked off their season by stealing 3 points from their local rivals in their first game in Weston and District Division 3.
Injuries and suspensions meant that the away side sported an unfamiliar look, fielding two debutants in Jess Oliphant and Will Gough, and two returning players in Kyle Selman and Tom Brewster. Manager Julian Moss admitted after the game that he had feared the worst, following a disastrous pre-season in which Wrington had lost three in a row, having tinkered with formations and positions.
To Moss’ delight, however, Wrington showed no signs of the sluggishness that had characterised their pre-season by taking the lead inside 3 minutes. Winning a free kick just inside their host’s half, Mick Edmunds delivered a raking cross which Selman met with a powerful header, having got the run on his marker with an intelligent late run.
Banwell 0-1 Wrington
As the half progressed, the home side grew in confidence and wasted several decent chances to equalise. Possibly strengthened by a fixtureless weekend for their first team, Banwell finished the first half the stronger, but Wrington’s defence and stand-in keeper Louis Rouvrais stood firm to take their lead into the second half.
The second half began in similar fashion in the sunny afternoon, with both midfields doing well to keep a frantic pace in the heat. Banwell continued to look the more likely to score next, but were fortunate not to concede a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Chris Vowles was missed by the referee, who otherwise officiated the game extremely well, facilitating a free-flowing game by playing intelligent advantages.In the main, Banwell were limited to shots from distance, but injury to Callum Briggs forced Wrington to switch to 4-4-2 to combat the home side’s pressure, Edmunds joining skipper Dan Burnett at the back, the latter using his experience to marshall the defence well, and judging a last ditch tackle perfectly to preserve the lead.
As the game drew on, Banwell committed more men forward, Rouvrais saving well following a marauding run from the Banwell centre back. As the game stretched, Wrington were presented with more chances to put the game safe, the pace of the tireless Tom Johnson and Oliphant creating problems. Unfortunately for Wrington, the chances were not converted and they paid the price on 83 minutes when Banwell’s pressure finally told – the home side equalising through a well taken volley into the top corner which left Rouvrais with no chance.
Banwell 1-1 Wrington
At that point, it looked like only one team would go on to win the match, but far from being dispirited, Wrington had other ideas. Showing the determination and indefatigability that has characterised their two successive promotions, Wrington pushed forward immediately from the restart, and from a loose ball substitute Tom Brewster squared for Oliphant to slot home with a cool finish on 85 minutes.
Banwell 1-2 Wrington
Banwell again threw men forward in search of a deserved point, but some good shielding of the ball in the opponent’s half from an corner by substitute James Marshall helped to run the clock down, and Wrington survived two late corners to secure a valuable win.
FULL TIME Banwell 1-2 Wrington
Wrington: Rouvrais, Briggs (Marshall), D. Burnett (C), Curtis, Selman, Moore, Gough (Brewster), Edmunds, Johnson, Oliphant, Vowles.