Wrington Redhill Reserves vs Wedmore

Weston and District Division 3

28 March 2015 3:00pm

The Reserves’ push for a third consecutive promotion received a huge boost as a Tom Johnson brace edged out a strong Wedmore side as second place welcomed third in Weston and District Division 3.

Wrington were under no illusions that the game would be a tough challenge – there had been nothing to split the two sides after 90 minutes when the two had met previously in the cup. Wedmore had posed an aerial threat throughout that fixture with their direct approach, and the hosts were hoping that the larger playing surface at the Rec would favour their style of play. The groundstaff had done another excellent job to prepare a level playing surface despite the week’s heavy rain.

The hosts lined up with Mick Edmunds in goal, and his powerful kicking was a huge asset into a strong first half wind. Edmunds was protected well by a familiar back three of Paul Burnett, captain Phil Williams and Nick Curtis, the latter boasting a remarkable record of not having conceded more than a single goal in a league game this season.

The game started evenly with both sides settling into an even contest despite the tricky conditions. Wedmore thought they had taken the lead from a corner after 20 minutes, but Wrington were grateful to the referee for ruling the effort out for a push on Edmunds.

The home side were sparked into action and drew several good saves from the visiting keeper – it was therefore quite a surprise when his mistake presented returning striker Johnson with the opportunity to calmly open the scoring with a well taken finish from a tight angle after the stopper’s slip. It would be unfair to call it an unforced error though – Jes Oliphant typified another energetic performance by quickly closing down the defender, leaving him with no option but to pass back to his goalkeeper, who Johnson was onto in a flash to apply the pressure.

If Wrington’s first goal was fortunate, their second was a thing of real beauty, as Johnson finished off a flowing move that began in Wrington’s own penalty area. Defender Curtis knocked a header down to midfielder Joe Moore, who set wing-back Kyle Selman away with a pacy break down the left. Selman fed the ball inside to Oliphant who beat his man and carried the ball towards the edge of the Wedmore box where Nick Buck joined the attack to dance inside the centreback and feed Johnson who slotted home underneath the unfortunate Wedmore keeper. It was a remarkable first half brace for Johnson, who was not at 100% through a combination of hangover and hernia.

At the interval, manager Julian Moss made it clear that the game was far from won, and unsurprisingly Wedmore pushed forward in an attempt to get back into the fixture as they adapted their formation to match Wrington’s midfield three. In addition to a solid performance from the back three, wing-backs Selman and Paul Faulkner showed excellent discipline in defence, and Dan Burnett put in a terrific performance shielding his defence and breaking up play at every opportunity, until cramp kicked in and he was replaced by James Marshall.

Wedmore’s long ball looked their most likely avenue, and so it proved as a mix-up between Edmunds and Selman saw a hopeful ball hit the latter’s back and fall to the feet of the away striker to poke into an unguarded net.

The away side continued to push for what would have been a deserved equaliser, and they were celebrating what looked like a certain goal until Paul Burnett somehow hooked the ball clear from underneath the crossbar, although it was not clear if the referee had spotted a handball in the build-up. The chance proved to be Wedmore’s last, as Wrington saw out the 90 minutes for an important three points.

FULL TIME Wrington 2-1 Wedmore

Wrington: Edmunds, P. Burnett, Curtis, Williams (C), Faulkner, Moore, Buck, D. Burnett (Marshall), Selman, Oliphant, Johnson

MOTM: Johnson