Clapton-in-Gordano v Wrington Redhill A 31/10/2015
Wrington A travelled to Clevedon School to face early front runners Clapton-in-Gordano, the side that beat Wrington in their opening game. The game started very slowly with the pitch acting as a bit of a leveller and took some time to get used to. Wrington seemingly had the advantage in the first half with a bit of a slope and the low sun behind their goal in the eyes of the opposition defence and goalkeeper. This seemed to impact on the opposition’s tactics with a clear game plan of trying to get to half time with minimal damage when they would then hold all the cards.
A pretty non eventful first 25 minutes saw hardly any notable action other than an excellent run down the left from Lucas and equally good delivery that should’ve seen McMullen open the scoring only for it to bobble to the home side’s thankful goalkeeper. The visitors then stepped up their efforts and started to find a bit of rhythm to their play. Matty Tancock, playing his second game after injury, clipped a measured ball over the top springing Faulkner clear of the back four to apply his trademark finish lifting the ball over the onrushing goal keeper for his opening goal of the season for 0-1 to the away side.
Wrington then combined solid defensive play by the impressive unit of Briggs, Burnett, Caulfield and Fowkes dealing with anything coming their way, with more regular chance creation with Bennett, Ayres and Lucas especially causing the hosts problems with their vision and delivery. Faulkner was released over the top once more and almost applied an identical finish only for it to bounce off the foot of the far post before Lucas provided some more trickery down the left and delivered across the six yard box for Bennett to supply the finishing touch. The home team keeper had other ideas however making his first top class save of the game to deny Bennett from close range showing excellent reflexes. Clapton then won a couple of corners, the second of which wasn’t dealt with and fell to an attacker in the box where he had time to fire home for a neat equaliser for 1-1.
Wrington were particularly wasteful from set pieces this week with corner after corner going by without much concern for the hosts despite good delivery from Bennett. They did however draw another excellent save from the Clapton stopper from a corner with Faulkner stooping with a diving header at the near post only for it to be kept out in fine style. The game looked to be heading for all square at the break before a quick counter attack from the visitors found Tim Ayres 40 yards out, quite central, who produced a pinpoint ball from a difficult angle over the defender for McMullen to run onto and head into the top corner for his fourth goal of the season to give Wrington a deserved lead going into half time.
The second half was not to go as planned for the home side as immediately Wrington settled into their more usual pattern of moving the ball around the park. Lucas and Tancock provided excellent width throughout which allowed the away side to constantly spread the angle of attack and really stretch the home side at will.
Surprisingly however it was a corner where Wrington struck next with a dangerously whipped corner from Bennett was met my Faulkner to head into an empty net thanks to Ali Caulfield taking the attention of the goalkeeper for 1-3. As with previous weeks, the Wrington backline dealt with almost
everything that came their way with calm and are really growing as a team within a team excellently marshalled by skipper Burnett. The one time they were compromised in the second half saw the Clapton attacker hit a smart shot aiming for the bottom right corner which Jon Marsh was more than equal to, getting down quickly and tipping it onto the post.
James Marshall and Matt Harris were much needed substitutes with Wrington suffering a couple of knocks in the second half. Marshall was typically energetic in shutting down the opposition and running at the defence whilst Harris is looking more comfortable with the change in format each time he is involved. Harris played a neat through ball to McMullen who broke free of the defence and clipped a neat finish over the goalkeeper form a tight angle only for play to be brought back for a push by Harris. The changes saw the versatile Faulkner shifted first to right midfield before finishing the game in the middle of the park. Bennett then seemed to get fed up of sending corners into the mixer for them to be wasted and instead scored directly from his final effort. Whether it was on purpose or not only he knows!
Man of the Match this week is awarded to Tom Lucas (Pictured) who was a constant threat throughout whilst also being disciplined when his side did not have the ball – quickly becoming a real stalwart of the side.
The result sees Wrington 2nd in the table but frustratingly only two fixtures scheduled for November. Their next fixture is home to Wedmore on 14th November – early indications are that this will be at their spiritual home of ‘the rec’.
Wrington; Marsh, Briggs, D Burnett (c), Ali Caulfield, Fowkes, Tancock (Marshall, 60), Ayres (Harris, 75), Bennett, Lucas, McMullen, Faulkner
N.B. Thanks goes to club ref Jeff Bidder who stepped in to officiate despite in being an away fixture – without whom the game wouldn’t have gone ahead.