Congresbury A v Wrington Redhill A
Wrington Redhill progressed to the semi-final of the Davis shield, a competition that the club has never won before, after a facing a stern test from temporary landlords Congresbury A.
Both sides had many notable absentees but the fact that Wrington were able to field a very familiar starting eleven was testament to the strength in depth of this newly established squad. Aaron Cardwell, making his club debut in goal, and club stalwart Phil Williams, drafted in to sort a defensive emergency were the only two additions to what is quickly becoming a very settled side.
With a strong wind blowing end-to-end the toss was always going to be key. Stand-in skipper Dave Pullen lost the toss but was granted his wish of attacking with the wind in the 1st half. Wrington duly camped out in the opposition half for the majority of the opening exchanges with the opposition struggling to clear the ball past the half way line thanks to the extent of the gale. It was however equally difficult to for the away side to get their passing game going and required an early delivery into the box from Callum Briggs to catch the well organised Congresbury defence unaware of Rouverais lurking at the back post. A neat touch and finish followed to put Wrington 1-0 up. The midfield quartet of Rouverais, Ayres, Edmunds and Lucas continued to link up well with McMullen and Faulkner up top and created chance after chance. The next one of note came about when Lucas was bundled over in the box and a free-kick was awarded just outside. Despite the conditions making such deliveries difficult all day, Mick Edmunds produced a pinpoint cross for McMullen to get across the front of his man to head home for 2-0. Some decent defending and good game management looked like this would be the score at the break only for Briggs to again produce a wicked curling ball deep into the box for Rouverais to climb high and put back across the goalkeeper for a trademark headed goal to make it 4 in 4 now for the versatile attacker and see the visitors go into halftime with a more deserved 3-0 lead. The back four of Briggs, Williams, Pullen and Fowkes dealt with anything that came their way but were pretty redundant in the first 45 minutes, mainly being used as a start point for attacks.
0-3 Half time
The second half started with the hosts making their intentions clear with a long ball directly from the restart. Both sides had planned for a similar siege witnessed in the first half but with the roles reversed however it was the away side that broke away with McMullen sliding through strike partner Faulkner who coolly finished to make it 4-0. Fowkes then made way for the usual net custodian Jon Marsh who with his first involvement unlocked the Congresbury defence with an accurate through ball for McMullen who slotted home in the bottom corner for 5-0 and surely a passage through to the semi-final. Congresbury though never let their heads drop and continued to look for a break through and one came in the guise of a well taken finish which left Cardwell with no chance. Wrington then introduced evergreen ‘scoop’ Clements and Alfie Garrett. The fresh impetus immediately paid off with a good passage of passing ending with Ayres setting up Edmunds to blast home from 12 yards to give the visitors a 6-1 lead with 9 minutes to go. Whether Wrington then over-relaxed or Congresbury decided enough was enough and went gung-ho (or maybe a little of both) but 10 minutes of madness ensued where the hosts bagged 3 quick goals, including a pretty softly awarded penalty and a well taken 30 yard strike, to finish up with a much more respectable score line eventually losing 6-4.
Full time 4-6.
Man-of –the-match was shared by skipper Pullen for another standout performance at the back and Mick Edmunds (Pictured) who is quickly growing into a key player for the As. Next up is another cup fixture, this time the semi-final of the Keyes cup AGAIN against Congresbury A when we look forward to the next instalment in this friendly local rivalry.