Hutton Reserves v Wrington Redhill A
After being scheduled month after month since November the cup game between Hutton and Wrington was finally played thanks largely to being switched to the 3G surface at Churchill school.
Wrington Player-Manager McMullen (Pictured) was looking for a response from his sides poor display last week in the league and was able to select the same 12 players from the week previous as well as welcomed back A team ever-presents Ali Caulfied and Paul Faulkner who were not available previously, with the latter finding himself at a danceathon instead.
With this particular competition sliding down the pecking order due to the unprecedented fixture congestion, this game was always about the performance for the away side who were testing themselves against a team from the division above.
The return of Caulfield put the manager in the unfamiliar position of having all 3 first choice centre-backs to choose from so pushed skipper Burnett into central midfield, a decision which immediately reaped rewards with the captain sliding a ball through unlocking the Hutton defence. The back rushing centre back could only prod past his outcoming ‘keeper for an early goal for the away side.
Hutton soon restored parity with a well taken finish before Mick Edmunds again showed his reliability from dead-ball situations. Having scored on return from injury direct from one last week, his pinpoint delivery this time out found Burnett unmarked to convert from 10 yards. Marshall and Rouverais worked hard up top all game and the latter found himself clean through late on in the 1st half. The striker did well to round the goalkeeper and then unselfishly squared the ball to Dan ‘Zidane’ Burnett for his second of the game (and fifth of his long senior career) to put the lower ranked side 3-1 up at half time.
Hutton came out much more fired up in the second half, clearly wanting to go as far as they can in this competition. Paul Burnett replaced Mickey Edmunds at half time with the latter still carrying a slight knock. The away side then welcomed the hosts back into the game with open arms with an own goal and giving away a very soft equaliser. Such mistakes being characteristic of the season so far despite the defence looking so rock solid. If Wrington can eliminate such soft concessions, the side has a great chance of promotion and success in the cup competitions. Hutton then deservedly took the lead for a much improved second half and clearly thought they’d done enough for progression to the next round. McMullen then reunited the strike force that had more goals and assists than anyone else in the team so far this season for the last 10 minutes and immediately Faulkner was sent clear by Paul Burnett and finished as coolly as he has all season to level the scores at 4-4.
Strangely, with 8 goals being scored in the game, the stand-out performances were mostly from defenders with Caulfield and Pullen having very strong performances ably supported by fullbacks Briggs and Fowkes. The Hutton skipper, Masland, also a centre back, with an equally commanding display.
As previously agreed before the match, the draw saw the game progress directly to the lottery of a penalty shootout. 8 penalties were taken by both teams with Wrington running out 7-6 winners.
Wingers Blake and Lucas, who were a constant threat throughout the game, took particularly assured kicks despite not wanting one. It was however ultimately the mind games employed by ‘keeper Marsh that sees Wrington progress to next round and add another fixture to their ever-growing ‘to be played’ list.
Wrington; Marsh, Briggs, Caulfield, Pullen, Fowkes, Lucas, D.Burnett, Edmunds, Blake, Rouverais, Marshall. Subs; P.Burnett, Faulkner, McMullen