Wrington Redhill A v Portishead Town Colts 28/11/2015
Wrington A Played their first game since October welcoming top of the league Portishead Town Colts to a soggy Congresbury – the visitors fresh from a 11-2 win the week before and sitting 5 points clear at the top of the league.
Portishead had the advantage of the wind in the first half and used it well with the only real chances to break the deadlock in the opening exchanges being long range efforts which were extremely well dealt with by keeper Jonny Marsh in the conditions with the ball often travelling at pace and bouncing just in front of him on a wet surface. The opening goal was always going to be key with both sides trying to play football in the horrible conditions and looking quite closely matched. Wrington however were the ones to score first with Lucas keeping alive a ball heading out for a goal kick to win an unlikely corner which was expertly delivered by Bennett for Ali Caulfield to bury with a powerful header from 12 yards for 1-0 on the half hour mark. It looked like staying that way until the break until, for the second consecutive game, the hosts scored right on the cusp of half time. McMullen slid in on the half way line to win a 50-50 challenge and quickly fed the ball through for Faulkner who duly ran the ball to the edge of the box, being well clear of the defence, and chipped the onrushing goalkeeper for 2-0 – a finish quickly becoming known as ‘the Faulkner’.
The second half started with the weather turning even worse (if possible) and made good quality football hard to play. The hosts however continued to create chance after chance with the unchanged, familiar looking back line of Briggs, Caulfield, Dan Burnett and Sammy Fowkes keeping a dangerous looking Portishead attack extremely quiet. Faulkner delicately brought down a lofted ball with his face brilliantly into his path to rush clear of the defence but his side foot finish went just wide. To follow was another example of Faulkner racing through the relatively high back line of the league leaders, this time with a delightful through ball from Bennett and this time making no mistake with a neat finish into the bottom corner for 3-0. One of the plays of the game saw most of the Wrington players have a touch before the ball found its way to Faulkner who flicked the ball through to the ever present and hardworking Lucas who emphatically converted for 4-0 on the hour mark. Lucas was quickly sent through again with a chance to make it 5-0 but his effort this time was just wide. Wrington then made a couple of changes which saw Marshall and Garrett introduced and a slight reshuffle of positions with Paul Burnett, who dominated the centre of the park all day shifting out to the right. The home side then enjoyed a comfortable 15 minutes dominating the ball and creating chance after chance. Garrett looked especially comfortable receiving and moving on the ball and fed the hungry Marshall who neatly turned his defender and fired a shot across the goalkeeper which somehow finished wide of the far post. Blake, who was a constant threat down the left, also saw an effort go close.
Portishead, who looked as if they had conceded defeat and were begging the Referee (Incidentally Ref secretary Rob Hooper took charge and had a fine game) to blow up early and head for a warming shower then won a corner against the run of play with 10 minutes left on the clock and the light quickly fading. The corner was well delivered but leaves no excuse why 3 Portishead players were left unmarked in acres of space 12 yards out. Any one of them could’ve headed home and one duly
did for what was surely a late consolation to make it 4-1. This then triggered a crazy last 10 minutes which saw the visitors score two more soft late goals. The first saw a rare mix –up in the centre of Wrington’s defence which saw Caulfield unable to evade the backside of centre back partner Burnett when clearing the ball. The ball then rebounded straight into the path of the ‘Posset’ striker who ran the ball 30 yards and blasted down the middle of the goal from 12 yards out for 4-2. The visitors then made for an interesting last couple minutes when a hopeful shot from out wide squirmed in low at the near post for 4-3. The home side then snapped out of their 10 minute coma and went back to playing some decent, sensible football playing the game back in their opponents half. Callum Briggs had time for a trademark full length of the pitch dash dancing past opposition players but was unable to finish late on. Wrington held on for a well-deserved victory with the scare perhaps providing a lesson for future matches not to switch off no matter what the situation as it is no exaggeration to suggest that another 10 minutes on the clock could’ve seen an extremely undeserved and damaging defeat.
Man of the Match this week is awarded to Paul Faulkner whose 2 goals against his old club made it 4 in 2 for the striker to go joint top scorer for the season with his strike partner.
Wrington; Marsh, Briggs, D Burnett (c), Ali Caulfield, Fowkes, Blake, P Burnett, Bennett, Lucas (Garrett, 66), McMullen (Marshall, 60), Faulkner