Saturday 7th March 2015

Minehead FC v Wrington Redhill

Wrington made the long trip to Minehead looking to maintain their unbeaten run. The team though was ravished by injuries and player commitments making Manger Smiths’ week leading up to the game a fraught one.

Eventually a team was cobbled together that still required Chris Gale to put his hand up and take the gloves.

The game kicked off on a sunny afternoon with the Wrington away support well represented at the ‘Minehead Rec’.

On a large flat pitch Wrington once again started brightly keeping the ball well. The returning Mark Brown showing the way with some delightful long balls to the ever willing runners of Graham Cheeseman and Jason Eaton (Pictured) who held the ball up superbly all afternoon.

Then with Wrington keeping the pressure on the home side and slightly against the run of play Minehead took the lead. On 16 minutes a cross from the left was spilled by stand in keeper Gale and the ball was knocked in from close range by the Minehead striker. The flag went up but Referee Kevin Moore overruled the flag and awarded the goal. 1-0

Wrington picked up the pace and won a corner. Ben Ricketts who picked up the set piece duties hit a lovely cross that Brown got his head to only to see the home keeper tip the ball over the bar.  Another corner led to a Cheeseman header that struck a defender on the goal line and was cleared. Then on 30 minutes out of the blue and from 35 yards Gale was again beaten by a wonderful long-range strike. 2-0

Wrington continued to press and a great strike from 36 yards by Mike Rowcliffe just cleared the bar. Then on 35 minutes the hard running Leigh White earned Wrington a penalty after being blocked off while trying to run in behind the Minehead defence. Graham Cheeseman stepped up and smashed it in from 12 yards. 2-1.

Wrington pushed hard for an equaliser but Minehead held firm and the first half ended 2-1.

The second half kicked off and both sides knew the next goal would be all important and it was Minehead who got it. The ball was out on the right and with his ‘head down’ while being challenged by Neil Andow the Minehead wide midfield player swung a cross over that turned into a shot on goal that then dropped into the far corner of the Wrington net past the helpless Chris Gale. 3-1

The spirit of the players was again being tested and again they stepped up to the mark. On 70 minutes neat play on the left  by Ben Ricketts and Mike Rowcliffe led to cross into the box, The ball was behind Neil Andow who then executed the perfect overhead kick that the Minehead keeper was unable to keep out 3-2.

Wrington were now on top and playing well and on 75 minutes Wrington got themselves level. Another free kick was won and floated into the box for Cheeseman to rise unopposed to score. Again the flag went up and again Referee Moore correctly overruled the flag to award the goal.

It looked like Wrington were going to go on and win the game and a goalbound  shot from Mike Rowcliffe was blocked by the Minehead defender.

But as the game moved into the final 5 minutes it was Minehead who pressed for a winner with a number of corners and dangerous positions being created. But the Wrington line held firm and an entertaining game ended in a draw. 3-3

A lot of credit should go to the players who kept going when the game looked lost. Special thanks to ‘Browner’ and his sweet right foot and Chris Gale for taking on the gloves.

The team short of a number of players showed the depth of talent at the club and that even with, No keeper, a potential 9 first team players missing, an hour and a half journey by road and being 3-1 down with 25 minutes to play Wrington are never out of any game.

Thanks again to our wonderful travelling supporters, some of whom made a weeked of it (How’s the heads this morning gentlemen!) and of course Chairman Finch for taking the flag yet again.

MOTM: Tough one this week but not being one to sit on the fence it ‘just’ goes to Sam Clements (Closely followed by 12 others)