This was a must win game against bottom of the table Wells City Reserves to stem the tide of recent defeats against teams competing for the championship and secure a safe place to remain in the top flight division of the Somerset County League.
With the return of Sam Johnson and Mike Rowcliffe this allowed manager Graham Cheeseman to field a strong side with Johnson shoring up the defence and Leigh White moving back into midfield alongside Rowcliffe and Chris Bradley.
As early as the fifth minute Rowcliffe’s ball from the right to Sam Clark saw his shot pushed away for a corner by Wells’ goalkeeper Josh Bond. This put the team on to a positive start and although it remained at 0-0 at half time a number of chances had been created from free kick and corners but efforts from Rowcliffe, Ollie Clements, Chris Bradley, Jake Horton, George Martin, Sam Clark and Sam Johnson were either off target or cleared away by defenders and goalkeeper. It looked like it was going to be one of those days when scoring was just not going to happen.
Shortly after the restart nerves were soothed when Jake Horton was credited with the opening goal. A jinxing run into the box ended with a slightly scuffed left foot shot which trickled into the net off a defender but nonetheless a 1-0 lead. After surviving a scare when Pete Vowles headed over a free kick by the visitors the play increased in favour of Wrington Redhill and more chances followed. Horton at this stage was running amok down the left flank a ball into the box was met by Clark slotting home for 2-0.
Joe Moore replaced George Martin and the momentum was maintained despite a shot from distance by Wells’ George Mitchell sailing over the crossbar. Horton had another chance when a shot from Ollie Clements cross was saved by the ‘keeper. Ethan Johnson was making his contribution by winning the ball and getting it forward quickly to keep Wells on the back foot. Mark Brown came on for the tiring Rowcliffe and still Wrington red hill pressed forward. Another Clements’s cross just evaded Bradders and then came a penalty when Horton was impeded by a defender. Up stepped Clark who meekly shot into the goalkeeper’s hands.
With a few minutes remaining Clark made amends for his penalty miss with probably the best goal of the game. Mark Brown gathered the ball on the half way line fed Whitey who moved the ball on to Horton then to Clark who this time made no mistake and found the net for 3-0. Horton could have added to his tally in a one on one with the ‘keeper but the custodian came out on top.
A well deserved victory to hopefully increase confidence for the next fixtures, Staplegrove on Wednesday (home 6.30 pm ko) and Clutton on Saturday (away 3.00 pm ko). Please come along and cheer on Graham and his team.
GK, Matthew Hill
Defence, Ollie Clements, Sam Johnson, Mark Rees, Ethan Johnson
Midfield, Mike Rowcliffe, Leigh White, Chris Bradley, George Martin
Forwards, Jake Horton, Sam Clark
Subs: Joe Moore (for George Martin) Mark Brown (for Mike Rowcliffe)
Bill Gough’s man of the match was Mike Rowcliffe.