Wrington Legends Lurch into Action.
After several false starts, Wrington Redhill FC finally launched a veterans team with the idea of joining the Somerset Legends League as soon as possible. Their first opponents were fellow Wringtonians…JFG …Jumpers for Goal Posts or as someone quipped Wrington Very Veterans.
Welcoming back such stalwarts as Phil Williams, Simon ‘Gunner’ Lee and Danny McMullen along with some of the older current players, the veterans fielded an impressive line up but shorn of Kevin Lillwell who forgot to put the clocks back and turned up an hour late.
JFG had also lost stars in Tim Williams and Paul Streeter due to living a mile into tier 4 but had plenty of stalwarts of their own with Mickey Edmunds, Rob Milne and even Rod Holwayfound his way to the pitch after three sets of directions and the fact JFG play there every Friday!
The Legends format allows for rolling subs but a few of the players struggled with the concept. Being asked to take a breather after half an hour Dave Forman ripped off his shirt and threw it to the ground before marching off. This proved problematic when asked to roll back on again a bit later…. hecouldn’t find his shirt!
The Legends started brightly spraying the ball around with Chris Holland dictating play in the middle of the park. I know he qualifies perfectly but when you are 58 and trying to mark him, being mid thirties and as good as he is, seems almost unsporting especially with Rory Thomas running up and down the left wing like the spring chicken he is.
However, with a little tinkering JFG settled down with the Milne Brothers, Rod Holway and the particularly impressive ‘Tonka Taylor’ solid at the back. Dave Foreman confused everyone with his specialist position of left sided …’not quite back but not quite forward’ in support of Andy Manning up front.
The deadlock was broken with a goal worthy of the occasion. A fluid passing movement released Simon Lee whose lay off was curled perfectly into the top corner by Chris Morley who was excellent throughout.
The game was still competitive with Mickey Edmunds prompting several good moves for JFG but Paul Faulkner and Zibi Balicki combined on the right before delivering a low cross which McMullen glanced into the far corner.
JFG responded with Manning releasing Dave Legg on their right and his perfect cross was volleyed in spectacularly at the far post by Stuart Baker. Having worked so hard to get themselves back into the game, they will be disappointed to give away two goals just before halftime. Again Faulkner and Zibi linked up to feed McMullen who set up Curtis to atone for an earlier miss.
The fourth saw ‘Gunner’ Lee race clear although a little wide and beat the onrushing Ian Withers in the JFG goal with a fine finish.
The second half saw Mike Loader installed at the heart of the JFG defence and a few changes in the Legends side, losing Jon Flynn with a muscle injury and Jonny Marsh whose legs stopped working after cycling to the game yesterday. However, it was JFG who started the second half in the ascendancy and with Max Brean , Jackson and James Marshall offering fresh legs and Andy Manning seeing more of the ball the Vets were under pressure and needed all of Phil Williams and Martin Jones’s experience to keep them at bay. Eventually Max Brean’s curling shot pulled the score back to 4 – 2 and with their tails up continued to push forward. However, this proved to be their ‘high water mark’ of the game as a promising attack was broken up and the ball fell to Kevin Lillwall who released McMullen with one long ball. McMullen ran onto the ball and never looked like missing.
This took the wind out of JFG and clever use of their options, introducing Dave Valle and Mark Scudamore saw The Legends boss the rest of the game as Lee scored his second and McMullen completed a cultured hat-trick. There was still time for Marshall to provide the highlight of the match as he perfectly ‘nutmegged’ the onrushing Holland which he proclaimed was ‘as good as a goal’.
The game was a great success with some good passing football and everyone getting a good runout. It was properly competitive until the fifth goal and JFG ‘covered the spread’ especially when you consider Morley was eligible for both teams (deduct his goal) and a clear penalty appeal (no sliding tackles allowed).
Can’t wait for the next instalment.