ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
WORMINGFORD WANDERERS FC: 4 LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: 2
Date: Saturday 19th August 2017. Venue: Playing Fields, Robletts Way, Wormingford
It’s the “V” Festival weekend and there was a reduced fixture list for the second Saturday of the new season, at Wormingford, the home team had lost on the opening day away at Kelvedon Social FC whereas Little Oakley FC Reserves travelled to White Notley FC in midweek and gained a narrow victory with both these teams having gained promotion to the Premier Division last season. I have to say that the Wormingford pitch looked in excellent condition and on a bright sunny afternoon it’s fair to say that the home team had several regular players missing for a variety of reasons but signed on experienced player, Metson before kick-off whilst the visitors signed on stalwart defender Kioussis.
The match official was James Parks, returning to the ESBFL this season and he was assisted by Toby Enstone a new referee on the league this season with Keith Succamore on the other side, I trust they enjoyed their match, I did.
It was the visitors who kicked-off but Curtis had the first effort on goal with a shot that keeper Pepperell held under the corner of the cross-bar and upright and the visitors got into their stride with Kioussis playing a long ball forward to Eades who set Smart chasing forward with defender Pringle just getting a toe to the ball to flick it back to keeper, Lynn. Pringle committed the first foul of the match on Smart who would prove to be a handful to contain during the rest of the match. With only five minutes gone Wormingford took the lead, Lynn punted the ball long downfield and Whybrow (L), good to see him playing again, flicked n into the path of CARL METSON who drew the keeper and calmly slotted home on his debut. Within two minutes the visitors were level, Brown (M) fouled Smart, when diving in from behind the forward, however LUKE MAYHEW stepped up to curl the ball up and over the defensive wall to beat Lynn with ease from just by the corner of the penalty area. Despite the blustery condition both teams were trying to play football with Little Oakley using to outlet of Mayhew on the left side, using his pace to get around the defence but in Smart they also had a fast running forward who would chase at every opportunity.
On fifteen minutes another long and high ball from Lynn had Eagle and Eldridge combining to control and despatch the ball towards team-mates who ran forward to gain a corner on the left side, taken by Mayhew, right-footed towards the central area of the six-yard box to cause confusion as players piled forward with the home team breaking forward as the ball was cleared up-field. After twenty minutes Wormingford had weathered the Little Oakley early offensive play and Curtis fired over from outside the penalty area and midfielder Sullivan had to help cover his defence as Wormingford tried again when Metson found space following a five player move out of defence with Poole forcing a corner. From the corner taken by Poole, Eldridge lost his sense of direction and headed towards his own goal with Eades on hand to clear the danger from the goal line.
Just past the half way point a misplaced pass by Harte was snapped up by Whybrow (L) who set Metson away towards goal, after passing Eldridge, keeper Pepperell advanced and forced the forward wide and the keeper stuck out a long leg to deflect the shot out for a corner. Mayhew looked lively down the left side for the visitors and he linked up well with Smart who looked dangerous when chasing back to challenge defenders. Another curling corner from Mayhew caused a bit of mayhem especially when Lyn failed to reach the flighted ball. At the half hour mark and to the end of the first half, this game was evenly poised, a goal apiece but plenty of effort from both midfield and forwards with defences now cancelling each other out.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 1
Little Oakley forced an early corner after the restart and with the wind having slightly changed direction one might have thought this would be their advantage especially with defender, King seemingly struggling with an injury. A run by Whybrow (L) from the half-way line before passing wide to Metson who opted to curl his cross-cum-shot over the cross-bar, whereas at the other end keeper Lynn hesitated when coming out for a cross from Rusby but Eades just failed o connect with his head. Mayhew was stopped in his tracks again by Pringle and after a poor goal-kick from Pepperell the ball fell to Whybrow (L) who played the ball forward to Metson who was caught off-side. Another Mayhew attack running onto a pass from Traynor which saw him get around Pringle but could only watch as his curling shot drifted just wide of the far post with Lynn struggling to get across to the danger area.
Brown (M) fouled Smart on fifty-seven minutes, Mayhew took the free-kick and Pringle rose to head cleanly away allowing Poole to run at the retreating Little Oakley defence which was thankful for the chasing back done by Mayhew who put in a telling challenge on Poole. A cross from Traynor tested Lynn who palmed the ball away from under the cross-bar then Rusby found Mayhew then Smart whose left-footed toe-poke just drifted wide of the left hand upright. This game was still too close to call for a winner and Kioussis tested Lynn again, who dropped the ball towards Mayhew but King was on hand to clear. On sixty-five minutes a clash between Mason and Eldridge led to a free-kick awarded to the visitors, to me it looked a fair coming together of shoulders by players moving at pace, leading to a bit of dissent from both teams with Brown (M) being spoken too by the referee. Another passing move by the visitors through Smart and Mayhew led to Eades shooting wide and Pringle was perfectly placed to stop Mayhew who was looking to use his pace once again on the left side. A cross from Poole towards Metson led to keeper, Pepperell pushing the ball wide for corner kick with Little Oakley clearing forward to win a throw-in taken by Traynor to Eades who won a corner off King.
Poole was replaced by Gatland on seventy-one minutes, Smart sent a left-footed volley towards goal with Lynn saving low down at the expense of a corner, taken by Mayhew but headed clear by Pringle but back to Mayhew whose next cross bounced once, twice and still no player got near the ball as it went out for a goal-kick on the far side. With fifteen minutes to go Little Oakley replaced Harte and Eades with Lewis and Slater respectively, not sure if this unsettled the visitors but Wormingford took the lead soon after. Whybrow (L) won a challenge in midfield to send Matson scampering away down the right wing and after getting round Traynor his cross to the far post was met by the unmarked JACK GATLAND for what I thought might be the winning goal as only ten minutes remained. Three minutes later and that score-line had changed again when Wormingford scored their third when Matson found space on the left side and when moving in-field his cross found the unmarked LUKE WHYBROW who had the simplest of chances to score.
King put in a great tackle on Smart who had burst through to the six-yard box and more desperate defending followed but Brown (L) was guilty of a foul on Sullivan, to earn a caution with Mayhew crashing his free-kick against the cross-bar from twenty-five yards out and the same player forced Lynn to tip a rising shot from thirty yards over his cross-bar and clearly the visitors had not given up the fight. In fact with two minutes of normal time remaining Little Oakley reduced the arrears when a free-kick taken by Sullivan fell kindly to RYAN SMART who slotted home from close range. Not to be denied, Wormingford pushed forward again, if only to run down any remaining time but with Little Oakley losing a crucial midfield challenge it allowed CARL METSON to run through, draw the advancing keeper and slot home his second of the match and I almost missed the final action when the ball struck the home upright to be cleared by King with Lynn well beaten.
FULL TIME: 4 – 2.
For eighty minutes this game had a draw stamped all over it, then four goals followed in the last ten minutes, a lively affair with two committed teams who were a credit to their clubs and the league.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, the visitors play featured some excellent football from Mayhew and Smart for Little Oakley who both scored goals whilst for Wormingford, Pringle was outstanding in defence but with two goals and two assists on his debut my selection is the much travelled, Carl Metson of Wormingford Wanderers FC so he gets the vote this week.
WORMINGFORD WANDERES FC: Colours: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Danny Lynn., Ben Fowler., Robert Fitzpatrick., Jamie Pringle., Steve King., Lloyd Brown (C)., Marc Brown., Luke Whybrow., Martin Curtis., Carl Metson., Bruce Poole.
Manager: Lee Whybrow.
Used Substitutes: Jack Gatland.
Unused Substitutes: Lee Whybrow., Ben Whybrow.
LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: Colours: Red Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Charlie Pepperell., Nathan Kioussis., Richard Traynor., Tyler Sullivan., Adam Eldridge (C)., Daryl Eagle., Brandon Rusby., Reece Harte., Jamie Eades., Ryan Smart., Luke Mayhew.
Manager: James Good.
Assistant Manager: Paul Beasley
Used Substitutes: Jordan Slater., Trevor Lewis.
Unused Substitutes: Michael Palmer.
Referee: James Parks (Colchester).
Assistant Referee’s: Toby Enstone (Colchester).
and Keith Succamore (Witham).
Man of the Match: Carl METSON (WORMINGFORD WANDERERS FC)
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