A Great Effort but No Points
With the rain pouring down and strong winds conditions were not ideal for football at Ashton & Backwell United Utd. However, there was some excellent football on display, especially from Warminster Town.
Ashton & Backwell Utd trace their history back to 1911 when they were Backwell Utd. In 2010 they merged with Ashton Boys to become the present named club. Starting the day five places and 8 points above the visitors they no doubt they hoped to win this game to pull away further. The final score was Ashton & Backwell Utd. 2 - Warminster Town 1.
Warminster Town was undoubtedly the better side in the first half and put the home side under enormous pressure. Warminster played much of their football on the ground which helped as high balls were often caught in the wind making it difficult. The Town went close to scoring in the 10th minute when a good cross from the left by Harry Barnes bounced awkwardly for Martin Johnson, probably taken by the wind over his head while he was perfectly placed to score.
Just over a minute later a ball laid back to Warminster's right back Ryan Baggs following his throw-in was struck beautifully from near the touchline and without a good save and punched clear by the keeper would have nestled into the top left-hand corner of the goal. Warminster a few minutes later created another chance forcing a very good save from the keeper, Lewis Coombes. This save was the result of a free kick taken just outside the right-hand side of the penalty area. Harry Barnes came across the pitch to take this one and curved the ball around the wall and to the bottom right-hand corner of the goal and but for the save of Coombes did the score remain at nil-nil.
Nathan Ball, Warminster's goalkeeper, was called into action just on 20 minutes when he had to make a save at the foot of his right-hand post, and the follow-up shot hit the upright. Ten minutes later a ball over the top found The Town's Martin Johnson who was then one on one with the keeper who made another excellent save from Johnson's shot. In the 33rd minute, another cross from Ryan Baggs confused the home side's defence in the penalty area, and Connor Mckay fired towards goal forcing yet another outstanding save from Coombes. Two minutes later a cross from the right by Jack Miluk was met by the sliding figure of George Butler who put the ball just wide to the right of the post. Warminster was piling on the pressure and creating chances.
In the 44th minute, Backwell's goalkeeper played a ball to the left and with four passes the home side had worked the ball down their left and against the run of play into the back of Warminster's net. The goal scored by Callum Townsend. The halftime whistle blew not long after so the home side went into the dressing room 1 - 0 ahead.
With the rain continuing to fall, at times exceptionally heavily the game resumed. In just the 2nd minute a low cross from Miluk was met by Johnson in the goalmouth and whose powerful shot forced another stunning save from Buckland's keeper. It's worth noting that he won their ‘man of the match' award. The Town's captain Charlie Walton back this week after a one-match suspension struck a fantastic shot in the 58th minute which sadly hit the crossbar. In the 60th minute, McKay fired just over the bar following more good work from Miluk down the right.
It was in the 64th minute that the home side scored again with a "dubious penalty" decision and the ball put away by Callum Townsend for his second of the day. Warminster did not lie down and substitute Eben Mortimer-Taylor took a free kick in the 73rd minute which he floated from the right into the goalmouth, the onrushing Warminster players didn't connect, and the ball went directly into the net under the diving keeper's body.
The second half was slightly spoiled by the referee continually awarding needless free kicks and stopping play creating some bad temper from the players frustrated by this. Certainly, the referee was giving free kicks for players slipping rather than being fouled. The referee's actions caused the Backwell players who were trying to protect their lead to call for anything that they could as a free kick.
The score remained at the final whistle Ashton & Backwell Utd 2 - Warminster Town 1. After the match manager, Andrew Crabtree indicated that he was frustrated by the result mainly due to the decisions made by the referee. Without a doubt, Warminster played exceptionally well and deserved more from the match.
Team: Ball, Baggs, Barnes, De Silva, Brown, Herd, Miluk, Walton, Johnson, McKay, Butler
subs. Mortimer-Taylor, Churchyard (both used)
Photos Courtesy of Scott Drysdale