Warminster Town v Oldland Abbotonians
Warminster Town F.C. hosted Oldland Abbotonians a club with a history going back to 1910 when then they were St. Annes (Oldland). In 1998 Oldland merged with Longwell Green Abbotonians and the current name was created. Starting the day 3 points ahead of the visitors Warminster were looking to create a 6 point gap by the end of the game. In fact, this is what they did coming out 2 - 0 winners. This is how the game went.
With the beginning of what turned out to be heavy rain the game kicked off with Oldland putting the home side under pressure. They had a couple of shots on goal in the opening minutes one well over the bar and another wide. Oldland came closest in the early stages when in the 9th minute a shot from number 10, Liam Villis required a good diving save from Nathan Ball. Warminster's first goal came from a free kick taken inside their own half just on the edge of the centre circle. Henry McFerran sent it long to the edge of the opponent's penalty area. Jake Wright flicked it into the path of Martin Johnson who put a low ball into the centre of the net. However, no one was celebrating because the assistant referee's flag was up. Quite unexpectedly the referee walked over to him and had a discussion after which the referee awarded the goal.
A couple of minutes later it looked like the visitors were going to equalise when a shot went just wide of Nathan Ball's goal. Oldland had quite a number of corners early in the game but Warminster's first didn't come until the 21st minute, which was safely caught high above the keeper's head. Warminster really did come close to a second goal when a cross from the left bounced in front of Jake Wright on the edge of the 6-yard box but he couldn't connect. The ball was then picked up by Miluk who passed it back to Sam Wright who sent a curling ball towards goal but which went just left of the goal.
In the 35th minute, Oldland's James Sellick was running on goal and prevented from shooting by a great tackle by Harry Barnes. Six minutes later Jake Wright was through on goal and but for the keeper coming out and stretching out a leg could have scored. The ball from the keeper went to the feet of Martin Johnson who unfortunately shot off target wide of the left post. The score remained 1 - 0 at halftime.
At the start of the half Henry McFerran who at the end of the first half appeared to have a hamstring injury was replaced by Joel Sissons for Warminster.
The heavy rain had stopped for the second half and Oldland started brightly and created a couple of chances in the first 5 minutes. Both sides were going from box to box and trying hard to score. In the 50th minute, a well-worked free-kick from the right by Warminster created an opportunity for Johnson who's header required a good save from just under the crossbar by goalkeeper and captain Chris Manns. The best move of the game came in the 70th minutes when Miluk picked up the ball well in his own half, ran down the right and cut in around the centre circle. Miluk then beat 2 defenders just inside the oppositions half, kept at bay a third as he approached the box then fired a left-foot shot into the net leaving Manns little chance of saving it, a goal which Ronaldo would have been delighted to score.
Shortly after the restart, Nathan Ball was called into action with a good save to keep the sheet clean for Warminster. The Town was now putting the visitors under more pressure when in the 73rd and 77th minute Jake Wright went close, the first required a clearance off the line and the follow up from his brother Sam was saved by the keeper. The second chance Jake took on 3 defenders and forced the keeper into another save. In the 84th minute, McKay missed an opportunity but the ball stayed in play and he managed to head out to Jake Wright who forced another goal-line clearance. In time added on Miluk forced the keeper to make another save to prevent a brace of goals from the right winger. All in all a very good team performance from The Town and an entertaining game to watch.
After the game manager, Andrew Crabtree had this to say: "All credit to the players, I gave them a hard time for last week.....but I'm really pleased for them that we got 3 points. It was a much better performance in very testing conditions. We are a young side and it's still very much a work in progress, let's hope we can kick on from here as we have some very difficult games coming up. If we can eliminate the defensive errors there is no doubt we're a match for most teams in the league."
Next match is at Ashton & Backwell on Saturday, December 15th.
Team: Ball, Baggs, Barnes, De Silva, McFerran, Herd, Miluk, Wright S, Johnson M, Wright J, Butler G Subs McKay, Sissons, Collyer (all used)
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