DERBY DAY SPOILS
Quedgeley welcome local rivals Hardwicke to Waterwells for the final Derby game of the season.
In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, wanderers played most of the game with 9 men. Only a last minute goal by Hardwicke prevented Quedgeley from taking all 3 points. Both on that day had to settle for a point a piece.
Going into today's game Hardwicke have won all of their last 7 games and appear to be scoring for fun.
Wanderers on the other hand have had mixed fortunes in recent weeks. Despite not losing a few draws have made things at the top of the table a lot closer.
Wickwar sit top of the table by a single point but have played one game more than Quedgeley and 2 more than Hardwicke who sit one point behind Wanderers.
A must win game then for both sides.
Hardwicke get the game underway and from the outset ping the ball out wide using the pace of their wingers at every opportunity.
Every ball is competed for as you would expect with such rivalry and so much at stake.
Hardwicke get the first shot away at goal with a cross field ball on the edge of the box fed into a striker, Quedgeley keeper Tom Farmer is called upon and parries the ball away for a corner.
Having taken a good 10 minutes to settle, Quedgeley start to take more possession of the ball and create one or 2 half chances themselves.
24 Mins - Hardwicke are awarded a free kick halfway inside the Quedgeley half. The ball is floated in but only half cleared away to the byline. Lee Overthrow makes an attempt to run the ball out to safety but is tackled by a Hardwicke player on the edge of the box. The ball is clipped back in missing out the defensive line and finding an opposition player unmarked at the back post to head the ball home from 3 yards, giving the away team the lead. 0-1.
As has been so often the case this season it needed Quedgeley to concede a sloppy goal to kick start them into action.
Wanderers began to assert some pressure on the opposition defence who clearly are the weak link in the Hardwicke side. Despite this the final ball or finish was proving to be hard to find. This led to Hardwicke having the odd chance on the counter attack but the Quedgeley defence backed up by Tom Farmer remained solid despite the threatening pace Hardwicke offered in the final third.
The half came to a close with not a lot else to write about.
HALF TIME - Quedgeley Wanderers 0-1 Hardwicke
The second half began much in the same fashion as the first ended. Quedgeley looking for the equaliser, Hardwicke when in possession keeping hold of the ball but playing on the counter attack.
54 Mins - Wanderers win a free kick deep inside the the Hardwicke half. Chris Smith plays a long, high floated ball into the box. Somehow the tallest Hardwicke player mis judges the flight of the ball and Matt Cappell loses his marker to head in making the score, 1-1.
It's now Hardwicke's turn to take the game to the opponents. Wanderers are now made to chase the ball down and really fight to claim the ball back.
63 Mins - With severe cramp taking its toll, Scott Moroney accepts defeat and calls to be subbed, not wanting to risk injury. On in his place and asked to do a defensive job comes, Craig Edwards.
68 Mins - Some might say inspired substitution. Only 5 minutes later Matt Cappell plays a tidy little ball over the top to his strike partner Stu Ballinger. He runs through on goal, with the ball bouncing the keeper hesitates and is stuck in no mans land. Stu Ballinger from 24 yards out chips the ball over the keeper. Scenes of elation, the crowd go wild. From nowhere, Quedgeley take the lead, 2-1.
Hardwicke are made to push further now as they go in search of an equaliser. For Wanderers its backs to the wall defending, soaking up pressure Tom Farmer is made to pull off a few wonderful saves to keep his side ahead.
72 Mins - Wanderers make another change by taking Stu Ballinger off, Jason Rossell is sent on to assist sure up the defensive midfield play and win more of the aerial duals.
75 Mins - A loose ball in midfield breaks to James Lawes on the left side. With open field ahead of him, he runs towards the Hardwicke box with there players back peddling.
His left footed shot on the edge of the box catches the Hardwicke keeper flat footed the ball flies past the keeper and Wanderers extend their lead, 3-1.
Hardwick are left gob smacked and deflated, you can see their heads drop and some of the Hardwicke fans begin to pour out of Stadium Waterwells.
76 Mins - Andrew Porter comes on in place of Mark Ballard. A straight swap in choice of some fresh legs.
The remainder of the game, Hardwicke continue to attack with Wanderers happy to sit tight and defend their lead. A few late corners, Tom Farmer proves his worth in goal. Coming out to punch the ball clear or tip the ball over the cross bar, his voice is even heard. The entire Wanderers team dig in, everyone does their bit for the team.
The game is seen out with Wanderers claiming a vital 3 points.
FULL TIME - Quedgeley Wanderers 3-1 Hardwicke
A typical gutsy, spirited performance from Wanderers who continue to grow as a team and once more highlight their never say die attitude.
Possibly a smash and grab result. The simple fact is, Wanderers wanted it more and when you never give up it just shows you don't always have to be playing the best football.
Teams who have played Wanderers will know they are in for a game. Being hard to beat and picking up points when not at their best is perhaps why Wanderers have been there or there about a all season.
GOALS - Matt Cappell, Stu Ballinger & James Lawes
ASSISTS - Chris Smith & Matt Cappell
MOM - Tom Farmer