Wantage Town Football Club

Wantage Town Football Club

Marston Saints 1 (1) - Wantage Town 3 (1)

by Ben Stone

Marston Saints Under 18’s

v

Wantage Town Under 18’s

October 4th 2009

After winning only 1 of their opening 4 league fixtures, Wantage were drawn away in the 1st round of the league cup against a Marston side that play a league down in the OFA Invitation League.

Matt Lockwood was rewarded for his patience after starting all the earlier games on the bench by a starting line up place at right back with Adam Fecher dropping to the bench.

Max Johnson was away so Jamie Greenbank was drafted back into the central defence.

Jamie Rutter and Dec Dorsett both made welcome returns after missing the previous 2 matches and Gary Stone decided to play Dorsett as a central striker alongside James Burridge. While Rutter was asked to play wide right and Matthew Horswell wide left leaving Edward Glover and Luke Withey to do battle in the centre of midfield.

Saints as mentioned are these days playing in the C league and had started the season of with 2 wins and 1 defeat so their chance to talk a higher league scalp was potentially going to drive them on and certainly a few challenges in the early stages were a little bit over enthusiastic to put it kindly.

Wantage were looking the side in control but they were not creating chances but that was true of Saints also.

As the game reached 27 minutes and with neither keeper called into serious action, the deadlock was broken by an own goal when Stone was stretching to prevent the Saints striker from getting a shot on goals after getting the wrong side of the back 4 on the edge of the box, and the contact flicked the ball past Barefoot as he advanced to narrow the angle and without ever looking likely to have a shot on target the Saints led by 1-0.

Wantage finally stung the home keepers hands in the 33rd minute when Burridge held the ball up well on the half way line before switching the ball to the right and finding Rutter who skipped past his marker before striking a low shot that was just creeping inside the keepers near post until he got down sharply to push the ball wide for a corner.

Rutter, Dorsett, Lockwood and Glover were beginning to string together some decent possession football down the Wantage right, as Saints lead looked less and less secure. But it was from a throw in on the left taken by Withey to Dorsett and then laid back to Horswell who’s shot flew into the net just inside the left hand post with the help of a slight deflection that gave Wantage the equaliser that had been coming.

Dorsett was beginning to terrorise the Saints defence and his run to beat his marker and a pull back from the bye line set up Horswell for the chance to add a 2nd goal but he got his body position all wrong and bundled the ball well wide of the target.

And moments later Dorsett went on a mazy run just outside the right edge of the area that took him past 3 dazed defenders before he fired a low shot inches the wrong side of the right hand post and into the side netting.

That was the final action of the 1st half and the teams went in with the score Marston Saints 1 v Wantage 1.

Wantage continued to build the pressure as the 2nd half commenced and with 50 minutes Horswell set up a good chance for Dorsett but this time a bad 1st touch allowed the chance to slip away.

And with 53 minutes gone Barefoot was actually forced into his 1st save of the match which was a simple low save from a drive from 25 yards that was never going to trouble the glovesman.

Horswell was becoming a real thorn in the Saints sides and again good work from him chasing down a ball and putting the defender under pressure resulted and the ball being gifted to Withey who’s low shot went just wide of the post with 55 minutes on the clock.

Dorsett threatened again I the 56th minute but for all their dominance the home keeper wasn’t being given enough work to do.

Saints created their best opening up to that point in time on 64 minutes after Greenbank was found wanting for pace but was relieved to see the shot miss by inches past the left hand post.

Horswell was again in the action on 65 minutes when a shot come cross beat the keeper but landed on the roof of the net.

And Horswell was in the thick of it again 2 minutes later after Withey slid him into the right edge of the penalty area. Horswell completely lost his marker with a great step inside and then he picked a short 3 yard pass to the in rushing Dorsett who fired the ball hard with a 1st time strike but it was straight at the keeper.

And out of the blue, Saints came close to re-taking the lead totally against the run of play on 70 minutes when a shot from long range cannoned off the cross bar and back into the danger area. But Lockwood was alert to the danger and twice got in blocks to help out Barefoot in the Wantage goals.

That scare seemed to limit the attacking ambitions of Wantage (maybe nerves played a part with the players knowing that it would go to extra time so don’t risk too much to avoid losing it late in the 90 minutes).

But with the clock ticking past 86 minutes it seemed Wantage had opened up Saints to clinch the tie. It came about when Stone appeared to have over hit a pass down the left, but hesitation in the home sides defence left the door open for the dynamic Horswell to chase the ball and skip past the retreating defence before cutting back a perfect ball to the on rushing Dorsett who met it with a 1st time shot from only 4 yards out. Incredibly the keeper spread himself and the ball somehow struck him and stayed out even after a couple of further shots were struck from the rebound.

Then with the clock showing the last minute of the 90 Wantage made up for that miss 4 minutes earlier after an in swinging left wing corner taken by Glover was bundled over the line by the combined efforts of Stone and Dorsett (neither could say for sure who had got the final touch) at last gave Wantage the lead 2-1.

Saints then threw caution to the wind as the piled players forward and the referee had managed to find several minutes of added time, and they came closest to an equaliser to force extra time when a shot from the right that appeared goal bound was punched away by Barefoot.

Then with 5 minutes of stoppage time played Wantage clinched their place in round 2 when again a ball clipped over the top of the home sides defence by Stone opened the way for Dorsett to knock the ball wide of the advancing keeper before running round the other side of the keeper and passing the ball into the empty net.

The referee still found a further 3 minutes of stoppage time before he finally brought proceedings to a halt.

Final score

Marston Saints 1 v Wantage 3

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