First Team Win At Highmoor
Wantage Come From Behind To Secure The Points
Wantage made it six wins and a draw from their last seven games with a richly deserved 3-1 win at Highmoor Ibis on Saturday. But they made hard work of it for half the game, and had to come from a goal down before securing the points.
With a few players away and new signing Jack Heap on the bench Wantage started positively enough with Paul Alder firing inches over in the 7th minute. And two minutes later they were gifted a golden opportunity as Ryan Markham was tripped in the box as he controlled a Jim Glover cross, but unfortunately Jack Dunmall saw his penalty well saved by Aaron Watkins who tipped it round the post.
Markham then came close on 14 minutes when his shot from the edge of the area rebounded off the Highmoor crossbar with Wantage looking dominant. However Highmoor gave warning that they weren’t simply going to roll over when Sanchez Commock tested Curtis Meare in the 17th minute.
Dan Comer fired wide for Wantage a minute later before the visitors were made to pay for their profligation in the 23rd minute. Dwayne Coultress slotted the ball down the left for Mitch Parker who beat his man too easily and delivered for Commock to head past Meare.
The host were now on the front-foot with Wantage looking a little nervy and conceding some needless free-kicks. On 27 minutes Parker delivered a free-kick from the edge of the area which somehow evaded everyone before tricking out for a goal-kick, and a minute later he cut back onto his right foot before curling another effort just wide of Meare’s far post.
Some great play down the left by Wantage then created a glorious opportunity, Glover finding Nick Thorne who drew the keeper before sliding a pass to Steve Robertson who was un-marked in the 6 yard box. Unfortunately the prolific striker rushed his attempt and somehow cleared the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Highmoor could have added to their advantage in the 39th minute when Coultress headed over, and Meare then made a fantastic reflex save low to his left to tip a deflected shot around the post. The half could easily have ended 3-3, but as it was the teams turned round with Highmoor 1-0 to the good.
Highmoor had the better of the early second-half chances, Markham heading a corner clear before Trevor Mutero curled a shot wide of the Wantage goal on 51 minutes. But from then on the game swung Wantage’s way; Jack Dunmall forcing Watkins into making a good save after Mark Flanagan’s run and cut-back on the left wing on 55 minutes.
Markham delivered a 57th minute free kick that came to nothing, before Wantage levelled three minutes later when Dunmall chanced his arm from 25 yards and found a spot just inside left hand post out of reach of the diving Watkins.
Wantage now had their tails up, and pulled ahead in the 64th minute; Alder won a free-kick on the edge of the area that Markham delivered only to be headed behind for a corner. Markham swung the ball in again which found Robertson who cheekily back-heeled home before Watkins could react.
Dunmall then broke free in the 65th minute, but stretching for the ball with his left foot could only find the grateful hands of Watkins. Chris Jackson also came close, heading another Markham corner just past the post in the 72nd minute.
With 14 minutes left any chance the hosts had of getting back into the game disappeared when Jamie Pithers picked up a second yellow and went for an early shower.
Flanagan fired over the bar on 82 minutes, before Wantage wrapped the game up two minutes later – after some great inter-play on the right Thorne drove into the box close to the bye-line before looking up and delivering a chipped pass for Robertson to head home Wantage’s third.
Heap was then given his debut with five of the ninety remaining and made some inroads down the left but didn’t really have enough time to show what he can do.
Next up for Wantage is a home game with Woodley United on Tuesday (7.45), before they host Bracknell Town next Saturday (3pm). Please come along and support the lads as they look to keep their winning streak going.
Wantage: Curtis Meare, Dan Comer, Mark Flanagan, Jim Glover, Chris Jackson, Brad Cox (Joe Wood 88), Nick Thorne, Ryan Markham, Steve Robertson, Jack Dunmall, Paul Alder (Jack Heap 85). Sub n/u: Mark Threlfall