Wick pushed to the very end
Wick 4 - 2 Rockleaze Rangers
The pitch at Oldbury Lane was a little wet, but even at this time of the year looked immaculate. Both teams started brightly but it wasn’t until after 20 minutes until the first goalmouth action. The first opportunity fell to Wick when a James Pocock swung a cross into the box from the left which found Joe Thomas with space on the right who cooley slotted the ball under Rockleaze keeper Will Stabb. Straight after the restart, it was Rockleaze’s Dan Bendell who carved open his own chance, a 30 yard drive that was tipped over the bar by Wick keeper Tyler Edmunds. On 36 minutes, Wick should have doubled their lead when the ball was driven into the 6 yard area finding Allen Williams who’s weak shot was hit straight at Stabb. But on 41 minutes, Rockleaze levelled the score after a long free kick from wide on the right was met by an unmarked Ali Boyer whose looping header cleared Tyler Edmunds to find the Wick net. 1-1 at HT.
Rockleaze came out fighting in the second half and nearly caught Wick off guard when Marcus Williams’s shot was easily saved by Edmunds. Wick’s captain James Pocock was substituted due to injury with Kieron Hutson replacing him on 55 minutes. Wick’s new boy Dan Payne started to find his feet and his shout for a penalty after 61 minutes after being pulled down in the box was waved away by the referee. The game was end to end, but it was Rockleaze who took the lead when the dangerous Williams turned smartly to beat Ben Stiff and his firmly stuck shot beat Edmunds diving to the bottom right corner. On 70 minutes, Wick’s Payne was brought down again just outside the box, but the resulting free kick from Mike Hardiman was well saved by Stabb in the Rockleaze goal. Payne was putting Rockleaze defence under a lot of pressure and his shot on 75 minutes was again saved by Stabb. Wick did equalise 2 minutes later when Ben Stiff headed home a Mike Hardiman cross.
The last 10 minutes was probably the most entertaining for the 46 strong crowd. Rockleaze Boyer had a shot just wide of the post and Mike Hardiman somehow missed a chance from inside the 6 yard area. On 88 minutes, Wick’s Dan Payne was brought down just outside the box, Shaun Morris stepped up with the resulting free kick and smashed home into the top corner of the Rockleaze goal. Wick were not finished, two minutes later, Dan Payne was again brought down, but this time inside the box, which Mike Hardiman calmly converted to make the score 4-2.