Wick lose unbeaten run - by Harry Madge
Wick 0 - 2 Patchway Town
Patchway Town scored two second-half goals to consign ten-man Wick to their first league defeat of the season. Despite the home side creating a number of scoring opportunities, strikes by Brandon Benjamin and the impressive D
After fielding a side missing a number of first-team players at Little Stoke a week earlier, Owls boss Mike Strawford was able to recall five players to his squad, including top-scorer Sam Thomas and brother Joe.
Looking to bounce back from the consecutive draws away at AEK Boco and Little Stoke, Wick started the brighter of the teams on a hot afternoon up at Oldbury Lane. Patchway ‘keeper Ash Wells was called into action early-on diving to his left to save a Luke Withey drive from distance. At the other end, Joe Pople saved comfortably from Bendall as Patchway started to grow into the game and dictate the pace. On the 15-minute mark, Patchway should have opened the scoring. Some good work down the Patchway right presented a wonderful chance, but Pople saved the close-range effort expertly to keep the scores level. Patchway continued to press and after 30 minutes Wick had Pople to thank once more when the Wick ‘keeper again kept out Bendall following a quick break led by the dangerous wide-man. With half-time approaching, Wick striker Jordan Scott almost gave the home side the lead but his header flashed agonisingly wide of Wells’ goal and the tie remained goalless at the break. Just after the restart, Scott again had the opportunity to break the deadlock but his shot failed to test Wells who was able to watch the effort sail harmlessly wide.
The second-half followed much the same pattern as the first when an early Wick chance was met with a rapid response from the visitors. Some sloppy play at the heart of the Wick back four allowed Bendall to break-free only for Charlie Stevens to foul the winger as he bared down on goal - the Wick midfielder seemingly fortunate to only escape with a booking. The resulting free kick was straight at Pople as an opening goal continued to elude both teams. As we approached the hour-mark Patchway did finally break the deadlock. After successfully negotiating a spell that saw Wick squander a series of half chances, it was another defensive mistake that gifted Patchway the opener. Bendall latched onto a misplaced Grant Hewitt pass and drove into the Wick box before squaring for Benjamin to score with a simple side-footed finish. Wick almost answered back immediately, though – Sam Thomas’ header bouncing into the ground before resting on the top of the net. Thomas went close again moments later when he forced Wells into a decent stop at his near post after the striker managed to evade the attention of the Patchway defence. With 15-minutes of the 90 remaining, the game started to become more open as the Owls searched for an equaliser. But as Wick committed men forward, gaps started to appear at the back and the away side should have put the game to bed. First, Pople was on-hand to make two smart saves and then Patchway’s Josh Morris wasted a gilt-edged chance, somehow missing the target from mere yards out as the minutes ticked away. Any hope of a Wick equaliser was greatly reduced when Sheldon was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident in the 85th minute. A tangle between Sheldon and an away opponent on the far left touchline left the Patchway winger clutching his face on the turf. After a short deliberation with his linesman, the referee sent the Wick left-back off. Patchway enforced their man advantage with only minutes to go as Bendall got his goal, and his side’s second of the afternoon. The instrumental winger’s sheer pace got him away from two Wick challenges before he bundled the ball past Pople to seal the win and end Wick’s unbeaten start to the season.
MOM: Dan Wingfield