A stoppage-time equaliser rescued a point for the Owls in a feisty local derby against Hanham Athletic
Hanham Ath 1 - 1 Wick. After a cagey first-half Hanham took the lead through Luke Clapp early in the second period. Wick then dominated proceedings and eventually drew level deep into added time when Kieren Hutson headed in. Report by Harry Madge
Two and a half weeks had passed since Wick had last played, and manager Mike Strawford was forced into a number of changes at the home of his former club. Alex Whale and Liam Henderson missed out through injury whilst Charlie Stevens was suspended, resulting in Strawford reinstating Dan Wingfield, Kieren Hutson and Harry Madge in his starting XI. On what was a fixture played in less than ideal weather conditions, the early exchanges at Vicarage Road were bereft of any real quality. Sam Thomas did however come close on a couple of occasions. First, the Wick forward cut in from the right and hit a sweetly struck shot in the direction of the Hanham goal, but the majority of the 98 spectators in attendance were relieved to see it whistle harmlessly over the crossbar. With the clock on 25 minutes, Thomas went even closer – his 25-yard free kick striking the post and bouncing clear. Moments later, Wick rattled the woodwork again. Dan Stephens rose highest in the box but could only turn Shaun Morris’ corner onto the post. Despite Wick, having the better of the chances in the first half, the home side finished the half strongest and former Owl Joe Treasure almost put Hanham ahead as his close range volleyed effort was well saved by Wick ‘keeper Joe Pople.
After the break, the weather conditions worsened further and the fixture became an even scrappier affair. And on 55 minutes Hanham took the lead. A Jack Camm free kick was whipped into the Wick box and after an almighty scramble the ball ended up at the feet of Clapp who slammed the ball into the net. Following the opener, Wick controlled the ball but could not make inroads into a well-organised Hanham defensive unit. But it was actually the home side that should have extended their lead with ten minutes remaining. As Wick pressed desperately for an equaliser, Hanham’s Sam Brown and George Cryer found themselves two on one against Hutson in the Wick box, but Hutson timed his tackle impeccably to keep the Owls in with a chance as the clocked ticked down. Deep into stoppage time, Hutson turned his defensive superiority into attacking prowess as he out jumped the Hanham defence and powerfully headed in Morris’ corner to earn Wick a point.