Quedgeley came out on top in this top of the table clash against high flyers AFC Phoenix. The home sides 3-1 victory takes Wanderers above Phoenix to the top of division 3.
This game wasn’t too pretty. Tricky wet conditions had made parts of the pitch boggy and unpredictable under foot. Despite the tough playing surface, Wanderers still tried to play the football they have been doing in previous weeks and had some success in wider areas of the pitch with winger Jonny Stevens causing problems for the Phoenix left back for large parts of the first half. As the first half went on the home side were becoming increasingly frustrated with some of the unpunished tackles and challenges the visitors were putting in on Quedgeley. This made the game scrappy in places but wanderers kept their discipline and kept pressing and testing the Phoenix back four. Quedgeley’s persistence finally paid off on the half hour mark when took the lead when Scott Gardner bundled the ball over the line from a Jake Adams corner. Quedgeley managed to see through their 1-0 lead until half time.
Wanderers came out from the break in good spirit with all the incentive to build on their slender lead but once again the came became too stop start with some badly timed and cynical challenges from the away side. In turn Quedgeley responded by losing a little of their own discipline and conceded a free kick which led to some poor defending and the Phoenix striker was there to knock in the equaliser. The Phoenix equaliser was a blessing in disguise for Quedgeley. Wanderers instantly started to show desire, grit and determination and they dug deep to create some very good chances. Every wanderers player seemed to have a spring in their step and it paid off when Scott Gardner ran clear to slot home his second of the match to put the home side ahead with 15 minutes remaining. Quedgeley then knew they couldn’t afford to be complacent as a place on top of the table was awaiting them if they could hold on to their 2-1 advantage.
But Quedgeley could do better than that! The ball fell kindly to midfield work horse Luke Holder who struck the ball with conviction from 25 yards and the ball flew into the back of the net to send the home side wild.
Scott Gardner could have easily bagged himself a hat-trick when a great run and cross from Jonny Stevens fell perfectly on Gardner’s head but somehow he managed to miss from under the bar (zero yards).
Overall it was a tough scrap against a stubborn AFC Phoenix and Quedgeley’s desire and will to win came out on top. Every player put in 100% and you could tell that the 3 points meant a lot to the Quedgeley players and they hopefully will take this victory into the tough fixtures in the next couple of weeks.
Man of the match - Jonny Stevens
Donkey- Scott Gardner (missing from 0yards)
Team- Moroney, McCatty, Mulrain, Rouse, Shaun Banner, Adams, Holder, Hughes, Stevens, Gardner, Groves. Subs- Young, Field, Scott Banner.