Wick complete an unbeaten February
By Matt Davis
Wick 4 - 2 Southmead CS Ath
Wick edged past Southmead CS Athletic on Saturday afternoon at Oldbury Lane. Goals from Danny Sheldon and Joe Thomas put Wick firmly in control at half time. In the second half, Southmead’s Leon Clayton-Clarke scored to bring the away side back into it before Sam Thomas’ 12th goal of the season restored Wick’s two-goal lead. In added time, Clinton Wilson reduced the deficit once more but Wick replied instantly through Jay Hubbard to seal all three points.
Southmead started the fixture in the ascendency and their high press system caused Wick problems in the first five minutes. The away side were almost rewarded for their fast start but Luke Coghlan could only head over from Clayton-Clarke’s cross. After weathering an early Southmead storm, Wick started to mount some pressure of their own and they should have taken the lead after a quarter of an hour. Sheldon, unmarked at the back post, could only shoot tamely at Remie Ferguson in the Southmead goal after Grant Hewitt’s cross-cum-shot fell invitingly for the winger. Seconds later, Sheldon atoned for his miss and did open the scoring for Wick. Ferguson initially did well to save Joe Thomas’ deflected shot but Sheldon was on hand to smash the rebound into the roof of the net. Wick didn’t let up in search of a second, and just three minutes after the opener Dan Wingfield headed Alex Whale’s cross onto the upright. That second did arrive with 27 minutes on the clock through the impressive Joe Thomas. Sheldon this time turned provider, whipping the ball into the box for Thomas to turn in. With the home side suddenly looking comfortable, Wick almost gifted Southmead a route back into the game. Robert Sivers was played in on goal by a loose back-pass but with Joe Pople rushing out, Sivers blazed over. Southmead then had John Henson to thank as Wick only went in at half time two goals to the good. The ball was cut back to Joe Thomas inside the Southmead box and with the goal gaping, Thomas fired towards goal only for Henson to block the effort on the goal-line.
The away side started the second period like they did the first. The introduction of Kye Cumberbatch seemed to provide Southmead with a fresh attacking impetus and alongside Otis Francis, the two centre midfielders stung the palms of Pople on multiple occasions after the break. Just after the hour mark, another Southmead substitute got the away side back into contention. Omari Sins, only on the field for five minutes, played an inch-perfect ball through to Clayton-Clarke who beat the offside trap and rolled the ball underneath the advancing Pople. Southmead’s hope of turning things around only lasted nine minutes however. Wick were awarded a central free-kick 25-yards out and after setting himself, Wick substitute Sam Thomas bent his free-kick around the wall and in off the inside of the post. Sam Thomas’ goal appeared to settle the tie as both teams played out the final 15 minutes without too much in the way of incident. However, in added time Southmead’s Clinton Wilson set-up what was an unlikely tense finish. The striker ghosted into the Wick six-yard box and clipped in Sins’ cross. But the comeback was not to be and Wick made sure of all three points just minutes later when another substitute, Jay Hubbard, scored his first goal of the season. Joe Thomas was instrumental again, beating three Southmead defenders before flashing a cross in the direction of Hubbard who gleefully tapped in.