FT Garrison Gunners 4 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers
HT Garrison Gunners 3 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers
Sunday 16th December, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.
League Game 8
Jack Handy gave the Gunners the lead with just 5 minutes played by lobbing Wanderers keeper Eugene Hogan.
A second half belter from Lewis Brown secured the points for the Gunners.
Adam O’Neill and Dan Ware also on the scoresheet for the Gunners.
Wanderers striker Scott Reid’s brace kept them in the game until late on.
Gunners go 12 points clear at the top of the table.
J Handy (5’) A O’Neill (20’) D Ware (35’) L Brown (60’)
S Reid (25’, 40’)
Match report by Will Lethbridge.
The Garrison Gunners extended their lead in the World’s Smallest League with a commanding 4-2 victory on Sunday morning.
It was 2-0 to the Gunners with only 20 minutes played.
Jack Handy lobbed Eugene Hogan before Adam O’Neill cut inside and hit a thunderous strike into the roof of the net.
Scott Reid pulled a goal back for the Wanderers soon after in somewhat fortunate circumstances when his corner curled straight in.
The Gunners would restore their lead soon after. Dan Ware leapt higher than anyone else and headed home directly from a corner to make it 3-1.
Scott Reid pulled a goal back just before the break with a sensational diving header.
There was only the 1 goal in the second half. Lewis Brown hit a beautiful long range shot into the top corner midway through the half to ensure the Gunners picked up the points.
Before kick off, there were a few questions to whether we would get a game at all.
It was a horrendous morning weather wise. The worst we’ve seen this season!
There was a fresh breeze with persistent rain and heavy downpours ahead of play and through the first half. The rain would eventually stop later on in the second half.
Due to the weather conditions, Referee Paul Charnock conducted a thorough pitch inspection before kick off. There were some wet and boggy areas but there was no considerable standing water and therefore kick off went ahead as scheduled.
Despite the weather conditions and a few festive shindigs the night before there was another good turnout.
The Gunners were at full strength and delighted to welcome back Adam O’Neill. There was a big blow for the Wanderers though.
Talisman Jack Stone picked up a knock earlier on in the week that ruled him out of contention for the Wanderers. It wasn’t all bad news as key players Joe Greenlaw and Dan May were available for selection.
As the game got underway the weather deteriorated as another squall moved in across the field. In the first couple of minutes, both teams picked up the ball and tried to take the initiative.
It would only be 5 before the Gunners would take the lead. The Wanderers were caught with a few too many men forward and the ball was slid through the middle of the pitch to striker Jack Handy.
The striker found himself through on goal with just the keeper to beat. He took a couple of touches, waited for Wanderers keeper Eugene Hogan to come forward. The inform striker lifted the ball over the keeper from outside the area into the top corner. It was an incredibly calm and composed finish.
It looked like it was going to be a long morning for the Gunners!
As the first half continued the Wanderers got into the game and created a few good chances but it would be the Gunners who would double their advantage.
Adam O’Neill chased the ball down on the left wing, nicking it back from a Wanderers player. He cut inside before taking it past another player and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. Another emphatic goal for the Gunners that made it 2-0 with 20 minutes played.
As it looked like things weren’t going well at all for the Wanderers their luck changed.
After some good forward play the Wanderers won a corner. Scott Reid whipped in a dangerous ball that curled and dipped towards the near post. Keeper Matt Simons got a touch but couldn’t do anything to keep it out.
The Wanderers were back in the game! 2-1 with 25 minutes played.
The goals continued to come thick and fast.
Not long after the restart, the Gunners were awarded a corner. Another teasing ball was put into the area. Dan Ware leapt higher than anyone else and headed the ball firmly into the back of the net to restore the Gunners 2 goal advantage making 3-1.
The game continued in a dramatic end-to-end fashion and it wouldn’t be long before the Wanderers narrowed the deficit once again.
After some good play down the left hand side of the pitch, an inviting cross was flashed across the face of the Gunners goal. Wanderers centre forward Scott Reid timed his run perfectly and dived in to head the ball into the corner of the net to make it 3-2.
There wasn’t too much time before the break and neither team would create many good chances before the end of the half.
Half Time: Garrison Gunners 3 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers.
Before the second half started there was a change in goal for both teams. Kane Goddard replaced Eugene Hogan for the Wanderers while Joel Ware switched for Matt Simons for the Gunners.
The second half got off to a good start and at a high tempo with both teams pressing forwards looking to add to their goal tally. The Wanderers started to mount more pressure knowing they needed to score to get anything from the match.
It would be the Gunners though who re-established their 2 goal lead in emphatic style.
Following a Wanderers attack, Lewis Brown picked up the ball in midfield. There was room for the defender to run into. He eventually found himself in the Wanderers half and he unleashed a venomous shot, slightly left from centre 30 yards out that went high into the far top corner.
Wanderers keeper Kane Goddard got a touch but couldn’t keep the powerful shot out. It was 4-2 to the Gunners with around half an hour to go.
As we moved into the later stages of the match the weather started to improve.
The Wanderers started to push even more men forward as they attempted to grab a couple of goals and get something out of the match.
After a couple of speculative attempts, the Wanderers came close on a few occasions.
Following a corner and a goalmouth scramble, Anthony Gibbons made a last ditch clearance on the line to deny the Wanderers. The ball fell to Russell Hutchins who’s close range shot was sensationally saved by Gunners keeper Joel Ware.
The Gunners keeper almost got caught out late on when he was playing in a more modern sweeper keeper style.
The ball was whipped in to Scott Reid. The goal was open but the prolific striker couldn’t quite get enough on it. It wasn’t an easy chance to convert.
Neither team would create any further major chances in the final minutes. After an eventful first half with 5 goals, there would only be the 1 in the second half.
Full Time: Garrison Gunners 4 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers.
The Gunners pick up back-to-back wins and go 12 points clear at the top of the table. They’re now on 16 points while the Wanderers remain bottom on 4 points.
Performances of note and other bits:
Thanks to all for turning up. Another brilliant turn out on the Garrison. A big thank you to Paul, Crockett and Chas for officiating.
Some stand out performances this week.
Gunners Captain Rob Greenlaw led the team well and worked tirelessly throughout the match.
Scott Reid put in a great shift in attack, looked threatening throughout and grabbed a couple of goals including a magnificent diving header.
Adam O’Neill had another good game on the wing and scored a great goal for the Gunners.
Dan Ware put in another stellar performance in midfield. The box-to-box player won the ball well, drove forward and scored a wonderful header.
Jack Handy had another brilliant game up front for the Gunners. The young striker took his goal like a seasoned veteran and was involved in everything good the Gunners produced.
Man Of The Match:
A tough call this week, as there were some terrific performances but this week’s Man Of The Match award goes to Lewis Brown. A solid performance all round by the central defender. He read the game well, made numerous tackles and interceptions and on top of that scored a fine long range goal that sealed the Wanderers fate.
Coming up next:
There is now a short winter break.
The next fixture is the annual Boxing Day bash - The Old Men v The Young Men!
10:30 KO – Wednesday, 26th December, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.
As far as the league goes, the next league fixture is scheduled for a week Sunday.
10:30 KO – Sunday, 30th December, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.
The next league fixture is to be confirmed closer to the date.
On behalf of all at the World’s Smallest Football League we would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year!