Spirited Wanderers Grind Out First Win

The Gunners forcing the play in the Wanderers half late on.

The Gunners forcing the play in the Wanderers half late on.

FT Garrison Gunners 0 – 1 Woolpack Wanderers

HT Garrison Gunners 0 – 1 Woolpack Wanderers

Sunday 2nd December, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

League Game 6

Sam James tapped in at close range for the Wanderers 30 minutes in.

Gunners hit the woodwork twice in the second half.

Wanderers earn first win of the season.

Gunners remain top by 6 points.

Garrison Gunners

Woolpack Wanderers

S James (30’)

Match Report By Will Lethbridge.

While football fans up and down the country were eagerly awaiting derby games in Liverpool and London, a slightly more modest rivalry continued in the Isles of Scilly. 

The Woolpack Wanderers recorded their first win of the season in a tight and tense contest on the Garrison Field.

Sam James latched onto a long ball half an hour in and tapped into an empty net to give the Woolpack Wanderers 3 crucial points in the World’s Smallest Football League. 

Ahead of play, it felt a lot more like winter on Scilly after weeks of mild conditions.

It was a wet morning with light rain and a fair breeze, which would pick up over the course of the game. 

Despite a fair bit of rain over the week, the pitch was in pretty good shape. Not many if any rabbit holes this week, and the slick grass meant the ball moved well. The wind would not have too much of an impact on the game. 

As far as team news goes ahead of kickoff, another very good turnout. Both teams had 3+ substitutes. 

The only main absentee for the Gunners was Lewis Brown. The Wanderers welcomed back their captain, Rob Greenlaw in midfield and Russell Hutchins in defence. Both were making their season debuts and would go on play key roles in the Wanderers win. Liam Greenlaw reverted back to the Gunners this week.

The Gunners won the coin toss and elected to kick up field. 

Referee Paul Charnock got the proceedings underway and the game got off to a good start.

Both teams pressed from the word go, attempting to get the upper hand. In the early stages, there wasn’t much between the teams. The Wanderers got the ball down and moved it out from the back well. 

They created a few half chances in the early stages. The best opportunity came to Jack Stone who was playing on the right of midfield. His long range strike went just over. 

The Gunners also looked threatening at times, trying their luck from in and around the penalty area and forced Wanderers keeper Eugene Hogan into a few good saves. 

It would be the Wanderers who would take lead on the half hour mark. The Wanderers picked up the ball in the midfield and a dangerous long diagonal ball was put into the area. 

Gunners keeper Will St Pier came for the ball, got a touch in the crowded area but couldn’t keep it away from Sam James. The Wanderers winger took a touch, knocked it to the side of a player, remained composed and knocked the ball into an empty net. 

A very well taken goal it was especially considering the number of players in the area. 

It was 1-0 to the Wanderers - the first game they had taken the lead in this season! 

The Gunners almost pulled level. A through ball was picked out by centre forward Joel Ware who found himself one on one with Eugene Hogan. The Wanderers keeper stood up well, made himself big and made an excellent save to keep it all level. A similar save to the ones made famous by Peter Schmeichel! 

Both teams would have spells with the ball, but the rest of the half remained fairly even. 

The half would end Garrison Gunners 0 – 1 Woolpack Wanderers. 

Straight from the restart the Gunners mounted pressure and looked a real threat. They had the majority of the possession and started to carve out some further chances.

Dan Ware came within an inch of making it all square. The box-to-box midfielder hit an audacious and venomous strike from 35 yards out that cannoned off the crossbar. 

The Wanderers looked dangerous on the break. They got the ball down on the ground, worked it out to the wing and put some great balls into the box and through the channel.

As the match progressed it opened up. Eugene Hogan in goal for the Wanderers made some good saves to keep the Wanderers ahead.

10 minutes to go and the Wanderers still had the lead. The Gunners would come close once again, hitting the woodwork late on! 

Owen Littlejohn latched onto a deep cross, connected with the ball well only for his strike come back out off the post. Agonisingly close it was for the young striker. 

If anything Wanderers had the better of the late, late chances. After some skilful play, Scott Reid’s long range shot went narrowly wide and the striker would be denied on the line with only a matter of minutes to go. 

Will St Pier in goal for the Gunners came out to make a good one on one save on the edge of the area 

The rebound came to Scott Reid who turned and whipped the ball into the near corner from the edge of the area. 

Gunners centre back Anthony Gibbons somehow managed to get his head/face to it on the line, knocking the ball out for a corner. It really was a remarkable clearance! 

The resulting corner would come to nothing and soon after the whistle was blown for full time. 

Full time Garrison Gunners 0 – 1 Woolpack Wanderers 

The Wanderers get their first win of the season and pick up 3 valuable points. This week's victors have a total of 4 points but are still 6 points shy of the Gunners who remain top on 10 points. 

Performances of note and other bits: 

Thanks to all for turning up. Another terrific turn out on the Garrison - hopefully, the same next week. Thank you to Paul and Crockett for officiating. 

Some amazing performances again this week!

Dan May and Russell Hutchins put in a dogged performance at the heart of the Wanderers defence, breaking up play and they limited the Gunners forward players to a handful of chances. Fullbacks Ben Johnson and Hayden Simpson supported them well and helped cover the back line at crucial moments. 

The central midfield battle proved crucial and Joe Greenlaw had another excellent game pulling the strings and helping the defence.

Goalkeeper Eugene Hogan put in another solid performance for the Wanderers. He commanded the area, mopped up well and made some crucial saves.

Winger Sam James looked dangerous and stayed calm and composed to score the vital goal of the game. 

Scott Reid lead the line well and posed a real threat throughout. 

As far and Gunners go, Anthony Gibbons played well at the back and made an incredible goal line clearance late on.

Central midfielders Dan Ware and Liam Greenlaw put in impressive performances in the centre of the park. Dan Ware was unlucky to have his long range strike come back off the bar. 

Joel Ware was unlucky not to score for the Gunners and created problems for the Wanderers throughout the game. He was only denied by some excellent saves from keeper Eugene Hogan. 

Gunners substitutes, Jack Handy, Keith Guy and Owen Littlejohn made an impact when they came on. They linked the play well, did the simple things well and Owen Littlejohn was unlucky not to snatch an equaliser in the later stages. 

Man of the Match:

Wanderers Captain Rob Greenlaw gets this week’s Man of the Match award. 

The returning captain put in a great performance in centre midfield. He dictated the play, put the hard yards and tackles in. His leadership helped the Wanderers close out the end of the game to earn their first win of the season. 

Coming up next: 

Six-A-Side in the Sports Hall, this evening, 5th December 6:30-8:30pm - £5 for the 2 hours.

The 7th league game of the season is next.

10:30 KO - Sunday 9th December, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.

The race for the league title is on!