Adam O’Neill Brace Secures Win For Gunners In Eventful Encounter

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FT Woolpack Wanderers 2 – 3 Garrison Gunners

HT Woolpack Wanderers 0 – 2 Garrison Gunners

Sunday, 20th January 2018

Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

League Game 11

Gunners took the lead in the first half through Adam O’Neill

Wanderers keeper Eugene Hogan saved penalty to keep the Wanderers in the game

Unfortunate own goal gave Gunners two goal advantage at the break

Sensational Strike from Russell Hutchins gave Wanders a lifeline midway through the second half

Forward Adam O’Neill capitalised on a loose ball to restore two goal lead for Gunners

Scott Reid scored consolation goal for Wanderers late on

Gunners go nine points clear at the top of the table after eleven games played.

Garrison Gunners

A O’Neill (15’ 70’) D May (OG 35’)

Woolpack Wanderers

R Hutchins (60’) S Reid (80’)

Match Report By Will Lethbridge.

Adam O’Neill scored a brace to help the Garrison Gunners to their first league win in three on Sunday morning in the World’s Smallest Football League.

In a game, which the Gunners shone and outplayed the Wanderers for the majority of the proceedings the Wanderers reduced the deficit to a single goal late on to set up a tense end to the game.

It was feeling very much like winter. One of the coldest mornings of the season so far with dark clouds circling the Garrison Field. Thankfully heavens didn’t open during play. 

There was a fair breeze but not as strong as the previous week. In general, the pitch was in good shape with the exception of one of the goalmouths.

The league recently purchased new goal posts (only one arrived) and the new goal has been enjoyed over the week and the area has become boggy.

Ahead of play the area was inspected and deemed fit for play. The new goal post has been moved behind the main pitch to allow the goalmouth to recover and for others to enjoy. Hopefully, the other goal post will arrive soon!

Both the Gunners and the Wanderers were missing a few key players. Midfielders Jack Stone and Joe Greenlaw were unavailable for selection along with goalkeepers James Wignell and Kane Goddard for the Wanderers. As far as the Gunners go central midfielders Liam Greenlaw and Lewis Brown were absent as well Centre Forward Joel Ware. Fullback Matt Simons was ruled out through injury.

From the get go, the Gunners got stuck in and took the game to Wanderers. They put pressure on in the early stages pinning the Wanderers back in their own half and created a few chances. Eugene Hogan in goal for the Wanderers was level to the early attempts.

Just as the Wanderers started to move the ball around a bit and get into the Gunners territory the Gunners caught them out.

After the Gunners regained possession just inside their own half a ball was threaded through the centre of the pitch. Adam O’Neill beat the offside trap, took it round Eugene Hogan and tapped into an empty net to give the Gunners the lead 15 minutes in.

The Wanderers came incredibly close to making it all square soon after the opening goal. The ball came to Hayden Simpson in midfield who unleashed a ferocious curling shot from 30 yards that looked destined for the top corner.

Will St Pier in the Gunners goal made a spectacular high diving save to put it out for a corner. A save for the cameras if ever you had seen one!

Despite the excellent save the Wanderers found themselves back in their own half and soon after it looked like it was going to go from bad to worse for them.

Adam O’Neill creating further problems went down in the Wanderers area. Was it a penalty? Both sides made their case but referee Paul Charnock had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

Ben Jenkins stepped up to take the penalty. After a short delay, he connected with the ball well and went to put it down the middle. Eugene Hogan’s trailing leg was equal to it and striker Scott Reid reacted quickly to smash it out of play for a corner. A lucky escape for the Wanderers!

The Wanderers did create a few chances but they were from distance and were either off target or comfortably saved by Gunners keeper Will St Pier.

With around 10 minutes to until the break, the Gunners extended their lead with what can only be described as one of the most bizarre goals of the season so far.

After a quick counter down the right, the ball was whipped in high across the area and seemed to swerve back due to a gust of wind. There was a case to be made to whether the ball stayed in play.

Young winger Sam Gould somehow got a touch and then managed to skew the ball back across the face of goal which caught Dan May charging in to cover the near post on the knee giving Eugene Hogan no chance.

The ball could have gone out of play on several occasions but the whistle was blown and the goal awarded. It was an incredibly difficult call for the officials and a little unfortunate on the winger and defender.

Regardless, the Gunners were well worth their 2 goal lead. Neither side would create any further clear-cut chances before the interval. A half to forget for the Wanderers!

HT: Woolpack Wanderers 0 – 2 Garrison Gunners

After regrouping and licking their wounds the Wanderers came out and in many respects were the better of the sides at the beginning of the second half. 

They managed to control the tempo and started to move the ball around better and made a few openings in the early stages of the second half.

With about 10 minutes played the Gunners upped their game and mounted pressure on the Gunners defence. Wanderers keeper Eugene Hogan made save after save to keep them in the game. It looked like it would only be a matter of time before the Gunners would get their third goal of the day.

Just when it looked like the contest was going to be over fairly soon, the Wanderers got back in the game to set up a fascinating final half an hour.

The Wanderers won back possession in their own and started a quick counter. After a good passing move, the ball was knocked to Will Lethbridge who laid it off to Russell Hutchins just outside the area. The centre back struck the ball with the outside of the boot, hitting it high with curl and dip. Will St Pier couldn’t do anything about it. The Wanderers were back in the game!

Just as the Wanderers looked like they might be able to get something out of the match a mistake at the back proved costly.

Gunners forward Adam O’Neill intercepted the ball from on the edge of the Wanderers area and found himself one on one with Eugene Hogan on the left hand side of the area. The inform striker struck the ball with power into the far bottom corner giving Eugene Hogan no chance. It was 1-3 with 20 minutes to go. Surely that would be it for Wanderers.

With time running out and a 2 goal deficit caution went out the window and Wanderers went for broke and pushed more players forward. With 10 minutes to go a ball was slid through to Scott Reid on the right of the six-yard box. He took a touch before hitting a venomous shot into the bottom left corner to set up a tense final 10 minutes.

The Gunners regained their composure, kept possession and were determined there would not be a repeat of the previous week. The Wanderers were limited to a few long range attempts and the Gunners looked to keep possession and ensure the ball was in the Wanderers own half.

The game would draw to a close with no late winner or drama this week.

FT: Woolpack Wanderers 2 – 3 Garrison Gunners

The Gunners earn their first league win in three and extend their lead to 9 points.

Performances of note and other bits:

Thanks to all for turning out and to Paul and Crockett for overseeing the match. There were a few spectators this week – thanks for watching!

Performance wise some great ones this week! Eugene Hogan made some great saves to keep the Wanderers in the match. Too many to count! Centre back Russell Hutchins scored a fine goal, moved the ball out from the back. Rob Greenlaw worked hard in midfield and started some good attacking moves for the Wanderers. Striker Scott Reid took his goal well and gave the Wanderers a glimmer of hope towards the end.

Corey Graham put in a great shift out on right wing and did the simple things well. Enforcing midfielder Dan Ware controlled the game for long periods and linked up well with Lee Eaton. Raph Ward put in a solid performance at the back alongside Anthony Gibbons and Ben Jenkins. Will St Pier had a good game and made a sensational save in the first half.

Man of the Match:

Close call this week with so many fantastic performances at both ends of the pitch but this week’s Man of the match award goes to Gunners striker Adam O’Neill. The in-form striker took his goals well and created problems for Wanderers throughout the game.

Coming up next: 

The first piece of silverware is up for grabs! It’s back to cup action next week with the second leg of the League Cup.

The Gunners take a narrow 1-0 lead into the second leg.
League Cup – Leg 2

10:30 KO - Sunday 27th January, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.

Game on!