Gunners Clinch League Title In Thrilling 3-2 Win

The Gunners moving the ball out from the back.

The Gunners moving the ball out from the back.

FT: Garrison Gunners 3 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers

HT: Garrison Gunners 2 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers

Sunday, 17th February 2019

Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

League Game 14

The Garrison Gunners are the league champions for the 2018/2019 season.

Corey Graham gave the Gunners the lead after 2 minutes.

The Wanderers equalised through Scott Reid’s diving header.

It would be the Wanderers who took the lead when Will Lethbridge finished from 8 yards.

Jack Handy tapped in at close range towards the end of the first half for the Gunners to make it all square at the break.

The young striker would score the decisive goal, finishing well from a quick counter to secure the win and the league title for the Gunners.

Garrison Gunners

C Graham (2’) J Handy (35’, 75’)

Woolpack Wanderers

S Reid (10’) W Lethbridge (15’)

Match Report By Will Lethbridge.

The Garrison Gunners were crowned champions of the World’s Smallest Football League for the 2018/2019 on Sunday morning after beating the Woolpack Wanderers 3-2 in a tense thriller.

As far as the conditions go the pitch was in good shape ahead of play. Little rain over the previous week meant the slightly boggy areas of the Garrison Field had recovered. There wasn’t too much wind either. In general great conditions for football! 

There were only a few key players missing for the Gunners. Box-to-box midfielder Dan Ware and promising young goalkeeper Will St Pier were absent. 

The Wanderers had a few more significant players missing. Creative Midfielder and captain Rob Greenlaw was ruled out through injury, as was the technically gifted Jack Stone. Other key players missing included midfield maestro Joe Greenlaw and the shot-stopper Eugene Hogan. 

Before kick off a minutes silence was observed in memory of late, great England World Cup winning goalkeeper, Gordon Banks who sadly passed away earlier on in the week. 

It really was a quite extraordinary start to the game. Both teams were really pumped up knowing what was on the line and there was a bit of backchat between some of the players (all in good spirit). 

The opening goal of the game would come within just a couple of minutes. The Gunners picked up the ball and a slick diagonal through ball cut the Wanderers defence in half. Striker Corey Graham timed his run perfectly, took a touch and finished low across James Wignell in goal to give them an early lead. The Wanderers had barely had a kick! 

The Wanderers regrouped and got straight back into it as if it was 0-0 and after some good pressure would get their reward with 10 minutes played. Keith Guy out on the right wing put a terrific ball into the area. Striker Scott Reid lost his man at the back post and executed a spectacular diving header across Matt Simons in the Wanderers goal and into the top corner. 

In a dramatic turn of events, the Wanderers would take the lead 5 minutes later. Scott Reid put another good ball into the area. Will Lethbridge took a touch with his right foot before finishing his left foot from 8 yards to give the Wanderers the lead. The Wanderers were possibly a little fortunate to take the lead but regardless it was a phenomenal start to the game! 

The game started to settle down and the Wanderers weren’t quite sure whether to stick or twist. There was still plenty of time to go and as the half progressed the Gunners started to take to take the ascendency. 

With the Wanderers missing some key players in the centre of the park they gradually started to have a bit more joy on the ball and started to force the Wanderers back into their own half. 

The Wanderers still looked dangerous on the counter. It was passionate half with some firm tackles and a few fouls. Both teams looked threatening at set pieces. 

Wanderers' keeper James Wignell made a string of fine saves to keep it at 2-1 for a good portion of the half. Despite his efforts and some dogged and last-ditch defending from Russell Hutchins and Dan May, the Gunners would eventually get the goal they deserved. 

After some good work down the right, the ball was pulled back to Jack Handy at the back post who finished well to make it all square at 2-2.

Both teams were bright and doing everything they could to unlock the opposite team's defence. The half would end all even. What a half it was!

HT: Garrison Gunners 2 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers

The Gunners would have to make a tactical change at half time, as captain Anthony Gibbons was unable to continue due to an injury he picked up towards the end of the first half. Joel Ware would move from the centre forward position to centre back to try and firm up the defence knowing a draw would be enough to clinch the league title. 

Both teams got off to a good start and the second half started at a high tempo. 

The Wanderers were pressing forwards and the Gunners were surging forwards on the break at every opportunity. Wanderers’ keeper James Wignell kept them in the game with some fine saves in the early stages of the second half. 

It would be the Wanderers who would come agonisingly close to taking the lead in the early stages of the second half. A high ball was put in towards the Gunners area. After a fair challenge, the ball fell to Will Lethbridge on the edge of the area who hit the ball with venom on the bounce only for his strike to come crashing back out off the bar. 

The game became more stretched as the half progressed. Raph Ward who put on the gloves for the Gunners in the second half produced some fine saves. 

Ultimately the Gunners would take the lead. The Wanderers were caught out on the break with too many players upfield. 

After winning back possession a slick through ball was threaded to Jack Handy who finished well from close range to give the Gunners the lead and grab his second of the day. Heartbreak for the Wanderers! 

Not long to go and the Wanderers needed 2 goals to stay in the league. Caution was thrown to the wind and the Wanderers were pressing forwards trying to get back in the game. 

Despite their efforts, the Gunners were organised and sat back limiting the Wanderers to just a few opportunities, the best being Will Lethbridge's shot from the edge of the area which went narrowly wide. 

The Gunners did well to keep procession and slowed the tempo down in the final minutes to give them win and the league title. 

FT: Garrison Gunners 3 – 2 Woolpack Wanderers 

Congratulations to the Garrison Gunners who are the World’s Smallest Football League – league champions for 2018/2019.

Performances of note and other bits: 

Thanks to all for turning up and to Paul, Crockett and Chas for officiating. It was a great game of football! 

Terrific performances all round. Gunners’ striker Corey Graham looked sharp and took his early goal very well. Attacker Jack Handy looked dangerous throughout and his brace proved to be the difference. Centre forward Joel Ware linked the play up the top end of the pitch well and then put in a solid shift at the back in the second half. 

Wanderers’ keeper James Wignell put in a great shift in goal and made some brilliant saves. Striker Scott Reid’s diving header was another real highlight of the match. Youngsters Keith Guy and Louis Asten also put in solid performances.

Man of the Match:

Gunners centre back Lewis Brown gets the vote this week and picks up the award for the second week in a row. A spirited performance throughout the 90 minutes by the central defender who did well to break up the play and move the ball out from the back. 

Coming up next: 

It may all be over as far as the title goes but there are still 5 more league games to go and the Wanderers will be playing for pride. They will be hoping to reduce the margin and will be looking ahead to the final cup match, on the last day of the season. 

Next is the 15th League game of the season.

10:30 KO – Sunday, 24th February, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.