Wanderers Grab Stoppage Time Equaliser In Dramatic 4-4 Draw

It was nine-a-side on Sunday and there was plenty of space for both teams to make the most of.

It was nine-a-side on Sunday and there was plenty of space for both teams to make the most of.

FT: Woolpack Wanderers 4 - 4 Garrison Gunners

HT: Woolpack Wanderers 1 - 2 Garrison Gunners

Sunday, 24th March 2019

Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

League Game 19

Wanderers took the lead within two minutes when Will Lethbridge chased down a short back pass.

Corey Graham made it 1-1 with a firm strike from close range.

The Gunners took the lead when a terrific ball was whipped into Sam Gould at the back post.

Jack Handy chipped the ball over Wanderers keeper Joel Ware to make it 3-1.

Centre half Anthony Gibbons made it 4-1 when he reacted first after a clearance from a corner. 

After wasting chance after chance the Wanderers grabbed three goals in less than twenty minutes to go. 

Captain Russell Hutchins started the comeback with two goals, one from the edge of the area and one from the spot.

Keith Guy fired home from inside the area to earn the Wanderers a point with seconds to spare. 

The Garrison Gunners the champions of the World’s Smallest Football League for the 2018/2019 season.

Woolpack Wanderers

W Lethbridge (2') R Hutchins (75’, 80’) K Guy (93’)

Garrison Gunners

C Graham (25’) S Gould (30’) J Handy (50’) A Gibbons (60’)

Match Report By Will Lethbridge.

Woolpack Wanderers winger Keith Guy scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a captivating, end-to-end 4-4 draw in the final league game of the season.

Even though the league title had been decided weeks ago there was pride and passion to play for on Sunday morning. 

The game did have a bit of a warm-up feel ahead of what is shaping up to be a fascinating cup final next week. 

Like the last couple of weeks both teams were short on players due to work commitments and a whole host of other reasons. After rallying the troops the Wanderers and Gunners were able to field nine players each. 

The game got underway 10 minutes behind schedule. 

Due to the fact it was nine-a-side, there was plenty of space for both teams and they made the most of it.

It was an open start to the game with one team attacking and the other countering from the word go and the players were enjoying the extra space and time on the ball. 

The Wanderers would capitalise on the space and open nature of the game with just 2 minutes played. 

Striker Will Lethbridge chased down a short back pass and blocked Gunners’ keeper, Will St Pier’s clearance and had the easy task of just rolling the ball into the back of the net.

As the game got back underway for the second time in the same number of minutes played the relentless tempo continued and both teams were looking threatening in the final third. 

Both Will St Pier in goal for the Gunners and Joel Ware in between the posts for the Wanderers were forced into action. 

The Wanderers attacking players were creating chances with Will Lethbridge and Sam Eaton linking up well. It was the final pass on a couple of occasions that prevented the Wanderers from going through on goal.

It wasn’t one-sided by any means in the first half. The Gunners were moving the ball well and using the space. With 25 minutes played they would draw level. 

After some slick play in the centre of the pitch the ball was worked wide and then pulled back from the by-line to the edge of the six-yard box. Corey Graham met the cross and hit a thunderous strike high and slightly to the right of centre. 

No chance for Joel Ware. It was 1-1 and if anything the momentum had shifted. 

The Gunners applied further pressure and would take the lead soon after drawing level. Following some further terrific play down the right wing, the ball was driven low across the area to Sam Gould to tap in at close range.

As the half progressed into its later stages both teams were unlucky not to add to their goal tally. It really was all to play for in the second half!

HT: Woolpack Wanderers 1 - 2 Garrison Gunners

In the early stages of the second half the Wanderers mounted some serious pressure and kept the Gunners pinned back in their own half. 

They came close on several occasions and either missed the target or their shots were saved by Will St Pier in goal for the Gunners. The number of chances the Wanderers created and didn't convert over the course of the half was quite remarkable! 

It would be the Gunners who would double their advantage with 5 minutes of the half played. After a quick counter, in form striker Jack Handy ran onto an accurate through ball to chipped it high over Joel Ware in the Wanderers goal from close range. The forward had attempted it the first half and executed it perfectly second time around. 

Despite going two goals behind the Wanderers continued to attack and created chance after chance. The chances went begging and it felt like it wasn’t going to be their day. Evan though the Gunners were forced into their third of the pitch for large periods of the half they looked threatening on the counter.

It would be a set piece that would lead to the Gunners fourth of the day though. 

A dangerous ball was whipped into the area from a corner. After a good aerial duel the ball bounced to Gunners centre back and captain Anthony Gibbons who reacted quicker than anyone else and smashed the ball through a crowded penalty area into the top corner to make it 1-4. 

With half an hour to go, it looked like it was game over for the Wanderers. Despite being 3 goals behind and not being able to capitalise on their chances the Wanderers didn’t stop attacking and if anything threw more players forward. 

Both teams chanced goalkeepers with 20 minutes to go. Corey Graham replaced Will St Pier in goal for the Gunners and Sam Eaton jumped in between the posts for the Wanderers for Joel Ware who moved into his position up front. 

As the game moved into the final 15 minutes or so the Wanderers got their break. After some good work in the middle of the pitch and down the right wing the ball was cut back to Wanderers captain Russell Hutchins.

The centre back took a touch just inside the area and then guided the ball with his left foot into the bottom corner. It was 4-2 and the Wanderers were back in the game!

It wouldn’t take long for the Wanderers to cut the deficit to just a single goal. 

Following another attack, the Wanderers won a corner. The ball was curled into the area and following a challenge the ball ricocheted onto a defenders hand. Referee Paul Charnock had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Russell Hutchins stepped up and slotted it past Corey Graham. 

Just a single goal in the game and there were just minutes left to play. 

The Gunners sat back and put in some great tackles and made some brilliant interceptions. As the seconds ticked by the Wanderers moved the ball and calved out a few half chances. 

With just seconds to spare in stoppage time, the Wanderers managed to complete an incredible comeback. After some good passing around the area, a shot was blocked on the six-yard box. 

It fell to Wanderers winger Keith Guy who took a touch and calmly picked out the bottom corner. The Wanderers had done it! It was 4-4 and almost straight from the kick-off referee Paul Charnock blew the whistle for full time. 

FT: Woolpack Wanderers 4 - 4 Garrison Gunners 

What a dramatic end to the game and league season. Regardless of the result, the Gunners had wrapped up the league a while ago. 

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

Performances of note and other bits:

Thanks to Paul and David for officiating and to all for turning up.

Some fantastic performances again this week from both sides. Corey Graham passed the ball well, made some brilliant tackles and took his goal well. 

Striker Jack Handy had another good game up front and created some good chances for the Gunners. His chipped finish was sublime! 

Anthony Gibbons and Lewis Brown put in solid performances throughout the game for the Gunners. 

Sam Eaton put in a fine shift up front for the Wanderers and linked up well with the players around him. 

Keith Guy played some great balls over the top and kept a cool head to grab a late equaliser. 

Joel Ware made some fine saves in goal and made a big difference in attack late on. 

Man of the Match:

Wanderers' centre back and captain for the week Russell Hutchins get the award this week. A real captains performance from start to finish and the 2 goals he scored proved crucial in the Wanderers comeback. 

Coming up next:
It’s the final game of the season and it’s the cup final! 

10:30 KO – Sunday, 31st March. 

Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.