Wrecclesham F.C. 6 Hersham Vila 1

With table topping Hersham Vila visiting The Recreation Ground the Wolves knew they would need to pick up where they left off against Westend Res. the week before, having put in a performance of their season thus far. The visitors had won all games so far this season, bar one draw in the league, but this didn't stop Wrecclesham taking them to task on a cold, wet and windy wintery afternoon.

In an action packed game from the first whistle to the last, it was the visitors, Hersham, who took the lead in a little under 60 seconds. Having broken down the Wrecclesham end from kickoff the Hersham striker rolled the ball into the net under Keeper Aaron Hall from near the penalty spot after the ball made its way across the right hand side of the Wolves penalty area. Obviously shell shocked, Wrecclesham sat in and allowed Hersham to add more pressure in the opening exchanges and some fantastic defending from Centre Backs Luke Wainwright and Liam Gardener, some good saves from Hall in goal and a bit of luck were all that prevented Wrecclesham falling further behind.

As Hersham threw more men forwards to try and score a quick second, opportunities appeared for the Wolves on the counter attack. And this was to be their route back into the match as Striker Alex Worsel was released down the right hand channel from a ball out of defence. This allowed Nick Sims on the wing to cut in behind the on-rushing striker and received a reversed ball inside the box to fire home to give Wrecclesham parity after 15 minutes.

As the rain fell harder the play became disjointed and the ball difficult to keep hold of, leading to a midfield battle in the mud. Unfortunately for Wrecclesham, Lee Phung was on the end of a heavy challenge and the lack of any friction carried the Hersham player through the full back at some pace. With Phung injured in the tackle Tim Stevens replaced him at rightback after 30 mins of play. The downpour continued as did the battle for control of the ball and both teams were able to carve out chances but no more goals were forthcoming.

The half time whistle saw everyone make a burst for some shelter and the teams piled into the changing rooms. The referee asked the managers out on to the pitch at the break, to point out small puddles of standing water and to deliberate safety of the players at the half time whistle although it had stopped the torrential downpour by now and was a slight drizzle, so it was agreed to continue the game.

With the opening exchanges of the second half closely matched it was Wrecclesham, much like the weather, who improved as the half went on. And eventually it was the Wolves who took the lead with Alex Worsell receiving the ball on the edge of the box, after a ball across the edge of the box. With his back to goal Worsell took a touch with his right foot to control the ball while allowing it to run across the face of his body and then released a stunning, curling, left footed wonder strike past the Hersham Keeper to give Wrecclesham the lead after an hour of play.

Shortly after this Wrecclesham had some day light between the teams after a long range freekick from Luke Wainwright barely 15 yards into the Hersham half was fumbled into the goal by the Hersham goalkeeper as the greasy ball evaded his grasp and the ball was palmed into the net to give Wainwright his second goal of the season. 3-1 to the Wolves flattered them slightly but Hersham did create chances of their own and only more fantastic defending from the Wrecclesham back four and the keeper kept Hersham at bay. Drew Unsworth, at left back, typifying the Wolves resolve to not concede clearing the ball off the line with a well timed header after a Hersham corner.

With Ricky Pearce, Elliot Worsell and Axel Galvani providing excellent stamina and drive in the midfield mud-bath Wrecclesham were more than holding their own vs the table topping Hersham with 15 minutes left to go and it got better for the Wolves entering the final stages of the game with Luke Wainwright grabbing a second long range freekick from almost the exact same spot as the first, to score a brace. This time as the ball was fired towards the near post, the onrushing Wrecclesham players and the jeering crowd behind the goal were enough to put the keeper off and the ball bounced on the 6 yard line and skidded in for Wainwrights second and Wreccleshams forth to make the scores 4-1 to the hosts with 15 to go till the close of play. This saw a number of Wrecclesham changes with Ollie Temple, Warren Thompson and Kane Knight all taking to the field to add some energy and legs to a tiring midfield

As Hersham began to bicker amongst themselves on the pitch and on the touch line, Wrecclesham smelt blood and went for the kill with Hersham pushing more bodies forwards to try and drag themselves back into the game Noah Rubio, Sims and Worsell upfront found themselves with more space in the Hersham rearguard. Rubio who had replaced Mike Newton up top early in the game (due to a jewellery item being irremovable) was released down the wing to square for Sims to grab his second and Wreccleshams fifth goal of the day. Sims and The Wolves were not finished yet and after some good play between Worsell and Sims down the right, Worsell released Sims down the wing. The inside forward beat the retreating challenge as he drove into the box to fire a shot at goal which was blocked but only fell to Sims feet and he made sure from close range to score his hat-trick with the game coming to a close.

That makes it 6 wins on the bounce now for the Wolves with 29 goals scored in those games and pushing Wrecclesham up into 2nd position, showing that the Wolves have the firepower and defensive resolve to hold their own with anyone in the league. With another fantastic all round team performance it was Liam Gardner who took man of the match this week. The centre back who won numerous challenges and put everything on the line for the team blocking multiple attempts on his goal with any bit of his body, taking fire to the face, stomach and more sensitive parts to make sure The Wolves ran out deserved winners and inflict a first defeat of their season on Hersham. Special mentions to his centre-back partner Wainwright who was equally determined at the back and got his first Brace for the club, Ricky Pearce and Elliot Worsell who both ran themselves into the ground in a muddy midfield, providing good support for the front three and making sure they were back to get down and dirty with their defenders, and Nick Sims who's hat trick was well deserved.

N. Sims (3), A. Worsell, L. Wainwright (2)

Liam Gardner

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