WESTBURY were glad to see the back of Doris until her buddy Storm Ewan met them at The Lancer Scott Stadium.
Even strong winds and lashing rain weren’t enough to see this game postponed as the officials declared game on.
Straight away the weather was proving difficult; any high ball was blown on top of the club house and the rain was still falling.
The first incident to report wasn’t even football related. After only 5 minutes the Ashton and Backwell number 9 decided to punch Westbury captain Matt Jones in the eye.
The play was happening at the other end of the pitch so the referee didn’t see the incident. He took his time and talked with his assistant but it seems that neither of them saw it so number 9 got away without even a caution, and Westbury were temporarily down to ten men while Jones received treatment on the side lines.
Ten minutes later, with Jones still off the pitch getting treatment on his eye, Jamie Jordan threaded a lovely pass through to Leon Greenland. Greenland raced through and got his shot off but only managed to shoot wide.
Westbury’s speed in attack was causing Ashton and Backwell all kinds of problems; on the 22nd minute George Bendle received the ball inside the Ashton and Backwell half. A good pass out to Greenland on the left sent him once again to race past the right-back, and Greenland’s squared cross to Bendle was fired on target but the keeper managed to save, but only into the path of Martin Johnson who pounced and fired the ball into the net.
Jordan Pinder and Joe Kirkpatrick were winning just about every ball that came into the midfield area. Pinder continuously kept the game ticking and the tempo high, receiving the ball and feeding it to the four hungry speedsters in front of him.
Ashton and Backwell had a chance from a corner just after the half hour mark but the ball fell to the feet of Jamie Jordan who decided that the best way to deal with the situation was to play a one-two with the goalpost before clearing up the field.
Greenland was involved again soon after, when Ferris Lamrabet played the ball down the left for Greenland to beat the right-back again, but this time the Ashton and Backwell number 5 cut out the cross to prevent further danger.
Considering the conditions, it was an entertaining first half, both teams were playing football, and Ashton and Backwell would regularly look to play the ball across their back line to see if they could find an opening on the other side of the pitch.
Westbury continued to threaten with their pace and on the 40-minute mark Bendle broke through but was fouled on the edge of the box. Jordan stepped up to take the free kick which was smashed against the wall, deflecting back to his feet and he tried a curling shot into the far post which was kept out by an excellent save from the goalkeeper.
At half-time Jones was removed from the action as he was having trouble with his vision and Mattie Mantay was introduced to the action.
Within minutes of being introduced, Mantay found himself chasing back an Ashton and Backwell attacker who was on the counter attack after a Westbury corner. He managed to wrap his foot around the attacker in a sliding tackle to get the ball but the referee judged it to be a foul and a yellow card.
The wind had died down and the rain had stopped but pitch conditions were getting worse nonetheless. Both teams stuck to their guns and continued to try and play.
The ref did well to keep control as the tackles came flying in. On the 65-minute mark Keirran Ramsey was called into action when the Ashton and Backwell number 9 hit a curling shot from about 20 yards out, and Ramsey moved his feet quickly and tipped the ball over the bar.
The result was three corners in a row for Ashton and Backwell. The first was put straight out for a corner by Stephen Fox, the second bounced around and deflected off a green sock to go out for the third, the third was a good delivery but the Fox in the Box was there again to head it clear.
There were a couple of other chances, most notably a fizzed shot from distance by Jordan which the keeper spilled but the hard-working Bendle wasn’t close enough to take advantage.
The game finished 1-0 to Westbury and it was exactly what they deserved. They worked hard and played some quality football.
Team: Keirran Ramsey, Stephan Fox, Ferris Lamrabet, Dan Price, Matt Jones, Jordan Pinder, Jamie Jordan, Joe Kirkpatrick, George Bendle, Martin Johnson, Leon Greenland.
Subs: Mattie Mantay, Pete Sturman (used) Carl Crabtree (unused).
Westbury Star Man: Jordan Pinder.