Wiltshire Publications

Wednesday 11th October – FA Vase Christchurch FC 1 Westbury 0

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at 9:24 am.

WESTBURY United are out of the FA Vase following a decision by the FA to replay the initial match that they won against Christchurch.  Following that match, an appeal was launched that Westbury used a fourth substitute in extra time, despite reassurance from match officials that they could do so.

In the replay, Westbury had an excellent first half but couldn’t turn their superb play into goals, which ultimately cost them their place in the competition.

Westbury nearly made the perfect start; with punters still coming through the turnstiles Jamie Jordan arrived on the left hand side of the penalty area, he had time to control the ball and smash a shot goal wards, but the Christchurch defender was close by to block the shot. Next up Dan Kovacs tried his luck, but his shot was blocked too.

Westbury had a good foothold in the game, with both full backs, Dan Jordan and Leon Greenland, regularly joining the attacks but their next opportunity came on the 20-minute mark. Player-manager Joe Kirkpatrick broke down the right-hand side, he cut inside and took the shot on with his left foot, which ended up going just wide. Kirkpatrick was involved again a few minutes later, when the ball was switched across the pitch, Kirkpatrick controlled the ball and set it to Dan Jordan. Jordan delivered an excellent cross, but no-one in green could take advantage.

Thirty five minutes had gone and Westbury were still dominating and pressing, forcing Christchurch to rush when in possession or look to make a long pass every time, which were being well dealt with by Westbury’s centre backs Matt Jones and Captain Dan Price. One Christchurch clearance fell perfectly for Jones to execute a lovely volleyed through ball to Ricky Hulbert. Ricky turned inside and managed to create a yard of space to reverse a pass to Kovacs, but Kovacs had made his move a little too early and the linesman put his flag up for offside. Another good chance came just before half-time. Ricky Hulbert was out wide and delivered a cross that was cleared, but only as far as Jake Hiscocks. Hiscocks controlled and skipped past his marker to unleash a low thunderbolt from the edge of the area, which went just wide.

Christchurch came out in the second half and whatever had been said at halftime had obviously worked. They were keeping possession of the ball and knocking it from side to side at the back, resisting the temptation to pump it forward. Westbury were containing them but they were definitely looking the more dangerous team. On the 55 minute mark Hiscocks won the ball in the middle of the park and delivered it to Kovacs. Kovacs rolled it into the path of Kirkpatrick who was sprinting forward from a deep wide right position. Kirkpatrick latched onto the ball and steamed towards the box, his shot was unfortunately pulled wide of the post.

Christchurch’s breakthrough came from a corner in the 62nd minute. It was delivered with pace to the near post, where their number 5 met it and finished with a header. Now they had the lead they had every intention of keeping it. Christchurch defended very well for the remainder of the game, even though Westbury replaced Jones from defence with Mark Robinson to go and play up top, then Kirkpatrick with the more attack-minded George Bendle, but they couldn’t find a way through. There was a scramble in the box on the 90-minute mark, but somehow the ball was cleared to safety. A last gasp opportunity fell to Bendle on the right hand side of the area, he struck it with the outside of his left boot, as it crashed off the post Westbury realised they had run out of time and the referee blew the final whistle.

Westbury edged the tie over the two legs by 5 goals to 3, but due to the mistake with the fourth substitute in the first leg, it is Christchurch who progress to meet United Services Portsmouth in the next round.