Wiltshire Publications

Wed. 2nd May. Toolstation League Division One Westbury United 1-0 Devizes Town

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 at 9:27 am.

AN 89th-minute goal by Dan Kovacs clinched the title for Westbury on a tense evening at Meadow Lane.

This result extended United’s fantastic unbeaten run to 22 matches and this was also their 22nd clean sheet of the league season!

On a clear, chilly evening after heavy morning rain, the pitch was in fine condition and the opening 10 minutes saw Westbury batter the Devizes defence yet somehow not take the lead.

There was controversy in the 3rd and 5th minutes; firstly Joe Stradling latched onto Ricky Hulbert’s deep cross and saw his return ball blatantly handled, but no penalty given. Then Stradling was involved again when he met Jamie Jordan’s chip into the box which led to Kovacs bundling the ball over the line, only for the goal to be disallowed.

Town broke away and Jack Hopper lashed a cross-shot across the face of goal.

Only 10 minutes had gone when a well-delivered Jordan corner was met by the head of Josh Ferguson, who was denied by a brilliant fingertip save by Adam Walters. Home keeper Lewis Porter matched his opposite number soon after, to parry a fine Jamie Walters attempt.

That was to be Porter’s only action of the half as United remained on top in the face of strong opposition in a Devizes side chasing 4th place.

Jordan came agonisingly close with a beautiful effort that crashed off the crossbar, with Stradling unable to convert on the rebound.

Ferguson’s pace was causing problems for the visitors and he twice went close, denied by Adam Walters’ good low save, then with a fierce shot that rose just over the bar.

Half-time came with the score somehow at 0-0 and with news of Warminster leading Keynsham, which would mean promotion for Westbury.

It really didn’t look like United’s night when the woodwork was struck yet again soon after the break. This time it was Ricky Hulbert, whose close-range effort from another fine Jordan set-piece hit the bar before Town’s defence scrambled it to safety.

Play became very edgy as Devizes seemed content with a draw while Joe and Neil Kirkpatrick’s men were unable to find the net.

A lovely move down the left by Jordan and Kovacs led to Ricky Hulbert getting through, but with just Adam Walters to beat, the keeper did well again.

Devizes lost their discipline with Jamie Walters sent off for 2 yellow cards and Dan Sloan lucky not to follow likewise.

However despite their man advantage, United became nervy and uncharacteristic mistakes by Dan Price and Matt Jones could have proved costly, but such is the team ethic they were covered by a teammate and no chances were created by Town. Just when it seemed Westbury would have to go to Cheddar and get a result, the ball was played into Kovacs and he managed to get a shot away from the edge of the box which found its way past Adam Walters to spark joyous scenes.

These scenes were bettered at the final whistle, United clinching the title for the first time since 1992! Players were presented with medals by the league management and captain Price held aloft the trophy.

STAR SQUAD ; Westbury Unite. TEAM ; Lewis Porter, Dan Jordan, Leon Greenland, Steve Hulbert, Dan Price, Matt Jones, Jamie Jordan, Josh Ferguson, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Joe Stradling  SUBS ; Mark Robinson, Jordan Pinder, Ryan Baggs (used) Matt Mantay, Kieran Ramsey (unused)

Andy Bown

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