Wiltshire Publications

Sat 26th January. Toolstation Premier Div. Wellington 0 Westbury United 2

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UNITED returned from South Somerset with a well-earned three points in a game that was played in very difficult conditions. 

The ground staff had the pitch looking good for kick off but by 20 minutes in, it was debatable if the game would be played to its conclusion as the monsoon conditions left water on the surface. Thankfully the weather improved and the game was completed. 

There were a couple of changes from the midweek win at Roman Glass with Joe Stradling replacing Jake Hiscocks (ankle), Jason Henley in for Dan Price and joint manager Joe Kirkpatrick replacing Dan Kovacs. 

The Whitehorsemen were attacking down the slope in the first half and found the home side in a determined mood and the rapidly deteriorating conditions making it difficult to play any free flowing football. Chances were few and far between with Lewis Tasker firing wide for the hosts and Callum Demkiv having a couple of half chances for the visitors. 

The game could have easily turned ugly after Wellington’s Tom Hawkings caught Steve Hulbert with a nasty late challenge that remarkably the referee didn’t punish despite his assistant seeing it. A flurry of yellow cards followed to both sides mainly for dissent. Thankfully the game settled down and it was Hulbert who went closest as his powerful header was cleared off the line and Westbury had a scare just before the break when Ed Baldy tried to catch a cross, the ball squirmed from his grasp straight to Tim Legg but his close range shot was deflected wide. 

The second half saw Westbury dominate and it wasn’t long before Demkiv forced the home keeper into a good save. Westbury now had their tails up and on the hour mark Kirkpatrick won back possession, fed Jamie Jordan who split the defence for Demkiv to latch onto and hammer a shot past the advancing keeper. 

Moments later another team move saw a ball laid back to the edge of the area where Kirkpatrick placed a shot towards the bottom corner which McLean did well to save. 

It didn’t take too long for the second goal to come, with a goal almost identical to the first which Demkiv finished in style. 

The hosts never gave up but with the excellent Hulbert and Dan Jordan marshalling the defence and the energy of the Westbury midfield who worked their socks off meant that they didn’t trouble Baldy in the visiting goal. 

A really good three points as Wellington is always a tough place to go to. 

Joint manager Neil Kirkpatrick commented, “That was a fabulous performance from the lads in difficult conditions and we are delighted. It’s never easy down here and it completes a good week for us. We came down missing Josh Ferguson, Ben Griffiths, Jake Hiscocks, Dan Price ( all injured), Dan Kovacs (baby due any minute) and Ian Jeffrey (holiday) and the lads dug in and thoroughly deserved the win. The first half was even as both sides tried to get to grips with the conditions but we showed that little bit of extra quality in the second half.”

Man of the match. Steve Hulbert. Team. Ed Baldy, Jordan Pinder, Jason Henley, Will Stead, Steve Hulbert (C), Dan Jordan, Jamie Jordan, Joe Kirkpatrick, Ricky Hulbert, Joe Stradling, Callum Demkiv. Subs. George Bendle (used) Lewis Porter, Dan Price, Luke Smith (unused). 

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