Wiltshire Publications

United hit four in Comfortable cup win

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Sat. 31st Aug. FA Vase – First Qualifying Rd Andover Town 1 Westbury United 4

Westbury had a tough afternoon which resulted in a draw that feels like a loss after being pegged back twice by Chipping Sodbury.

It was a good first half performance from Westbury which should have seen them more than the one goal clear; there were chances for Ricky Hulbert, Joe Stradling and Sammy Jordan but they could not guide the ball past the keeper. 

Stradling’s best chance was created by himself, he worked hard pressing and harassing the Sodbury defence and eventually got his reward when he won the ball, about thirty yards from goal on the left hand side. He skipped past a few players and fired  his shot on target but the Sodbury keeper saved well and held the ball. 

Westbury thought they had the lead on the 35 minute mark, a Henley cross from deep was flicked on by Kovacs, Sammy Jordan was there to acrobatically apply a bicycle kick finish, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.

Just three minutes later though Jordan Pinder found the breakthrough with a shot from 25 yards that deceived everyone and squeezed past the Sodbury keeper diving low to his right. Westbury led 1-0 at half time.

Within minutes of the restart Sodbury equalised with a smart counter attack after a Westbury free kick. They were level for less than five minutes though, a shot from Sammy Jordan was going wide of the far post but Ricky Hulbert managed to get there and from a tight angle, hitting that ball back across the face of the goal to bounce off the other post into the net to put Westbury back in front. 

Callum Ham came on to make his debut and it was a good start for the former Cheddar and Bridgwater player. He looked lively and will become an important member of the squad going forward. Disaster struck five minutes from time, a Westbury corner was cleared and Sodbury galloped off on another counterattack, managing to score again and make it 2-2, Sodbury had their tails up and for tUnited travelled to Andover and put in a good performance to knock Wessex League Division 1 stragglers out of the FA Vase and get themselves back to winning ways.

It looked like it was going to be another long afternoon for Westbury; they were slow to start and Andover matched them for the first 20 minutes. Potential disaster struck on the 23rd minute when Andover took the lead. A cross from Pavia was met by Bertie, the header wasn’t powerful but was well guided, Baldy was moving left and his momentum meant that he couldn’t get anything on the header to his right side to keep it out. 

Six minutes later, Jamie Jordan got Westbury back in the game. He said, “The ball slammed against me from a clearance, I took one touch to the right about 30 yards from goal and I thought I’ll send something towards goal. However, as soon as it left my right foot I thought “that ain’t bad”, then I saw it flying towards the upper 90, I knew that no keeper in the world was getting to it”; a lovely strike from a nice angle to make it 1-1.

He wasn’t finished there though, just 3 minutes later he was at it again. He takes up the story: “I intercepted a short pass from the full back just outside of the box, one touch and wallop, it’s in the bottom stanchion”; the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything to keep Jamie’s low strike out, giving Westbury the lead. 

A few minutes before half time Ricky Hulbert made it 3-1 to Westbury, great work down the left by Sammy Jordan who sent a low ball across the face of goal, Ricky was there, unmarked, no more than two yards out to apply the finish despite the ball taking a nasty bounce.

Fifteen minutes into the second half the Andover’s No6 brought embarrassment to his team mates who were left red faced as, when Dan Kovacs placed his chest somewhere near the No6’s chest, he fell to the floor holding his face like he had been shot. The assistant referee had a good view of the incident and informed the referee of what had happened. 

Westbury’s fourth goal came from a superb freekick from Ryan Bole, he delivered from wide left, Ricky met the delivery with his head on the penalty spot, his header looped goalwards and all the keeper could do was palm the ball onto his bar, Sammy Jordan was quickest to react to the loose ball and he poked it home to make it 4-1.

With only a few minutes left to play, Bole had the ball in his hands to take a throw-in, and as he took it, the Andover No6 decided to try and block the throw with his arm, which ended up being an elbow to Bole’s temple, Bole wasn’t happy with the action and before we knew it every player and both technical areas were involved, some wanting to rough each other up, others trying to calm things down and split up the trouble. The result was straight red cards for Andover’s No 6 and 2, a yellow card for Bole and Westbury manager Neil Kirkpatrick was sent to the stands. The game got back under way with Andover down to nine. 

Westbury nearly had a fifth when Ricky was pulled back in the area and awarded a penalty, a shout from the bench came for Jamie Jordan to try and get his hat-trick, unfortunately Jamie had spent all his credits dragging Westbury back into the game, which resulted in a weak penalty which was easily saved. 

The final score was 4-1 to Westbury which sets them up for an away tie to Wessex First Division flyers Alton, on 14th September.

Westbury Team: Ed Baldy, Jordan Pinder, Ryan Bole, Steve Hulbert(C), Dan Price, Dan Jordan, Jamie Jordan, Ollie Webb, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Sam Jordan. Subs: Mark Robinson, Joe Stradling, Josh Ferguson (used) Joe Kirkpatrick (unused)

he last five minutes they pinned Westbury in and had a few half chances to maybe win it.

It was really a match of two halves, Westbury could have and maybe should have been out of sight by half-time but Sodbury worked hard and kept the goal difference down to one and managed to get their reward at the end. 

Star Man: Joe Stradling. Team: Ed Baldy, Jason Henley, Ryan Bole, Dan Jordan (C), Dan Price, Jordan Pinder, Joe Stradling, Jamie Jordan, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Sammy Jordan. Subs: Callum Ham, Mark Robinson (used) Joe Kirkpatrick (unused).

• United are ninth in the table with 7 points from 4 games.

Greg Coulson

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