Wiltshire Publications

Ashton & Backwell 1-1 Westbury Utd – Toolstation Western Division One, Sat. 1st Feb.

WESTBURY were denied a thoroughly deserved victory by a blatantly handballed equalising goal shortly before half time! 

Leading 1-0 in very windy conditions, Westbury came under pressure for the first time in the match and a corner kick was punched into the net by home defender Dale Seager with everybody in the ground seeing it except for the officials!

Great credit must go to the ground staff for getting their pitch into such a good playable condition, but also to the teams for coping so well with the strong gusting wind.

Westbury, with Marc Scammell outstanding in midfield and Nathan Hallett-Young back in defence performing admirably, had the wind at their backs in the 1st half and adopted a shoot on site tactic that could easily have brought more than Joe Murray’s goal in the 9th minute; Marc Lanfear hit a swerving strike from wide on the left which was saved by Gary Clarke and rebounded off the post to Murray who tucked it into the net.

Wayne Wheeler, who had already flashed an effort wide before Murray’s goal, saw several attempts saved by Clarke as did Ryan Elliott whose effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Clarke. David Whyte and Dan Hurkett also tried their luck from long range with Clarke doing well to hold Whyte’s shot while Hurkett’s flew wide.

Having barely got out of their own half the hosts forced a corner on 43 and Seager clearly raised his hand above his head and punched the ball into the net. The goal was given, much to the disgust of United’s team, management and supporters and to the disbelief of the Ashton contingent!

With the wind in Ashton’s favour after half time they seemed set to dominate in the early play with Ricky Briggs getting in before shooting wide. However Westbury gained a foothold in the play and managed to put together some fine moves against the elements while defending strongly when coming under pressure.

Both sides had a chance to snatch victory; Matt Friendship’s header from Murray’s corner was ironically cleared off the line by Seager and Briggs dragged another effort off target late on.

*STAR MAN – Marc Scammell (Westbury United). TEAM – Alex Shaftoe, Simon Millard, Ryan Elliott, Matt Friendship, Nathan Hallett-Young, David Whyte, Joe Murray, Marc Scammell, Marc Lanfear, Dan Hurkett, Wayne Wheeler. SUBS – Joe Moloney, Ally Bradley (used) DJ Wheeler, Matty Bown (unused).