Wiltshire Publications

Sat. 17th March League Division One Ashton & Backwell Utd 0 Westbury United 1

With the weather threatening to wipe out another Saturday of football for the Toolstation Western League, Westbury made their way over to Ashton and Backwell’s Lancer Scott Stadium. It was a credit to everyone at Ashton and Backwell, that the pitch looked good for the time of year – especially with the flurries of snowfall that had passed in the morning.

The other notable fixture that had avoided the weather was the clash between Westbury’s promotion rivals Roman Glass St George and Keynsham at Roman Glass’s Oaklands Park.

A few changes to Westbury’s usual line up due to goalkeeper Lewis Porter and centre back Matt Jones missing, saw Captain Dan Price move back between the sticks, a new centre back pairing of Dan Jordan and Steve Hulbert, Joe Kirkpatrick started as right back, Josh Ferguson for his first start in a while started in centre midfield and Joe Stradling on his debut started on the right wing.

Westbury took advantage of shooting downhill with wind assistance in the first half. After just 15 minutes, a kick from Price was flicked on by Dan Kovacs, and the ball bounced over the defenders. Ricky Hulbert managed to get his body in and control a lovely lob over the advancing keeper into the net, to make it one nil.

Westbury thought they had doubled their lead seven minutes later, when a corner from Westbury’s right-hand side was delivered right footed, but the slice across the ball and the wind meant it swung in dangerously towards the goal. All Lewis Coombes in the Ashton and Backwell goal could do was punch the ball out for another corner.

The next corner was delivered by Jamie Jordan, this time from Westbury’s left. Jordan swung it in again right under the bar, Coombes struggled to get a clean connection through the crowd of bodies, and the ball ricocheted down around the near post. Westbury were convinced it had crossed the line, but it was cleared and no goal was given by the referee. Westbury were good for the remainder of the first half, which was probably helped by Ashton and Backwell frequently giving the ball away.

Westbury were well on top in the second half; even though Ashton and Backwell improved, they were restricted to a few half chances. Westbury’s dominance was led by the excellent Jake Hiscocks in centre midfield. Hiscocks didn’t waste a ball in the second half, and he had a couple of freekicks that even though they were well struck, they ended up over the bar.

Westbury’s best chance in the second half fell to Steve Hulbert. A free kick was headed back across goal, with the defenders quickly closing him down. Steve couldn’t wait for the ball to come down, and he swung his foot high, but couldn’t quite get over the ball to strike it on target.

A good three points and with Roman Glass beating Keynsham three nil, it sets up a big top-of-the-table clash at Meadow Lane on Wednesday 21st March when Roman Glass come to town.

Westbury Team: Dan Price (C), Joe Kirkpatrick, Leon Greenland, Jake Hiscocks, Dan Jordan, Steve Hulbert, Jamie Jordan, Josh Ferguson, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Joe Stradling. Subs: Jordan Pinder, Mark Robinson, Grant Gunning, Martin Johnson, Kieran Ramsey (unused). Star Man – Jake Hiscocks

Greg Coulson