REPORT: Wetherby Athletic 2 v 0 Kippax FC
Wetherby Win Cup For Second Year Running But Red Cards Ruin Game!
Wetherby Athletic achieved a piece of club history when they returned to The Ings with the Barkston Ash FA Challenge Cup for the second year in succession. However, the four red cards given to Kippax by referee Mr Collier-Booth will surely be the topic of conversation for a long time afterwards.
The match started in brilliant sunshine and it was Kippax who made the early running and pushed Wetherby back into their own half. Pumping ball after ball forward, it took interventions from Andrew Graham and Dave McKay to repel several direct efforts.
McKay was in action again as he came across the area to clear a dangerous free kick by Kippax after Joe Whiteley had mistimed his tackle.
Breaking down the right of the pitch after picking up on a Wetherby throw, Kippax moved into the area, but just as the player set to shoot, Graham blocked his view and the shot slammed into the hoardings behind the goal.
Piling forward for a free-kick, Kippax played a deep ball into Wetherby’s area, but this time Mike Recchia got a strong fist to the cross to send it out for a throw in.
In their first serious foray into Kippax’s area, Wetherby took the lead in the 7th minute. Battling for the ball, Whiteley beat his man and swung in a pinpoint cross to the far post where Josh Wilson rose unmarked to loop his header over former Harrogate Town custodian Martyn Wood and into the net.
Straight away Kippax upped the pressure and again it took a good punch from Recchia to clear a dipping shot.
Wetherby started to get a foothold in the midfield and on 15 minutes Joe Garside won a terrific ball in the centre. Trying to find Arran Horton in the area, his cross floated too close to Wood, who claimed it with ease.
A nice bit of interplay between Josh Kirk and Wilson brought Matty Forster into play and his curling cross picked out Horton, whose fierce half volley just cleared the cross bar. However in the build-up, Horton was adjudged to have moved into an offside position and play restarted with a free-kick to Kippax.
Winning a free kick in on the edge of Kippax’s area after Kirk had been upended, Horton stepped up, but sent another fierce shot just over the bar.
A cheeky attempt by Kippax nearly saw them level when their midfielder controlled Recchia’s goal kick and sent it straight back. Fortunately, he got too much purchase on it and the ball sailed over the crossbar with Wetherby’s keeper a mightily relieved man!
Both teams were being presented half chances, with Whiteley and Dom Creamer having efforts go wide for Wetherby, whilst Kippax’s shot was collected by Recchia after Forster and Graham had run interference.
Kippax had their hearts in the mouth in the 30th minute when Wood flattened Wilson just outside his area as the youngster tried to get free. Showing a yellow card to the custodian, he then pulled off a great save to deny Horton.
Wetherby won a succession of corners, but each time Kippax’s backline defended well and in the end, the ball was put out for a goal-kick.
Wood’s goal kicks were proving to be major weapons for Kippax as their strikers looked to link onto them, fortunately for Wetherby, Forster, McKay, Graham, Kirk and Phil Milsom were defending well and managed to knock most of them away.
A lovely run by Creamer nearly ended in a shooting opportunity, but in the end, some good defending took the ball away from him as he tried to weave his way through.
A flurry of yellow cards saw Matty Forster cautioned whilst two Kippax names also entered the referee’s notebook.
Kippax had a great chance to equalise just before half-time when a half headed clearance was brought down on the edge of the area. However as the player went for the shot, he had to stretch for the ball and it went just wide of the target.
The second half started with Kippax throwing everything at Wetherby as they searched for an equaliser. A nervy spell for the Tangerines didn’t help as well and again it took several interventions from Wetherby’s defence to keep the advantage in Wetherby’s favour.
Winning a ball just in Kippax’s half, Garside found Wilson who squared for Horton. Shooting hard, the ball was blocked and spun into the air for Kirk to strike. Getting his body in the way, the Kippax player blocked the ball again and it bounced out for a corner.
Using the right wing well, Graham released Forster and his cross picked out Horton, but not for the first time, Kippax defended well and blocked the shot. Whipping in the ball again, Whiteley won a corner as Kippax were forced to head behind.
Wood’s goal-kicks were really causing problems and another quickly taken one saw the ball played over the Wetherby backline, however as it bounced, it spun over the Kippax forward and out for a Wetherby restart.
Winning a chase for the ball with Kippax’s left back, Wilson played in Horton. Shooting low, Horton’s effort was blocked, following up was Garside whose shot suffered the same fate. Wilson then played it over the area to Whiteley. Crossing the ball back in, Wilson tried a bicycle kick that lacked power and was claimed by Wood.
The first red card was shown to Kippax’s number five after 72 minutes and it was a debatable one to be honest. As Wilson started to break free, the tackle came in from behind and took the striker down. Conferring with his linesman for a minute, the referee shocked the Kippax defender by flashing a red card his way. From the resultant free-kick, Wood pulled a superb save from Horton’s strike low down to his left.
Garside showed some tremendous skill minutes later to dance round his marker before putting the ball into Wilson’s path. However the youngster looked horrified as he scooped the ball over from five yards out.
The first of three substitutes for Wetherby occurred in the 75th minute when Garside was replaced by Rob Etherington.
Kirk had been having a fantastic game for Wetherby and reading the play well, he stepped into steer the ball away from a Kippax player before sending Wilson free in the middle of the park. Striding into the area, Wood produced a great save low down to tackle Wilson and then appeared to lash out at the youngster as he tried to stand. Pointing at the spot straight away, Mr Collier-Booth wasted no time in showing the red card to the keeper. After the stand-in was ready and Wilson was back on his feet, Horton made no mistake with a powerful penalty that smashed into the net.
The second sub took place in the 80th minute as Whiteley made way for John Tehrani. Still trying to press forward, Kippax won a corner, which resulted in a caution for Graham.
Recchia was called into serious action in the 82nd minute when he flung himself across his line to beat out a downwards header from an unmarked player at the far post.
With only a few minutes on the clock and after Ryan Heptinstall had replaced Milsom, Kippax lost all composure and discipline when they received their third red card after a challenge on Wilson had been deemed illegal. Kicking the ball away in disgust, the Kippax captain was show his second yellow of the game.
The game turned even more farcical with sixty seconds remaining when Kirk was taken out from behind in the centre of the park. Leaving the referee with little choice, he flashed a second yellow card at the culprit, quickly followed by a red.
It’s hard to sum up this game in some respects. Wetherby played well enough to win, but for at least 70 minutes, it could really have been anyone’s game. Kippax looked dangerous with Wood’s goalkicks, but the Tangerine’s backline all had a super game. The red cards will overshadow anything that was achieved on the pitch and that is a shame for both teams. Never a classic cup final, it was unfitting however that it ended the way it did.
Report by Pete Arnett
Wetherby Athletic Man Of The Match (awarded by the Barkston Ash FA): This was given to Josh Wilson for his attacking play and superbly headed goal. His pace troubled Kippax throughout the game and he was the recipient of several harsh tackles.
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