REPORT: Aberford Albion 0 v 1 Wetherby Athletic
Athletic Take Points In Tight Game!
After a run of defeats and a weekend of inactivity due to the Leeds Fest, it was vital that Wetherby returned to winning ways on the last evening game at the start of the season. However with their opponents scoring ten at the weekend this was never going to be an easy task. Added to this Wetherby had several players missing due to holidays, injury and work commitments.
The opening ten minutes saw very little in the way of shots on goal, with a battle ensuing in the centre of the park. Paul Hustwit and John Tehrani were combining well in keeping the hosts attacking threat at bay. The first clear chance of the game fell to Wetherby. A well worked corner found Andrew Graham, but his powerful header was cleared of the line with the keeper well beaten. At the other end, Michael Recchia was called into action to deny a close range effort and minutes later an Aberford forward miscued with the goal at his mercy.
This seemed to spur Wetherby on with the attacking threat of Josh Wilson and Freddie Jackson starting the cause problems with their pace. Aberford were giving away free-kicks in dangerous areas and a smart attempt from Dave McKay went very close. At the back Greg Harrison and Graham were coping with the threat of the powerful Aberford's front line and by half time you had the feeling that this was going to be a very tight affair.
Wetherby again started the second half brightly. Anthony Walsh and Liam McEntee combined well to set up Wilson, however the keeper was equal to the task with a low save.
Wetherby made their first change of the evening with Jamie Gillies replacing the hard working Tehrani. Within minutes of the change Wetherby broke the deadlock. A good pass from Walsh found Gillies on the edge of the box. The striker took one touch before beating the keeper with a decent finish. The question was now, could Wetherby hold on to this lead having found themselves in the same position in last week’s game v Boroughbridge.
The hosts were certainly fired up and an excellent tackle from Phil Milsom stopped Aberford from levelling the score. At the other end chaos reigned as an Aberford player was shown a red card for a tackle on Gillies near the corner flag.
Down to ten men Aberford again continued to attack pushing men forward in numbers. A superb effort from 20 yards saw Recchia tip the ball onto the crossbar. The back line of Jackson, Harrison, Graham and Milsom were being put under increasing pressure from Aberford, who were desperate to get back on level terms.
With five minutes to go Wetherby had a chance to put the game to bed. Good work from substitute Sam Straker found Gillies in the box. As the striker went to push the ball past the keeper he was caught and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Walsh, but his effort was well saved by the young keeper, who was excellent on the night.
Wetherby managed to run down the clock and a well-earned, hard fought three points were theirs. This was a must win game for Wetherby after a string of disappointing results. Their hosts made it a very tough night and both sets of players put in a tremendous amount of effort in a very physical but very fair contest.
Next up is Howden Clough on Saturday. As for our hosts, they played their part in a very tight physical contest and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
Report by Andy Young
The Red Lion Wetherby Man of the Match: High points for Wetherby was the well taken goal from Jamie. Non-stop running from Paul Hustwit. Some excellent saves from Mike Recchia and strong defending from Andrew Graham. However MOM goes to Greg Harrison. Some great defending against an excellent Aberford front line and always a threat at set-pieces.