REPORT: Wetherby Athletic 3 v 1 Howden Clough
Wetherby Claim First Win At The Ings!
After a hard fought victory on Wednesday night, Athletic were looking to makes it back-to-back wins with Howden Clough this time being the opposition. The scene was set on a perfect afternoon for football and Wetherby were able to name an unchanged team from the one that faced Aberford, with John Tehrani passing a fitness test prior to kick off.
Howden Clough had suffered a heavy defeat to Aberford in previous weeks, but if Wetherby thought this was going to be an easy afternoon they were in for a shock as our visitors put up a very spirited performance, with their Keeper Sam Mellor being exceptional in goal from the first minute to the last.
Wetherby started brightly, but the final pass was lacking and although the hosts had the majority of possession no real clear cut chances were forthcoming. Wetherby's possession had earned them a series of corners, but all too often they became catching practice for the Howden Keeper.
Dave McKay went close from a free-kick just outside the area and Josh Wilson was causing their defence problems with his pace. In midfield Antony Walsh, Paul Hustwit and Tehrani were winning their individual battles, but as the half wore on it was Howden who were finishing the strongest.
A dangerous free-kick was well saved by Mike Recchia and both Greg Harrison and Andrew Graham were having to cope with the physical threat that the visitors posed.
From an excellent move, Walsh found the ball at his feet on the edge of the area. His first time shot looked a certain goal all the way, until Mellor produced a superb save to thwart the Wetherby Player.
Freddie Jackson and Phil Milsom were combining well down the flanks and a cross almost found the head of Harrison, who literally took the keeper and the ball into the back of the net. After a lengthy delay both players were thankfully okay to continue.
Half time and the scores were locked at nil-nil. The game had become a very tight affair and again you sensed this was not going to be a high scoring affair. Thankfully it was Wetherby who broke the deadlock.
A quick through ball found the hard working Liam McEntee. The Wetherby striker took a few strides and his shot looped over the stranded keeper. Relief all round for the Wetherby faithful.
If anything, the goal spurred the visitors on rather than the hosts. The game was becoming increasingly fraught with the referee having to get involved to keep the peace on numerous occasions.
From a quickly taken free-kick a Howden striker found himself one on one with the Wetherby keeper, however Recchia was equal to the task and pulled off another very good save.
With McKay and Tehrani struggling with knocks, Tom Frost and Arran Horton were introduced. Soon after Wetherby found themselves two goals to the good. Wilson cut in from the left and his shot deceived the Howden defence with the ball nestling nicely in the oppositions net.
Two up and Wetherby could now relax and see the game out.......not a chance! Howden, who had always looked dangerous when near goal, found themselves back in the game following a well taken free-kick.
Recchia was called into action again and made a very good save, preventing Howden from levelling the game. In midfield Hustwit, Walsh and Horton started to re-impose themselves and a well worked move down the right found Bradley Spencer, who had been introduced as a substitute. His positive run earned the hosts a corner. This was drilled in by Horton and met perfectly by Walsh, this time giving the keeper no chance.
Wetherby were able to run down the clock and see out the game with a very hard fought 3-1 victory. This was far from an easy afternoon and Howden made it very difficult for the hosts. They battled well and never gave up, always looking to play positive football. However Wetherby can now look forward to our next game on the back of successive victories.
Report by Andy Young
The Red Lion Wetherby Man of the Match: Special mentions to Mike Recchia in goal, who produced some very important saves and Liam McEntee as his non-stop running earned him a well-deserved goal. The back four also played very well when put under severe pressure. However man of the match goes to Anthony Walsh. After the penalty miss on Wednesday, he promised a big performance and he certainly did that, capped off with the all-important third goal.
Next up is an away trip to Kippax. We wish Howden Clough all the best for the rest of the season and a special mention to their keeper who was simply outstanding.
Post-Match Reaction From The (stand in) Gaffer (Chris Plews): 'We stuck with the same team and formation that had worked so well on Wednesday evening. I asked the lads for another committed performance and they all stood up to the task. These games are never easy. Howden Clough may have suffered a heavy defeat in recent weeks, but they showed up and proved to be a real handful. We just need to look after the ball a bit better and not panic with our decision making.
I'm pleased that Macca (Liam McEntee) got off the mark and he put in another selfless display leading the line. The back four carried on where they left off on Wednesday and Walshy (Anthony Walsh) had a very good game. All in all, a pleasing few days, six points and only one goal conceded. I've got to be happy with that!!!
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