REPORT: Wetherby Athletic 0 v 2 Kippax FC
Sluggish Athletic Lose Out To Kippax.
A performance that infuriated Manager Martin Powell saw Wetherby concede two second half goals to derail our bid to reduce Boroughbridge’s lead over us. However, this game will probably be remembered for a string of contentious decisions that left the Tangerines chief apoplectic!
It was Athletic who ventured into an advance position first when they came down the left wing through Jamie Gillies. Whipping the ball across the area, Josh Wilson took over the play, but was fouled on the edge of the box. Taking the free-kick himself, the wall stood firm and his shot deflected out for a throw-in.
Wetherby’s pressing forced Kippax to retreat and a ball back into the visitor’s area caused a moment of indecision from the centre back and keeper before the defender tried to put the ball out. Intercepting his kick, Matt Lombard, starting his first competitive match for Wetherby since the 1st November 2014, released Wilson, who passed across the area to Gillies, but closing him down well, Kippax’s defender blocked the shot and the ball spun clear.
Kippax’s defence showed their steel again when Gillies’s up and over ball seemed to have released Lombard, however tracking the pass, the right back disposed him at the vital moment.
Athletic were controlling the flanks well and crosses from Lombard and Gillies weren’t capitalised on and Kippax’s defence stood firm and cleared.
The first real chance for the visitor’s happened in the 18th minute when they won a free kick on the left-hand side of the pitch, just outside Wetherby’s area. Curling in the ball towards the penalty spot, Anthony Walsh rose highest to head clear, before the second cross brought a blast from Mr McCann’s whistle to signal an offside player.
Wetherby nearly played themselves into trouble in the 25th minute when Kippax seized upon a loose pass in the Athletic backline. Holding off Dave McKay, the striker got himself into position to shoot, but McKay’s tenacity saw him get goal side of the player and under pressure, he dragged his shot wide.
Kippax’s defence was proving to be a very stubborn unit and twice Lombard was centre meters from connecting with two volleys, but the visitor’s rearguard stood firm and produced two superb interventions.
Phil Milsom had to show his speed as he kept toe to toe with Kippax’s frontman after a wonderful through ball had picked him out. As the player tried to cut round Milsom, he produced a good block to stop the attempt.
A lovely flowing move saw Wilson drift past his marker to try and get something on Lombard’s pass, but coming off his line quickly, the keeper was able to beat the winger to the ball.
It took a series of corners for Wetherby to finally test the keeper again, but the custodian proved to be equal to Andrew Graham’s close-range header, showing safe hands to smoother the chance.
With the half ending, Graham was also in action in his own area when he had to step in to prevent a high pass from reaching its target. Taking control, the veteran defender steered the ball away from danger.
With Powell urging his team to up the pace, Wetherby poured forward at the start of the second half, but again Kippax’s defence stood firm under pressure and forced the orange shirts backwards.
Utilising Lombard’s long throw, a flick on in the area saw the ball fall to Gillies at the back post, but as he shot, his effort smashed into the midriff of a covering defender and was cleared.
Following a move through the middle that saw Kippax shoot over from just outside the area, Lombard was replaced by Liam McEntee on the hour.
Wetherby mounted another attack, but again the keeper was the difference as he rose highest to punch clear from Graham. Minutes later a move between McEntee and Gillies tried to free Walsh, but the final pass was overhit and ran out of play.
The first of the contentious decisions arrived in the 68th minute when Brian Blewitt tangled with his marker and fell to the floor in the area. Waving play on, Mr McCann dismissed Wetherby’s protests and then spoke at length to the midfielder once play had stopped.
The 70th minute saw Wetherby celebrating as Gillies headed home McKay’s flicked ball, but standing in line with the striker, Mr McCann ruled the effort out as Gillies had strayed into an offside position during the build-up.
Working the play down the right-hand side, Kippax pulled the ball back and a shot from the edge of the area went just wide of the far post.
Kippax were exerting pressure on Wetherby’s defence and it took a sliding block by Graham to clear the danger as the visitor’s tried to set up a one on one against Mike Recchia.
A cross-field ball by Kippax in the 74th minute had Wetherby’s rearguard and bench shouting for offside, but waving play on, the referee allowed the game to continue and from the resulting cross and half block, the ball fell to the feet of the player at the back post and he drilled his shot over Recchia and into the net.
Wetherby tried to reply instantly and a run down the left flank by Milson was illegally blocked by a high tackle. From the resultant free-kick, Blewitt’s shot cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet.
Kippax’s keeper showed brave and safe hands when he went low to collect a dangerous cross from off the toes of Tom Frost who had closed the custodian down well.
As had been the tale for most of the match, Wetherby’s pressure was forcing Kippax back, but there seemed to be little urgency in their final play and the visitors were able to soak up the play without too much issue.
The visitors breathed a sigh of relief when they survived a handball claim in the 83rd minute. Holding off the challenge of McEntee, the left back seemed to use his arm to push the ball clear, but again, Mr McCann waved the play on, despite protests echoing round The Ings.
With the seconds ticking down, Wetherby conceded a hotly disputed penalty after McKay had appeared to have won the ball with a challenge from just behind the striker. Hesitating with his decision, the referee eventually pointed to the spot with Wetherby remonstrating with him that it hadn’t been a foul and that the tackle had occurred on the edge of the area. However Mr McCann was unmoved and following a long and heated discussion with McKay and Graham, Kippax coolly dispatched the penalty, sending Recchia the wrong way.
Congratulations to Kippax who avenged their 6-1 defeat earlier on this season, but this is a match that proved that we need to up our performances quite a lot and how vital linesmen are in any match!
Report by Pete Arnett
The Red Lion Wetherby Man Of The Match (Chosen by George Bowden, Phil Trower and Mike Robinson) – Some solid running up and down the left hand side, mixed with some vital interceptions and tackles saw Phil Milsom awarded this one.
Post- Match From The Gaffer – “I’ve got a few things to think about this week as I’m very disappointed again with the performance from our players. Yes, the decisions haven’t helped, especially the one for the penalty as everyone could see that Dave had won the ball, Kippax never claimed for it, but for some reason the referee has given a penalty. If that’s the case, as Dave was the last man, surely he should have got a red card! Very frustrating. Again, the performance wasn’t good enough and we really need to up it and soon!”
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