Westerfield United

Firstly, a very happy new year to all those involved in local football. Apologies for lack of notes last week due to pressures of the festive season which means there are two first team games to report on. The first was against Leiston St Margarets just before Christmas when the Swans ran out 3-1 winners. We fell behind early on when Parker caught Woolnough in possession on the edge of the box and rifled his shot past Fisher. Nick doesn’t make too many mistakes so we’ll forgive him that one. Perkins in the Leiston goal made a decent save to deny Berky but the Swans levelled proceedings when a perfectly weighted diagonal pass from Evans found Berky advancing down the right who decided to hit it early and the ball flew past Perkins outstretched hand into the bottom corner. Perkins was again in action when he tipped over Woolnough’s header but from the corner Stuart headed in at the near post. It should have been three when Keinzley was clattered by Perkins and a penalty given but Keinzley’s spot kick was comfortably saved to leave the Swans a single goal ahead at the break. The second half was not much of a spectacle although Dunny was denied by the woodwork with a thumping shot and then Perkins managed to palm a free kick from the same player round the post. Leiston suddenly seemed to realise they could get something out of the game and could have equalised when Knights cross was just inches away from the onrushing Dean. However, we made the game safe in stoppage time when a delightful ball from Dunny was smashed in by Harmer from close range to record his first goal for the club and seal victory in what wasn’t a very inspiring game but nevertheless it was another three points and that’s what matters. For the visitors, Kyle Horner got forward to good effect throughout the game and Daniel Knights also looked dangerous on occasions. Henry Parker for me though was their motm with a well taken goal and he made intelligent runs throughout the game and kept the Swans rearguard on their toes throughout. For the Swans, Dunny and Berky both played well, while Craig Stuart hardly put a foot wrong and scored a decent goal but Shane Forbes was my motm with an impressive display in the middle of the park. It is no coincidence that we have lost only one game in nine since Shane joined, he breaks up the play, moves the ball quickly and rarely misplaces a pass and has fitted in well to our system since his transfer. So it was the long and arduous journey to Wenhaston next, a venue where Spreads recorded his first victory as Westerfield manager a few years ago. Swans supporters could be forgiven for having déjà vu as the game took on a similar stance as the previous week with us conceding an early goal when Ash Canham sprung the offside trap and fired past Fisher. We looked all over the place for the next ten minutes and were lucky not to concede a second goal when Ash Canham again got free but this time Woolnough was on hand to clear his shot off the line. The Swans gradually stepped up the pace and after Forbes had gone close, Evans latched onto a bad back pass before firing past Travis Canham. A quick attack from Wenhaston looked ominous when Parrott looked to be through on goal but Culf did well to block him off before he could shoot. Following a free kick, the Swans were awarded a soft penalty when Woolnough was adjudged to have been fouled. I have to say that from where I stood, I couldn’t see too much wrong but it’s the refs decision that counts and Keinzley stepped up to fire home the penalty and put us ahead at the break. The second half began with the Swans going close twice, firstly Watson’s free kick was tipped over the bar and then Travis Canham made a stupendous save from the same player minutes later when a goal seemed certain. The game rather went off the boil after this with defences on top and there were few goalscoring opportunities for either side although I felt we were defending too deep and we may have been pegged back had Whiteman made a better connection late on following a free kick. As it was, the Swans, just as they did the previous week scored in stoppage time when Dunny’s lump down the field found Harmer who showed good composure before firing home. Another three points in the bag but fair play to Wenhaston who competed throughout and following the mass exodus from their club pre-season showed the right attitude and in Ash Canham have a striker that always looked a threat, whilst Travis Canham in the Wenhaston goal also looked a good young goalkeeper in the making. Shaun Whiteman for me though was their motm with a solid display at the back and he marshalled his defence well. As for the Swans, Harry Evans took his goal well and in the last couple of games has looked a lot livelier. The back four looked solid with Barry Seward getting my vote for motm. He got forward well, defended well and made some telling challenges. So, as we approach the halfway point of the season, we sit in ninth place and look free from any relegation worries and are in the last eight of the Senior Cup and Bob Coleman Cup. The squad this season looks stronger and Spreads and Coops deserve a pat on the back for their efforts this season thus far. We seem now to have the ability to grind games out and have won a lot of games this season that in previous seasons we wouldn’t have. There is a great spirit within the club with everyone pulling in the same direction and that pays testimony to Spreads and Coops efforts. Bring on 2019. Finally, both teams are on their travels again this week-end with the first team having a tricky looking fixture away to Benhall which is never an easy game whilst the ressies, after a two week break are back in action when they travel up the A140 to visit Mendlesham. Two wins and six points would be great.

Club profile

Posted: Thursday, January 3 2019 by PHILIP GREENHALGH

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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