For the final game of the season, Warminster welcomed Chippenham Park to Weymouth Street. The visitors, if they were to lose this match and Oldland Abbotonians win, would find themselves in the bottom two and relegated. Following a run of 4 draws Warminster were looking to finish the season on a high and if Chard were to lose would see them finish in 6th place and allow entry into the FA Cup next season. This was a match with much at stake for both sides.
A crowd of 163 the highest on the day in the Division watched “The Maltmen” win 3 -1 and indeed make it into sixth place! Sadly for Chippenham Park, the results did go against them and they finished the season second from bottom and relegated. With literally a strong wind prevailing this would be a game where the high ball could be a problem and so both teams tried to keep the ball on the grass as much as possible, Chippenham especially playing from the back with few long range kicks from the goalkeeper.
The home side got off to a great start and right on 3 minutes into the game went ahead with a super goal from Jack Miluk, following good work with a run from Lewis Graham, passed to Martin Johnson and then onto Miluk who played the ball into the bottom of the right-hand corner of the goal. Miluk went very close in the 14th minute after receiving another pass from Johnson. Miluk’s shot at goal forced a Chippenham Park defender into action to clear the ball off the line. In the early part of this half, it looked as if there would be a goal fest for Warminster but somehow the keeper and defence prevented more goals.
Warminster did not have it all their own way despite having more possession and opportunities. In the 23rd minute, the visitors went close when Porter flicked on a ball over goalkeeper Carl Crabtree with the crossbar preventing a goal. The Maltmen responded moments later when captain Charlie Walton’s shot went just over Chippenham Park’s crossbar. A few minutes later Johnson saw his attempt on goal cleared off the line and headed over the bar by a defender. The resulting corner was headed wide by Jordan De Silva, yet another opportunity that was close and the pressure on the visitors was constant. On 31 minutes Johnson again making a menace of himself in the box saw his shot squirm under the keeper but once again a defender on the line was there to prevent the goal.
Walton forced a save from the keeper Ben Drewitt just managing to get an arm to the ball to tip it over the bar. With just two minutes to go in the first half, Lewis Graham saw his shot cleared off the line (a recurring theme in this match) and the ball reached Walton who blasted the return into space. Shortly afterwards Eben Mortimer-Taylor saw his shot saved by the keeper. Right at the end of the half, the visitors went close when a ball from the right flashed across Warminster’s goal and the attacking player put the ball into the side netting. The halftime whistle saw Warminster head into the dressing room with a 1 nil lead which was it not for all those goal line clearances would have been very different.
The second half also proved to be entertaining and Warminster in this half gave less room to the Chippenham players, making it harder for them to get out of trouble when attacked. Just 7 minutes in and a corner was met by the head of the ever-busy Walton but he had to watch the ball agonisingly go over the bar. The next good opportunity came when Miluk (57) forced a good save following a good run down the right. A bizarre opening occurred not long after when keeper Drewitt took a swing at the ball and completely missed it, Jake Wright picked up the ball and crossed to Walton who’s header was going to the corner of the goal but the keeper managed to position himself well and hold onto the ball.
Chippenham had another good chance on 64 minutes when number 10 Shanley hit a long-range shot which hit the crossbar, the rebound from that had to be dealt with by Harry Barnes to prevent the goal. Warminster made their first substitution when Jake Wright was replaced with Alex Churchyard. The second substitution followed when off went right-back Ryan Baggs and on came Henry McFerran.
Warminster’s second goal came in the 72nd minute, Eban Mortimer-Taylor received a ball from Miluk which he had time to line up and fire left-footed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. The next substitution followed not long after when Stewart Lisowski went off for Jake Herd.
In the 81st minute number 9 for the visitors, Talmash headed and forced a save from Crabtree, he then fired home the rebound into the back of Warminster’s net. Herd went close on 90 minutes when his shot just clipped the outside of the post and went wide. The third and final goal came in additional time when Johnson threaded an excellent ball through to Mortimer-Taylor who finished into the bottom left-hand corner. All in all a good performance from Warminster Town against a side trying hard to stay in the league.
Manager Andy Crabtree commented, “A good win to round off what has been a great season for the club when we look back 12 months ago and not knowing where or what league we would be in as to where we are now, what a transformation! The whole Club has come on leaps and bounds not only on the pitch but off it as well. The boys have been great this season. Hopefully, we can push on from here and reward our loyal supporters who have backed us all the way. Thank you all for your support; it’s very much appreciated.”
It is also good news that Warminster Maltings will continue to be the club’s main sponsor for the 2019/20 season.
Team: Crabtree, Baggs, Barnes, Graham, De Silva, Lisowski, Miluk, Walton, Johnson, Wright, Mortimer-Taylor
Subs: (*used) Churchyard*, McFerran*, Pollock, Herd*