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Warminster Town 7 Hengrove Athletic 6

Hengrove Athletic were the visitors to Weymouth Street Saturday, the first home game played on a Saturday since AEK Boco visited way back on the 14th of August!

The sides had previously met a mere 3 weeks ago in the reverse fixture, Warminster running out 3-0 winners at the AVB stadium.

Despite missing a few regular players through injuries Town put on a bit of a goal fest in the 45 minutes!

The first 10 minutes were quite the scrappy affair, and the first meaningful chances went Hengroves way. A cross from the left just 4 minutes in only needing a touch. 4 minutes later, another opportunity presented itself for Hengrove, managing to get in behind the Warminster back line and get a shot away. Town keeper Sam Thompson having to get down smartly to his left at the near post to block it.

First blood would go to Warminster however. In the 10th minute a long ball over the top found Conner McKay onside and one on one with the keeper he slotted his shot low into the bottom right hand corner.

Hengrove managed to pull one back just 2 minutes later however. Another ball finding its way behind the Town back line to Sam Jackson who managed to weave around and get his shot away, burying it into the left side of the Warminster Goal.

After conceding Warminster seemed to go up a gear and floodgates opened. On 18 minutes another ball over the top finding Conner McKay who turned his man and let fly, burying his shot into the bottom right corner. 2 minutes later yet another long ball just out of reach of McKay was poorly cleared by the Hengrove keeper from the edge of his area and it fell kindly to Alex Churchyard near the halfway line who calmly lobbed the back tracking keeper to make it 3-1.

Hengrove did have their chances though as Town were still looking a little shaky at the back, 22 minutes in, one on one with Thompson, but fortunately steering the shot wide.

End to end stuff as 2 minutes later, McKay could’ve had his hattrick. A low driven ball in from Jack Miluk taking a few deflections on its way through found McKay at the back post, but not knowing much about it, his touch sent the ball just wide.

Straight up the other end, Sam Jackson was causing more trouble for the Warminster defence as two more chances went begging for the visitors.

Just past the half hour mark, Town were awarded a penalty. McKay being brought down. Seth Wain stepped up to take the resulting Penalty and coolly put it away.

Warminster were not finished though and in the last 15 minutes of the first half put two more past the visitors! Number 5 coming from a low driven ball by Owen Bartley on the left side, finding Aaron Cockrill in the 6 yard area to poke it home and number 6 courtesy of a tap in from Martin Johnson after a low ball across the face of goal from Seth Wain on 44 minutes.

6-1 to Warminster at the break.

Warminster looked to continue where they left off in the first half and bagged their 7th goal 13 minutes into the second half! A counter attacking move saw McKay burst away, sliding a lovely ball into the middle for Martin Johnson to get his second of the game, finishing low into the bottom left corner.

63rd minute saw Hengrove have their best chance since their goal. #10 Danny Dodimead forcing a very athletic save from Sam Thompson! The resulting corner pinballed around the face of goal before eventually being nodded home by Dodimead!

A comeback seemed highly unlikely, but Non-league football is always full of surprises…

2 minutes later yet another long ball over the top, caught theWarminster defence napping and Dodimead one on one slotted the ball home.

Hengrove now had their heads up and could smell the blood from a complacent home side. 71 minutes, practically a carbon copy of the goal before, Dodimead yet again on the end of it for 7-4!

On 77 minutes substitute Luco Poncillo, again getting on the end of a long ball, managed to shrug off the challenge from Cockrill to finish into the bottom right corner.

A few moments later, Dodimead again had a chance, managing to shrug off several challenges and getting a shot away toward the near post, Thompson again having to get something on it, deflecting it onto the post.

With just 4 minutes of normal time to play, Hengrove brought the deficit back to just one! The referee awarded a penalty after a challenge from Substitute Toby Ruck. The ref had a good game, but he got this one horribly wrong!

Either way, the penalty was given and Sub Billy Vaughan thumped it home!

The dying minutes of the game were tense with Warminster all over the place and Hengrove piling on the pressure forcing two more fantastic and crucial saves from Thompson in the Town goal!

Warminster however managed just to hold on and take the 3 points, writes Jamie House.

7-6 the final score!

Starting XI: Thompson, Pollock, Cockerill, Lisowski, De Silva, Churchyard ©, Miluk, Bartley, Johnson M, Wain, McKay

Subs: RuckHampsonAtkins, Humphrey (Not used)

Subs: RuckHampsonAtkins, Humphrey (Not used)

Warminster Town 1 Welton Rovers 2

This match promised to be a titanic battle under floodlights, and so it proved to be. Welton Rovers unbeaten and top of the table, arrived at Weymouth Street full of confidence by their successful start to the season. The game was goalless at halftime with 3 goals coming in the second half, finishing, Warminster Town 1 Welton Rovers 2.

Welton had several opportunities to score in the opening forty-five minutes, however, Sam Thomson’s safe hands prevented the ball from going into the back of the net. At the very end of this half, Warminster had a great chance to score only to see McKay’s shot fly well over the opposition’s goal.

With everything to play for and in front of a good crowd of 151, the home side got off to a good start. On 54 minutes McKay fired home after Welton failed to clear the box a couple of times. McKay was in the right place when the ball came to him on the left-hand side of the goal and he made no mistake in smashing home from close range.

Welton have shown this season that they are never out of a match, and even though down to 10 men at the time due to Batchelor being sinned binned, scored the equaliser. On 73 minutes, Kyle Box right-footed home from inside the penalty area, after Warminster failed to clear the ball.

Warminster had a great opportunity to take the lead again but the shot from Lewis Graham on the 18-yard line, flashed just wide of the post.

Rovers second goal came with 4 minutes of normal time remaining. A free-kick 10 yards inside the home side’s half was chested down by Garland in the box, leaving Joe Ellis to smash the ball past Thomson.

Both goals were disappointing to have conceded and the Red & Blacks missed out on an opportunity to put a dent in Welton’s grip on the league.

Team: Thomson, Bartley, Milburn, Cockerill, De Silva, Churchyard, Hiscocks, Johnson M, Graham(s), Wain(s), McKay(s)

Subs: (used) Humphry, Atkins, Miluk
(unused) Johnson L, Seviour

Warminster Town 3 – Calne Town 1

We only need 10 men!

On one of those rare lovely warm and sunny days in February, Warminster Town welcomed Calne Town to Weymouth Street. High flying Calne lying in third place in the table and chasing promotion this game billed as a tough challenge for the ‘Red & Blacks’. The game indeed was full of twists and turns, and Warminster showed true grit to come out as the 3 – 1 winning team. Here’s how the game unfolded.

In the first half, Calne showed why they were towards the top of the table, passing the ball well and creating chances. Just inside the tenth minute, Calne struck first with a goal by Rory Worthington made easy by poor defending by the home side. Both sides threatened, and Warminster forced many corners in the first half-hour and produced some shots but were unable to capitalise on them. The game was not helped by the referee who made some strange decisions regarding what counted as a foul causing frustration amongst the players and supporters.

As both teams were battling for supremacy, Warminster scored the equaliser in the 40th minute, when Calne’s keeper Martin Mitchell’s save from Martin Johnson’s free-kick was pushed into the path of Conner McKay who headed the ball home. The second-half ended 1 -1.

More controversy came early in the second half and still inside in the first minute when Warminster’s captain Charlie Walton was accused of stamping on a Calne player while winning the ball. It was a straight red card for Walton much to the bewilderment of all onlookers. How would the ten-man home side now fare with nearly all of the half remaining? The players responded well and reorganised to keep Calne away from goal as much as possible while looking for opportunities to attack and exploit any gaps in the visitors’ defence. To help with the battle, manager Andy Crabtree substituted Martin Johnson for Eban Mortimer-Taylor 8 minutes into this half.

A few minutes after the substitution in the 56th minute, Jack Miluk made good work down the left and from the edge of the penalty area crossed with a looping ball along the edge of the 6-yard line and the ball was met by George Butler flying in at the far side leaving the keeper with no chance of getting there.

Five minutes later (61) Connor McKay worked hard on the right-hand side and almost reaching the touchline crossed into the box to find Jack Miluk waiting in the centre of goal on the edge of the 6-yard box to beat his marker and strike the ball home with his right foot. Calne Town were clearly not enjoying this experience and there was a fair amount of dissent towards the referee who clearly was not controlling the players and allowing this to happen.

Warminster went close again in the 64th minute when a superb free kick by Mortimer-Taylor floated into the box, met by Butler and cleared off the line by the keeper.

Calne did create some chances, and Nathan Ball called into action. Calne missed a great opportunity (70) after a rebound from Ball’s save at the near post was tapped straight back to him by a Calne player instead of into a fairly open goal! Warminster countered a few minutes later when Miluk made a great run from halfway, squared the ball to McKay a yard outside of the centre of the penalty area. With the keeper rushing out he shot to avoid him, and the ball went agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.

MIluk proved a threat for the rest of this half as the outlet for Warminster to find him and still look to exploit Calne as they pushed to get back in the game. Calne did go close hitting the crossbar after being tipped onto it by Ball’s save with 12 minutes left on the clock. Calne’s hearts were also in their mouths when their keeper came out of his box to close to the halfway to lob the ball to Warminster’s penalty area. The ball was cleared by Alex Churchyard, and it went all the way towards Calne’s goal and finished going past the left post by a couple of yards with the keeper having no chance of getting back.

Warminster cleverly ran the clock down in the final minutes keeping the ball and frustrating the visitors’ from any chance of getting any points from this game. It was another excellent performance from a team whose confidence is growing and now capable of beating any team on the day in this league.

The league leaders, Cheddar F.C. are next on Saturday, March 2nd at Weymouth Street. Kickoff 3.00pm.

Team: Ball, Baggs, Barnes, Graham, De-Silva, Churchyard, Miluk, Walton(c), Johnson, McKay, Butler subs: Herd, Mortimer-Taylor, McEntee

Warminster Town v Bishops Lydeard

It was touch and go due to the heavy rain if this game would go ahead. With less than an hour to kickoff, the referee monitored the situation and eventually agreed that the heaviest of the rain had passed and the game could start.

Bishops Lydeard playing in their light blue away kit started the day just 5 points behind the home side. Back in October Warminster came from 1 – 0 behind to beat the Bishops 2 -1 and no doubt the visitors wanted to make amends for that result. This time though there were no goals for Bishops Lydeard and Warminster won this game 2 – 0 with the goals coming in the first half.

The first half was a good solid performance from Warminster who were creating chances within the opening minutes. The first goal came in the 10th minute when Eben Mortimer-Taylor crossed in from the left wing to find the head of captain Charlie Walton who had made a great run down the centre of the pitch and got in front of the defender. Walton cleverly headed the ball downwards and it went under the diving keeper, Nathan Whatley.

Another chance soon followed for Conner McKay who forced the Bishops keeper into a save and Walton went close again in the 16th minute with a long-range shot which curled just wide of the left post. Jordan De Silva also headed towards goal from a Mortimer-Taylor free kick 6 minutes later but it was comfortably saved by the Bishops keeper.

Bishops Lydeard were trying to knock the ball over the Warminster defence and then run on to it. For the most part, the home side’s defenders cut out the ball or the opposition were offside when it got through. It was the 26th minute before the visitors had a shot on goal which was from 25 yards out and wide of Nathan Ball’s left-hand post. 3 minutes later the visitors went agonisingly close when a long ball down the left was picked up by the aptly named James Quick who lobbed Nathan Ball and the shot went across the goal mouth and bounced just wide of the far post and out for a goal kick.

The second goal came in the 38th minute following a corner from the right which went over everyone’s heads but then Lewis Graham with a low drive back from the left found Conner McKay who fired home from close range in the centre of the goal mouth.

The second half kicked off with still a lot of moisture in the air and the pitch obviously was more cut up because of the weather but still playable. Both sides had an early opportunity but unable to convert. Warminster went on to create more chances but again without a reward.

What was striking in this match was the referee’s love of yellow! He produced several yellow cards in the first half and increased his tally to double figures in the second. The majority of the yellow cards awarded to Warminster. This was not a dirty game and with the pitch being wet did cause a few of the sliding tackles to go wrong, however, some of the cards issued were not deserved and Warminster’s Lewis Graham was sent off in the 83rd minute for his second yellow. The visitors a few minutes later also had a man sent off for his second yellow, so the game did finish with 10 men on each side.

Close to the end of the match, Warminster’s Jack Miluk made a good run down the left wing forcing the keeper to make a save close to his right post. The game concluded and in summary, it was a solid and mature performance from Warminster and an enjoyable game for the 104 who braved the weather to watch.

Warminster Town next travel to league strugglers Portishead Town on Saturday 26th January, followed by a trip to league leaders Cheddar on Tuesday 29th for an evening kickoff.

Team: Ball, Baggs, Barnes, De Silva, Graham, Sisson, Miluk, Walton, Johnson, McKay, Mortimer-Taylor subs (*used) Churchyard*, Wright J*, Wright S, Collyer, Lisowski*