With a successful cup run and mid-week victory over Cheddar, Warminster should have travelled to Hengrove Atheltic with the confidence of a win. Hengrove who are third from bottom of the league and with a reputation for conceding goals looked to be a team to beat. The result though was disappointing for the Red & Blacks who it could be said of “had a bad day at the office”.
Hengrove looked confident from the kickoff and in the second half scored the only goal of the game to give them a 1 – 0 win and a very rare clean sheet. The home team passed the ball well and spent much of the first half in Warminster’s territory.
The warning signs were there early in the game, Carl Crabtree had to produce a good save in the 7th minute, diving to his left to keep the ball out of his net. The visitors did have a super opportunity to score when in the 10th minute a free kick taken from the right-hand edge of the box by Shanley curled in towards the onrushing Francois Allen who just failed to connect. A minute later though Hengrove responded with another shot on goal, this time an easy save for Crabtree.
Throughout this half, Warminster found it difficult to retain the ball and tended to give it away cheaply. All the outfield players seemed to have an off-day and passes went to a green shirt more often than to a man in red and black. Fortunately, none of the errors resulted in a goal and only a few shots on goal by the home team were made.
In the 42nd minute, Miluk did well down the right, cut in along the by-line and beat the defenders to get the ball through to Vincent who’s shot hit the defender and out for a corner kick. Shaney took the corner and it was met by the rising head of Lewis Graham who only managed to get the ball over the crossbar.
The second half got underway with both team goal-less but that changed in the 56th minute when a ball from halfway inside the home side’s half was lobbed just inside Warminster’s, it was picked up by the home sides striker who ran down the centre pursued by 2 of Warminster’s defenders and the onrushing Crabtree. However, no one could stop the shot which finished up in the middle of Warminster’s goal.
Crabtree had to produce a spectacular save just before the half-hour mark tipping the ball over the crossbar to keep the score to just the one goal. The final 15 minutes though did see Warminster finally put a lot of pressure on the home side’s goal and with 6 minutes of normal time left, Shanley forced the keeper into a fine save. In the 89th-minute substitute, Johnson had an opportunity to equalise but his header was saved by Carl Bush. Moments later Eban Mortimer-Taylor made a run along the byline on the left of goal and his curling shot went just over the top of the crossbar.
In additional time Hengrove were hanging on as Warminster now awakened from their slumber pushed forward. Johnson shot wide and Mortimer-Taylor had a shot cleared off the line but in this game, it was all too late and victory was not to be snatched from the jaws of defeat on this occasion.
Warminster can now look to make amends on Saturday, December 14th with a home game against Portishead Town who they have beaten 5 – 2 in the league and 5 – 0 in the Les Phillips Cup, so will there be more goals? Kickoff at 3.00 pm and after 90 minutes that question will be answered!
Team: Crabtree, McFerran*, Jeffery, Graham, Lisowski, Churchyard, Miluk, Mortimer-Taylor, Allen*, Vincent*, Shanley
Subs (*used) Fletcher* Johnson* Baggs*