On a very blustery day, Warminster made the trip to the recently renovated ground of Longwell Green Sports. Looking to continue their run of form, the questions would be: Could the visitors make it 15 unbeaten games in a row? Would the artificial pitch favour the home side? Warminster came away with a 4-1 victory with a powerful second-half performance.
The Red & Blacks were not convincing in the first half and failed to put away several chances from McKay, Bartley, Pollock and Cockerill, who on another occasion might have scored. Throughout the first half, Warminster limited the home side a few chances, but a ball from Longwell’s number 9 found Greenslade by the far left post and free to fire home past the outstretched left arm of Thomson.
The halftime dressing room talk from the manager, Andy Crabtree, galvanised The Town into action! It wasn’t to be one-way traffic, and Longwell did produce chances to increase their tally. A few minutes after the restart, they went close but just off target.
Warminster’s opening goal came on 49’ when Gardner rose to head home a corner by the near post. The tally was doubled (57’) when a long ball from defender Lewis Graham from his 18-yard line sent a long-ball forward over to the left. McKay chased the ball and caught up with it on the left-hand edge of Longwell’s penalty area. McKay burst into the box, and his powerful shot entered the top left corner.
Three minutes later, McKay again burst down the left, crossed to the edge of the area to Gardner, who forced a fine save from the keeper. Warminster were posing Longwell a serious threat every time they got the ball forward.
The home side almost equalised in the 69th were it not for another good reaction save from Thomson.
Andy Crabtree made some substitutions, and straight after coming on, James Vincent saw his 18-yard shot saved by the near post. However, the keeper parried the ball into the path of Mortimer Taylor, who made sure of getting the ball past the keeper to make it three.
The fourth goal came in the 84th minute. James Vincent picked up the ball 10 yards inside Longwell’s half on the left. The fast-running forward made his way just inside the area and guided the ball into the right-hand netting.
The second half was an emphatic performance from Warminster Town, and with the top two teams also winning, they haven’t lost ground and stay just one point away in third place. There are still many more games to play, and it is a thrilling title race. As manager Andy Crabtree says, “Every game is like a cup final”.
Team: Thomson, Pollock, Cockerill, Jeffrey, Graham, Churchyard(s), Gardner(s), Mortimer-Taylor, Johnson M(s), Bartley, McKay
Subs: (used) Miluk, Seviour, Vincent
(Unused) De-Silva, Butler