The Season That Never Was

2020 will undoubtedly be a year to remember, not for the football but COVID-19 (Coronavirus) bringing the season to an early end. The plan is to erase all the results from The Toolstation Western League. There will be no promotions or relegations.

It was, however, an exciting season to look back on with many teams in Division 1 challenging for the title. Although Warminster Town were not in that race, they had a super cup run and were looking forward to taking on Premier League opposition, Tavistock on Devon turf in the quarter-final of the Les Phillips Cup. The game had twice been postponed before lockdown due to a waterlogged pitch, a feature of the season.

Along the way, The Red & Blacks had a 5 – 0 win over Portishead, which I can heartily describe as a great game of football. In the next round, there was a tough battle away at Longwell Green Sports. Warminster won 4-3 on penalties after a 2 – 2 draw at full-time.

There was even more drama and excitement in the FA Vase that results in the final taking place on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium. Having a bye in the first qualifying round Warminster would start the campaign with the second qualifying round. There were some really tough draws, and Warminster kicked off with a home tie against high flying Alresford Town from the Wessex League Premier Division and put in a strong performance to win 2 -1.

Next up and the first round proper, was a team from the Isle of Wight, East Cowes Victoria Athletic and in an entertaining game saw Warminster progress to the next round with a 3 – 2 win. The second round gave Warminster another home tie and saw the visitors, AFC Portchester going home empty-handed with the home side putting three past the visitors with only one goal in response.

The third round produced an away trip to the Western League Premier side, Roman Glass for a Sunday fixture on December 1st. The home side started brightly and took the lead in the 13th minute, but that did not cause Warminster to lose hope. The second half produced goals from Eben Mortimer-Taylor and James Vincent and a well-earned win and progress to the remaining 32 teams.

The draw saw yet another away trip to a Western League Premier side, Bitton AFC. What a game that was! We saw the Red & Black’s looking the better team for 70 minutes and leading 1 – 0 from a penalty in the 22nd minute put nicely away by Ian Jeffery. Bitton in a desperate attempt to get into this game used up all three substitutes late on and that made the difference, firstly with a wonder strike on 72 minutes followed by two more to give them a 3 -1 victory. Bitton in the next round had the long journey to high flying Wroxham over in Norfolk and won convincingly 0 – 4.

Sadly for Bitton, as for all other teams that match has not taken place and we await to see if that semi-final will be given the go-ahead in the future. Let’s hope so, for all the teams remaining in the competition.

It has to be noted that although Warminster Town’s performance in the league was disappointing and inconsistent, the supporters were able to enjoy some exciting and entertaining games of football.

We all now look forward to next season and hope that it can kick off on time. That, of course, is going to be down to the state of matters surrounding Coronavirus.

Do you like taking photos?

If you answer yes to the above question we would like to hear from you.

Photographs play an important role in putting Warminster Town Football Club in the public eye. We use photos on our social media accounts and also supply them to the Warminster Journal and programme printers.

Anyone can supply photos using a camera or smartphone and your contributions will be appreciated. However, if you have a super zoom lens and quality camera, even better!

It would be good to have an official photographer as well as other contributors so please do get in touch using the email address at the bottom of the website if you are interested in volunteering your skills.

Warminster Town 0 Sherborne Town 2

Due to the bad weather, Warminster had not played since February 8th and now faced promotion-chasing Sherborne Town. The Zebras started the day in 5th place, just 3 points adrift of the league leaders Calne Town. On a sticky surface, both teams, for much of the game, matched each other with Sherborne eventually coming out as 2 – 0 winners. 

The visitors squandered a first-half opportunity to score when on 33 minutes a penalty was awarded. Williams took the penalty, striking the ball low and hard with keeper Crabtree rooted to the floor who watched the ball hit the post and the danger pass. 

The Red & Blacks had a number of first-half opportunities but failed to capitalise on them, a notable one in the 13th minute when debutant Dalitso Mandson found himself one on one with the keeper. Beale in goal for Sherborne did well to get his feet to it and snuff out the danger. The keeper was outstanding for the visitors in reading the game well and coming out to meet the home side’s attacking players and clear the ball. Halftime 0 – 0. 

Early in the second half (52), Allen for Warminster also had a one on one with the keeper but again Beale proved to be a barrier. 5 minutes later Allen pressured the keeper to clear the ball. Beale miss kicked it, and Allen picked up the ball again, but his shot was saved by Beale diving to his right. Minutes later Allen forced yet another save. 

Sherborne’s opener came in the 63rd minute, a ball in from the right found the head of number 9, Herrin, and with a looping header found the top right corner. With just over 10 minutes to go, Warminster’s captain was sin-binned leaving 10 men on the pitch, he did return though for the final few minutes. In additional time, The Zebras doubled their tally with an easy tap in goal scored by Sam Farthing. 

After the game, Warminster’s manager, Andy Crabtree had this to say. “Obviously disappointed with the 2-0 defeat .. anyone who watched the game will know we were a little unlucky. Goals win games and had we taken our chances the outcome could and should have been very different. But we didn’t and paid the price. I can’t be too critical of our performance as we did enough to gain at least a point. 

The first goal was a tremendous header by their striker and the 2nd came as a result of us chasing the game and getting caught on the break late on. We’ll play a lot worse a win and I’m confident we will see an upturn in fortunes in the near future.”

Team: Crabtree, McFerran H, Jeffrey, Graham, De Silva*, Lisowski, Miluk, Pawley, Madson*, Allen, Barnes*, 

Subs (*used) Shanley*, Curtis*, McFerran O*, Ball

Wanted – Club Secretary

Warminster Town Football Club is looking for an enthusiastic fan of local nonleague football to serve as Club Secretary. This is an ideal way to enjoy getting involved in local football and make new friends along the way.

For more information please phone the Club Chairman, Pete Russell 07802 442337 and he will be delighted to discuss the role with you.

Oldland Abbotonians 3 Warminster Town 1

Last season, Warminster claimed victory in both encounters without conceding a goal. This match was the first time the two teams met this season. The home side, although having a shaky first 5 minutes soon grew into the game and finished up winning 3 -1.

The opening goal came on 10 minutes when Seb Tylek, Warminster’s new goalkeeper failed to punch the ball and Summerhill lurking near Tylek’s left post, headed home. Just 4 minutes later a mistake at the back by the visitors caused Tylek to rush out of his area towards the onrushing number 10, Vinall who was tripped by the keeper. The referee played advantage as the ball went to a blue shirt who crossed the ball back, and Vinall now back on his feet, headed home into the empty net. The referee did have a word with Tylek but left it at that. Had Oldland not scored that would likely have been a red card for the debutant.

Oldland were dominant in this first half and battled for every ball with Vinall upfront causing problems throughout as he chased everything coming his way. Mortimer-Taylor had to be substituted for Connor McKay.

The second half probably couldn’t come soon enough for the Red & Blacks manager, Andy Crabtree. At the restart, the home side almost scored the third goal in under 20 seconds. A ball over the top found their number 9 who’s low shot towards Tylek’s left post required a good save with his left arm. 

The Abbotonians though were relentless in their work rate and a third goal did come on 60 minutes when Mills crossed in from the left, Vinall leapt in front of the keeper at the near post which allowed the ball to travel to the centre of the goal where Summerhill slots home from near the goalmouth. 

With 5 minutes of normal time left Oldland had a man sent to the sin-bin. Warminster did keep trying to score the elusive goal and were rewarded with a penalty on 90 minutes, which Jeffery put away to make it 3 – 1. It was another entertaining game to watch and see a home team really battling for every ball and not allowing Warminster a moment to get into a good rhythm. 

Warminster next faces second from bottom, Bishop Sutton at Weymouth Street on Saturday, February 15th kickoff 3.00 pm. On Wednesday, February 19th they face the long trip to Tavistock AFC for the quarter-final round of the Les Phillips Cup, kickoff 7.30 pm.

Team: Tylek, McFerran*, Barnes, Jeffery, De Silva, Lisowski, Miluk, Mortimer-Taylor*, Pawley, Vincent, Fletcher, 

Subs (used*) McKay*, Ball, Chenery-Bowden*

Warminster Town 3 Wells City 3

High-flying Wells City came to Warminster Town on the first day of February. The club made this a special day to raise funds for Cancer Research UK as part of World Cancer Day on February 4th. There was a raffle, and the takings from the refreshment cabin being donated to the cause.

The 107 in attendance watched a 6-goal thriller and honours were even at the end of this game at 3 – 3. This is how the game unfolded.

Warminster got off to a very bright start and almost scored in the opening seconds when Miluk on the right crossed into the box. Allen flicked the ball into the centre of the area, and Pawley shot over the bar. In the 4th minute, more pressure from the home side saw Shanley’s header saved by Wilkinson in City’s goal.

City scored first against the run of the opening play in the 7th minute. Foster, City’s number 10, practically unmarked, made sure by firing into the right-hand corner of Crabtree’s net. From the encounter earlier in the season, Warminster should have been aware of the goal-scoring ability of Wells and the ability to get balls into the box and finish them.

Wells continued to pump long balls forward throughout the match and make use of their taller players. Warminster had to be on guard against this tactic for the whole 90 minutes. The home side though did not let their heads drop after the opener and equalised in the 13th minute. Shanley found Allen on the edge of the box, whose shot went in off the left-hand post.

Allen doubled his tally in the 23rd minute, with a super shot from a parried save from a Shanley strike and buried the ball into the left corner of the goal. Crabtree pulled off a good save 5 minutes later to keep Town’s lead intact. Two minutes later, at the opposite end, Allen went close to a hat trick forcing the keeper into a fine save. Crabtree right at the death of the first half pulled off another good save contributing to him being the players’ Man of the Match.

With a 2 – 1 lead Warminster started the second-half as brightly as the first, and on 50 seconds Miluk going down the entire right of City’s half took on both defence and keeper to force the ball low into the back of the net to make it 3 – 1. Wells responded in the 52nd minute with Foster getting his second. Moments later Crabtree produced another fine save, but the lead was to vanish in the 68th minute when City equalised with a goal into the middle of the net by Hunt.

Warminster made a double substitution when Fletcher and Johnson replaced Barnes and Shanley. The fresh legs seemed to turn things in Warminster’s favour and the home side in the final quarter of an hour or so created several chances where Allen could have scored again.

Overall, Warminster should be pleased with their performance, and the fans of both teams were treated to an entertaining football match. There were opportunities for the home side to win and no doubt this will give them the confidence to perform well in their next game, which is on Saturday, February 8th away at Oldland Abbotonians.

Team: Crabtree, McFerran, Jeffery(c), Graham, De Silva, Lisowski, Miluk, Pawley, Allen, Shanley*, Barnes*,
Subs: (used) Fletcher*, Johnson*, Ball, Tylek

Wincanton Town 2 Warminster Town 1

On Saturday, January 25th., Warminster Town made the short trip down the A303 to Wincanton, to face “The Wasps”. The match took place on a sticky pitch and despite taking the lead lost the game 2-1.

The first half kicked off, and for much of it, Warminster looked the better side. The opening goal scored by the visitors was a superb volley from Eben Mortimer-Taylor on 23 minutes finding the top right corner. Moments before this goal, Allen almost connected with a superb cross on the 6-yard line from Miluk, which would have been a certain goal.

In the 28th minute, a penalty was given to The Wasps. The reason why was not seen by the referee as he went to consult with the linesman before deciding there was an infringement. One of Warminster’s subs, Nathan Ball was not best pleased and earned a yellow card for expressing his displeasure to the officials. The penalty was dispatched into the back of Carl Crabtree’s net by Dan Wise sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the goalscorer Mortimer-Taylor was substituted due to injury towards the end of the half. Just before this, Miluk went close with a shot that went over the home side’s crossbar.

Wincanton scored the winning goal in the 67th minute. A long ball from The Wasps defence was knocked on to Louis Irwin, who on the edge of the box, left-footed a shot into Town’s goal which went in off the left-hand post. In the 76th minute, Crabtree pulled off an excellent save diving high to his left to keep the ball out of his net. Minutes later Crabtree had to come charging out to the right-hand edge of his area to cut out a dangerous move from Wincanton.

With 11 minutes of the 90 remaining Miluk intercepted a back pass to The Wasps keeper. MIluk fired the ball on target, but the keeper managed to get a strong arm to prevent the goal.

With a few minutes remaining, it could be said that Warminster had two goalkeepers on the pitch as Allen was replaced by Nathan Ball, this time playing in a forward role. It would have a made a great story if Ball could have scored when playing at the opposite end of the pitch.

Warminster probably deserved a draw with everything taken into account but sadly have come away from Moor Lane without a point.

Next up, high-flying Wells City at Weymouth Street, Warminster on Saturday, February 1st. Kickoff at 3.00 pm.

Team: Crabtree, McFerran, Barnes, Graham, Jeffery, Lisowski, Miluk, Mortimer-Taylor, Pawley, Allen, Shanley,

Subs (used) Ball, Chenery-Bowden*, De Silva

Warminster Maltings Competition Winners

On Saturday, January 25th our 3 competition winners had a lovely tour of Warminster Maltings.

Our 3 winners, Derek Severn, Malcolm McLundie, Chip Chapman along with their guests enjoyed the hospitality of Chairman Robin Appel of Warminster Maltings. Scott Drysdale went along to represent Warminster Town Football Club.

Winners along with Chairman Robin Appel (2nd left)

Warminster Town 0 Longwell Green Sports 3

After a courageous performance in the FA Vase, there was hope that Warminster Town would be able to reproduce that form in the league. However, this was not to be. Top of the league, Longwell Green Sports came away with a three-goal victory with no goals from the home side.

The visitors got off to a flying start with their opening goal in under thirty seconds. A throw-in on the left, halfway inside Warminster’s half resulted in two passes that found Liam Oswin in the box, and his low shot found the right-hand corner of the home side’s goal.

The second goal came in the 7th minute when a ball through the middle was attacked by Oswin this time Nathan Ball pulled off a diving save, but the parried ball was put away by number 10, Conor Britton this time into the opposite corner to the first goal.

A shell-shocked Warminster battled and settled down but lacked any serious attempt on goal in this first half. It looked like the tide could turn in the second half when with just a couple of minutes to go in the first half Longwell Green’s defender, Chris Alway received a second yellow card and had his marching orders to the dressing room.

Despite facing just ten men, Warminster could not get those elusive goals. Things got worse when Nathan Ball failed to clear a backpass quickly enough and had it robbed off his feet by substitute Dan Carter, who placed the ball into the back of the net in the 77th minute.

It certainly was a ‘bad day at the office’ as described on the official Warminster Town Twitter account, @warminstertnfc. Warminster now faces an away trip to Wincanton Town on Saturday, January 25th. The next home game is on February 1st when Wells City will be the visitors, kickoff 3.00 pm.

Team: Ball, Baggs*, De Silva*, Jeffery, Graham, Lisowski, Miluk, McKay*, Allen, Pawley, Barnes

Subs (*used) McFerran*, Fletcher*, Shanley*, Crabtree