Well, that is the end of the 2018/19 season and what a transformation there has been. Here’s our last season podcast connected to the actual football but we hope to slip in one or two before the new season to keep you updated.
When a bottom of the table team fighting for league survival is your opponent there is always that element of danger. It’s important not to take league position for granted and get caught out. Saturday’s opponents, Bristol Telephones sitting at the bottom of the division proved to be good opposition and played better than their league status would indicate. Warminster though wanted to continue their great run of home form and winning this match would make it 9 home wins in a row.
In glorious spring sunshine, a crowd of 109 would enjoy a good entertaining football match which shows what good value non-league football is in the Toolstation Western League. The final score in this entertaining game was Warminster Town 4 Bristol Telephones 0. This is how the game unfolded.
Warminster started very brightly with a high-intensity game, that in previous games had been missing until the second half. In the first 15 minutes, the home side had several chances including one in the sixth minute when Harry Barnes forced the keeper, Guest, into making a fine save, tipping the ball over the bar. Despite being bottom of the table The Phones played a good passing game and probably one of the best passing sides to be seen at Weymouth Street for a while. However, Warminster managed them well and worked hard to break up the passing by harrying their players whenever they had the ball.
For much of the first half, the home side pegged the visitors very much in their own half and limited them to very few opportunities to get anywhere near Nathan Ball’s goal giving him a much quieter day than in the last match against Radstock Town. The first goal came in the 29th minute following good work from Miluk, Mortimer-Taylor and Butler which resulted in a cross across the box and Jake Wright poked the ball home in the left-hand side of the goal.
4 minutes later a corner on the right was taken by Mortimer-Taylor and met by the head of Lewis Graham rising high and making it 2 – 0 to Warminster. The third goal came in the 40th minute when Butler making a terrific run on the left wing, squared the ball to Wright who then was able to fire home in the left-hand side of the goal. This made it 4 goals out of the last 3 games for Wright and well deserved for the effort he puts into each game.
At half-time, Jack Miluk returning from injury was substituted for Jake Herd. Captain Charlie Walton was also substituted early in the second-half for Stewart Lisowski. Lewis Graham in 63rd minute went close to making it 4 when he shot from the left almost along the byline and the ball ricocheted off the left-hand post, it first looked as though the keeper had punched it clear, however, a goal kick was awarded showing that it was the post that prevented a goal.
On 70 minutes a corner from the right for the home side was met by Johnson who got too much on the ball resulting in it going over the bar. 4 minutes later the fourth goal came when a ball through the centre put Wright through on goal. Wright with just the keeper to beat unselfishly squared the ball to Eben Mortimer-Taylor to slot the ball home. Warminster did not rest on their lead and continued to press throughout the rest of the match and created 4 good chances. The first two from Mortimer-Taylor one saved and the other over the bar, with two minutes to go, Butler, forced a saved and a minute later Graham did likewise.
This was a very solid performance by Warminster Town and places them in a good position to make a push for a top 5 place at the end of the season and confidence is high with 9 home wins in a row. This has been a wonderful turnaround in form compared to last season when as manager Andy Crabtree said on Twitter (@andythecrab) “last season we couldn’t win a corner!”. Andy’s comments after the game, “Really pleased with today’s performance. We played some good football on a very difficult surface. We’ve created a lot of chances and it’s good to see the lads enjoying themselves once again.”
Next game is away on Saturday, April 6th at Oldland Abbotonians and the next home game is on Saturday, April 13th when the visitors will be Bishop Sutton and perhaps making this a 10th home win in a row for The Red & Blacks.
The BBC weather forecast was spot on when they forecast that heavy rain would fall on Portishead around 3 pm and last for an hour or so. Right on cue, the rain started and the wind picked up speed driving the rain almost sideways! This was a game of two halves with Portishead scoring 3 times in the first half and Warminster 2 in the second, final score 3 – 2.
On an ever-increasing slippery pitch, Warminster got off to a good start putting pressure on the home side’s defence. Portishead’s keeper was called into action several times the third of which in the seventh minute, earned him a yellow card for bringing down Warminster’s Conner McKay outside of the area and some might argue should have been a red one.
It was the 12th minute when the home side opened the scoreline with a cross from the right finding Alex Chapman who made no mistake in scoring. The second goal came on the half-hour when Portishead went down their left and with few passes cut through the Warminster defence like a hot knife through butter and the ball was in the back of the net, nestled in the bottom far corner by Robbie Cox.
The third goal and a brace for Chapman came in the 39th minute. This all started from a free kick just inside Warminster’s half which was sent to the left of goal then passed a couple of times across the front of goal to be launched back from the right into the six-yard box for Chapman to slide in and tap home. This really was a poor performance from the visitors who just did not defend as they have done in previous games.
No doubt there had been a very strong team talk at halftime and Warminster rallied to prevent the mistakes of the first-half. It was with the wet pitch and wind going to be a struggle to get back into the game. However, the Red & Blacks battled and fought hard to prevail.
Warminster went close on 58 minutes when Jack Miluk beat his man on the right and his shot went just to the left of the far post. Substitutions were made and on came George Butler followed later by Jake Wright both of whom went on to score. The first for Wright in the 79th minute when from the left side of the box he lobbed the keeper and the covering defender and the ball sailed elegantly into the top right-hand corner.
Warminster’s second goal was a great effort from Butler who in the 83rd minute lobbed a Portishead defender then volleyed the ball with his left foot into the back of the goal. Unfortunately, despite the much better football in the second half by Warminster the score finished at 3 -2 to the home side.
After the game assistant manager Rob McFerran commented:
“Andy and I are hugely disappointed with yesterday’s first-half performance. To go in three-nil down at half time to a team who are one from the bottom of the league is not acceptable. Perhaps the mindset was we just had to turn up to get the three points, but in this league that simply isn’t the case.
Portishead gave us a lesson in the first half on how desire and determination can take you a long way in this league, and their effort in the first 45 minutes effectively sealed them the three points, so credit to them. We rallied in the second half with Jake Wright and George Butler offering some hope, but it wasn’t to be.
Our good run had to come to an end sometime but the manner in which it happened was disappointing and I know quite a few of our players will be disappointed with their first-half performances. We don’t become a bad team overnight and the last six weeks we have been in fantastic form….perhaps a bit of complacency crept in? But lesson learnt and you can be sure of a reaction from the boys on Tuesday when we travel to high flying Cheddar.”
It was back in October when Warminster Town travelled to Bishops Lydeard and on an unusually warm and sunny afternoon came away with all 3 points following a 2 – 1 win.
We now look forward to welcoming them on Saturday, January 19th. Kick off 3.00pm. Do come along to Weymouth Street and watch the game. If you can’t we should be live on YouTube.
You can watch the game and both halves are added below..
Warminster Town travelled to Chard for the first game of 2019, after an excellent festive period which saw Warminster collect seven points from a possible nine. Chard Town were a comfortable third in the league table so this would be a stern test for the visitors.
The first thirty minutes were fairly even with both keepers having little to deal with, Warminster’s keeper Crabtree was possibly the busier, having to deal with Chard’s secret weapon…..the long throw!
Jack Miluk gave Warminster the lead on the half-hour mark, good work in the six-yard box saw Miluk conjure up enough space to get his shot away and plant it in the far bottom corner giving Scott Wells-Burr no chance. The lead was short lived as Warminster failed to defend a corner which was flicked on at the near post, poor marking saw Ryan Parris appear at the far post for a simple tap in.
The second half started, and Warminster were behind after just three minutes, after countless opportunities to clear the ball from the penalty box the ball once again dropped to Ryan Parris who gratefully accepted the gift and planted the ball past Carl Crabtree.
Manager Andy Crabtree introduced Connor McKay into the game, and this sparked the visitors into life which forced Chard on the back foot. Captain Charlie Walton’s thumping volley from the edge of the penalty area gave Wells-Burr no chance and levelled up the scoreline.
From the restart Chard retook the lead, Warminster gave away a throw in which Andrew Holmes hurled into the penalty area, the defence failed to deal with the loose ball, and once again Warminster were behind. Warminster got back on level terms in the seventy-fifth minute with George Butler’s fantastic header from Eben Mortimer-Taylors precise free kick.
Martin Johnson had a great opportunity to seal all three points for Warminster when his shot from just outside the six-yard box bounced off the post, and somehow Chard scrambled the ball to safety. The final ten minutes were frantic with both teams going for the win, but the final whistle sounded with honours even.
On reflection, a draw was a fair result, but Warminster will be kicking themselves as they scored three excellent goals but unfortunately conceded two soft goals from set plays.
Team: Carl Crabtree, Ryan Baggs, Harry Barnes, Jordan De Silva, Lewis Graham, Joel Sisson, George Butler, Eben Mortimer-Taylor, Charlie Walton, Jack Miluk, Martin Johnson, Jake Wright, Sam Wright, Connor McKay.
The next game is not until Saturday, January 19th at Weymouth Street, Warminster when the visitors will be Bishops Lydeard.
Article by Rob McFerran – assistant manager Warminster Town FC