The first match of the season kicked off with Warminster Town wearing their new red and black kit. Following a campaign to attract more football fans through the gate it was good to see 174 in attendance. In fact, 2 Warminster supporters, Paul & Barbara travelled all the way from Kent to be here and as a thank you had their photo taken before the start of the game with some of the players.
It proved to be an entertaining game of football with honours going to Welton Rovers with the only goal scored in the first half. Warminster had an early opportunity when new signing Kieran Baggs (former manager of Melksham Town) broke free down the left, got around the keeper and the shot cleared off the line. A couple of minutes later following good work from Jack Miluk, George Butler found himself with an opportunity to shoot but the ball went high and wide over the goal.
Rover’s goal came in the 21st minute when a long range pass from Joe Garland caught out the Warminster defence and found Lewis Coleman who kept the ball away from defender McFerran. This left the attacker clear in centre of goal, at the edge of the penalty area to be able to run into the box. Whilst sliding to get to the ball to beat the onrushing keeper Crabtree he was able to toe-poke home the ball.
Shortly after the goal, Warminster had a good chance to level up when Martin Johnson flicked towards goal a good cross from Miluk but the keeper was covering his near post and pulled off a good save. This half produced several opportunities for both sides with Warminster seeming to shoot high, whereas Rovers did bring into action Carl Crabtree with some fairly easy saves but nevertheless necessary ones.
The second half got underway with Warminster determined to close the gap. Johnson went close in the opening minutes which keeper, Thomas Drewitt cleared with his leg. On 61 minutes Charlie Walton had a good opportunity for the Red & Blacks with a shot just over Rovers’ crossbar. During this half manager Andy Crabtree brought on 3 substitutes to keep the attack going. Miluk, Johnson and Baggs were replaced with Mortimer-Taylor, Wright and Vincent.
A few other opportunities came Town’s way with the fresh legs but were unable to convert. The home side were not quite at the level of sharpness that they have shown possible during the latter part of last season and no doubt this game will have helped them as they look forward to the next one.
After the match assistant manager, Rob McFerran had this to say, “Obviously disappointed that we didn’t get anything from the opening game of the season. The opening encounters saw Welton sharper all over the pitch and we did a lot of chasing trying to get a foothold in the game.
Just as we were getting to grips with the pace of the game we gave away a soft goal from a hopeful long ball that we failed to deal with.
We had plenty of opportunities to level the score before halftime but poor decision making when the better option was to pass the ball rather than shoot and woeful finishing saw us go in at the interval a goal down.
The second half saw us far more attacking with Welton sitting on their lead and credit to their back four limited us to very few chances with all the possession we had. On another day we’d have taken something from the game as Carl had a fairly quiet afternoon, but it wasn’t to be.
We make the short trip to Devizes on Saturday and this gives us the opportunity to bounce back.”
Team: Crabtree, McFerran, Barnes, Graham, De-Silva, Churchyard, Miluk, Walton(C), Johnson, Baggs, Butler Subs: Baggs, Mortimer-Taylor*, Vincent*, Lisowski, Wright*