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.