Having beaten Portishead Town twice already this season, scoring 5 goals in each game, Warminster should have been full of confidence to win this game. This game though did not see 5 goals in total but saw Warminster win 2 -1.
The visitors created so many chances in the first half that they should have easily won this game. The first chance came in the 4th minute when Chapman, one on one with Crabtree in goal, unbelievably put his shot just wide of the left post. More shots followed and then in the 12th minute with another easy chance, Sell skewed his shot well wide of the right-hand side of the goal.
Warminster got their first shot on goal in the 27th minute when Allen got a touch to send the ball towards the line, the ball was cleared but fell to Vincent whose shot was stopped by the keeper getting his body in the way for a corner. Shortly after this Alex Churchyard picked up a yellow card. In the 32nd minute, Vincent again forced the Portishead keeper, George Shanks-Boon into a save.
Portishead’s efforts on goal were finally rewarded in the 36th minute, a long low ball down the right found number 7, Eastwood who cut into the edge of the penalty area, left-back, Ian Jeffery got a foot on the shot but the deflection carried the ball over Crabtree and into Warminster’s net.
One minute later, Portishead almost doubled their tally with a shot that went just over the crossbar. Their chances by now had reached double figures and 3 of which would be described as ‘sitters’ that were missed.
No doubt at halftime Warminster’s manager, Andy Crabtree gave an appropriate dressing room talk. The Portishead players were waiting on the pitch for while before the Red & Blacks and officials appeared. Warminster started much brighter and played well, cutting out the number of opportunities that had been afforded to the visitors in the first half. Mortimer-Taylor showed intent with his shot in the 53rd minute, which went wide of the post. Allen nearly scored Warminster’s first in the 67th minute, he got a glancing diving header sent just wide of the left-hand post.
On 75 minutes Martin Johnson who had come on for James Vincent had an excellent chance to equalise when the ball fell to him at the far post from a corner on the left. Johnson tapped the ball towards the bottom right corner but due to a lack of power, the keeper got there in time to smother the ball. Churchyard picked up his second yellow and now Warminster found themselves not just a goal down, but a man also.
This, however, did not show on the pitch as the home side continued to battle and the break came in the 90th minute when Harry Barnes was brought down in the penalty area. Jeffery took the penalty and put the ball away with great confidence to draw the sides level. There was more drama still to come. Portishead’s manager received a red card possibly for something said about the awarding of the penalty.
There were 10 minutes of added time in this game, and Warminster used every minute of it. Deep into added time Warminster crossed in a ball from the right which was met by the rising head of a defender and the ball finished in the back of his own net. There had been 2 other occasions in this half, when they went close to scoring an own goal from the pressure created by the rejuvenated home side.
This was quite a turnaround from the first half and manager Andy Crabtree had this to say after the game. “Today we were very poor first half and were very fortunate to go in only 1-0 behind, that said in the 2nd half we rolled our sleeves up and went about our work and should really have been level before we got a relatively soft penalty. One thing we don’t lack is character and we showed that again today after we were reduced to 10 men we went on to win the game. All credit to the lads, they took on board what was said at half time and produced a very good 2nd half performance to send the supporters home happy.”
Team: Crabtree, McFerran*, Jeffery, Graham, De Silva, Churchyard (2 yellows), Miluk, Mortimer-Taylor, Allen, Vincent*, Fletcher*
Subs (*used) Barnes, McEntee, Johnson