A game of two halves!
Willand started brightly, playing some quick incisive attacking football down the quite significant Paulton slope. Paulton found themselves penned in to their own half for long periods with only some desperate last minute tackling & shot-blocking keeping their visitors at bay. With such pressure it came as no surprise when Alfie Moulden scored direct from a free kick from just outside the penalty area on 29 minutes.
After this goal the home side regained some composure & started to come back into the game forcing a fine save from George Burton – palming a bullet-like Leighton Thomas header onto the bar. Just a few minutes later Thomas managed to equalise, his fiece shot deflected past Burton.
Half-time 1-1. Would Willand rue the missed chances they created in that first half?
The second half, now with Paulton playing down the slope, had a totally different complexion. Paulton immediately adopted a “route one” tactic hoisting long balls at every opportunity towards the dangerous Thomas: Willand were under the cosh for the opening 10 minutes.
It looked like Willand had weathered the storm as they gradually found themselves with more possession. On 60 minutes Josh Searle slotted a through ball to give Alfie a one-on-one with the Paulton keeper: no mistake from Alfie: Willand back in front.
Paulton continued to pump long balls towards Thomas and after a period of intense pressure and some wayward passing in the Willand midfield a Paulton attacker broke through into the Willand box … and was brought down by Glenn Gould. Penalty. Converted on 70 minutes by Thomas.
Willand were rattled by this onslaught and just three minutes later, on 73, another long ball found Thomas in space on the edge of the area. His powerful shot was just inside Burton’s left post: no chance for Burton. 3-2, the visitors behind for the first time this season.
Russell Jee made some late changes bringing on Will Harvey & Noah Coppin to bolster the attack, sacrificing Kieran Bailey & Gould. The last 10 minutes saw the pendulum swing again, with Willand applying intense pressure to the Paulton goal and forcing a number of brilliant saves from their keeper & last ditch blocks from their tiring defenders. On 93 minutes Coppin shot through the congested penalty area … hitting the post, the ball bouncing back in to play before being hacked down field by a defender.
Full-time 3-2 to Paulton. Yes, Willand did ultimately rue the missed chances they created in that first half!
|Private: Will Harvey||Sub|
|David Steele (Assistant Manager)|