Willand progress to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Trophy.
A hard fought game on Saturday afternoon saw Willand Rovers come away from Premier South Yate Town with a creditable 2-0 victory.
Both goals were scored in the first half, when Rovers looked the more alert team in every department – perhaps Yate suffering the hang-over from their FA Cup victory over Dover on Tuesday evening.
On 5 minutes, a sweeping move down the right, ball squared by Archie Reay to Ben Griffith, who skilfully shot to beat the diving keeper and flick off the inside of the left hand post into the net. Just 18 minutes later another attack with some quick first-touch passes came to Louis J-C on the right; he drove the ball hard across the 6 yard box to the unmarked Bailey Kempster who smashed the ball into the net. 0-2.
Willand were in total control of the match with wingbacks Mani Skett & Josh Searle causing all sorts of problems with their runs from deep. Rovers looked dangerous every time they surged forward with the lively and agile attack partnership of Cane & Griffith literally running rings around the big Yate defenders. On 29 minutes Cane again found himself in space in the box: this time his fierce drive was tipped around the post by the keeper.
The pattern of the game continued in this manner up to half time. It was apparent the Yate players were becoming more and more frustrated. On 44 minutes after another heavy tackle Archie Reay’s day was over. Archie was replaced by Jack Rice, his first game after a long lay-off with a knee injury. Jack was soon in action and it was good to see he has returned with as much energy as he had before his injury lay-off.
Willand started the second half as brightly as they finished the first, with Griffith & Cane being continual thorns in the Yate side. The hosts also continued with some cynical fouls to stop their visitors. On 50 minutes after a succession of such fouls the ref’s patience had come to an end and Yate veteran forward Stuart Fleetwood was red carded for grabbing Ryan Guppy around the neck.
Rovers should have gone 3-0 up on 70 minutes; Jagger-Cane raced through, his shot beat the keeper but went wide of the right hand post.
As often happens when reduced to 10 men, a team suddenly finds more resolve: this happened to Yate in the final 15 minutes when Yate applied some pressure of their own, hitting the post and the bar and forcing Burton into making two great saves. The Willand defence held firm and closed the game out. Ft 0-2.
A very solid performance by Rovers; our young guns are coming of age!
|Mani Skett||Yellow Card|
|David Steele (Assistant Manager)|