Willand Vs Cinderford
After the Halloween nightmare of last week’s game against Larkhall, Willand were hoping to create some Fireworks against Cinderford this afternoon. I think that’s my cliche quota used up early in this report!
But cliches aside, passing Halloween and Bonfire night means that we’ve passed the date when the nights are slowly closing in on us and, with the clock changing, find them instead staring us in the collective faces. For most football fans this period is marked by the rifling through drawers in search of long abandoned scarves and hats, and big coats contravening convention by coming out of hibernation for the winter and, specifically for this writer, the eternal search for a pair of gloves that can both provide warmth yet retain the ability to type. Answers on a postcard please.
The coming of the darkness also means that for the foreseeable future we’ll be watching football under the floodlights, a romanticised notion for many football fans. Football clubs of course, especially at non-league level, are not immune from the increase that we have seen in the cost of living crisis and this is best illuminated under the bright lights of the bright lights and it also shines a light on how important the fans are to clubs like Willand and Cinderford.
The whites fans in attendance for today’s game were hoping to see an improvement on the back of two away defeats, against a Cinderford side who hadn’t seen a victory since the first day of October, a run of games that has included defeats to high flying Exmouth and struggling Bristol Manor Farm.
The Willand starting eleven saw several changes from the defeat at Larkhall with Hearsey, Baker and Koita dropping to bench, replaced by Guppy, Stamp and Bray, and it was nearly the perfect start for Rovers when immediately from the kick off Camilo found himself with the room for a shot, but didn’t quite make the contact he was looking for and saw his effort easily smothered by Parker in the Cinderford goal.
This was quickly followed by a second Willand chance in the 5th minute when Bray slid the ball to Stamp who conspired to lift his shot over the bar.
This quick start from Willand wasn’t to last though and with both teams struggling to adapt to the damp conditions the visitors began to find their way into the game, and their newly found ascendancy nearly paid off in the 20th minute when confusion in the Willand defence led to a Cindeford forward finding himself on the end of a flick from a stunningly direct pass, only to slide his shot past both the keeper and the upright.
Willand managed to create chances in the opposition half, including a well struck header from HIll in the 26th minute that sailed high and wide, but as the half continued an increasingly hoarse and exasperated David Steele found himself berating the Willand defence who clearly weren’t paying close enough attention in training this week.
Cindeford kept pressing against the opening door and came close again in the 30th minute when the forward flicked the ball over the defenders head only to see his shot travel wide, and a few minutes later McCann swung a leg towards where he thought the ball was, only to miss and complete a pirouetting airshot before his scrambled follow up again missed the mark.
The breakthrough for the away team came in the 41st minute when a ball that couldn’t really even be described as over the top found the Willand defence both static and flatfooted and Symons, with the freedom of Silver Street, found himself one on one with Burton.
The Cinderford number 9 kept his cool as he rounded the Willand keeper and managed to place his shot through the legs of Kempster who had eventually arrived on the scene to give the visitors a well deserved lead.
It was however a lead that was short lived as Willand equalised almost immediately and on the stroke of halftime. Camilo found himself unmarked on the penalty spot and calmly slotted the ball home after good work down the Willand right.
A slightly undeserved but hugely welcome goal that sent the teams into the dressing room level at half time.
HT Willand 1 Cinderford 1
The second half started with a familiar flow, which unfortunately was towards the Willand goal, and Cinderford should have retaken the lead when they created, and squandered, a number chances in the opening gambits.
The first of these chances came in 52nd minute when a well disguised Cinderford player smashed a header against the Willand crossbar and minutes later there was almost a rinse repeat of the first goal when Symons again found himself one-on-one with the Willand number one, but on this occasion saw his shot soar over the bar on route to a rendezvous in Kentisbeare.
Willand almost became the architects of their own downfall when Burton’s errant clearance went straight to a Cinderford player who threatened to take the ball round the keeper before taking it too wide as the cavalry arrived, his subsequent pass finding an oncoming player who may have just kept his shot from going out for a throw.
The Willand management team played their final roll of the dice with 20 minutes to go, replacing Stamp and Hill, who had been quiet all afternoon, with Baker and Koita.
It turned out to be an inspired change as the new signing gave Willand the lead in the 69th minute with what might be his first touches of the game, as he took the ball deftly on his chest before firing his shot into the bottom corner.
Willand almost increased the lead minutes later when Koita again found himself space but pulled his shot wide of the post.
Both teams continued to create chances without ever really troubling the goal line and as the clock ticked towards ninety minutes it looked increasingly like Willand would hold on to an unlikely victory.
It wasn’t to be though and Cinderford were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute after a challenge from Guppy further to some frenetic action in the area, the subsequent shot being struck well by Emmett.
In the end there was neither fireworks, nor could the result be described as a horror show, but Willand will come away disappointed not to have won a game in which they were second place for long periods.
FT Willand 2 Cinderford 2
Match report was brought to you by Dave Baylis
Player of the match was William Richards selected by Match sponsor RJC Electrical thank you for you support.
Ball sponsors were MOWTECH Sports ground maintenance thank you for your support
|Ryan Guppy||Yellow Card|
|Private: Will Richards|
|Private: Bailey Kempster|
|Private: Lewis Hill|
|Private: Adam Kelly|
|Private: Dean Stamp|
|Joshua Baker||Yellow CardSub|
|Private: Jamie Hearsey|
|Ashton Hewitt||Yellow CardSub|
|Private: Dan Koita||GoalSub|