Match Report - 01 Oct 2016, Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI beat Old Millfieldians
Another week, another victory. The Wykehamists, despite coming into this fixture top of the division with three wins from three, might fairly have been considered underdogs against a newly promoted Millfield side who had announced themselves to the league with a 7-0 drubbing of Bradfield.
This, however, is an OW side that gluts itself on others’ complacency and Fuller’s men started far the stronger of the two sides. The opener, when it came, was a product of desire, a throw-in muscularly flicked on, and composure, Will Wapshott cannoning the bouncing ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.
The Millfieldians were rocking as Goulding and Black controlled the centre of the park but it fell to old-timer Masefield to double the OWs advantage. Looking up from 30 yards he found himself in the space his accomplices’ passing had made for him and rifled the ball into the top corner, leaving the keeper sprawled and the Wykehamists rampant.
The tide, however, was soon to turn. Moving their captain up front, Millfield were soon back in the game. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he spun away from Mercer, who creaked with the turning-circle of an articulated lorry in vain pursuit of his quarry, before slamming a low finish in from the edge of the box.
One was soon three. A headed equaliser and a predatory third left Millfield ascendant at the break. The Wyks, however, are a team forged from over 700 years of mild-mannered scholasticism, which is to say stern stuff. As the opposition relaxed, thinking the game won, Captain Fuller was galvanising his troops for the battle ahead and the side that stepped out for the second half had the scent of victory in its nostrils.
As so often, it was James Essex who proved the difference, equalising from a free-kick before sprinting onto a majestic 60-yard pass (-cum-clearance) from Tom Bouch to prod his side into a come-back lead.
Millfield came again but the reinforcements of Paddy Lloyd and Hugo Saunders had given the OWs new life. Suddenly, following the example of the exceptional Prichard, they were first to every ball, stronger in ever challenge and opposition legs were tiring.
There was still time for drama: Portz and Saunders came close and stand in ‘keeper ‘Big Brad’ even had the gall to taunt the opposition, dropping the ball onto the very toes of their onrushing striker, forcing him into an ignominious miss.
Paddy Lloyd fell victim to a shameful genital assault but battled on and the Wyks prevailed. Post-match words of congratulation from Mr Essex ringing in their ears, they marched on to the pub, and to sporting immortality.
Old Millfieldians 3 - 4 Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI ()