Match Report - 17 Jan 2009, Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI beat Old Wellingtonians
MASSIVE Goalkeeper inspires GIANTkillers
Duncan the hero as OW IIs dump Wellington out of the cup
To say that Ed Duncan has been the most inspirational member of the 2nd XI might take some lengthy explanation but it is no coincidence that the team have failed to win without him in the side.
Saturday’s 44th minute opener from Wellington’s ‘popular’ no. 9 was only the 3rd goal he has conceded this season and bearing in mind that the school also managed to squeeze one past him, it means he has only been beaten once in the league. For the four games he has been absent, the team have conceded 9 and claimed only 2 points.
Both sides had chances in the opening exchanges and Theodorou must have felt the months role back as Foster slid him through, but with the pitch greasy on top and 3 months of ‘exercise’ still to catch up on, the angle narrowed and an optimistic thump towards the near post found the side netting. Duncan was called into action after the first of many free-kicks was conceded just outside the OW box and an unconvincing fumble around the post was the only ‘glove-warmer’ he could afford. From the resulting succession of corners, desperate headers, Wellington infringements and Duncan’s red hot fingertips kept the scores level. Tipping one around the post from another free-kick and deflecting a bullet header over the bar were the half’s highlights. Wellington’s dominance eventually showed though with only a minute of the half remaining. After a fruitless OW attack, Wellington broke quickly and managed to find an unmarked man in the box who calmly deflected the ball away from Duncan and into the corner. It was, to be honest, the only approach they had not attempted in a half that the OWs found very hard going.
A quick change of formation took place as Christofides replaced Theodorou and settled into his usual role of antisocial attack stifling. The new 5 man midfield started to get hold of the game. Wellington became more frustrated as the half went on and their number 9 resorted to telling everyone within earshot to, ‘just shut up!’. Finally the OWs were back on level terms as Dunn found space in the box, despite Wheal’s ‘heavy’ presence, and rifled a left footed shot into the bottom corner. Wheal, having replaced Guest on the left, then had a great chance himself to put the OWs ahead as he collected the ball out wide, mesmerised the full back but sent a rasping shot just wide. Further chances came and went, Foster sliding one wide after excellent build up play and then Wheal sent a dipping, swerving free-kick only inches wide. At the other end a combination of Duncan and Webbe managed to keep out a rare Wellington chance as the rest of the back four were nursing headaches from having to deal with so many long balls.
Extra time beckoned and tired legs were quickly massaged. After such a breathtaking match, both sides were certain that the game would be decided in the next 30 minutes. As it was, Wellington had the only chance of a very dire half hour’s football. Duncan again proved heroic as their striker was put through, only to find the ‘keeper’s massive imposing frame bearing down on him before seeing his effort beaten away by an outstretched palm. Before long every Englishman on the pitch was dreading the inevitable outcome: penalties.
The keepers decided on the top end (better for stray ball retrieval), teams argued over penalty takers, skippers tossed for the right to be humiliated first and Guesty went for his camera.
Duncan was unlucky with the first as he appeared to reach it but could not prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net before OW hearts were on the verge of breaking as Wheal stepped up only to see the ‘keeper guess correctly, 0-1. Wellington’s no. 9 came forward and, as the world willed him to miss, Duncan clawed his effort away before Foster blasted down the middle to level the scores at 1 apiece. The next 2 both hit the back of the net, Duncan almost being smashed to pieces before McGowan slotted the most comical penalty of the day: wait for the ‘keeper to move to one side of the goal and jump in the air before rolling it slowly down the middle, 2-2. Wellington’s skipper was up next and then back down again as his well hit effort ricocheted off the post and across the goal to safety. Nick Dunn calmly placed the 8th penalty into the corner to see the OWs go ahead for the first time, 3-2. Wellington’s final penalty was again beyond Duncan’s outstretched arm to level the scores at 4 each. Christofides, the saviour of the 2nd half, and probably only just getting warmed up, strode forward boldly. As Guest sat poised for the Pulitzer Prize winning shot, George confidently dispatched the ball into the top corner, and was mobbed!
OW 2nd XI:
Duncan; Underwood, Hardiman, McGowan, Webbe; Gervais, Dunn, Lascelles, Guest (Wheal 55); Theodorou (Christofides 46), Foster
Goals: Popular No. 9 (Wellington) 44’, Dunn (OWs) 70’
Man of the Match: Duncan
Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI 1 - 1 Old Wellingtonians (4-3 on Pens AET)