Match Report - 10 Sep 2016, Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI lost to Old Merchant Taylors I
A new season and with it new faces. OWFC handed out debuts to mssrs Haggard, Nicholson and Gheerbrant as they started the season away on a jauntily angled pitch at Merchant Taylors'.
However, it was a prodigal son, Nick Opfermann, back after a three-year sabbatical, who was to draw first blood, marking his return to the club with a fine free-kick goal to open the scoring.
From here, the OWs began to exert a measure of control in the game, with the centre-midfield partnership of Dave Prichard and Gabe Tiplady absorbing whatever the OMTs chose to throw at them. Special mention goes out to Dave for turning out the morning after his 30th birthday party, his usual enthusiasm for the scrap but slightly dimmed.
Billy Fitton was performing manfully up-front, offering for everything and linking the play well but it was the opposition who struck next with a well-worked move that unlocked the hitherto impermeable centre-back pairing of Zac Tiplady and Charlie Morgan, leaving even the gargantuan 'keeper Mercer unable to spread himself wide enough.
Tense exchanges characterised the play either side of half-time with man of the match Pete Elphick indefatigably and threateningly working up and down the left wing and the OWs looked comfortable, denying the oppo even a sniff at goal until midway into the second half.
However, eventually Merchant Taylors' first-XI status, indeed five substitutes, told. Wykehamist legs began to tire and OMTs took the lead with a firmly struck shot from the edge of the box.
As Bill Wykeham's men chased the game, so gaps appeared and, despite some stout application from Elphick in particular, they were unable to stop the opposition from adding two more goals' worth of gloss to the scoreline.
A disappointing result but a hugely encouraging performance from a pleasingly young squad. As G. Tiplady put it at full time, "Two teams will go up from this division. They'll be one of them; let's make sure we're the other."
Aux armes, citoyens!
Old Merchant Taylors I 4 - 1 Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI ()