Moortown Merlins 5 - 4 The Mighty Wheatley
After a month of inactivity, Wheatley AFC travelled to Leeds looking for a pre-Christmas victory against Moortown Merlins.
Moortown struck first from a throw-in after a mix-up in The Wheatley defence. Wheatley striker Rory Kroon levelled on 15 minutes with a calmly taken finish. This provided the impetus for attacks from both sides as the wintry conditions deteriorated.
When Moortown pinched a goal back, Kroon bagged his second of the match to level again on the half-hour mark. Then the Moortown goalkeeper was left red-faced when he let the ball slip through slippery hands courtesy of Wheatley defender Chris Lloyd’s cross-cum shot. A half-time score of 3-2 left Wheatley manager Mark Powell cock-a-hoop and it was all to play for.
Wheatley then came out of the blocks with all guns blazing. Midfielder Danny Bott was unlucky to have a curled free-kick hit the bar. Playing in thick mud did nothing to encourage free-flowing football, although when The Merlins pulled one back on 70 minutes and then followed up with another two minutes later, it was The Wheatley who were chasing the game.
Battling Chris Quaife worked tirelessly in the centre and when Wheatley pulled one back in the 80th minute after good work on the wing from the versatile Kroon, it was game on.
With the score level at 4-4 it was always going to be a nervous finish. Moortown were awarded a penalty with five minutes to go leaving Wheatley ’keeper Lord no chance. Two blistering shots from Wheatley Man-of-the-Match Johnny Turnbull went close in the dying minutes but The Merlins held on for a 5-4 win.