Milford 2 - 0 The Mighty Wheatley
After a good run of form recently, Wheatley travelled to Milford brimming with confidence. For long periods Wheatley dominated and had much of the possession. Why the away team did not score mystified even the home support.
Milford started brightly enough on soft home soil. An early looping shot was no cause of concern for the Wheatley back four but on ten minutes a fierce shot drilled into the top corner gave Wheatley stand-in keeper Jo Varley no chance. Worse was to follow when Milford doubled their advantage after a mix-up in the Wheatley defence. Despite two strikers interfering in an off-side position, play was waved on to the annoyance of the away team. Milford were 2-0 up in the first fifteen minutes leaving Wheatley fuming.
Manager Powell was not here to see Wheatley’s response, although he would have been justifiably proud of his side’s efforts. Strikers Cockcroft and Woods both went close after good work down the left flank from Al Hey. Midfield duo Andy Wheeler and Eric Bana worked hard to rally the troops. In fact man-of-the-match Bana was everywhere on the pitch except in goal, a position no doubt he would have excelled in such was his fervour today.
It is fair to say Milford would have been delighted with a 2-0 lead at half time. Adopting the policy of “no goals without shots” clearly worked, as Wheatley were perhaps guilty of not shooting more often.
That said, the Wheatley heads were still up and raring to go for the second half. Dependable defenders Johnny Turnbull and Andy Hibbert bossed their areas and it is to their credit that keeper Varley had only to make one save in the second half.
Wheatley deserved more. A hot-headed Turnbull chased and hounded throughout but his over-commitment spilled over into a clash with the Milford number 10. The ref was on the spot, though, and immediately quelled any nastiness. This incident proved to be the impetus for the remainder of the game. Wheatley needed to score quickly now, and the combination of Hibbert’s piledriver of a right foot combined with Danny Bott’s searching passes meant the Milford goal was getting a peppering. This was all about pressure, but still Wheatley couldn’t find the back of the net.
When a blatant penalty was waved away in the 70th minute, Wheatley knew it wasn’t going to be their day. Dedication and effort they had in barrowfuls, but all they needed was one goal to make the last five minutes even more exciting.
Disappointment, then, for a brave Wheatley side. Should they dust their shooting boots off for the next match against local rivals Ilkley Dynamos, it promises to be a cracker.
Match Report by Lager