Sunday, 11 September 2011

Taylor-Made WInner at Thrapston

Blogger's note: my original plan was to cover all three weekend games in one post, but so much happened in the three games that I have decided to keep them separate ... hope you enjoy them!

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Friday 9 September at Chancery Lane, Thrapston
Thrapston Town 2 (Ellwood 39, Taylor 67)
Wellingborough Whitworth 1 (Sharpe 55)
FA Vase First Round Qualifying.
Thrapston Town and Wellingborough Whitworth play at step 5 & 6 respectively in the United Counties Leagues. 
I am here because this game has been scheduled for a Friday evening – Chancery Lane is part of the outfield of the town’s cricket ground and the two clubs co-exist side by side.
This match in one sentence
Wellingborough Whitworth looked the better side for much of the game, but the higher-ranked Thrapston Town held on for a good win over their local rivals in a game that had three super goals and a rattled crossbar.
So what?
Thrapston Town play Bardon Hill Sports at home in the next round.
Slipping the following word into everyday conversation would give me the same satisfaction as watching this match
Campanulate (adj)
The drama unfolds
The clip is from the first few minutes and if you don’t like the football you can listen to bell-ringing practice.  This is semi-rural England on a Friday evening, after all.

The first half-hour of this game was nip-and-tuck.  Whitworth were by no means outclassed by their higher-division rivals, playing some neat football.  The game was played in a notably good spirit despite the local rivalries.  Just after the half-hour, there was a one-on-one chance at each end, and the two keepers made important block saves.  Whitworth’s Jason Crawley’s chance came as a result of a great through ball, and Thrapston’s Devon Ellwood seemed to have a shimmying age in front of goal before he was denied.

There was an element of controversy about the opening goal after 39 minutes, however the referee was right.  Whitworth had a man down injured after a collision, and in the ensuing attack, the ball fell and sat up nicely for Ellwood who belted it home for an interval lead against one of his former clubs.  1-0 at half-time

Whitworth equalised with an equally impressive left-foot strike ten minutes into the second half.  This was a goal-of-the-season contender from Adam Sharpe.  1-1

Eight minutes later they rattled the bar as the hopper-swelled crowd began to check the extra-time rules.  However, Thrapston got a winner and it was an excellent lofted finish from Alfie Taylor who scored after 67 minutes, on his debut too.  2-1

Celebration time. come on ...
Both teams had chances in an entertaining end to the game, including a speculative lob by Whitworth’s Matt Judge after a poor clearance, although the spectacle was slightly tarnished by a red card for the same player in the closing minutes.  Final score 2-1

Acknowledgement to the UCL website on Mitoo for help in identifying player names.
Wellingborough Whitworth’s Adam Sharpe for that equalising goal.
A snippet from the programme
Chairman Mark Brown comments on his club’s week: “On Tuesday night Thrapston Town achieved a remarkable yet fully deserved FA Cup Victory over Shepshed Dynamo, a club that was two levels above us last season and one that has remarkable history behind it.  The management and players were absolutely fantastic in both games and should be very proud of the achievement from those matches.”  (They are at Long Buckby in the next round on Saturday 17 September.)
What I learned today
I noted that Thrapston Town’s squad includes Charlie Fowler, an 18yo midfielder.  “Charlie has joined us after being released from WBA Academy.  Technically superb but will need to adapt to the hustle and bustle of the UCL. Quality!”
What Next?
The randomly selected Saturday hop at Rocester in the same competition.  Blogpost follows soon!

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