A fighting chance
Bye Bye Ross
After a long drive and a late push back, it was safe to say Wapping were heavy legged and it took some gusto to get up for this game by the sea.
The first sign of trouble arose when both teams turned up in white shirts. Oooops. Wapping being the visiting side, forced them selves into a Felixstowe black away kit and some rather small red socks. But that only fueled the lads, giving them another reason to fight for the 3 points they have been chasing for 3 weeks.
Starting the game out it was clear to see that Wapping were the more organised side, utilising the press, keeping possession and winning the ball in dangerous positions. In typical Wapping fashion there were many 1/2 chances with the ball flying past the back post and deflecting wide after some great saves from the felixstowe keeper. Oscar Fas, Kieran Edwards and Kamal Pun were working incredibly hard into the strong coastal wind. Winning the ball up top and forcing errors from the oppositions defence.
Alex Grey and Alex Mitchell worked exceptionally well in the middle of the park, keeping Felixstowe under control and reducing the effect of their long ball. The long ball evolved into a deadly predator against Wapping, crashing the ball through the middle and finding their forwards on a break. The fast paced forwards of Felixstowe looked dangerous, right up until they hit the impregnable fortress of Caspar Paulus and James Wheaton. Stunning games from both of these players, helped along the way by a series of left back replacements Chris Holland and Calum Norman.
Felixstowe won a short corner and to say the least Wapping looked nervous. As they stepped up a youthful Felixstowe Striker set up for the drag flick. But little did he know that Charles McCulloch is having an incredible season, and after the flick took a deflection, Charles managed to knick the ball wide to his left. Leaving Wapping at 0-0 with 5 to go. So they pushed on and returned with another short corner only for another opportunity to be fired past the back post missing Hamish Forbes stick my millimetres.
With tensions running high in the wapping camp, Norval Scott kept the squad calm. Sticking with our game plan and keeping composure was key, with the swing of the game definitely in Wapping favour. It was important to come out into the second half fighting.
The second half was very much like the first, but being a lot more physical as both teams tired and got more and more frustrated. Long balls from both sets of centre backs were causing trouble at both ends. With some noisy support from the home side, Wapping kept their heads and managed to win themselves a short. Some “friendly” advise from the sideline only fuelled the already pumped up Wapping side, as they shot the ball out where it landed on the end of James Wheatons stick. He took his chance and fired the ball into the far corner of the goal. A rather large amount of relief was just lifted from Wapping shoulders.
With only 10 mins to go, the senior players in the wapping side controlled the game. Keeping composure and possession. But yet, Wapping were not finished yet. They had come along way.
Another Wapping short corner was won by Santi Jaureguizar with some silky stick skills. The straight flick from Ross Townsley dropped into the lap of Santi once again, an open goal, goal keeper on the floor, defender with his back to the ball. Santi swung back and with all his might and excitement (eyes on the prize) unleashed all his fury upon the ball. But his stick was shorter than normal. He had topped the ball (on target) where the Felixstowe defender reacted as quickly as possible but could not turn his stick in time and stopped the ball with the back of his stick.
After 9 years on and off Ross Townsley was leaving WHC, this being his last game it was important to all for him to get on the score sheet. So without hesitation Ross stepped up with all eyes on him. More tension in the air, this would seal the deal for Wapping. The whistle went and Ross slipped the ball to the right and sold the keeper with those tricky untrustworthy Irish eyes of his. 2-0 Wapping.
With only 2 mins to go. Wapping were confident, but yet Felixstowe were certainly not beaten and would not give up until the final whistle. Fighting to the end, but time was against them. A fierce battle between 2 desperate teams, 1 fighting to stay in reach of the top of the league, the other needing to break a losing streak. The return fixture will surely be an exciting game, Keep any eye out.
With a East London Derby game next week, Wapping are in a good position in the league and moral is high.
I think all at Wapping would like to thank Ross Townsley for all his efforts on and off the pitch, contributing to playing, umpiring and coaching. We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavour (life outside London).