M3s secure promotion into Div 1
An early lead with a strong finish. It's all about game management, and ruin their left backs day.
After missing out on promotion last season by just one point the Wapping Men's 3s have been out to prove a point this season - and prove a point they now have by securing a promotion into East Division 1. This continues Wapping's strong development as this team continues to break records and push to heights previously unseen by the third team.
After a 2 week break, and 2 games against lower table sides, Wapping were set against an in-form West Herts side looking to secure promotion.
After a nervous, and unusually quiet warm up, the lads came out the blocks fighting and in line with the form of the season immediately took an early lead. The team applied early pressure to the West Herts' defence and a loose ball was immediately pounced on by striker Alex White who, feeling no nerves for the occasion, took it round a defender before calmly slotting it past the Goalkeeper. 1-0 and an initial cushion that steadied the nerves and let Wapping settle into the game.
Some fluid play round the back allowed wing backs Greg Edmunds and Brad Wherry to thread passes up the wide channels to the Wapping forwards. Chances continued to come and it was not long before right wing Ed Fry skipped past the defence and banged the ball past the keeper. 2-0.
This second goal galvanised the West Herts side who stepped forward and broke into the Wapping D. Some crucial tackles from centre back duo Tom Rose and Jon Broomfield, and superb saves from Man of the Match Joe Trickett in goal, continued to thwart the home side's attack. An errant Wapping foot in the D however provided just the opening that West Herts were looking for with the umpire signalling a short corner. A strike from the top of the D was perceived to be outside the shooting circle by keeper Trickett who calmly jumped over the ball however that opinion was not shared by the two umpires who signalled for the goal after a brief discussion.
Buoyed by the goal West Herts pressed high but were unprepared of the close skills of Wapping midfield Alex Mitchell and Alex Gray who eliminated their men creating an overload in front of the West Herts goal, winning a short corner. A bobbling strike from Richard Ripper came back to injector Wherry and the team captain was not about to let that go wanting, knocking it past a diving home keeper. 3-1 to the good and the half time whistle was blown.
Encouraged to go out and leave nothing left on the pitch by Coach Norval Scott, Wapping immediately went on the offensive again and it was not long before another short corner was won. The ball was sent wide to Ripper once again and he was not one to make the same mistake twice, rocketting the ball into the bottom corner before the defence had known what was happening. 4-1
Not to be pushed back West Herts did not give up. Some changes to the Wapping back line in order to give Broomfield and Rose a short respite gave Herts the opportunity that they were looking for and a momentary lapse in marking from the Wapping line allowed the men in white to pull one back with a well placed finish just missing the outstretched kicker of Trickett. 4-2
Provided with a wake up call and Wappiing focussed on game management. Quick transfers of the ball from defence to midfield exposed gaps in the home defence. Matt Seddon and Kamal Pun tirelessly challenged the Herts base line flashing dangerous balls across the face of goal to no avail as Wapping let chances slip by. However the continued pressure gave rise to errors with a gift of a ball from the centre back to roving striker Chris Holland let to a 1-1 opportunity. Holland chose to go it alone placing a pwoerful flick into the emerging keeper. Lady luck must have been smiling over the seasoned striker as the rebound fell neatly for a second attempt that Holland stroked home. 5-1.
With the game all but over but pride on the line the West Herts team refused to give up putting pressure on the Wapping defence until the dying moments but sadly for the home side it was not meant to be. A sideline ball deep in the Wapping half was thrown over the top by Edmunds and neatly gathered over his shoulder by an advancing Holland. A quick pass down the line to Seddon and another ball across the goal this time fell to White who bookended the game with a second goal mere seconds before full time.
As the final whistle went the relief and joy from all the Wapping players exploded, and the realisation of the result became apparent.
A top of the table finish is now firmly in the mind of this team but with two top teams, Bedford (3rd in the league), and Broxbourne (current leaders) to play, wapping will have to remain focussed and play their game all the way to the line.