A Frosty start
ice cool composure
After a rocky first half of the season, Wapping M3s had shown some grit and determination to get themselves out of relegation. After a devastating loss to Cambridge City on 18th Nov, a string of wins had rallied the squad.
Wapping visited Bishop Stortford in September, with a pretty new squad. New players, new formations and new tactics. Coming away with a fair 2-2 draw, both teams were frustrated not to come away with more. Both teams were determined not to see the same happen again.
A festive start to the morning, with all other games prior to this fixture being cancelled due to frozen pitches. Both teams had the luxury of warming up on the pitch (helping to defrost it). With the sun shinning and the stands (almost) full push back commenced.
Bishop Stortford pushed high and fast, catching Wapping off guard a couple times. But some stunning defending from Tom Rose and Josh Roberts denied them the opportunity to test Chris Monger’s new pads out. During the first 10 minutes Bishop Stortford had the majority of the play, over running the midfield where Ian Finlayson and Alex Gray held fast to maintain possession and a handle on the game. With Criag Fruin stepping in for Norval Scott as coach, a change of formation was given, Moving Bradley Wherry into midfield and James Wheaton in the the back line.
This change up confused and broke apart Bishop Stortfords structure and intensity. Stunning leads from Dom Oliver, Hamish Forbes and Oscar Fas upfront created so many opportunities which went a miss. With tension in both camps still building Wapping won a short corner, where Rory Twogood flicked hard and fast but the Stortford keeper saved only to drop the ball onto the wrong side of Oscar Fas’ stick, banged into the back of the net, he was denied the chance of opening the scoring.
Half time 0-0
A tactical half time talk lead again to a change in positions for many players, but this kept Stortford on their toes. Tim Carter and Chris Holland weaving in and out of Stortfords defence allowed for more short corner opportunities. Another Flick from Rory Twogood, saw another save from the Stortford keeper only this time landing on Bradley Wherry’s stick to be denied with a great double save. Tom Rose the centre back was there to mop up the mess and flicked the ball just over the backboard to Wappings relief. 1-0 Wapping
With momentum running Wapping’s way composure was key. Calm heads from the midfield, allowed for more attacking play. Working their way up the left and the right sides with ease, wave after wave of attack started to leave Stortfod tiring. With an Ariel ball down the left Oscar Fas collected the ball and with a textbook reverse hit to the back post Hamish Forbes lay in wait. Hamish tried his best to miss from less than a meter sending the ball flying vertically hitting the roof of the net. 2-0 Wapping.
With the last 10 minutes to go Wapping had most of the possession, but Stortford had some fight in the yet. Pushing forward with some long balls their attacking line kept the pressure up on the Wapping defensive line. A cold day out fro Chris Monger between the posts, Tom Rose, Josh Roberts and Bradley Wherry denied Stortford even the opportunity to strike at goal let alone test the keeper.
Time for one last short corner, where again the first flick was saved, but again landed on a Wapping stick. Dom Oliver from a frankly impossible angle reversed hit the ball into the roof of the net. 3-0 Wapping. That was time, job done.
With most of the games this weekend called off, only 2 games being played in Div 1. This leaves Wapping sitting comfortably in joint 3rd coming into 2018. But with others with a game in hand it promises to be a competitive 2nd half to the season. Wapping are looking forward to the next game with Broxbourne which has always proven to be an exciting match over the last 2 season.