Wapping 4 v East London 2
Wapping 4s frustrated by East London 2s in 2-2 draw
Wapping 4s got the season off to a bright start with a solid all-round performance to start the league season. But they were left to rue not taking their chances in front of goal to ultimately claim just one point against a much-fancied East London team that was just a single point from promotion last season.
The 4s dominated the early exchanges, winning a handful of penalty corners as they put the East London defence under early pressure. This dominance was rewarded with a rebound goal at a penalty corner from Chris Holland, who was first to react from Morton’s shot on goal. The first half continue to see Wapping pressing the East London D, while East London looked to threaten on the break. With about 25 minutes on the clock, East started to put Wapping under some pressure by winning consecutive shorts. One shot looped up off a stick over Orhan and unfortunately spun onto James Ford’s knee on the line, resulting in a penalty flick. This was easily dispatched and East had found an equaliser their first half performance barely deserved.
A few minutes later, Charlie had his say. He had already made a number of brilliant runs to stretch the East defence right to the by-lines. And his great work rate was rewarded with a reverse stick goal from a penalty corner. How the ball ended up in the back of net is open for discussion, but the shot apparently nutmegged two defenders and the keeper before rolling over the line at a snail’s pace... This moment of brilliance (?) gave Wapping a deserved half-time lead.
The second half followed a similar pattern to that of the first with Wapping dominating possession for considerable periods of play. Morton, Charlsworth and Andrews did a good job at distributing the ball out to the flanks. Up front, Charlie, Pericolini, Charlsworth and Taylor constantly posed a threat, winning numerous penalty corners. Unfortunately, Wapping were unable to convert a single penalty corner in the second half (out of c. 15). The 4s will definitely need to work on this in the coming weeks!
Mid-way through the second half, East managed to score from a scrappy penalty corner and parity was been restored. As both teams pushed for a winner, the game became increasingly stretched. Pullan, Gould, Penfold, Ford and JT communicated well at the back to keep the East London forward line at bay. At the same time, Wapping won numerous more penalty corners, but couldn’t convert. East gave Wapping a late scare with three consecutive penalty corners in the dying minutes, but the resolute defence held strong to secure a well-earned point.
Special mentions go to Giovannie, JT and Penfold. Gio had a bright debut for Wapping, mixing intelligent play with some brutal shots on goal. JT (whose full name we still can’t pronounce) showed some good stick skills and great determination at the back. He wins the champagne moment for a beautiful aerial down the right-hand line... that Charlie ruined by kicking the ball after he had trapped it! Penfold came away with the MoM award for his high work rate and persistent tackling both in midfield and defence.
This match was a solid start to the season; let’s hope the 4s can build on this foundation and, with a bit more prowess in front of goal, this team can definitely compete with every other team in this league.