Western Counties Floodlit Youth League: Frome U18s 0, Wellington U18s 8
Our U18s started the new season with a fantastic result away at Frome on Wednesday (September 13th).
Having retained most of last year’s squad, who are now playing at the correct age level, and strengthened by some new signings, they hoped to start the season in a positive manner.
Despite some positive results in pre-season, Wellington’s lads knew from last year, that this is a very tough league, and they need to perform at a high-level every week to get results.
With that in mind, they realised that a positive start would be important and Wednesday proved better than any expectations.
The management team had worked on a new formation over the summer and the team was grateful to have the opportunity to train with the Reserves, under new manager Mark Owen, this pre-season. The hard work on the training ground has helped with skill and fitness levels.
Wellington started brightly and were immediately on the front foot, forcing early corners and chances. They thought they had taken the lead when a header from new striker Freddie Margetts beat the Frome keeper but bounced back off the post.
They weren’t to be denied for long and good work down the right wing saw the onrushing Ryan Corbett open the scoring with a low drive.
Wellington were now in control and with new keeper Riley Perry – standing in at short notice for usual keeper Sam Harcombe – tidying up any long balls which got behind the solid back three of Dylan Sellick, Dylan Groves and Ben Fowler, never looked like conceding.
The only hiccup for the team came when new signing Luke Augustine, who had looked promising at left wing-back, pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Sean Conway.
After a couple more missed chances, they doubled their lead when the impressive Margetts scored with a low shot across the keeper.
The next goal came when some good build-up play saw skipper Ned Ogilvie make room outside the box and score with a well-placed drive.
By now, Wellington were clearly in their stride and with Conway on one side and James Clarke on the other, providing speed and width, they were much the better side.
The fourth goal came on the stroke of half-time when the referee awarded a penalty for a clear foul in the box. The spot kick was comfortably dispatched by Dylan Sellick to give the lads an impressive lead at the break.
The only real risk to the result now was complacency but the players and management agreed they would treat the game as if it was goalless.
Frome changed some personnel during the break, but it didn’t disrupt Wellington who immediately started to get their passing game going, on a superb pitch, and continued where they had left off, creating chances and pushing their opponents back.
Their fifth came early in the second half when a great move involving Ogilvie, Conway and Margetts, ended with the latter doubling his total for the evening.
Special mention must be made of Cez Wisniewski and Jack Slatter, both making their league debuts, as they consistently broke up play and drove the team forward.
The away team didn’t have to wait long for the next goal when a speculative long ball evaded the home defender and Conway showed good speed and composure to beat the home goalie.
Wellington rang the changes in the second half, to give all the travelling subs a game, so Sam Snook from last year’s team joined debutants Jack Ellis, Iggi Bergelis and Ky Burgess in freshening up the team.
The changes did not affect Wellington’s rhythm and further pressure resulted in a goal for Groves, well deserved for his efforts around the field.
The icing on the cake was provided when Margetts completed a well-deserved hat-trick, from the penalty spot, to cap a man-of-the-match performance.
Although Wellington were well worth their margin of victory, credit must go to Frome, a very young team who tried to play football and battled to the end.
This was an excellent start to the season and there is much to build on, but everyone in and around the team knows that there will be sterner tests to come, starting with Cheddar, new to the league, at the Playing Field this Tuesday, ko 7.30pm.