Stitch2Print Devon & Exeter League: division one: St Martins 0, Wellington Reserves 3
This was always going to be a big game so early in the season with our Reserves knowing a win would take them above St Martins and top of the table.
Mark Owen was able to pick from a strong squad for this top-of-the-table clash and also decided to change his formation to a 4-3-1-2 to bolster the midfield and also drop himself, all with the assistance of Mike Owen and Tim Hawkings.
Both teams went for it from the start with the pace of the game unrelenting but both defences held firm with not many clear chances on goal.
Then, on 45 minutes, Tom Hawkings went into the ref’s book after challenging a decision by the official.
The key to the second half was to keep a clean sheet with Charlie Hawkings dominating his box and with the back four of Ned Ogilvie, Tom Davies, Adam Markham and Dylan Groves outstanding in keeping a clean sheet.
With 25 minutes left, the breakthrough came and it was Wellington who took the lead from Tom Davies.
A corner was met by the leaping skipper who rose way above everyone to head home at the far post.
This was nothing less than the Wellington team deserved as they really started to take control all over the park.
Wellington then made some changes bringing on Logan Sellick, Aaron Merry and Luke Perry for the hard working Ollie Nott, Joe Conway and Alfie Barrett who had all run themselves into the ground for 70 minutes.
They proved to be inspired changes as two of the subs went on to score further goals.
The first of these and Wellington’s second was the goal of the game. After some great interchanges and moving the ball upfield quickly, Merry received a pass 30 yards out from goal. He took two steps forwards and unleashed a 25-yard drive which flew into the top corner to spark wild scenes on the touchline.
With Wellington now giving the St Martins back line no peace and closing down everything, it led to a error. Perry was alive to the mistake and picked the ball up on the left of the box to calmly chip it over the keeper to make it 3-0 and send the lads top of the league.
However, there is still a long way to go and many more tough games to come.
Team: Charlie Hawkings, Ned Ogilvie, Tom Davies, Adam Markham, Dylan Groves, Aaron Hawkings , Ollie Nott, Connor Noble, Sam Poole, Joe Conway, Alfie Barrett. Subs: Aaron Merry, Logan Sellick, Luke Perry, Jordan Sellick (all used); Tom Hawkings (not used).
Man-of-the-match: Dylan Groves, pictured below with Mike Owen and Tom Hawkings.