South West Counties Youth League
Gary Else’s League Cup
Team BTC/BTFC vs Wimborne Town FC
The second game played against Wimborne this season was another close affair. Both games had a mere single goal that separated the scores.
There was a competitive atmosphere at the game as both teams drew a crowd. Team BTC started the game ferociously and with some early territorial advantage Watts was released. Breaking free from the opponents defence he guided the ball neatly beyond the advancing keeper to lead 1-0.
In the midfield things were fairly even, skipper Byrne combined with Cottrill and Ham made sure to apply pressure in a bid to gain the upper hand. The rear guard of Chivers, Sandford, Manley, Durrant and Allen ensured they were alert as Wimborne’s tricky forwards showed they could pose a genuine threat.
They could not convert though as Purser, Scott and Watts kept the visitors occupied as they edged towards the away teams goal.
Team BTC quickly sprung from defense to counter-attack, with Durrant driving up the line with the ball to deliver an excellent pass behind the Wimborne defence. Scott received the ball in good stead, steering the ball home to make the score 2-0.
Missed opportunities could have resulted in a further lead, but Wimborne dropped deep to consolidate their defence and ended up thwarting a few good balls.
Wimbourne managed to stay in the game through a fortuitous free kick that was awarded. Although the initial effort was blocked, the second ball wasn’t pressed quickly enough and the Wimborne player hit a strike past Allen as the scored read 2-1.
Not long after, Sandford, whose not quite recovered from an injury, was taken off the pitch. He was replaced by Purser who dropped back into defence, as McKenna moved into the flank.
The new formation almost led to a third goal, Sullivan managed to get on the ball at a sharp angle, striking a post.
The second half saw both teams square off again, with each set of players giving considerable amounts of effort.
Team BTC started to find the visitors more difficult to break down, partly due to Wimborne sitting deeper, filling in space to spring and counter. This seemed to be the case for the majority of the period as Team BTC probed to find an opening, then faced quick counters to be cautious of.
Plant was then introduced to give some fresh impetus as Durrant and Chivers maintained good support going forward.
The game seemed to be going the right way with Team BTC’s defensive duties on point, plus any snap shots well contained by Allen. The Wimborne goal was now becoming more available as they had to risk more with time ebbing away. McKenna hit the cross bar with an audacious chip, Plant struck the side netting, plus both Watts and Ham struck narrowly wide.
However Wimborne gained a corner and from the second phase scored a goal. It was a disappointing sight to see as the loose ball was watched and allowed to be put past the unsighted Allen unchallenged 2-2!
It was unfortunate, but credit to the visitors for taking their chance. An unphased Team BTC had a quick reset and got straight back to it.
The team once again showed great character as they have in a number of situations this season, and although Wimborne drew level, Team BTC never stopped actively searching for the winner.
A few attacks later, Wimborne conceded a corner. Byrne placed the ball down and put in another goal into an area so the players could attack. Rising to meet the ball Manley connected well to head the ball powerfully home 3-2, cueing team celebrations.
The remaining five to six minutes Team BTC looked to control possession in the visitors third with some intelligent game management and skill.
Once the final whistle went it was a well earned victory that Wimborne played a big part – having three times this season been worthy opponents.
Having introduced a number of young players into the side, today was no different with Team BTC fielding seven U16’s alongside some experienced colleagues. The whole side can now look forward to a final against either Bath City or SGS/Mangotsfield.
A big thank you to Viv and Debbie for taking numerous photos of the day and sharing with everyone.