Last Saturday saw Wigton travel to bogey team Beckwithshaw for their only league fixture this month in a game that was a must win for Wigton in order to keep their title aspirations alive.
Following an earlier pitch inspection, Wigton were surprised to arrive and find a heavily saturated pitch and instantly released it was going to be a difficult fixture not only because the pitch would restrict Wigton’s free flowing passing game but also because they would be facing a number of Beckwithshaw’s first team players including ex Wigton player Adam Walker.
The game started badly for Wigton who were immediately put on the back foot as they looked in disarray as they struggled to get to grips with Beckwithshaw’s movement off the ball and desire to win not only the first balls but the second ball also. It was no surprise that the home team took the lead when a long goal kick turned the Wigton defence before a Beckwithshaw midfielder was able to get on the end of the long ball and lob the advancing Grimes with ease after 10 minutes.
Wigton did show momentarily glimpses of good football as they got the ball wide on occasions causing the attack minded Beckwithshaw full backs some difficulty however the equaliser came from less than a half chance when Ebun took the ball wide past the Beckwithshaw keeper, before brilliantly drilling a low shot in off the far post from a tight angle.
As a disappointing first half drew to a close with Wigton struggling to get to grips with the conditions which were rapidly beginning to resemble no mans land following the battle of the Somme, Beckwithshaw were able to regain the lead. Once again Beckwithshaw breached Wigton’s defences and despite a late sliding block from the covering Arron Sekhri the ball looped over Grimes’ despairing dive and into an unguarded goal.
With the lads in at half time the Gaffa reiterated the need for the team to get back to basics and try to move the ball alot quicker than they done and to get the ball into wide areas which had caused the Beckwithshaw team their only problems.
Wigton immediately began the second half the brighter of the two teams and were quickly on the offensive. After a few minutes of sustained pressure Ebun was found in a wide area and as he made his way into the area he was brought down following a mistimed challenge from the keeper. Despite the keepers appeals that he had got the ball the spot kick was awarded which Mike casually dispatched.
With the early leveller Wigton grew in confidence and 2 minutes later found themselves ahead in the game following a well struck dipping effort by the hard working Ebun from the edge of the area which beat the keeper at the far post.
Beckwithshaw did briefly rally so the Gaffa introduced Shatwell into the back line for Trigger in the hope that his calming influence would ensure that Wigton did not allow Beckwithshaw a way back into the game however within minutes of his introduction the game saw its major turning point when the home keeper was shown the red card.
Ebun was by now causing the Beckwithshaw back line a torrid time with his pace and movement and as he broke down the right wing he was hauled down by a reckless challenge by a Beckwithshaw defender. The tackle itself bordered a red card as the defender was the last man but what was to follow was, quite frankly, hilarious. The Beckwithshaw keeper, still frustrated at the penalty decision, proceeded to sprint some 35 yards from his goal, before picking up the ball and throwing it from point blank range at Ebun who remained on the floor following the challenge. The ref was left with no choice other than to book the Beckwithshaw defender before sending the keeper from the pitch. Poetic justice as it was the same keeper that had goaded Colombian John last season which led to his sending off and subsequent FA misconduct charge.
With the home team in disarray a Beckwithshaw midfielder took the gloves but his first job was to pick the ball out of net as Wigton got their 4th goal of the game. Trueman appealed for another penalty as he was pushed in the box when attempting to get his head on a corner, the ball looped up off a Beckwithshaw head and as an everyone stopped to await the referee’s decision the ball bounced a yard from the line before bouncing up into roof of the net.
With a two goal lead and against 10 men Wigton did begin to get a strong hold of the game however the Gaffa was still far from convinced with the teams performance as Wigton were still not looking their usual composed selves.
The game however was put beyond Beckwithshaw’s reach as Wigton got their 5th with 20 minutes of the game to go. Scott, who had worked tirelessly up and down the left flank burst into the Beckwithshaw box and following some quick feet and a mazy run, which saw him beat 3 defenders, was disappointed to see his effort parried by the replacement keeper however Trueman was on hand to nod home the rebound.
Trueman then grabbed his 2nd of the game with another header and with a good chance for the hat trick was begrudgingly pleased to see Scotty turn his effort in at the near post as Scotty extended his goal scoring run.
A late corner from Beckwithshaw almost resulted in a consolation goal when a free header from a corner seemed destined for the bottom corner before Grimes pulled off a tremendous save as he denied what looked like a certain goal.
As the game approached its conclusion both Ebun and Trueman were looking to take advantage of Wigton’s numerical advantage as they searched for their hat tricks and with what was almost the last kick of the game, Ebun nearly grabbed his. Unfortunately though, despite a good run t Ebun saw his one on one effort with the Beckwithshaw keeper nearly clear the tall Silver Birch’s that were blowing in the wind some 20 yards behind the goal.
Despite a very poor first half display Wigton’s second half performance did warrant the win however if Wigton are looking to extend their 5 match winning run a big improvement will be needed this Saturday as they host last years dominant team Leeds City Reserves in the last 16 of the Leeds and District Cup where a very difficult game lies ahead.