Wigton went into this game away to a 4th placed Harlow Hill in confident mood on the back on a convincing win at home to Pannal Sports the previous week. The Gaffa was without the availability of Thomo and Sharpie who had played the previous week whilst Swifty was rested to give him chance to recover from a knock, otherwise the starting line up remained as it had been following the impressive performance the week before.
Wigton started this game in the same vein that they had finished last week and within a minute of the start Wigton had taken the lead, an inviting free kick from Eddie just inside the Harlow half allowed Trueman to ghost into space before placing a free header past a static Harlow keeper.
Harlow tried to respond immediately and were unfortunate to not get an equaliser when a free kick was spilled by Grimes leading to a goal mouth scramble before Wigton were relieved to see the ball cleared. Grimes being the proverbial “Poor workman” immediately blamed the spillage on his “tools of the trade” and called for his spare gloves…!
What followed was a period of total Wigton dominance where possession of the ball appeared to be retained with relative ease as Wigton showed the kind of football they are capable of playing when they play simple, two touch football. Opportunities were created at a frequent consistency as Trueman and Scott gave both full backs a torrid time whilst Greg and Darryl also linked up well up front. One particular highlight of the first half came when Scott, sporting a pair of horrific florescent lime green boots, the kind that only World Class players are only able to get away with (so no idea why Scott has bought himself a pair…) turned the Harlow right back inside out but despite having beaten his man three times, attempted to a beat him for a forth time before falling on his arse, much to the amusement of the Harlow spectators!
Scotty responded well though when a good run down the left saw him cut inside before playing a delightful chip pass for his brother, Greg, to run onto before a superb well placed finish from a tight angle doubled Wigton’s lead.
Sustained pressure and dominance of the ball remained Wigton’s but despite a number of corners they were unable to extend their lead further.
As expected, Harlow began to second half with revived vigour as they used to the slope and prevailing wind to their advantage. Wigton though defended resiliently but more importantly, collectively as a team as everyone put everything into preserving their lead. The back line, marshalled by the returning Shatwell, maintained their high line keeping the team compact and working as a unit with the midfield four. Meanwhile Captain Bedders continued to dominate the aerial challenges and encourage and motivate his troops.
Midway through the second half Grimes, sporting his new gloves, was called into action as he threw himself brilliantly to tip a long range effort over the bar, an important save as Wigton continued to defend their precarious lead.
With just over an hour gone the Gaffa brought on fresh legs with Mike Shaw replacing the hard working Adam in midfield whilst Ebun made his long awaited return up front replacing the impressive Greg Turner. Both made their impact on the game as Ebun’s pace continued to give Wigton a threat and was unlucky to not score whilst Mike’s industry alongside Bedders ensured Wigton maintained dominance of the midfield battle.
Wigton meanwhile continued to create chances on the counter attack and were unlucky to not be awarded a penalty following a challenge on Darryl whilst Darryl also went close on two occasions with well placed free kicks. At the full time whistle Wigton had managed their first clean sheet of the season with what was without doubt their most impressive performance of the campaign. The team were able to finally put together the type of play they are capable off for a full 90 minutes with everyone playing their part. Everyone encouraged, communication was excellent whilst the high tempo passing and movement of our play was a delight to watch. It just goes to show lads what a good a team we are when we do the simple things right. Well done lads.