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1st Team



Willenhall Town

WMRL Premier Division Saturday 6 September @ 3:00 pm

Missed chances came back to haunt The Lockmen as Wellington took a rather fortuitous three points. Willenhall so nearly had the perfect start when Harry Rickus and Michael Clark combined well to set up the former for a shot on goal which flew a yard wide on thirty seconds. The home side won the first corner of the match on two minutes, Graham Ashton heading behind for another corner. This time Ben Holden punched clear and when the ball was recycled back into the area, an off-side flag halted proceedings. The first threat on goal for Wellington arrived on seven minutes when a mix up at the back saw a poor clearance under pressure from Ben Holden latched onto by skipper Andy Price. Luckily Holden was able to force him to fire into the side-netting. A minute later and Simon Laidley saw his goalwards effort blocked after good work between Clark and Danny Hemmings had teed him up. Two efforts from the home side on 15 and 16 minutes saw first Josh Hunt and then Aaron Morgan blaze high and wide of goal before another flag-kick was won on 20 minutes only for The Lockmen defence to clear their lines. Willenhall were finally awarded a free-kick on 22 minutes from a referee who seemed inconsistent at best, and it lead to them taking a deserved lead. Hemmings played a deep free-kick from wide on the right just inside the home side’s half across to the far flank, when the ball arrived at the feet of centre-half Ashton he was composed enough to fire a lovely low strike across keeper Chris Manuiti and into the corner of the net. Hemmings then scuffed a shot wide after an incisive move created the space for him three minutes later before Hunt saw a weak effort roll to Ben Holden after 27 minutes. The home side were awarded a contentious free-kick a minute prior to the half-hour mark, apparently for a foul, the wall did its job, blocking Dave Price’s free-kick, the ball bounced back to him and his follow up effort was well wide of the mark. The Lockmen were playing some delightful football and some more fine work on 31 minutes finished when Laidley’s ball in found Clark, whose bicycle kick flew a yard wide. The home side threatened at the other end a minute later and a corner saw Holden produce a good low save before a cross field ball picked out Gareth Thomas, who hit a first time shot as the ball dropped to him 30 yards out, Holden made the catch low down look easy. Tom Turner then took a Willenhall free-kick out on the right after 37 minutes which Manuiti called for and plucked out of the air before launching a long kick which had a swift counter-attack underway, however Andy Cahill was smart in his duties and shut out Hunt at the expense of a fruitless corner. Four minutes from the break and Hemmings swung in another free-kick from half-way on the right wing, it picked out the lurking Ashton beyond the far post and saw him produce a good block from Wellington’s keeper to keep out his header. The last action of the half saw the home side win a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Holden again got down and across his goal to help the ball around the post, the corner again producing nothing.



Willenhall made a bright start to the second-half as well, Laidley forcing a corner ten seconds after the re-start. A goal-mouth scramble ensued from the ball in and Reds skipper Paul Holden saw his mis-hit shot knocked wide to Willenhall’s left flank, a ball back in found Ashton again with enough space to shoot, Manuiti however was alert to his low drive and saved well. Clark then whistled an effort a foot over the bar before Wellington returned to the attack with another swift counter ten minutes after the break, this time Price shanked his effort horribly wide. Holden did well to get down and block a Hunt shot on 56 minutes as the home side began to see more of the ball, and from the resultant corner on 57 minutes, Ben Thomas was found unmarked to thump home a header when he was found six yards out. A minute before the hour Laidley saw his effort fly across goal as sought to re-assert their advantage before superb play between sub Matt Dorgan, on for the tiring Rickus, and Paul Holden split the Wellington defence wide open, unfortunately Manuiti was alert as ever and he raced out quickly to collect. A minute later and Willenhall were denied a blatant penalty when the only person in the ground who didn’t believe that a defenders’ superb save by putting two hands up to block a goal-bound effort was not deliberate hand-ball. Sixty seconds later and his decision-making appeared to level itself out when he didn’t blow for a foul as Ashton wrestled with his marker, eventually grounding him as last man and denying a break on goal. Hunt then was freed on the right after 67 minutes and after he had raced clear on goal he fired well wide of the mark. Hunt then appeared to aim a punch at Cahill as both players tussled on the half-way line, Cahill reacting strongly to push him to the ground in anger and on reflection both will be relieved that a booking apiece sufficed when a better referee may have deemed it much more serious. Wellington were beginning to find space down both flanks and were beginning to break quickly, only for the final ball to either result in a poor cross or a poor shot. However, on 84 minutes this was repaired when Willenhall shot themselves in the foot by gifting possession thirty yards from the Wellington goal, two tired looking tackles were seen off and a switch to the right flank saw Hunt free on goal, this time he remembered his lines and angled a sweet finish across the exposed Holden and into the far corner. Sub Eddie Wilson, back from his injury in the first minute of the season fired high over with two minutes left to play before another free-for-all in the Wellington area in stoppage-time produced a superb save from Manuiti and then two desperate defensive blocks to deny The Lockmen even a point from a game they mostly held the upper hand in.


Pictures from the game can be found on our Facebook page.




1. Ben Holden,
2. Andy Cahill,
3. Andre Calder,
4. Graham Ashton,
5. Tom Turner,
6. Jack Pottinger (off 74min),
7. Danny Hemmings,
8. Paul Holden (capt),
9. Simon Laidley (off 81min),
10. Mikey Clark,
11. Harry Rickus (off 53min).


12. Matt Dorgan (on 53min),
14. Eddie Wilson (on 74min),
15. Rhydel Ikouara (on 81min).

Graham Ashton 22 minutes

Graham Ashton 64 min,
Andy Cahill 71 min,
Mattie Dorgan 72 min.

By Chris Burton – Match Secretary

Reproduction by prior-consent of The Lockmen Limited t/a Willenhall Town FC only

Wellington 2 - 1 Willenhall Town

  • Saturday 6 September 2014 @ 3:00 pm
  • WMRL Premier Division 
Matthew Dorgan Yellow Card Harry Rickus
Rydhel Ikouara Simon Laidley
Eddie Wynne-Willson Jack Pottinger

Previous meetings

06 Sep 14 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Wellington v Willenhall Town 2 - 1
14 Mar 15 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Wellington 1 - 4
21 Nov 15 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Wellington 3 - 2
07 May 16 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Wellington v Willenhall Town 4 - 1
29 Oct 16 3:00 pm WMRL Premier Wellington v Willenhall Town 2 - 3
19 Apr 17 7:00 pm WMRL Premier Willenhall Town v Wellington 3 - 1