Saturday 1st May 2021

Wraysbury Village 2   Finchampstead 3

(Dewhurst, Annum)

An unhappy start to the bank holiday weekend for the Stags as, despite the getting goals back, fell to defeat again to Finchampstead.

Our first defeat at home this season was really hard to take especially against a side who we had already tasted defeat against this season.

We were almost short in midweek against Mortimer and we went into this game almost short again. At one point it looked like manager Richie Goddard was going to have to register himself as a substitute. There were a few key players missing for this crunch game with captain Paul Reed, fellow defender Ollie Pitt and midfield dynamos Codie Sumner and Gary Homes to name a few. Paul Abbott was missing from suspension but we did have George Dewhurst back from a one game ban and Tom Windsor making his first appearance of the season. Mitch Dunstall returned to the starting XI along with Gary Currell. Dan Stock was back on the bench.

We started quite bright for a change and was playing quite well up until the 14th minute after Currell failed to get a shout for time, headed the ball to the feet of the Finch player who put his team mate through to slot the ball home. 0-1.

Six minutes later and it was two-nil when Alfie Fairhall was left alone to mark 2 players from a Finch throw in leaving them with time to get in the box, put it across goal to tap in. Messy defending and before you knew it, it was three! Another defensive error put the Finch’s through again to give stand in captain Bonnett no chance. Three goals for the away side in 11 minutes. Things were looking like we were going to spiral out of control if it weren’t for some great saves from Bonnett.

Then just before half-time, a lifeline. Bill Hart picked up the ball on the left and crossed in an inswinger towards George Dewhurst who performed the acrobatic ‘scorpion kick’ over the keepers’ head into the opposite corner. What a goal! 1-3, we now have hope.

We made two changes at half-time with Currell making way for Mark Sangster and Cristiano Nascimento coming on for Ben Landi. With that goal just before the break we finally got that spring in our step and had the upper hand and on 59 minutes hope got a lot bigger when Nascimento slotted the ball through to Stan Anum to run on and managed to slot it passed the keeper. 2-3! Game on!

Another goal back with half hour to play, belief was certainly there but unfortunately in that time we failed to get that opening again and the clock ran down to yet another defeat against a side just above us in the table.

Disappointed to lose, but the awful first quarter was enough to seal our fate and proved too much to claw back. A gutsy second half display though will hopefully give us the push go forward into the next game which now will be next Saturday in the return fixture against Mortimer at the Memorial Ground.

Man of the Match this week was Matty Bonnett for another great display between the sticks to help keep the goals down to just three.

The Stags (3-5-2): Bonnett (c); Currell, Dewhurst, Sillah; Fairhall, T.Windsor, Christopher, Landi, Hart; Dunstall, Anum.

Unused Subs: Black, Hursey, Stock

Goalscorers: Dewhurst, Anum.