Saturday 24th April 2021

Wraysbury Village  2   Cookham Dean 1

(Sillah, B.Hart)

The Stag’s dominance over Cookham pays off after 2 second half goals give Wraysbury all three points at a sunny Memorial Ground.

We turned up to this Windsor & Maidenhead Borough derby match on the back of a defeat last week against high flying Berks County and were determined to get back to winning ways. This was our second fixture against Cookham this season after a feisty encounter back in October which saw us hold out for a draw with only 9 men.

Changes from last weeks line-up were as follows, Sam Sillah and Paul Abbott started either side of captain Paul Reed in place of Ollie Pitt and the suspended George Dewhurst. The rest of the starting XI was unchanged with Homes and Sumner in the centre and Nascimento and Fairhall occupying the wing-back positions followed by Dunstall just behind Anum and Hart up front.

It was another gloriously warm sunny day at the Memorial Ground with a good support from the local villagers taking time out of their Saturday afternoon stroll to cheer on the Stags.

We began quite well and was the first team to create a chance when a corner from Reed was met at the far post by Sillah, whose header across the box fell to Nascimento but he couldn’t keep his volley down.

Then on 12 minutes, against the run of play, a long ball over the top of our defence fell to the Cookham number 9 who got the better of Paul Abbott to get in the box and shot straight at Bonnett, only for his effort to slip through the fingers of our goalkeeper and trickle across the line. 0-1! Not the start we were expecting but it didn’t bring us down as we continued to dominate possession and create chances. On 22 minutes, Homes had a header go just wide and then five minutes later Homes was involved again to put through Anum in only for his fierce shot be palmed away by the Cookham goalie.

Ten minutes before half-time Matty Bonnett made up for his earlier mishap to pull off a cracking one handed save from a volley. That was the last real chance of the half for Cookham. On 38 minutes, Homes took aim from outside the box only to see his effort go over and then just before half time Homes again was unlucky not to score when his header came off the bar. It was looking like it was never going to go in for us. Half-time came with us a goal down despite our dominance of possession and chance after chance going astray.

For the second half we tweaked the system slightly, swapping Nascimento and Hart round. We started the second half how we finished the first, possession was ours and 5 minutes in Codie Sumner this time saw his effort from the edge of the box go over. But then on 55 minutes we finally got that equaliser when Dunstall struck a freekick from 25 yards which was parried by the keeper to Stan Anum whose shot was tapped in at the back post by Sam Sillah. Despite the protests from the Cookham players for an offside flag, Sillah was clearly on and the goal stood. 1-1! Now we’re talking. This was the opportunity to make some changes with Ben Landi and Ollie Pitt coming on for Cristiano Nascimento and Alfie Fairhall, pushing Sam Sillah into the wing-back position, and four minutes later we should’ve gone ahead when a great run by Dunstall was finished off with a shot that got blocked and fell to Anum 4 yards out on the bounce but unfortunately, he took the shot on the up and sailed his shot over. Big chance goes begging but it wouldn’t take long for another one to come, when in the 61st minute we got a freekick just inside the Cookham half and with them organising their defence, got caught napping by our quick-thinking skipper who took the freekick quickly and send it over to Billy Hart who was in acres of time and space to let the ball come down and time to pick his spot from 7 yards out! Turnaround was complete.

We could’ve gone even further ahead a few minutes later when Ben Landi’s miscued shot managed to lob the keeper but failed to beat the post. Would have without a doubt been the luckiest goal of the season. We continued to dominate the play until the end and on 73 minutes another great piece of skill from Dunstall really deserved a goal but his effort was blocked. It was a shame he couldn’t get himself on the scoresheet in front of his cheering family on sidelines. Few chances came in the last 15 minutes and we kept the score as it was until the full-time whistle. A big win after last week. We probably should’ve had more but the three points are the important thing in this game and we got them. We go again this Wednesday away at Mortimer looking to power on.

Man of the match today goes to Gary Homes. He and Codie Sumner are putting together a great partnership in the midfield and today Homes was solid and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Great display.


The Stags (3-4-1-2): Bonnett; Sillah, Reed (c), Abbott; Fairhall (Pitt 56), Sumner, Homes, Nascimento (Landi 56); Dunstall; Anum, Hart.

Unused Subs: Currell, Black, Hursey.

Goalscorers: Sillah 55, Hart 61.