Saturday 5th December 2020

Marlow United 1    Wraysbury Village  2

(Andrews,  B.Hart)

Wraysbury return after lockdown with another win against Marlow United to keep up their unbeaten start to the season.

After six weeks without any football due to the Government placing the country into a second lockdown this year meaning grassroots level was temporary suspended, we were finally back in action against Marlow United who we met in our opening league fixture of the season back in October. Despite coming out on top in that game, we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one.

We had a strong squad to pick from for our first game of the winter. Matty Bonnett continued in goal, with the three at the back consisting of Gary Currell, Ollie Pitt and Paul Reed, continuing as captain. The wing-backs were Sam Sillah and Billy Hart and in the middle we had Codie Sumner, Mitch Dunstall and Gary Homes, returning to the side for the first time since the last time these two sides met. Completing the starting 11 up top was Matty Andrews and George Dewhurst. On the bench for the first time this season was Gary Black, back from a back injury and new signing Stan Anum.

It took a little while for both sides to get going, probably still a bit rusty after lockdown. Sam Sillah came closest for us twice in the first 7 minutes but the best chance fell to Marlow on the quarter hour mark when their striker ran onto a through ball to go one on one with our keeper but Matty Bonnett made himself look big to block the shot.

That then spurred us on and we came close twice in as many minutes when George Dewhurst’s free kick went just past the post and then Codie Sumner hit a rocket from 20 yards only for the post to deny him a goal. It seemed a matter of time before we took the lead and on 33 minutes that’s exactly what happened. A free-kick inside the Marlow half was brilliantly crossed into the box by Reed and despite their keeper coming out to punch it away he wasn’t quick enough to get in front of a glancing header from Matthew Andrews or Billy Hart. 1-0 to the Stags with both running away celebrating, both claiming the goal, but it has gone down as an Andrews goal. Hart though did come away with a slight bump on the head from the keepers elbow but thankfully was able to continue after treatment.

The breakthrough for us seem to give Marlow a kick up the backside and mistakes started to show from us and then in the 42nd minute a Marlow cross came in to the box just over the head of their strike but in our desperation to get the ball back Bonnett chased down their forward and dived into a tackle on him while he was facing away from goal and brought him down on the edge of the box. Penalty!

But it looked as though Bonnett made up for giving the penalty away as he saved it…only for the ball to rebound straight back to their number 9 to tap home the equaliser. 1-1. There could have been more from Marlow before the end of the half so we were glad to hear the ref blow for half time when he did.

To help get our lead back in the second half we made one change at the break with Gary Currell being replaced by Stan Anum, coming on for his debut to play on the right of midfield and Sam Sillah dropping back into defence.

This seemed to work as the majority of possession was with us. More half chances fell our way but the ball just wouldn’t go in. Then on 67 minutes another free-kick for us on the left hand side was drifted in by Sumner this time into the box, it fell to Hart who managed to smash it in on the third attempt. This goal was definitely his! 2-1 to Wraysbury!

With us now back in the lead it gave the management a chance to make more changes with Josh Christopher and Ben Landi coming on for Andrews and Dunstall.

Marlow had a great opportunity to equalise only for Bonnett to pull off a fantastic double save.

Dewhurst had another free-kick outside the box to put the game to bed but the keeper palmed it away.

More subs were made running down the clock with the excellent Sumner coming off for Paul Abbott and Gary Black making his first appearance of the season replacing captain fantastic Reed. Good to have you back Gary.

Little happened in the last 10 minutes as the ref blew for full-time with the 3 points coming back to Wraysbury once more sending the Stags up in the 2nd in the table and still unbeaten after four games. It was never going to be easy this easy what with everything going on and the stop, start season so far could hinder our performances but there has been no sign so far of us stuttering so far.

Man of the Match this week goes to Codie Sumner who mastered the midfield. His calmness on the ball and ability to get his way out of sticky situations was second to none. Unlucky not to grab a goal himself.