Saturday 8th May 2021

Wraysbury Village 2   Mortimer 1

(Dunstall (2))

The Stags come from behind to take all 3 points on a cloudy Saturday at the Memorial Ground.

We were back at home for the second weekend in a row looking to bounce straight back after defeat against Finchampstead last week. We were boosted by the return of Codie Sumner and Gary Homes in midfield and Ollie Pitt, sporting a fresh haircut, in defence. Mark Sangster made his first start of the season at the back with team captain Paul Reed returning on the bench.

Again, like we have done for the majority of the season, we started slow and the first 10-15 minutes we were under the cosh from a Mortimer side determined to get revenge for us winning on their patch just 10 days ago. That pressure included 4 corners in that time for the visitors and one fairly lacklustre shot and five offsides for us. But on 24 minutes, Mortimer’s pressure paid off when their forward was put through and managed to get to the ball first ahead of our on-rushing skipper for the day Matty Bonnett, only for our goalkeeper to bring the striker down in the box. The penalty was awarded and coolly despatched sending our keeper the wrong way.

One down midway through the first half was probably fair, but it always takes us going a goal down for us to start playing, and that was about to happen again. Alfie Fairhall, also sporting a new sharp haircut, was up to his old tricks at right wing-back. Brilliant defending at one end and beating the defenders for pace down the other to create chances. Our three midfielders were also calling the shots now and on 34 minutes Josh Christopher saw a through ball opportunity for Cristiano Nascimento, who managed to beat the offside trap to run onto the pass but he unselfishly squared the ball to his strike partner Mitch Dunstall who done well to round the keeper and pass the ball into the empty net. 1-1, back in the game!

Five minutes later Ollie Pitt found himself the first to go into the referee’s book for blocking off the Mortimer players’ run.

It looked like we were heading into the break level but Gary Homes had other ideas when his through ball was perfectly waited for Dunstall to get to ahead of their goalie and again went round the advancing keeper to create an exact replica of the first goal to put us 2-1 up at half-time grabbing his 8th goal of the season in 9 games.

Not long after the restart we went close to adding a third when Billy Hart managed to cut in on his right foot to fire a shot from 20 yards only to see his effort crash against the bar.

Mortimer then themselves almost grabbed an equaliser when their marksman took a shot on early but his effort too smashed the crossbar. Mitch Dunstall should have had his hat-trick but his left footed effort barely picked up enough pace to sting the keeper’s hands.

20 minutes into the second half we made our first changes, taking off Ollie Pitt and Alfie Fairhall for Gary Currell and Paul Reed.

The ref was reaching for his cards again but this time to show joint-manager Richie Goddard a yellow for not staying in the technical area.

Ben Landi replaced Josh Christopher with 20 minutes to go, and Matty Hursey came on in the final 11 minutes for Mark Sangster who outshone everyone in his first start.

With the game drawing to an end, silly free-kicks were starting to be giving away cheaply and with five to play a foul by Codie Sumner earned him a yellow card. But in added time that yellow card changed to a red when he received a second yellow for another foul meaning he will now be suspended for one match. Luckily though that was to be the final event of the game.

Three points were in the bag again and our pursuit for the title was back on course. We now go to our crunch game on Monday at Bisham Abbey in high spirits.

Man of the Match this time went to Mark Sangster who put in a solid display in the back three and showed calm defending when called on. Great performance.

The Stags (3-4-1-2): Bonnett (c); Pitt (Reed 67), Dewhurst, Sangster (Hursey 79); Fairhall (Currell 67), Homes, Sumner, Hart; Christopher (Landi 71); Dunstall, Nascimento.

Booked: Pitt 39, Goddard 80, Sumner 86

Sent-off: Sumner 90+4

Goalscorers: Dunstall (2).