Abingdon Town vs VWFC
24/02/2018 Abingdon Town 1-4 Virginia Water Reserves
Hellenic Division Two East
Report by Steve Cox
With 3 regular reserve team players called into the first team squad and still a few others unavailable for unimpressive reasons Virginia Water’s Reserves made the long journey to high flying Abingdon Town, again with a very young team to see what they could do against the odds.
Waters, as they did last week, tore up the formbook and produced a fantastic team performance, which stunned the home side completely. Statistics do not always tell the whole story but today Waters had to defend 18 corners from which they conceded one goal whilst at the other end, especially in the first half, they constantly carried a goal threat to their opposition.
Waters had five players aged 18 or under in the side today, Harry Brooks, Harrison Duff, Dan Stevens, Tom Flower and Jack Deabill - so to get this result was a totally fantastic effort. Abingdon did not look like they had a teenager in the side and in their number 10 they had a player of reckless intent and verbal abuse that demanded a red card long before he received one in the 82nd minute. He could have easily broken two players’ legs as his two footed high velocity lunges on Billy Cox and Mark Carter- Draper were disgraceful and have no place on any football field.
Anyway, back to the football as Waters found themselves 2-0 up after 18 minutes as great play by Ross Miller, Brooks and Steve Mills left Sam Meadows with a chance which he dispatched with great composure under pressure. Waters’ second goal was again initiated by Miller and Brooks, and was brilliantly dummied by Meadows allowing it to run through to Mills who thumped it home from 6 yards out. Abingdon tried to respond and this led to a host of corners which, by hook or by crook, Waters defended against a tall physical Abingdon side - until finally a shot from 12 yards found its way past Mark Pisani through a wall of players to make it 1-2. It seemed likely that this would see Abingdon take control but great performances especially from Mills, Billy Cox, Miller, Stevens, Brooks and Flower kept Abingdon at bay. Waters grabbed a crucial third goal in the 38th minute, which typified their performance, and in particular the rejuvenated Steve Mills as he latched on to Millers through ball, beat the advancing keeper in a 50-50 tackle and then chasing the ricochet to get the better of two Town defenders to slide the ball home from an acute angle. It was a brilliant goal and gave Waters some breathing space as they reached half time.
The second half was not pretty from a Waters point of view, as for 20 minutes Abingdon seemed camped in their penalty area - corner after corner was conceded. The organisation skills of a now injured captain Dave Atkins (backside muscle pull) were never more needed as Waters, helped by 3 great Pisani saves, kept Abingdon from getting a second goal. The introduction of the 3 substitutes helped turn the tide as the tiring youngsters Duff, Deabill and Flower were given a breather. All the replacements did well especially David Lopez but it was the returning swashbuckling Scott Ancell, latching onto a lovely Brooks through ball and firing home from the edge of the box, who secured the victory for Virginia Water in the 79th minute.
MoM: Steve Mills