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WAREHAM RANGERS U13s vs PARKSTONE FALCONS U13s: 2-3 (League Division 2, 10th January 2016)

posted 11 Jan 2016, 13:41 by Simon McCabe
A New Year Mugging for Wareham Rangers

It all went a bit 'Premier League' at Wareham Rangers’ first game of 2016 as the table-topping home side went down 2-3 to a third from bottom Parkstone team which had greatly improved from the one which lost the corresponding fixture 2-10 earlier in the season.

Parkstone signalled their intent with the first attack of the match which saw them go close from a corner. But Wareham soon settled and after a run and shot by Harry led to a goalmouth scramble, Christian was able to pounce on the loose ball to make it 1-0 in the 11th minute. Crucial covering tackles by Alfie and Gabe kept the scoreline at 1-0 before a period of Parkstone pressure was rewarded with a firmly-headed equaliser from a corner. Wareham regrouped and Christian had two shots on target saved in quick succession, but it took a speculative effort from Gabe from just outside the centre circle to beat the Parkstone keeper in the 20th minute and restore the home side's one goal advantage. Kyle, Harry and Joe all went close before half-time but Parkstone were still in the game having forced a couple of good saves from James.

Callum, on for Samuel, and George, on for Luke at half-time, started brightly, the former forcing a brave save from the visiting goalie. Joe then went close having teed up a shot for himself from Harry's whipped cross. As the second half progressed, despite their lead, Rangers’ confidence seemed to ebb just as Parkstone's grew. Wareham's normally solid defence became increasingly nervous and a penalty to Parkstone in the 43rd minute was no less than they deserved.

Wareham tried to rally, but could only squander the opportunities offered by successive corners, while at the other end, Parkstone caused mayhem from a corner of their own, forcing a brilliant double save from James to keep Wareham in it. At this point, a draw would have been a fair result but, urged on by the coaching staff and the home fans, Wareham pressed for a winner, Harry, Joe, Josh (on for the injured Christian) and Callum all having chances to win the game. But Wareham's ambition proved their undoing as, with a minute to go, Parkstone nicked the points with a well taken, counter-attacking goal.

While Parkstone undoubtedly deserved something from this match, Wareham will rue the chances they spurned. They will hope to rediscover the ruthlessness in front of goal which swept them to the top in the first half of the season in time for their next fixture, a crucial 'six-pointer' against second-placed Swanage in the hotly contested Purbeck derby.

Manger Darren Mears commented “Today, we found ourselves rueing missed chances, which as the game continued gave Parkstone the confidence to eventually take all 3 points. At times we were guilty of not picking up our runners and not clearing the ball when necessary. I can't fault the lad’s effort and there were some great individual performances. The lads even embraced a change in shape and formation in the second half which in fact gave us more balance and more variation to our attacking play. Ultimately, the 2 goals aside, we couldn't hit a cow’s backside with a banjo today”.

Peter Moore