Taunton vs Wimborne

Bouncing off from a 2-1 victory against Hartley and Witney at the Koolpak Stadium, the Magpies travelled to high-flying Taunton Town who sat 3rd in the league table. This fixture never fails to provide entertainment for both sets of fans, previously Wimborne came back from a thrilling last-minute equaliser to make it 3-3 with the final kick of the game last season.

This compelling matchup saw six goals with Wimborne taking the lead in the 12th minute. Defender Sam Davidson made his return with Jordan Lee replacing full back Stefan Penny  .Wimborne were able to find the net twice, unlike Taunton who scored 4 times within a 20-minute period in the second half, the Viridor Stadium saw an attendance of 489 with a 4-2 victory for the hosts.

Without star striker Toby Holmes, manager Matty Holmes had to use his other arsenal and it became effective on the twelfth minute when Curtis Young dribbled past Taunton’s defence and fired a low ball to the bottom right corner beating goalkeeper Lloyd Irish as he just got a fingertip on the ball. Taunton’s Dan Sullivan fired a menacing volley towards the bottom right corner which Gerard Benfield saved. In the 38th minute Craig Veal struck a ball from the right-hand side of the box but just missed the left corner of the goal. Again Veal fired a dazzling shot as it went over Paddy Hester and smashed the top right corner of the framework which then went out of play!

Despite Wimborne having a very good first half of keeping possession and being in the lead, Taunton were continuously piling on the pressure for Benfield with endless waves of attacks, and a goal seemed inevitable for the Peacocks.

Just before the hour mark it came. Ryan Brett dribbled alongside Wimborne’s defence and drilled in a low ball through Scotty Arnold’s legs which left Benfield standing on his goal line as he heard the roar from the Taunton fans behind him. Two minutes later Taunton Town went up a gear, as a missed pass by Benfield allowed Taunton to capitalise when Sullivan fired in a rebounded shot from the bar to give the hosts the lead. On the 73rd minute a low cross was played to Veal as he slid in to tap the ball in to the net to give Taunton a 3-1 lead!

It wasn’t over for the Peacocks when forward Matt Wright launched a shot from the right side of the box which went past Benfield to give Taunton a comfortable 4-1 lead. Jack Lovell was brought on in the 83rd minute for his first appearance since suffering an injury. Shortly after, Luke Burbidge passed in a brilliant through ball from a funny angle which found the eager Lovell and, with his first touch of the game, he slipped it through the legs of Irish, although the keeper did manage to get a fingertip onto the ball but that didn’t stop Wimborne from scoring their second goal. However, it was too little too late…

The final whistle blew with the game ending 4-2. This was an important victory for the hosts but a disappointing defeat for the visitors. The Magpies are set to play against Staines Town this Saturday (17th) at the Koolpak stadium, kick-off 3pm, with Staines currently in the relegation zone.

Wimborne: Benfield, Lee, Hester, Arnold, Oldring, Davidson, Stokoe. L.Holmes, Clarke, Burbidge, Young (Lovell 80).
Unused subs: Owen, Bradley, Okumu, Walsh (GK)
Att: 489

Max Emes Reporting.

Wimborne vs Hartley Wintney

The first-ever meeting between these two sides produced an end-to-end feast of attacking football.

After a flowing one-touch move down the right, the visitors looked to have taken the lead on 10 minutes when Nic Ciardini’s deft header beat keeper Gerard Benfield but came back off the inside of the post. However, it was the home side who took the lead on the half-hour. Franklyn Clarke, coming in from the left, majestically curled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Hartley were unable to turn their aerial dominance at set pieces into goals as Wimborne’s goal somehow remained in tact to half-time. But just six minutes into the second period that changed when the visitors went route one. Keeper Adam Desbois’ long clearance bounced once before Ross Cook volleyed past Benfield.
Both keepers made spectacular saves – Benfield from Nathan Smart, and Desbois from Luke Burbidge – before Wimborne regained the lead with a quarter of the game remaining. James Stokoe found the elusive Burbidge wide on the right, and his perfectly-flighted cross was headed home at the far post by Clarke.
There was little respite for the home defence as Hartley went all out for the equaliser. But with that defiant back-line determined not to be beaten again, Wimborne held out for a much-needed win which lifts them to 17th in the table.
Wimborne: benfield, Penny, Hester, Arnold, Oldring, Kellaway, Syokoe, L.Holmes, Clarke, Burbidge, Young (Lee 75). Unused subs: Collins, McWilliams, Hall, Traynor.
Att: 326

Basingstoke Town V Wimborne Town

Despite twice taking the lead, a depleted Wimborne were dumped out of the FA Trophy at the first time of asking at a bitterly cold Camrose Ground.

Manager Matty Holmes made one change to his starting line-up – fit again Curtis Young replacing unavailable Paddy Hester. But without 8 of his small squad, his options from the bench were limited.

It was the home side who made the early running. Ben Wright sending a curler just over in the second minute before Gerard Benfield needed two attempts to grab a low shot. However, it was the visitors who took the lead on 12 minutes. Young charged down Dean Stow’s attempted clearance wide on the left. Toby Holmes muscled a defender out of the way as he kept the ball in play on the by-line, and beat keeper Colm Mcadden from a seemingly impossible angle.

The Dragons struck back on 20 minutes. The experienced Sam Argent seized on a long ball over the top down the left, turned Matt Oldring, and, with no cover, expertly slipped the ball past Benfield to equalise.

Two minutes later the Magpies were back in front. Jordan Lee sent a perfectly weighted ball beyond Basingstoke’s back-line down the inside-right channel. Toby galloped towards goal before beating Mcadden with a trade-mark finish. That was three goals in a hectic first quarter of the game.

Benfield made a brave save to take the ball off Argent’s toes before the home side equalised again on 35 minutes. The ball was moved across from right to left where Wright found himself unmarked 15 yards out, and he picked his spot to net in the far corner.

Benfield saved his defence when winning the race to an under-hit back pass, but even he couldn’t prevent the Dragons taking the lead just two minutes later. The visitors gave the ball away wide on the right, and Wright’s low cross was turned in by Argent in the 6-yard area.

There was still more goalmouth incident to keep spectators glued to the action before that warming half-time cuppa beckoned. Young’s lob from the left beat the keeper but came back off the inside of the post on 42 minutes, and Benfield saved his side with a last-ditch tackle after the ball had once more been needlessly given away.

From the re-start, Jack McKnight tried to catch Benfield unawares, but the big keeper back-peddled to catch the ball under the bar. Two minutes later the visitors came close to equalising. Toby Holmes met Franklyn Clarke’s cross from the right and his header hit the outside of the post with the keeper beaten.

With both sides playing enterprising football, more chances were inevitable. Toby shot over when put through, and Luke Burbidge’s shot was well-saved after James Stokoe charged through mid-field. The Dragons broke quickly from a Wimborne corner for Wright to shoot inches wide before McKnight tried his luck from distance; Benfield made a good sprawling save from Sam Smart’s shot; and the impressive McKnight slalomed his way through the visitors’ midfield before back-heeling to Smart who shot wide.

After Wright had shot wide following another loose pass, the decisive goal came on 74 minutes. With rain making the surface tricky, Argent slipped the ball through to McKnight in space on the right and he scored from 15 yards.

Burbidge’s lob went over, and Toby was beaten in a foot-race by the keeper as the visitors tried to get back into the game. On 80 minutes referee Small showed Toby a harsh yellow card as the striker chased after an advancing defender and seemingly won the ball with a sliding tackle. But worse was to follow when he showed the same player a red card for alleged dissent after denying the striker a penalty.

Manager Holmes brought on two substitutes with the same initials, Rhys Owen and Robinson Okumu, but the nearest to another goal came on 90 minutes when Oldring cleared off the line.

This was the third away game for Matty Holmes’ depleted “Band of Brothers” in eight days, and, not surprisingly, they looked tired at the end. On the positive side, they’ve scored twice in each game; unfortunately they’ve given away some crucial goals. But it all makes for exciting entertainment.

Graham Dunn reports.