U18’s slip to defeat at Romulus

AFC Wulfrunians were made to pay for missed chances and ill discipline as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Romulus on their new artificial surface.


The match started brightly and the first opportunity fell to the home side when a miss hit cross from Briggs deceived Ryan but hit the far post and was cleared to safety.


Wulfs then took control and on ten minutes a poor goal kick was picked up by Webb who ran in to the box but shot over.


Shortly afterwards, Brookes flicked a ball on to put Webb clean through but again he clipped the ball over the bar.


Brookes was the next to spurn an opportunity when put through by Bright but he hit the ball straight at the advancing keeper.


On half an hour Wulfs thought they had broken the deadlock as Webb’s corner from the right was headed goalwards by Brookes only to be cleared off the line by a defender.


The best chance of the half though fell to Webb when on 40 minutes he intercepted a cross field pass and strode unchallenged into the box but put the ball just wide of the post.


In a rare Romulus attack in the last minute of the first half they forced a corner which resulted in Ball heading against the outside of the far post.


Wulfs came out for the second half with purpose and on 47 minutes Gutteridge ran with the ball from halfway and hit a firm shot from 28 yards which the keeper could only push into the net.


Almost immediately after Brookes had a chance to increase the lead but Conlon saved well.


Then, on 54 minutes, Wulfs failed to deal with a long punt into the box and Pearson’s header fell for Clarke 10 yards out and he finished well to equalise.


Wulfs defence suddenly started to look jittery and they were struggling to deal with the high balls pumped forward.


Manager Jon Purdie made a couple of changes and continued to look threatening and his team pumped a number of excellent crosses into the box but Romulus keeper Conlon was having an excellent game and came and gathered everything.


Wulfs then got caught as Clarke picked up the ball on the halfway line and jinked past three or four half hearted challenges before rifling the ball into the far corner.


Wulfs pressed for an equaliser, but lost both their shape and discipline, and the game became very stretched.


Conlon again saved well at Brookes’s feet from Marsh’s through ball, and Wulfs could not find a way through despite forcing a number of corners.


Romulus finally killed off the game on 89 minutes with a freak goal when Murchington’s speculative cross from the right touchline looped agonisingly over Ryan and Haynes having already picked up a silly booking, received another for arguing with the referee and was dismissed.


Wulfs still tried to get back into the game but if anything Romulus looked more dangerous and ran out comfortable winners.


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