Wulfs earn hard fought win

AFC Wulfrunians 2-1 Stourport Swifts

Midland Football League Premier

Saturday 18th September 2021

 

After the heavy defeat last time out Wulfrunians came into this one knowing they needed to bounce back and pick up all three points against struggling Stourport. The players did just that, coming from behind after an early strike from Edilson Antonio put the visitors in front before goals from Jack Rowley and James Hill made sure the points stayed in Castlecroft.

 

The first attack of the game gave Stourport the lead through Edilson Antonio in the seventh minute. The visitors won the second ball by flicking on a long ball, slicing the Wulfs’ defence apart and leaving Antonio to cleverly slot past the stranded keeper and give Stourport an early lead.

 

The visitors’ lead didn’t last long however as Wulfrunians hit back in superb fashion just ten minutes later. Debutant Rob Hanna impressed all afternoon, and it was his searching long ball that found Jack Rowley in space in behind the Swifts’ defence. Rowley finished with precision, lobbing the keeper after he came out to try and close down the right back, giving the Wulfs an equaliser and a scoreline which was probably more reflective of the balance of play during the opening exchanges.

 

The contest opened up slightly after the second goal, with chances coming more regularly for both sides. Dom Dell had a few notable ones for the hosts, going closest on the half hour mark after being slotted in once again by Hanna, who was certainly giving a good account of himself on his first outing for AFC.  

 

The closest anyone came to taking the lead came right on the stroke of half time through captain Ben Jevons. He connected well with a header at the back post following a well delivered corner, only to see his effort strongly pushed away by the away keeper.

 

Half Time – AFC Wulfrunians 1-1 Stourport Swifts

 

The second period began very slowly lacking major chances at either end, both keepers being undisturbed. Stourport saw a lobbed effort just go over the bar before Jamie Meddows failed to connect properly with an effort from the edge of the area. The game needed something special to find a winner.

 

Those calls for a spark were answered with 20 minutes left to play, as James Hill hit a cracking strike from 25 yards to give the Wulfs the lead. The effort was as sweetly struck as anything you’re likely to see in any match, arrowing into the top corner like a missile and giving AFC a much needed lead as the game entered the latter stages.

 

Both managers rang the changes as the game entered the final quarter of an hour, with a big chance proving elusive for Stourport as they looked to recover something from the game. The visitors best chance of the second half came with ten minutes left as a free kick was well saved by Haywood, who in truth had a pretty comfortable second half.

 

James Hill went close to adding another special goal to his collection in injury time, firing over as the hosts looked to make the game safe. The extra goal wasn’t needed however as the final whistle came giving Wulfrunians a much needed three points to stay within touching distance of the teams at the top of the table.

 

Full Time – AFC Wulfrunians 2-1 Stourport Swifts

 

It was a game of few chances but Mark Jones and his players will not care as the win sees them move up into ninth and to just three points off 2nd in the table, showing just how tight and competitive it is at the upper end of the divison.

 

Words – Tom Bird