W’ton Casuals 0 AFC Wulfrunians 1

An early strike from Tom Piggott ensured AFC Wulfrunians picked up a hard-earned three points against local rivals and one of the title favourites Wolverhampton Casuals.


A bright start from the visitors was rewarded as they took the lead in the 6th minute. A Casuals free kick was cleared out to Tom Piggott and he drove in to the Casuals half before playing the ball out to Jordan Perks. He continued to drive forward before playing a superb reverse ball back to Piggott and the young striker made no mistake with a low drive from a narrow angle.


The goal sparked Casuals into life and they went close to an immediate reply when Mark Bellingham burst through a challenge with keeper Danny Tipton but the Wulfs defence were able to clear before he could get on to the loose ball.


The home side continued to dominate and Bellingham went close again when he fired an angled drive across the face of goal but wide of the far post and then Wulfs were grateful to defender James Skedgel for clearing a John Cordy effort off the line.


Chris Henry was next to go close for Casuals when he brought down Lee Butler’s deep cross before firing over the crossbar.


Wulfs had a good chance to double their lead when Skedgel attacked a Jake Sedgemore corner but sent his powerful header just past the upright.


Wulfs lost defender Ross Brown to injury and he was replaced by Tom Ray and and then both sides were reduced to ten men five minutes before the interval when Casuals’ Daniel Lloyd and Wulfs’ Nathan Rise-Laing were red carded.


Butler went close to a deserved equaliser on the stroke of half time but his direct free kick cannoned back off the foot of the post.


After a slack first half, Wulfs tightened up for the second half with the defence of Tom Griffin, Ash Burd, Skedgel and Ray soaking up all that was thrown at them while Sedgemore and Gary Fitzpatrick in the centre of the park forced Casuals to drop deeper and deeper to pick up the ball.


Casuals did have a good chance, however, when Danny Tipton pulled off a superb save from a close range Bellingham effort.


Wulfs’ chances were few and far between with Sedgemore firing over from the edge of the area and Piggott denied by keeper Matt Martin’s legs after he had been set up by Liam Wilkinson but they had done enough to hang on to a priceless three points.


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