Ground Hopper Gareth visited Wellington Playing Fields for the HFA County Cup Quarter Final between Wellington and Westfields and has kindly allowed us to publish his match report.
This eight-goal thriller was a great game and not really full settled until the final ten minutes of the game. Westfields, playing one step higher ( step 5 ) than their step 6 hosts, stormed into a two goal lead inside the opening 7 minutes of the game.
In the second minute they opened the scoring with the first chance of the game, a low and fierce cross was delivered from the Westfields right, De Garis in the Wellington goal could not hold onto the ball, leaving Carlos Moreira to finish into an unguarded goal from six yards out.
Wellington responded with two good efforts at goal after falling a goal behind. The fourth minute saw Wellies Number 8, Sam Pearson try his luck with a long-range shot, shooting just over the bar. A minute later Pearson again went close for this time. The Wellington man was put clean through on goal, his early taken shot was tipped onto the post by visiting goalkeeper Havard.
Westfields went 2-0 ahead on seven minutes, Ben Miller scoring with a great strike from the edge of the area, leaving Kyle De Garis no chance of getting near it.
The home side again responded positively and created a couple of chances of their own but could not find that vital goal. Westfields looked to have made the game safe on 36 minutes by taking a three-goal lead. Keanu Cooper, ran for quite distance with the ball before shooting left-footed from the edge of the box into the bottom left corner of the goal.
It looked like Wellington were in for a long night after falling three goals behind, but credit must go to them for providing a great come back in the latter stages of the first half
On 37 minutes the home side got their first of the night, Havard completely missing his kick following a pass back to him, the mistake enabled Saul Thomas to roll the ball into an empty net.
On the stroke of half time, Wellington got themselves right back into the tie. This time Sam Pearson with the goal after he latched onto a through ball, reaching the ball just before Havard and poking his shot just past the on-rushing Goalkeeper.
Half Time: 2-3
Westfields went close on 51 minutes but were thwarted by great goalkeeping by De Garis who smothered the ball following shot by the on rushing Westfields player.
On 54 minutes Wellington went very close to equalising, Sam Pearson unleashed a great volley which was well saved by Havard at the near post of his goal. This save was proven to be very important as five minutes later Westfields increased their advantage by scoring their 4th goal of the evening. A dangerous looking cross from the Westfields right was not sufficiently cleared and the ball was tapped in by Aidan Thomas.
On 62 minutes Westfields almost but the game to bed, unfortunately for them the first-time volley from their player crashed against the cross bar.
With ten minutes of the game remaining Westfields did indeed make the game safe. Jamie Molyneux expertly rounded De Garis and two on-rushing defenders before finishing into an empty net. Credit must go to Wellington who never let their heads drop, the home side ended the scoring for the night on 88 minutes, with a goal that after much consultation in the stand I was sitting went down as an own goal.
Full Time: 3-5
This was a pulsating cup tie which I really enjoyed, looking at my records I think it is the first 3-5 score line that I have witnessed on my ground hopping journey so far.
I would again like to thank Chairman Phil Smith and other club officials at Wellington Football Club for their lovely welcome.
Match photos courtesy of Will Cheshire are available on our flickr page and Gareth's complete ground report for Wellington FC is available on his blog. Thanks to both for covering this match.
Match Photos Wellington Ground Report