Audlem FC back at Wrenbury

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Just seven days ago we were at Wrenbury or- as in olden days, Wareneberie — home of wrens, basking in the warmth of bright sunshine, calm and peaceful with all the signs of an early Spring about us with beautiful bird song.

Now we travel there once more to face our next opponents. In a total turnaround of the elements with a deep cyclone with a barometric pressure reading of 968 (very low pressure) sitting over Stornoway and dragging with it an angry tail of foul weather behind it as the rain arrives and the winds increase. The penalty we pay for both being an island and being in the path of the Gulf Stream.

Referee Kev Kelly decides all is playable — again one of the best pitches around in terms of a lack of cloying mud. No flooding whatsoever.

A league match and we play Salvador FC. It is recorded that Columbus first made land fall at Salvador in 1492/3 and laid claim to the new Americas for his King. Perhaps we too can beat Salvador and lay claim to the winners honours. If we play as we did last week we have every chance so to do.

Today we play in our Orange strip — the one the team favour first. Management team of Geoff and James have the wealth (he says with some irony) of 14 players to pick the starting eleven.

Will Ellis arrives for his first game for a while since the birth of his baby 11 weeks ago.
Kick off prompt at 11.00. Already cold and wet as I am there on the touchline with a flat low wet sugar grey of a sky. Referee in a beanie hat and a waterproof jacket.

Joe Overland starts — his first start of a game. Young legs full of running as indeed are those of Joe Benson and Jim Davies, the young core of the team.

Dan Morris — late coach of the team — is here to see just how we have progressed and Skipper Kev Mort's young daughter, Ellie, also braving the filthy conditions as she watches her boyfriend Jim.

Dag Sirle sends in a great cross shot, corner to us. Fired in and a inviting header by Kev M is saved. Pete Jones, oozing with confidence, shoots from range. Five minutes in and Ross Blakeman pulls up short with hamstring damage. On comes Joe Benson as his replacement.

11.15 and my coat already heavy with a covering of tiny raindrops clinging to it. My hat with a dripping brim. My note paper fast heading for Papier Mache.

Fast and furious is the play and overall we are ahead and on top. Fourth corner to us already after 20 minutes. Connor Baxter in goal pulling off some fine saves. Dave Bebbington a real tower of confidence and strength in central defence.
Salvador getting more of the play as Half time arrives

Second Half

Two minutes in and we are in the lead after a very soft own goal is gifted to us. 0-1!
An open goal as Dag races forward but his aim is off and the shot goes wide. Best chance of the match so far.

Noise level rising and the language getting fruitier as frustration builds. Then at 12.09 and it was coming as our defence at sixes and sevens, they score an easy goal. 1-1

Peter Jones off as his hamstring tightens and Rob Lowe is on. Fantastic run up field by Dag after the restart, but no result.

Then we gift an own goal with a silly back heel kick. 2-1.
Geoff sends on Kev Walters to beef up defence as Joe Benson comes off.

At the death — with just 2 minutes to go — another poor defence mishmash and they score in the dying seconds. 3-1

We were so much better than this result — in the first half anyway. But still with confidence for better days to come, as I do see a chink of promise as each game comes and goes. But no claiming the territory for ourselves — unlike Columbus!

Man of the Match for his endeavours goes to Dave Bebbington, our player who is the most mature in years.

Ralph Warburton
AFC Chairman