Late surge carries Wykehamists past depleted OHAFC

Old Wykehamists 1st XI
9 : 1
Old Harrovians 1st XI
  • October 17th 2020, Club Des Sports, 12:30pm
  • Premier Division
  • Referee: Alban Bytyqi
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Pitch: Astroturf
No. Starting XI Goals Yellow & Red Cards Subs On/Off
1 Fraser McGuinness
2 Jamie Jordache
3 Jonny Lalude
4 Ed Beecham 60'
5 Rollo Hovey
6 Jesse Duah
7 Daniel Firoozan
8 Cyprian Owen Edmunds
9 Christopher Abdo 34'
10 Doug Morrison
11 James Tippett
12 Will Bonnet 34'

The OHAFC 1st XI continue to suffer at the hands of their Premier Division opponents, falling to yet another heavy defeat on Saturday afternoon as they finished well beaten by the Old Wykehamists on the Club Des Sports astroturf in west London. Despite the one-sided 9-1 scoreline, the Blues were still very much in the game with half an hour remaining, trailing by just a couple of goals. But a chastening closing twenty minutes saw the hosts run riot, scoring four times to consign the OHAFC to a fifth consecutive defeat that leaves them still rooted to the foot of the table.

Given the poor recent run of form, it is understandable that confidence amongst the squad is not high at the moment, but the visitors actually started brightly in Saturday’s fixture against the newly-promoted Wykehamists.

Adopting a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Cyprian Owen Edmunds and Dan Firoozan anchoring the midfield and Jesse Duah making his first appearance of the season on the right wing, the Blues enjoyed plenty of possession on the excellent artificial surface without being able to create any chances of note. Their good work was undone after twenty minutes however when a simple goal was conceded from a set-piece, a free-kick delivered to the back post was headed back across goal and tapped in by one of the loitering Winchester players.

The game was then held up for a lengthy spell following a nasty clash of heads between Chris Abdo and a Wykehamist defender. Both players had to be helped from the pitch and took no further part in the game, with the defender being taken to hospital. Hopefully he has fully recovered by now.

Will Bonnet replaced Abdo from the Harrow bench to make his first appearance in an OHAFC shirt, but the interruption seemed to affect the visitors more and Winchester took full advantage, scoring twice more before the break to take a firm grip on the game. The second was, yet again, via a set-piece, McGuinness dropping a corner under pressure to allow another simple finish, before a more orthodox goal was scored, a winger cutting from the left and finding the bottom corner with a precise shot from just outside the box.

The visitors were down but not yet out, switching to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation to begin the second half in a bid to force their way back into the game. Once more they made a promising start to the half and were rewarded for their efforts on the hour-mark when Ed Beecham pulled a goal back, beating the Winchester keeper to a Dan Firoozan free-kick and prodding the ball over the line.

At this stage a famous comeback seemed on the cards, but instead it was the hosts who regained their composure and took advantage of some tiredness in the Harrow ranks to pull away in the closing stages. Six more goals were scored, some of them preventable, as the Blues lost their composure and discipline. A number of questionable refereeing decisions only deepened frustrations.

Although the Blues are enduring a pretty torrid time of things at the moment, spirits in the camp remain high and there is still the belief that the season can be turned round, starting with a home game against KCS Wimbledon next weekend and, remarkably, the first use of the Phil pitches for the OHAFC this season.