1s blitzed by rampant Wykehamist striker
- October 16th 2021, Philathletic Ground, 11am
- Premier Division
- Referee: Raphel Headlam
- Weather: Sunny, calm
- Pitch: Excellent
|No.||Starting XI||Goals||Yellow & Red Cards||Subs On/Off|
|1||Fraser McGuinness (c)|
|5||Cyprian Owen Edmunds|
It was a case of Groundhog Day for the OHAFC 1st XI as they once again competed well, produced a decent performance and yet still came away well beaten in their latest Arthurian League Premier Division fixture. A strong Harrow side enjoyed a fine start to Saturday’s encounter with the Old Wykehamists on Harrow Hill, but couldn’t handle the opposition’s centre forward and were made to pay as the striker ran riot, scoring all six of the visitor’s goals to condemn the Blues to a fifth consecutive defeat. Fortunately, the side can now take a short break from their League travails, with a week off before the trip to face the Old Brentwoods in the first round of this season’s Arthur Dunn Cup.
In perfect conditions on the Hill, with the Philathletic pitches in immaculate condition once more, the hosts actually made a positive start to the game, pressing the Wykehamists high and winning plenty of possession in dangerous areas. Indeed, the Blues should have opened the scoring, Dan Firoozan unable to convert a one-on-one and Chris Abdo unfortunate to strike the post with a low shot.
At this stage, it appeared as though the home side were the ones unbeaten in four and the visitors the ones struggling at the foot of the table. But normality was restored soon enough with a very disappointing goal conceded from a Harrovian viewpoint. McGuinness fed Macintyre from a goal kick and the centre-back was robbed of the ball before it was fed out wide and a shot drilled across goal. The Harrow skipper really should have made the save, but the ball somehow sped under his outstretched boot and into the far corner.
Undeterred, the hosts hit back immediately, equalising within a minute, again from a keeping error. This time a Harrow free-kick was pumped into the Winchester box and the opposition stopper made a mess of the high ball, dropping it straight at the feet of Dan Firoozan who gladly accepted the gift and rolled the ball into the unguarded net.
As half-time approached it appeared as though the Blues were more than capable of holding their own, but, as has so often been the case this season, the OHAFC were punished at a crucial moment. Winchester fired a cross deep to the far post, it was headed back across goal and the striker made no mistake, swivelling on the spot to smash home from close range.
Understandably, there was still plenty of optimism among the Harrovian ranks at the break and again the hosts made a positive start to the half, enjoying plenty of possession, midfielder Murray Barr enjoying an excellent 1st XI debut in the middle of the pitch. But this moment of hope was blown away in a devastating spell midway through the half when the Wykehamist striker ran amok, scoring three times with a variety of excellent finishes, to put the game well beyond the hosts’ reach. There was little the hosts could do, the visitors finally displaying the quality that sees them as one of only two sides still unbeaten in the Premier Division.
The Blues did force a late consolation, substitute Ed Corswarem crossing for Ed Beecham to head in two minutes from time, but even that brief moment of joy was immediately snuffed out when the Wykehamists motored upfield straight from the kick-off to score a sixth.
Despite another defeat, the 1s appear to be steadying the ship, with some encouraging performances from some of the newer members of the squad. And the trip to Brentwoods in a fortnight for the Dunn Cup should present the side with an excellent chance to claim a first win of the season, the Blues hugely unlucky to come away from Essex with a 2-0 defeat a few weeks ago despite fielding a makeshift side.