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Premier Division

Great Wakering Rovers 3 Woodford Town 2017 0

Tuesday 5th December

A Stephen Butterworth brace helped Rovers to victory over Woodford Town at Burroughs Park, taking them up to third in the table and only three points behind leaders Redbridge.

The first chances did not arrive till just before the quarter hour mark and saw the hosts create both, firstly when a Billy Johnson free kick was well saved by Nick Wilson, before a cross from the right was just over from the head of Jay Nash.

Rovers then flashed one across goal moments later, but no one could get a touch on it, whilst down the other end in the 20th minute only a great block from hosts defender Oliver Woodhouse denied Larry Asare a clear shot at goal.

Then just before the half hour mark Rovers somehow failed to go in front when a long throw from the left was inadvertently flicked on by a defender trying to clear, and it turned out to be a perfect flick on into Johnson’s path but he somehow headed over from a yard out.

But just a minute later the hosts did take the lead when a ball across found Butterworth who took many touches before finally placing the ball into the gaping goal and Rovers had the lead.

Then with nine minutes of the half remaining it was Woodford’s turn to have a ‘What a miss’ moment as after a terrific run from Ola Ogunwamide, his ball into the box found Taku Mashingaidze who from yards out could only hit over. It may have flicked the bar it was that close that it was a warning to the hosts. Two minutes before half time Rovers saw a Nash effort deflect into the path of Neil Richmond, but the forward just could not stretch far enough to divert the ball in from close range, however Wakering did go into the break a goal ahead.

The next goal, as is always the case, would be crucial, and it came in the 56th minute as the hosts got their second when the ball broke to Butterworth and he duly buried his left footed effort beyond Wilson for his second of the game, gaining some well earned breathing space for his side.And only two minutes later it was three for the hosts as Nash bundled the ball, keeper Wilson and all over the line, and Rovers now had a comfortable three goal cushion. Wilson was furious and was claiming he was fouled, and was booked for his protests towards referee Stacey Ford to rub salt into those wounds.

Woodford come close to grabbing a goal back but saw Rovers keeper Louis Hawes brilliantly tip a free kick onto the inside of the post, before the ball flew back across goal and away from danger. Johnson then sent a powerful header just wide of Woodford’s near post with fifteen minutes remaining, although moments before that a worry for the hosts saw Nash limped off injured. With eight minutes left and after the hosts had fired a free kick straight at Wilson, the visitors had another opening but substitute Ethan Kessel could only fire his effort at Hawes, this after good work from Dion Lewis-Kirwan on the right.

However the hosts saw out the game although were made to work hard by a battling Woodford side, but the home side took the points and keep themselves right in the mix. Their next three games are against Redbridge, FC Romania and Basildon United. All you can really say about that series of forthcoming games, considering their importance, is wow!

Report/Photo by Peter Dudley @ped1980