Wise thoughts for new season

Welcome to the first (and slightly delayed) website blog of the season, we are two games in so I will cover a bit around pre season and how the season has started as a squad. The first thing to mention is we were delighted over the summer to keep our squad together, many of our players were approached by other clubs, some quite persistently so, and the only players to move on were goalkeeper Liam Norris who moved to neighbours Street (ironically our Les Phillips cup opponents) and forward Luke White so we were delighted with the commitment from the lads to to want to play for Wincanton and there is a real belief that this squad is now in the strongest position since my arrival in 2014. Outside of this we knew we wanted to bring a few key additions in and I’m delighted to be able to say we have done that, with Liam moving on we now have Harry Reed in goal and he’s been superb for us in the opening few games, pulling off a superb save at 0-0 in the opening game fixture against Ashton & Backwell. We knew we wanted to bring in a new centre half and moved for Harry Turner from Sherborne, Harry is a defender who I have admired for a while and he has done well against us in the past, big, strong, good on the ball and with leadership qualities I felt would really benefit us so we are delighted to have him on board. Last but certainly not least is Louis Irwin, Louis is brother of forward Jamie who came in from Westlands last year and has done very well for us, Louis is a player I’ve wanted for a while, great running with the ball and will add goals and assists to our midfield/forward line, all three new signings have come in and played well in the opening two league games of the season. Pre season was ok, although disrupted hugely with player availability in the games meaning I have not been able to pick from every player in any game (including the league games we have played) so hopefully this is something we can address moving forward. The opening league game of the season was against Ashton & Backwell at home, we had influential players Connor Williams, Kris Hastings, Brett Cotterill & Gary Chapman all unavailable for this so we were up against a team that finished last year 4th placed missing some big players and we earned a point at home thanks to a fantastic Toby Cole strike after a great ball from Matt Howell, if you followed us last season you’ll know we were a bit of a draw specialist so you may not be surprised to hear this, however first game of the season against a good side and missing players this was a good start and one I would have taken. This week we faced Bishops Lydeard away, they had beaten Hengrove 7-0 on the opening day so we went there full of confidence but mindful of their ability to score goals, Jamie Irwin & Tom Frampton were unavailable for this one. We went 1-0 up through Danny Golden after good work down the left from Connor Williams and in truth the game should have been over at half time as Matt Howell, Connor Williams, Ryan Biss, Golden & Toby Cole all had good chances during the first half. We came out slowly in the second half and found ourselves at 1-1, a defensive mix up between Kris Hastings and Harry Reed allowed the Lydeard forward to get a shot off, however Ryan Biss In throwing himself in front of the ball handled it and they converted the penalty. Matt Howell then scored his first goal for us to make it 2-1, a really good finish after a shot was blocked by their keeper, and they equalised again to make it 2-2. Before Toby Cole got his second in as many games to make it 3-2 and a solid away win. This was nothing less than we deserved, and on top of the first half chances, Connor Williams, Toby & Brett all had chances second half to have put the score beyond doubt however it wasn’t to be and we had to settle for a 3-2 away win which we were more than happy with. We face Oldland Abbotonians at home on Saturday 17th August and we are really keen to carry on in the same fashion and try and make it a fantastic start by taking 7 points from the opening 3 games, it would be great to see some more people from the town to support us in this quest.....

 

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