The mighty Wunderman Wunderers FC won their first football match this week against a strong RKCR/YR team.
In a game that had been much anticipated, Wunderman turned up to the Market Road Stadium last night as slight underdogs – having lost this past fixture 10-1. Fielding a traditional 4-4-2, playing manager, Dave Austin, was taking no chances against a young Rainey Kelly side.
The game got off to a quick start, and after 5minutes, Wunderman had set up camp in the oppositions half. There was good link up play between the Wunderers’ midfield and defence, orchestrated by a ream of passes between Caulfield and Copley.
After just 15minutes, the home side took full advantage of the early pressure and Cobley fired home on the volley from inside the box, following a skewed shot from Caulfield. The crowd (a group of local kids) went wild.
The goal led to a few substitutions on both side, most notably a feisty Dickinson came on to put his stamp on the game. 20 minutes into his debut, the ferocious Dickinson went up for a 50/50 header and came out of the challenge with a 1inch gaping hole in his head. Medics (Allen and Renton-Roderix) rushed straight onto the pitch, bandaged the player’s head up with a t-shirt and carried him off the pitch… That was to be the end of his game.
The second half saw a slight RKCR resurgence; for a short spell they applied much pressure to the Wunderman back four and eventually the pressure paid dividends as Donegan hit a soft shot passed the Wunderers’ interim goalkeeper, North. With this, Austin made a tactical switch in between the sticks, moving the man-mountain, Copley, in goal for the remainder of the game.
The equaliser gave the Wunderman players a wake-up call, and the midfield battle intensified. Maconomy and Caulfield fought hard in the centre of the park all evening, winning everything in the air and finding the skilful wingers – Gandy and Cobley.
Wunderman’s second goal stemmed from great defensive play by Man of the Match, Gray, who had been solid in defence all game and despite two blatant handballs, (one of which led to a yellow card), kept control of the Wunderman back order with crunching tackle after crunching tackle. On the counter attack, Gray passed the ball out to Maconomy who spear-headed the surge. With Austin to his right and Gandy and Oyerinde to his left, young Maconomy picked a perfect ball through to Oyerinde who, despite shooting straight at the keeper, managed to put the purples back in front.
With just 20 minutes left to play, Austin called for his players to dig deep and battle on for the remainder of the game, especially given the injury concerns to Kenyon, Cobley, Bacheta and Howe. RKCR, having noticed the slight fatigue in the Wunderman team, opted to push men forward in the closing 15 minutes – prompting Austin to, uncharacteristically, play a more defensive/chasing game.
The Wunderman back four held strong, with North and Howe putting in a couple of important challenges to keep the Wunderers in the game. The match was drawing to a close, when Wunderman broke again with good link up play between Austin and Cobley, leading to a through ball into the box for Oyerinde. As Oyerinde pulled back to hit a cross, he was bundled to the floor by the RKCR left back, which led to a last minute penalty. Tunde stepped up, brimming with confidence, and fired home his second, confirming Wunderman’s superiority in North London Ad Land.
The full-time whistle goes and Wunderman win the match convincingly, 3-1. The road to Wembley for Austin and his purple army is very much in sight with VML to play next month.
For match pictures, visit the Wunderman Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wunderuk