Carrington Double Denies Upton in Controversial Charity Clash
A controversial penalty in the last three minutes of a typical local derby denied Upton Athletic a share of the Throgmorton Charity Shield and added another trophy to Watcombe’s impressive haul from last season.
It was not the only debatable event in a match that was open and competitive throughout but featured its fair share of hefty challenges and heated altercations.
Wanderers were missing the services of their injured captain Dan Redhead in defence and brought in reserve player Jack Taylor, while Casey Cooper donned the Number 7 shirt normally worn by Mike Fieldhouse. Upton started with former Stoke goalkeeper Adam Simpson between the sticks.
The game exploded into life from the whistle with three goals in the first 15 minutes, Lewis Woodmore converting Sean Finch’s pass after just four minutes to put the Greens ahead. Moments later, Daniel Harvey tested Simpson’s gloves from range as Watcombe looked to double their lead. Instead it was Upton who scored next, Ryan Hare capitalising on a slip by Wayne Bergin to win the ball in Watcombe’s half before taking it around Scott Corderoy and fire Athletic level in the 9th minute. Two minutes later and a fine strike by Andrew Walker from the edge of the box found its mark with Watcombe’s rearguard looking sluggish. Both sides traded decent chances, Curtis Booth curling wide on a couple of occasions and Hare missing the mark with a header before Finch missed a golden chance to equalise after Royston Carrington had put him in behind the reds’ defence. Pete Summerfield managed to get a few long range shots on target but Simpson easily dealt with them, while Walker almost scored a second but saw his long-range effort land on top of the net.
Then came the first real talking point, Stephen Woodcock racing out to meet the onrushing Louis Bergin leading to a collision which saw both players ending in a heap, Woodcock floored for a full five minutes. The decision to award the free-kick Bergin’s way was greeted with disbelief by many, although the defender may have been penalised for coming out with his foot raised.
As the half came to an end, Taylor headed over and Summerfield’s strike also cleared the bar, while, at the other end, Bergin shot wide and both Lee Chamberlain and Walker also missed the target. Between those chances, Woodmore and Hare got involved in a barging match with the defender then appearing to put a hand in the striker’s face. But whether he saw it or not, Andy Distin decided to put both players in the book.
“We worked hard and showed if we battle we succeed. We’ve always got a chance in us” – Casey Cooper (Watcombe)
Upton started the second half on the front foot, determined to press home their advantage, but after soaking up the pressure Watcombe began to play their best football of the match, Booth, Finch and Summerfield looking dangerous and Harvey having a shot cleared off the line. Upton seemed to have abandoned their usual passing game and were relying on long balls to Hare up front to extend their lead. Instead, Carrington surged through on the right hand side and scored from a tight angle to level the match in the 78th minute. Upton retaliated immediately by forcing Corderoy into a save, but the odds were stacked against them when Hare received his marching orders following a robust challenge. Watcombe brought on young Connor Finch and Luke Rhodes as they sensed the chance to complete the turnaround, but when Finch Junior went down in the penalty area in the 42nd minute, it was dependable Carrington who stepped up to blast home the penalty. To rub salt into their wounds, the usually unflappable Scott Davies was sent off after kicking the ball away in frustration following the penalty decision.
“We worked hard and showed if we battle we succeed. We’ve always got a chance in us,” said Casey Cooper after the match.
“I feel like Coach Road is my home pitch,” quipped Lewis Woodmore after continuing his happy knack of scoring crucial goals for the Greens.
“I’m very pleased with the result; they played very well,” added new club Chairperson Lisa Buley after her first taste of success with the Greens.
Upton manager Steve Kingscote applauded Watcombe for their win, but was clearly unhappy with some of the decisions.
“There is always rivalry between these clubs and will be through the season. I think the referee could have dealt with things half an hour before. I don’t think he had control of the game,” he said. “But I don’t take anything away from Watcombe who won it fair and square.”
FT: Upton Athletic 2 – 3 Watcombe Wanderers
Upton Athletic: Adam Simpson, Steven Northcott, Scott Davies, Justin Grinsill, Daniel Kingscote, Louis Bergin, Ryan Hare, Ryan Little (c), Lee Chamberlain, Andrew Walker, Paul Bastow. Subs: Christopher Jackson, Ethan Foster, Sheridan Gagg, Colin Bastow, Jamie Philpott
Watcombe Wanderers: Scott Corderoy (c), Wayne Bergin, Lewis Woodmore, Stephen Woodcock, Jack Taylor, Peter Summerfield, Casey Cooper, Royston Carrington, Sean Finch, Daniel Harvey, Curtis Booth. Subs: Connor Finch, Luke Rhodes, Owen Stockton, Kallum Styles