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Hard work the key, as London Cup Final berth secured

A memorable rearguard performance saw WIFC secure a third successive IFA London Cup Final berth, as they edged past a very hard working Gillingham side with a 3-2 win in Kent on Saturday.

The Internet ‘Orns took the lead after ten minutes, when Ally Hill’s near post glancing header made sure a goal-bound Rob Sterry corner crossed the line. The lead was extended against the run of play midway through the half, when Ally Hill again headed towards goal only for the ball to strike the upper arm of a defender. Rob Sterry blasted home from the spot to double the lead.

Rob Sterry dispatches the first of his two penalties.

Rob Sterry dispatches the first of his two penalties.

Neither side were creating much but Gillingham were making far more of their possession in midfield and they pulled a goal back with a soft penalty given by the referee with no claims from the Gillingham lads. Richard Walker nearly kept the ball out diving the right way but the placement was too good and it was 2-1 at half time.

Gillingham made the most of the wind and slope in the second half and threw everything at the WIFC back line. The visitors defended doggedly, but with ten minutes to play, one bounce too many allowed Gillingham to pull level with a close range header.

A panoramic view of the action

A panoramic view of the action

Gillingham had the best chance to take the game when they finally got the best of the WIFC back line to break through, but drove the ball wide of the far post. With 5 minutes to play, WIFC sent a free kick deep towards the Gillingham box and Martin Pollard was pushed in the back for a hotly disputed penalty. Sterry again send the keeper the wrong way, for his second. The Gills fans pushed hard in the last few minutes but resolute defending from WIFC kept any chances to a minimum and sent them through to a repeat of the 2012 final against West Ham.

Manager Chris Davis was delighted at the final whistle. “Very hard work was the order of the day and to come through shows the massive steps we have taken. A particular mention to the subs, 2 of whom didn’t get on, your support on the sideline was great and makes it easy when you can see bigger picture”. John Sitkowski was named man of the match, on a day when any of the defenders could also have scooped the award.

Team. Richard Walker; Richard Wenham, Ally Hill, Martin Pollard, Sam Copeland; Richard Murphy, Rob Stone, John Sitkowski, Jimmy Davis, Joel Moody; Rob Sterry. Subs Andy Myall, Phil McBride, Matt Ainsley, David Sitkowski, Tom Beck.

Double figure delight for WIFC

WIFC recorded their first double figures league win since 2011 yesterday, as they came away 10-1 winners from the visit to Wycombe. With the home side struggling for numbers, WIFC provided loaness for the day Andy Myall and Dave Soloway to bring them to a full compliment. WIFC were always comfortable, but the scoreline was unduly heavy on the Buckinghamshire side and it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes that the floodgates opened.

Midfield action from Saturday's game

Midfield action from Saturday’s game

It was Chris Dundon that gave WIFC the perfect start, but Wycombe got back on terms when their lively forward beat Mickey Eales and finished. The Internet ‘Orns regained the lead though James Jenkins, while Ally Hill opened his account for the club with two goals, and almost completed a rare centre-half hat-trick when another header rapped the home side’s crossbar.

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The second half saw more goals for the visitors. Jimmy Davis curled home from the edge of the box, while Moz Clarke tapped in his 1st goal of the season from a half cleared corner. Joel Moody rounded the keeper for his 5th of the season, and later added a 6th and WIFC’s 9th. Moody’s brace was sandwiched by another Jenkins strike, while it was Davis who completed the scoring from close range.

MOM Chris Dundon rocks the 'man of the match Watford FC onesie', donated by WFC, after the game

MOM Chris Dundon rocks the ‘man of the match Watford FC onesie’, donated by WFC, after the game

Team;
Tom Beck; Matt Wells, Mickey Eales, Ally Hill, Jimmy Davis; Richard Murphy, Richard Walker, Rob Stone, James Jenkins; Joel Moody, Chris Dundon. Subs Moz Clarke, Dave Messenger.

Thanks again to Andy Myall and Dave Soloway, who volunteered to play 90 minutes for Wycombe.

 

 

5 Star WIFC romp to impressive win

WIFC racked up an impressive 5-1 win at Northampton yesterday at a windswept Racecourse ground, venue of the infamous game against Colin Boon’s pub team.

WIFC were out of the starting gate quickly, and Stu Nicholls opened the scoring from close range after some good hold up play from Jez Hinds. With the midfield and defence in solid, impressive form, WIFC were able to launch several attacks and it was no surprise when the lead was doubled by Joel Moody, who smashed his 4th goal of the season into the top corner from just outside the box.

WIFC's rearguard were in commanding from throughout

WIFC’s rearguard were in commanding from throughout

Northampton, as always, proved resolute opposition and got a foothold back in the game when they took advantage of a defensive lapse to reduce the arrears. But WIFC restored the two goal lead before the break when Jimmy Davis came in from the wing, and finished with aplomb from just inside the box.

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With memories of Cambridge’s comeback from the same scoreline last weekend fresh in the mind, manager Chris Davis called for the same level of effort and concentration after the break. He got his wish as shortly after the re-start, Martin Pollard headed home from a corner. Later in the half, Pollard doubled his tally with a neat run and finish which a man half his 42 years would have been pleased with.

In all, a good win for WIFC as the season takes shape. With a London Cup Semi-Final berth already booked, and an IFA cup tie with West Ham on the horizon, confidence is high for another productive IFA season.

Team; 4-4-2; Tom Beck; Matt Wells, Maurice Clarke, Ally Hill, Phil McBride; Jimmy Davis, James Jenkins, Rob Stone, Joel Moody; Jeremy Hinds, Stuart Nicholls. Subs Martin Pollard, Julian Carrera, Sam Copeland, Dan Willis.

 

Moz Clarke named Player of the Year

Moz Clarke took home the coveted players player of the year trophy, following the not-so lavish awards ceremony at Druids. Watford legend Lloyd Doyley was on hand to do the honours and dish out the usual high quality baubles to the delighted winners. Clarke got the nod ahead of 2nd place James Jenkins, with Stuart Nicholls taking 3rd.

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Among the other winners, James Jenkins narrowly pipped Brad Simmons to the best newcomer award, while Phil McBride deservedly won the Clubman of the year. Tom Beck was named Most Improved Player, and the Most league appearances went to Brad Simmons. Rob Sterry won his 6th Top Scorer award, while Mat Ball was elected to the hall of fame.

More pictures can be found on the Facebook page, and the updated Award Winners page can be found here..

 

Awards frenzy grips WIFC

With a new season just around the corner, the nominations for the 2012/13 WIFC awards are in. With 18 players named, all are in with a shout of taking home some silverware from the do, which takes place this Saturday evening at Druids.

Nominations are given to every player that received a vote in each category. The nominations in full are…

Player of the Year

Brad Simmons
James Jenkins
Moz Clarke
Rob Stone
Rob Sterry
Stuart Nicholls

Best Newcomer
Brad Simmons
James Jenkins
Mickey Eales

The Matt Wells Award for Most Improved Player
Andy Myall
Brad Simmons
Chris Davis
Ed Sterry
Joel Moody
Martin Owen
Matt Wells
Richard Murphy
Stuart Nicholls
Tom Beck

Clubman of the Year
Chris Davis
Dave Messenger
Jamie Parkins
Moz Clarke
Phil McBride
Richard Murphy
Richard Walker

Manager Chris Davis praised all of the players. “Congratulations to all of those nominated” said WIFC’s manager. “We had a great season last time round and these nominations reflect the fact that every player contributed along the way”. With the IFA season already underway and a number of teams now holding both training and pre-season friendlies, Davis was clear on whether WIFC would follow suit. “Training is something we do to get to away games, while the idea of pre-season friendlies for what’s meant to be a friendly league is pretty laughable” said Davis. “Good luck to those who do – each to their own – but WIFC will continue in the vein that’s seen us through the last 16 and a bit years”

For details of previous winners, click here, and don’t forget to check back on Monday for details of the winners.

 

U’s, Dons and Daggers await the holders in London Cup

WIFC will begin their defence of the IFA London Cup with group games against Cambridge, AFC Wimbledon A and Dagenham & Redbridge later this year. With the competition extended to include a number of extra teams from the South East, a record 15 teams will compete in the initial group phase, with the four group winners progressing straight to the semi-finals.

WIFC’s Group B fixtures, which will be played between the start of the season and Christmas, are as follows;

Cambridge vs Watford
AFC Wimbledon ‘A’ vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Cambridge vs AFC Wimbledon ‘A’
Watford vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Dagenham & Redbridge vs Cambridge
Watford vs AFC Wimbledon ‘A’

The rest of the groups are as follows;

Group A: Gillingham, Crawley, Hampton & Richmond, Barnet
Group C: Stevenage, Millwall, Kingstonian, Leyton Orient
Group D: AFC Wimbledon ‘B’, Brentford, West Ham

4 debuts and 4 goals as WIFC finish season on a high

WIFC completed their IFA league campaign for the season with a comfortable 4-1 win against Southampton at Parmiters today. With interest in joining WIFC at an all-time high following a fine season for the big boys, manager Chris Davis handed debuts to no less than 4 players and was rewarded with 4 goals and a 13th win from this year’s 20 league fixtures, the highest number since 2007/08.

WIFC took the lead after 13 minutes, when a corner from Ben Pegram was met at the far post by Moz Clarke, who rose above his marker and headed ball into the corner to break his WIFC goalscoring duck in his 21st appearance.

The lead was doubled on 29 minutes when Jimmy Davis, starting a game for the first time after a 16 month injury lay-off, picked up the ball the ball in his own half and in typical style, ran more than 50 yards before finishing with his left foot. The Internet ‘Orns made it 3 just before the break, when Ben Batemam marked his debut with a neat finish from an Ed Sterry pass.

Southampton made it 3-1 on 58 minutes, when Alex Griffiths scored,  but the home side completed the scoring  through leading scorer Rob Sterry’s 20th of the season, after good build-up play from Joel Moody and John Sitkowski, another of the 4 debutants.

All roads now point to Leeds, as the WIFC Vets complete the season’s action by participating in the Big Tam Vets tournament, which is held in the Yorkshire city next weekend.

Team. Tom Beck; Ed Sterry, Julian Carrera, Stuart Nicholls, Phil McBride; Richard Murphy,  Sam Copeland, Moz Clarke, Ben Pegram, Joel Moody; Jimmy Davis. Subs John Sitkowski, David Sitkowski, Ben Bateman, James Farnfield, Rob Sterry.

 

 

London Cup blues banished

WIFC, resplendent in the current all blue away kit, erased the memories of last year’s painful penalty defeat to West Ham by winning the IFA London Cup against Stevenage on Saturday. It was the second piece of silverware in consecutive weeks for the Internet ‘Orns following the Amsterdam veterans tournament win last weekend.

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WIFC line up before the game

Keen to ensure a fast start, WIFC flew out of the traps and dominated the early proceedings. Rob Sterry and Leigh Harrington both had great chances before Sterry coolly lobbed the Stevenage keeper to open the scoring with his 19th goal of the campaign. The lead was doubled as the Internet ‘Orns swarmed forward and Stuart Nicholls slotted home after a superb run and cross from full-back Brad Simmons.

Simmons and Nicholls all smiles after the second goal

Simmons and Nicholls all smiles after the second goal

With WIFC firmly in the ascendancy, thoughts started to turn to how many WIFC might score but Stevenage, who had defeated holders West Ham in the group stages, were having none of that and battled hard to stay in the game. They were rewarded, somewhat fortuitously, when a rare error from Richard Walker was punished by Callum McKechnie to reduce the arrers before the break.

The second half started in similar vein to the first, as WIFC again dominated the chances. Sterry will feel he should have put the match beyond all reasonable doubt as two great chances hit the woodwork, while Ben Pegram and Harrington also tested the keeper.

With chances missed at one end, Stevenage started to throw caution to the wind as the half wore on. With memories of WIFC’s own sterling comeback in last year’s final fresh, WIFC’s defence stood firm under the pressure and repelled the waves of Stevenage attacks. When they were breached, Walker atoned for his first half error with a stunning finger tip save under the crossbar, and a fine run from his line to smother a shooting chance in the last minute.

WIFC's back four stood firm throughout

WIFC’s back four stood firm throughout

At the final whistle, there was delight all round as WIFC celebrated the moment. Captain Moz Clarke was named man of the match and lifted the cup, leaving WIFC to dream of a third Watford win at Wembley this coming Monday.

Skipper Clarke lifts the trophy

Skipper Clarke lifts the trophy

Celebrations continued long after the presentation

Celebrations continued long after the presentation

A moment of reflection on a job well done for manager Chris Davis

A moment of reflection on a job well done for manager Chris Davis

A dapper Moz Clarke with trophy and man of the match cow

A dapper Moz Clarke with trophy and man of the match cow

Team.
Richard Walker; Richard Wenham, Moz Clarke, Mickey Eales, Brad Simmons; Ben Pegram, Leigh Harrington, Rob Stone, Joel Moody; Stuart Nicholls, Rob Sterry. Subs Dave Soloway, Andy Lewers, Richard Muprhy. Not Used Jamie Parkins, Phil McBride, Tom Beck.

 

 

Vets on song in the ‘Dam

WIFC Veterans were celebrating at the weekend, as they won the Amsterdam Veterans 6-a-side tournament and ended a 3 year wait for silverware for the Internet ‘Orns. With a strong Veterans squad led by Pete Fincham and augmented by a few under age additions, WIFC finished the round robin phase of the tournament in 2nd place on goal difference, after convincing wins against Leeds Lards (7-2), Leeds Council (7-0) and a hard fought 2-1 victory over Kingstonian.

An early defeat to Plymouth Argyle had earlier threatened to prevent the teams progression, but the Green Army failed to win their final group game by 4 goals, meaning a re-match with Kingstonian awaited. In a tough, competitive game, a solitary goal from Rob Sterry settled the match as once again, ‘keeper Darren Sear and defensive stalwart Adrian Spender kept a composed back line, shutting out whatever Kingstonian could throw at them.

Top scorer Rob Sterry shows off the latest addition to the WIFC trophy cabinet

Top scorer Rob Sterry shows off the latest addition to the WIFC trophy cabinet

Sear went on to receive the ‘keeper of the tournament award, as well as notching the individual player of the tournament award from the WIFC team itself in what was a truly outstanding set of performances. Leading scorer was Rob Sterry with 6, while brother Ed and Craig Harrison finally notched their 1st goals for the club in the wins over Leeds Lards and Leeds Council respectively, the latter a full 16 years after his debut back in 1997.

With the WIFC regular side preparing to face Stevenage in the London Cup Final on Saturday, and a certain play-off final at Wembley on the horizon for the big boys,  the Internet ‘Orns will be hoping to celebrate a Watford flavoured sliverware treble come Monday evening.