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Three-sy does it in season finale

WIFC closed off their IFA league season with a hard-working 3-1 win at Stevenage this weekend. It was the first league win WIFC have recorded against their Hertfordshire neighbours, the only other win coming in last season’s London Cup Final.

Richard Murphy beats a Stevenage player, watched by old-timer Paul Watt.

Richard Murphy beats a Stevenage player, watched by old-timer Paul Watt.

The Internet ‘Orns raced out of the blocks, and centre-half turned striker for the day Ally Hill bundled in his 9th goal of the season from close range after good work from Paul Watt after just 5 minutes. With some good lively forward play, WIFC continued to create chances with Ross Connor and Stuart Holdham both going close to double the lead. Stevenage always threatened at the other end though, and got an equaliser through an unfortunate Ben Morrison own goal. WIFC restored their lead shortly before the break when a through ball from player-manager Richard Walker was finished well by leading scorer Jimmy Davis.

After the break, the lead was extended when Mike De-Crescenzo slotted home his first goal for the club, while Davis could and should have extended the lead and Ross Connor hit the bar. Chances came at the other end too, but a mixture of good saves from Tom Beck, resolute defending from the whole team combined with WIFC’s better finishing led to a deserved third win on the bounce to close the campaign.

Team. 4-4-2, R to L. Tom Beck; Ed Sterry, Ben Morrison, Moz Clarke, Paul Watt; Ross Connor, Stuart Holdham, John Sitkowski, Richard Murphy; Mike De Crescenzo, Ally Hill. Subs Matt Ainsley, Matt Wells, Richard Walker, Jimmy Davis, Dave Messenger

Patchwork side take the spoils

A cobbled together WIFC side traveled down to Southampton yesterday and came away with the spoils, after a hard-working and committed display saw the Internet ‘Orns run out 6-0 winners. The current focus on getting to 20 games for the tenth season in a row was of paramount importance, and a week of hard work from Dave Messenger and Pete Fincham scraped together 14 players from various sources, with the result and performance being the icing on the cake.

Despite having a bare XI at KO thanks to traffic issues, WIFC raced out of the traps. Korean loanee Roy opened the scoring to his obvious delight, as the English student who is taught by Pete’s better half took control of a loose ball on the edge of the area and smashed it home. The lead was doubled within 5 minutes, as leading scorer Jimmy Davis went to double figures for the season when he finished coolly. The lead could and should have been extended when a great Davis cross picked out Pompey IFC loanee Daz Lambe, whose bullet header was controversially ruled out for offside, though it appeared Davis had pulled his cross back.

The second half saw WIFC continue to play some great football going forward, while a resolute defensive performance from skipper for the day Brad Simmons, Ben Morrison, Matt Ball, debutant Michael De Crescenzo, and Dan Norris (Jimmy’s mate) kept the Saints at bay. Lambe got his name on the scoresheet when he tapped home a goal-bound Davis cross, and Ross Connor, also making his debut, stroked home the 4th from the edge of the box. Davis added number 5 when he shot through the keeper’s legs, and Connor completed the scoring with another neat strike from the edge of the box.

The allsorts celebrate a hard earned with after the game.

The allsorts celebrate a hard earned with after the game.

Team; Dan Norris; Dave Messenger, Ben Morrison, Matt Ball, Brad Simmons; Roy, Dan Maher, Moz Clarke, Lozza Wells; Jimmy Davis, Daz Lambe. Subs Richard Murphy, Micheal De Crescenzo, Ross Connor.

Hill helps WIFC to first win in 4

WIFC’s new management team finally got their first win since taking over from Chris Davis this weekend, as the Internet ‘Orns overcame Gillingham at a soggy Parmiters School. With the words of assistant manager Maurice Clarke ringing in their ears, encouraging the team to take more shots, a chance packed match could have seen even more goals for the home side. Centre half Ally Hill started the scoring when he tapped home a Mark Brennan cross, and he doubled the lead when rising highest to head home a Richard Murphy corner. Dave Soloway and Murphy both missed great chances, before Joel Moody added a third with a powerful strike from the edge of the area, and Gills reduced the arrears just before the break.

It was the visitors who got the first goal after the restart to pull within 1, but the reaction from WIFC was exactly as you would hope, and when a visiting defender handled a Moody cross, Hill stepped up to rifle home the resulting penalty for a hat-trick and 8th of the season, a great return from centre half. Stand-in keeper Leigh Harrington then showed his form with a stunning stop to protect the two goal advantage, and shortly afterwards Chris Dew capped a man of the match display in central midfield by rifling home from close range after a half cleared cross. Soloway, Brennan and Matt Ainsley all then missed great chances to extend the lead, but job done and a fine win.

Team. 4-4-2, R to L. Leigh Harrington; Ed Sterry, Ally Hill, Julian Carrera, Paul Labbett; Richard Murphy, Chris Dew, Stuart Holdham, Andy Myall; Dave Soloway, Mark Brennan. Subs Joel Moody, Ben Morrison, Paul Watt, James Jenkins, Matt Ainsley.

London Cup run ended, but not without a fight

Watford IFC came away from the London Cup final empty handed, losing 4-2 to a strong West Ham side. New manager Richard Walker named a 3-4-3 formation for the Hornet’s third consecutive appearance in this competition’s final, bringing in Ben Pegram to lead the line and giving Brad Simmons a starting role in midfield.

The cup final squad pre kick-off

The cup final squad pre kick-off

With the build-up focused on a high energy and committed performance WIFC started slowly and went behind in the opening minute, West Ham breaking quickly and their pacey forward slotted home. With the pitch on the narrow side both teams struggled for possession in a frantic opening to the game and the heat certainly played a factor. With the Internet ‘Orns starting to get hold of the ball they were hit again down the left as a long throw found an unmarked Hammer and he guided the ball into the corner.

At 2-0 it looked, quite literally thanks to the slope, an uphill battle for the holders however a repeat of the 2012 final looked on the cards as WIFC hit back with two fine goals either side of the break. First Ally Hill hit a forceful free kick into the bottom corner, after it initially looked as if Joel Moody would strike it, and then James Jenkins produced a stunning long range strike that’s helped on its way by the keeper. A deserved equaliser for WIFC and several of the substitutes found their way onto the pitch to celebrate.

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With the heat reaching the mid-twenties, and the pitch getting harder by the minute, Walker made good use of those on the bench and the quartet of Paul Whittenbury, Matt Ladell, Andy Myall, and Ed Sterry were bought into the tight game throughout the second half. Unfortunately with the clock ticking down it was West Ham who would strike the killer blow and this time from the spot after their forward was pulled back in the box. Walker could do nothing about the resulting penalty as it was confidently struck down the middle. 3-2 quickly became 4-2 as West Ham found space at the back and once through finished well.

With the trophy heading back to East London, WIFC battled on and Walker, who had been replaced by Tom Beck after the fourth goal, stressed the need to keep the teams focus and work rate up. As WIFC pushed forward in the hope of another comeback, sub keeper Beck did well to keep out two efforts in quick succession, whilst up the other end Ally Hill almost forced his second goal of the game but headed wide.

Ultimately, WIFC didn’t do enough to retain the trophy but left with their heads held high and you wouldn’t bet against them meeting West Ham again in the final next May.

Team. Richard Walker; Moz Clarke, Richard Wenham, Ally Hill; Rob Stone, James Jenkins, John Sitkowski, Brad Simmons; Jimmy Davis, Joel Moody, Ben Pegram. Subs Ed Sterry, Paul Whittenbury, Andy Myall, Matt Ladell and Tom Beck.

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