Upwell Town twice came from behind to overcome Watlington Sports & Social Club in the 4Work Primary Cup this afternoon.
Goals from Michael Chow, Joe Whyborn and Sam Cubberly were enough to seal the victory despite Town going down to ten men in the second half.
In a frantic start to the game play was very much end to end, with both teams looking to get onto the front foot.
The first chance came early on when Ben Fenn was brought down by Upwell’s Michael Chow. Watlington’s Dan Harpley shot the free kick at the wall and Joe Causton was able to latch on to the ricochet, hitting a fierce shot goalward, which Dean Jimson in the Upwell goal had to punch clear.
Up the other end, Upwell’s Jamie Leet sliced a volley wide from a corner and only seconds later, Jamie Cobbin had a free header from Jesse Hemmings pinpoint cross that he put high and wide of the target.
Jimson had to punch clear again when on the counter, play resulted in Harpley swivelling to lose his marker on the edge of the box. The wide forwards shot was too hot to handle, but too central to find the back of the net.
With the game very much end to end, Leet then played in Town’s Sam Cubberly with a neat pass. The number 9’s shot was saved by the legs of James Dougal in the Watlington goal, and Joe Whyborn would have smashed the rebound home had it not been for brilliant defending.
Dougal was called into action moments later when a long-range strike from Chow was headed on by Cubberly and the Watlington stopper had to have quick reactions to punch over the bar.
After getting through a sustained period of pressure from Upwell, Watlington thought they had taken the lead when Jimson missed his punch of a dangerous free kick. The ball flew across the area and missed at least three players before Harpley bundled the ball over the line from 3 yards out, only to see the Assistant’s flag raised.
Watlington with the momentum, were trying to utilise the dangerous Harpley whenever possible with the Town defence struggling to deal with him. Some good play saw a corner given in the 34th minute which would be when the blues made their breakthrough.
Lewis Hewitt stepped up for the set piece and delivered a dangerous ball into the box which Jimson could only punch back to him. He set to Ben Fenn on the edge of the box and the number 10 stepped forward and delivered a curling strike with the outside of his boot that nestled into the bottom left corner.
Against the run of play, Upwell found themselves back in the game after a rare error in the Watlington back line’s organisation saw a break down the left. The ball was played into Chow on the edge of the area, who drilled a low strike that went in off the left post.
As half time approached, Watlington were able to double their lead when their provider for the first goal turned into scorer. Hewitt made a clever run through a crowded box and onto a perfect through ball that he could poke past the keeper first time from close range.
As stoppage time was announced, Cubberly looked to get town on equal terms once again. Having been played through, he fired a fierce strike that look destined to make the net ripple, however Dougal was equal to the challenge and produced a great low save down to his right.
Half time – Watlington SSC 2 – 1 Upwell Town
Watlington started the second half on the front foot and almost extended their lead when a combination of a Harpley free kick and Fenn cross resulted in Hewitt hitting the side netting.
Town were on the back foot as Watlington looked for a third goal, however a mixture of injuries and free kicks were enough to break up the pressure for Town.
After getting through the first 15 minutes of pressure, Upwell got the equaliser against the run of play when Whyborn was played through after making a good run. Whilst being chased down and crowded out by multiple defenders, he managed to release a scuffed shot that slotted past Dougal and into the bottom left corner to put the teams on level terms on the hour mark.
Soon after making it 2-2, Upwell would have to face an uphill battle for the rest of the game as Chow was given a straight red for an elbow on Watlington Captain Harry Morton.
Watlington sensed the advantage both numerically and psychologically and began to exert more and more pressure on the Upwell goal. Harpley and Will Harris both had good chances, with the latter also having a goal disallowed for being offside.
As with the second goal, having soaked up relentless pressure, Upwell found the net against the run of play. A good free kick was delivered into a dangerous area and Cubberly was on hand to toe poke it home first time, putting the ten men of Upwell 3-2 up with only 6 minutes to play.
As the fourth official announced three minutes of stoppage time, Watlington threw everything at Town’s ten men with Causton pulling the strings. The number 8 almost snatched a goal at the death with a cannon shot that Jimson couldn’t hold flying just the wrong side of the post.
The resulting corner saw Dougal enter the opposition’s box and despite getting on the end of the set piece, he could only blaze his effort over for a goal kick at which point the Referee saw a fit to blow the final whistle.
Final Score: Watlington SSC 2 – 3 Upwell Town
Watlington SSC: James Dougal, Harry Morton ©, Harvey Wardle, Elliot John, Jake Fenn, Tom Dillon, Joe Causton, Ben Fenn, Lewis Hewitt, Dan Harpley, Tom Peel.
Subs: Will Harris, Ollie Martin, Steven Stock, Jon Garratt, Jack Thompson.
Upwell Town: Dean Jimson, Dom Pintille, Jesse Hemmings, Jason Bradshaw, Michael Chow, Jamie Cobbin, Billy Fowler, Jamie Leet, Sam Cubberly, Ricky Mason, Joe Whyborn.
Subs: Charlie Tyman, Justin Uddin, Paul Richardson, Lee Chapman.
Referee: Rob Bunting
Assistants: Lorraine Catchpole & Tom Rampling
Fourth Official: Ashley Tyne
Player of the Match: Joe Whyborn
Photography: Cyan Fullbrook