Clifton played their final game before the half term break against an attacking Wingfield team this evening, who were looking to cause an upset and break the momentum Clifton have built up.
Clifton got off to a poor start, as Wingfield flew out of the traps, lofting long balls to their attacking three looking to look for space behind the defence. If it wasn’t for the collaborative efforts of Haris Hussain and Chad Carney, we would have certainly been 3 – 0 down in the first five minutes.
It was Wingfield who broke the deadlock after ten minutes, with a lovely threaded ball which left the back line for dead, Ibby Bostan could do nothing as the ball was tapped home. This resulted from a rally cry from the team captain, Chad trying to wake the back four up.
The partnership of Hewitt and Ward seems to be a fruitful one, as they combined again to play Hewitt through for his forth goal in 2 games. This lad cannot stop scoring! It was followed by two in quick succession, Bogdan, Sivak and Jake Allen all playing some good passing football to allow Jamie Hartley to venture forward, who then played in Alex Ward with a nice chip finish from close range.
A set piece from a corner allowed Logan to score his second, firing a looping header that was out of the reach of the Wingfield keeper. Wingfield were very much a threat, exposing the lack of experience in defending at a unit for this relatively new back four. If it wasn’t for the heroics of Ibby Bostan, we’d have been behind, the highlight was a fantastic double save from a set piece. A low drive at close range forced Ibby to smoother a shot, only for a poor clearance to be lashed back at him, forcing him to parry it over the bar. It was almost like he had scored, the Clifton faithful cheering the lads to dig in and defend.
At half time, the lads knew they were in a game, the scoreline flattered them.
The second half got off to a bad start, not really switched on, the back four were beaten again, the Wingfield wingers combining to pass the ball into the net.
Jamie Hartley decided that this was unacceptable. Literally from the restart, he noticed the keeper was off his line, so he decided to have a pop from the halfway line, reminiscent of Xavi Alonso against Newcastle with several Stevie Gerrards screaming at him… until he beat the keeper. 4 -2.
The Clifton partnership of Hewitt and Ward were clever enough to split their players and mark the Wingfield defence, they latched on to two balls and scored a goal each. Hewitt secured his second hat-trick in 2 games. Ward’s second goal in particular demonstrated his great technical ability, beating his man and two other defenders to then take it around the keeper and slot it home. 6 -2.
at this point, Wingfield decided to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at Clifton, going to three at the back and four up front. Silly set pieces allowed Wingfield to pull one back. Then a bizarre choice by Ibby Bostan allowed in another, I think he must have been bored of using his hands as the keeper! 6 – 4.
A late moment of madness from Roman Bogdan, who was again outstanding in the centre midfield role, resulted in a late free kick. He must have thought he was the keeper when he rose up high like a salmon in fresh water to palm the ball away from goal outside the 18 yard box.
In the end, the result was a well fought one and deserved. A good Wingfield team tested our resolve. We go in to the break with four consecutive wins. Man of the match goes to Logan Hewitt for back to back hat-tricks.
Tonight’s team were:
Chad Carney (Captain)
Jamie Hartley (1 Goal)
Alex Ward (2 Goals)
Logan Hewitt (3 Goals)