A goal by substitute Leon Terry immediately after the interval break settled this closely contested Kent Junior Cup Group Tie against Eccles Reserves at Raleys Field on Saturday.
Wilderpark’s fortunes appear to be changing after a poor start to the League programme losing all three opening matches.
Interestingly, the last time we played Eccles, albeit their first team in a Kent Junior group A tie, some thirty or so years ago, we were thumped 27-0. It was a total mismatch with the Maidstone League side members of the top Division and the Park members of the local League, bottom section. What a total disaster and a poor draw by the organisers! It did not do our morale any good.
Anyway, back to Saturday. It was a fairly even encounter for the whole of the tie. The Park’s new formation with Jim Hagon commanding the area in front of the back four was working to perfection. Goalkeeper Lewis Hughes was fairly untroubled although called into action in the second half on several occasions as Eccles Reserves pushed forward in search of the equaliser.
One shot which was dipping forced the keeper to tip the ball over the crossbar and then was called into action coming off of his line to dive bravely at the feet of the forward.
The midfield worked tirelessly with Freddie Payne and Ollie Barnes prominent. Payne was not always aware in the first half of the openings down the left where Alex David had the beating of the full back often preferring to pass the ball to the right.
When Steve Burgess was sent off midway through the second half for receiving a second yellow card the Park were forced to reform but thereafter battled as a team to keep Eccles out.
In fact had Payne and David been more clinical with their shooting then Park may have put the result beyond doubt during the last ten minutes. However, all in all a highly satisfactory performance.
On Saturday 14 October Wilderpark return to League action with a visit to Green Street Green whilst the Reserves entertain Seal at Raleys Field in a Kent Junior Cup group C tie.