In a Fisher Shield cup tie Wilderpark and The Bull, Horton Kirby squandered many scoring chances at Raleys Field before the hosts progressed in the Competition with a 2-1 victory.
The Park showed four changes from the League encounter with Kemsing United Reserves the previous week due to unavailability. These included Paul Burgess, Ollie Barnes, Dave Hobby and Lewis Hughes but welcomed back Tor Osman into the midfield.
The first half was closely contested with The Bull, from Division Three, passing with good movement looking dangerous going forward albeit attacks invariably broke down around the 18 yard area. They were particularly creative down the left flank and should have taken the lead when the winger cut the ball back to an unmarked player who shot over the crossbar.
Meanwhile a diagonal ball from the left by Billy Muckle found Alex David on the right. He rounded his marker and struck a fierce shot goal wards where the visiting goalkeeper was forced to parry the ball away. Leon Terry, Neil Cutts and Muckle all combined well to pose a threat at the back for The Bull.
A nice through ball to Freddie Payne, who sprung the offside trap, failed as he lost control whilst at the other end the visitors hit the woodwork.
Wilderpark came out for the second half taking the game to their opponents. The pressure paid off when Paul Bellringer and Muckle combined to set up Osman who slotted the ball into the net despite calls for offside by the defenders.
A sequence of missed chances particularly by the normally reliable Payne, who might have had a hat trick but for some wild shooting. On 22 minutes The Bull made a rare surge on the Park defence but failed to capitalise on a scoring opportunity.
Eight minutes later Muckle was again in the thick of the action setting up Osman for his second goal. By this time Jim Hagon was virtually a passenger with a recurrence of a groin injury and moved forward into the strikers position if only to be a nuisance.
The Bull seized upon the situation and pushed forward in numbers in an effort to get back into the tie. After 35 minutes they did just that, as the left sided forward beat Steve Burgess with consummate ease to strike the ball into the net across the helpless stand-in keeper Steve Henniker.
Despite growing pressure the Park defended in depth coupled with good fortune and a few forays forward with Muckle and David prominent on quick breaks to see out time.
All at Wilderpark are wished a Happy Christmas and New Year as we break for the holiday period returning to start the second half of the season on Saturday 6 January 2018.