Another match report received from St Andrews’ Netherton
Chawn Hill Church 1-2 St. Andrew’s Netherton Baggies
St. Andrew’s Netherton Baggies came from behind to record an opening day victory against Chawn Hill Church as WMCFL action returned for the first time in eight months.
St. Andrew’s fell behind in the first minute but strikes from Richard Thomas-Robinson and Lewis McGee before the break were enough to seal three well-deserved and hard-fought points at a sodden St Mary Stevens Park.
The hosts made a flying start and were awarded a penalty inside 30 seconds. Stand-in goalkeeper James Townsend, usually spotted at centre-half, made a terrific stop down low to his right to keep out the spot-kick, only for Chawn Hill to keep the rebound alive and fire in past the deputy No.1 from the edge of the area.
But St. Andrew’s responded well and were level shortly after. Thomas-Robinson picked out the bottom corner with a free-kick from 20-yards to make it 1–1.
And it wasn’t long before the visitors found themselves in front. Good work down the left-hand side resulted in the ball falling to the feet of McGee who slotted the ball beyond the keeper and a Chawn Hill defender from inside the penalty area.
St. Andrew’s almost added a third shortly before the break. Skipper and WMCFL veteran Chris Hunter’s dipping half-volley from 35-yards sailed over the goalkeeper’s head but crashed back into play off the crossbar.
The away side had further chances to extend their lead with Ben Davies, Rion Mills and Tomas Adams all going close.
The second-half proved to be a tense and tight affair, with neither side creating too many chances.
Mills once again went close for St. Andrews, while sub Matthew Waterhouse fired straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.
At the other end, Townsend comfortably collected numerous crosses as Chawn Hill launched several aerial attacks in an attempt to draw themselves level.
But the home side’s chances of earning a point in the season-opener came to and end in the 90th minute when their captain was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on St. Andrew’s sub John Rodger.