All going well for Wapping
- Credit: Archant
Men set for highest finish
Wapping remain on course for their highest ever finish in East Premier A after a 4-3 win over Peterborough.
The two sides had battled to a goalless draw before Christmas, but Grant Aidoo-Nash pounced inside five minutes to put Wapping ahead in the return.
The hosts doubled their lead minutes later as newcomer Mark Bennett fired in a low short corner strike.
But Wapping could not add to their advantage before half time despite dominating play.
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Peterborough hit back from a corner of their own in the second half, but veteran Mat Hyden scrambled home Wapping’s third.
The visitors closed the gap from another set piece with two minutes left but Wapping claimed victory when a deft pass from Phil Messent set up Aidoo-Nash for his second.
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Coach Ryan D’Souza said: “We dominated large parts of the game against a strong team but made it difficult for ourselves with some sloppy tackling and missed chances.
“We could’ve put the game to bed by half time but to score four to get the three points is a massive achievement and sets us up for a strong finish to the season.”
Wapping remain fifth with four games left and, after a weekend off, visit leaders West Herts on March 1.
The fifths clinched the Division Five title with a hard-fought 3-0 win at promotion rivals Old Southendian seconds, extending their unbeaten run to 18 matches.
Keeper Phil O’Hagan was in top form early on to deny the hosts, with Jeremy Gould impressing as sweeper and Charlie Ballentine catching the eye high up the pitch.
Wapping broke the deadlock when Gould and Joel Marsden combined for Nick Dale to sweep home at the second attempt.
And they moved 2-0 up when good work from winger Phil Hitchell set up Olly Perez at the far post for a simple finish.
The third goal arrived on 50 minutes, as man of the match Tom Hammond beat the onrushing keeper after good work from Perez.
A delighted captain Marsden hailed his team’s performance and heaped praise on the defence for a solid foundation throughout the season.
“Another clean sheet and with just one goal a game conceded in 18 matches, it’s provided a platform and given us great confidence to press high and take the game to the opposition each week,” he said.
The sixth team are pushing for a top-half finish in the same division after romping to an 8-0 win over Phoenix seconds.
Wapping’s women claimed four out of six points in their East Division One South double header at the weekend.
They created numerous chances against Colchester, but could not find the breakthrough as the first half ended goalless.
Jo Ward’s cross was deflected into her own goal by a Colchester defender, under pressure from Natasha Close, to open the scoring in the second half and Wapping were unlucky not to add to their tally.
Colchester pushed forward more as the game drew to a close and got their reward 10 minutes from time from a short corner to earn a 1-1 draw.
Wapping were back in action on Sunday against old rivals Old Loughts seconds, who sat just above them in the table.
And they got off to a superb start, netting twice inside the first 15 minutes as Close fired home from a short corner before Charlotte Keizer slotted in from the top of the D.
Loughts pulled one back before half time and put Wapping under pressure in the second half.
Wapping’s cause was not helped by a spate of yellow cards, which saw them reduced to nine players at one point.
But the defence remained resolute, with Sandra Akinbolu producing an outstanding performance at centre back, and Wapping held on for a 2-1 win.
Coach Mark Dungey said: “I was pleased that we took control of this game from the start.
“We scored two goals early on and continued to create plenty of opportunities.
“Some rash play let Old Loughs back into the game, but ultimately our defence put in a very determined and disciplined display to maintain our lead.”