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wapping ‘getting better’ in National League

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 October 2016

Wapping's men are playing in the National League for the first time in their history

Wapping's men are playing in the National League for the first time in their history

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Captain backs side to earn first win soon

Wapping captain Dominic Graham believes his side are not far away from their first National League win, after a 3-3 draw at Indian Gymkhana last weekend.

The east Londoners came from a goal down to level when Dave McLean converted Oliver Cooper’s pass and then took the lead early in the second half when Will Cairns converted a penalty flick.

But unforced errors crept into their play and the hosts countered to score twice and regain the lead against the run of play.

Wapping dug deep to win a late short corner, which was scrambled in by Ian Kibble to ensure a share of the spoils and Graham said: “It’s only a matter of time before the squad clicks and we start to deliver results as well as performances.

“We were disappointed not to take three points. Games are won by small margins and our lack of experience showed at times.

“At 2-1 up after half time and with Indian Gymkhana down to 10 men we should have pushed on for a third goal and closed out the game. But we sat back and inevitably conceded a second and third goal.

“It’s another lesson in game management and with a full squad available we’re confident of our ability as we come up against tougher opposition in the next two games in Richmond and Southgate.”

James Stock took the player of the match award for Wapping.

There was better news for the women, who defied the age gap to beat Cambridge University.

Travelling with a squad with an average age of 30, to face a youthful side of students, Wapping had the better of the early play, amid strong winds and heavy rain.

Keeping their shape and showing plenty of patience, Wapping denied Cambridge the chance to gain much momentum and the visitors opened the scoring after strong play on the right and a cross into the D led to captain Lucy Todd touching the ball into the net.

Wapping doubled their lead from a short corner at the end of the first half, when Aoife Smyth injected a perfect ball which was sent to the right post for a diving Kate O’Sullivan to deflect past the home keeper.

But the second half was a different story as Cambridge applied pressure from the restart and pulled a goal back with a deflection in the D and then drew level with a well-worked short corner routine.

Wapping’s hopes looked to have suffered a blow late on with injuries, as Jordan Mulvaney took a bloody blow to the ear and Francesca Sutton fractured a finger.

But they grabbed a winner with 10 minutes remaining when player of the match Lotta Paulus showed some silky skills on the left and buried her shot into the net, before a good half-court press helped to protect the lead in the late stages.

*Wapping’s men’s seconds came back from Bishop’s Stortford with the points following a 4-2 win.

The hosts beat Chris Monger to open the scoring, but Wapping were back on terms when Jack Beard took a pass from James Byford and crashed a shot home.

Positive play by Edward Fry set up Benjamin Bull for a goal against his old club, having been on the wrong end of some hefty early tackles, and a good clearance by captain Charley Wright allowed Bull to set up Beard and make it 3-1 after the break.

Wapping’s Oliver Watts was then sin-binned and the hosts pulled a goal back on the counter, but the visitors survived a spell of pressure before sealing the points as Mark Bennett netted their fourth.

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