Historic win for Wapping men
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 March 2017
Brighton & Hove 2 Wapping 3
Wapping’s men claimed their first National League win against fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove on the south coast to keep their survival hopes alive.
Forwards Ben Bull and Ian Kibble forced the home defence to make early mistakes, without capitalising, as captain Dom Graham ensured his side firm at the back in a scoreless first half.
Brighton broke the deadlock after the restart when an unmarked Sam Rose found the corner oft he net, but man of the match Dave McLean sparked Wapping back into life and they scored three times in a 10-minute spell.
McLean beat two defenders and slotted home the equaliser, before Will Cairns converted from a short corner.
A long pass then found Bull to tee up Oliver Cooper for a reverse-stick finish which proved to be the winner.
Brighton bagged their second goal five minutes from time through Jack Maclean, but Wapping held on for an historic first triumph and another win over Indian Gymkhana this weekend would give them a chance of avoiding relegation through the play-offs.
The seconds edged closer to the East Division One title with a tense 3-2 win over Blueharts at Lee Valley.
With promotion already secured, Wapping withstood early pressure thanks to the efforts of Adam Haines, James Fanger, Alain Traill and Tatai Dewes, before Dom Oliver’s short corner strike deflected into the net.
Oliver limped off with a hamstring injury soon after, with Traill conceding a penalty flick which was fired past James Bowler to level, and Wapping fell behind after the restart when Blueharts scrambled home a second from a short corner.
Facing their first home defeat in over two years, Wapping saw Bobby Watson score with a drag flick from the top of the D at a short corner, before claiming a superb winner.
Pouncing on a loose ball midway inside his own half, man of the match Watson raced upfield and beat two players, before chipping the ball over the oonrushing keeper 10 minutes from time.
Haines and Fanger received yellow cards to leave Wapping down to nine men, but Wright produced two last-ditch clearances and Bowler made three key saves to preserve the lead and claim a 17th win of the season and leave them one point short of a second title in three years.