Looking back at best day in Wrington Redhill’s history
PUBLISHED: 15:30 20 June 2020
In May 2016, Wrington Redhill took on Fry Club at Fairfax Park, College Way, in Bridgwater for their first and so far only Somerset League Premier-First Division Knockout Cup final.
After overcoming Bishop Lydeard in the semi-finals through Graham Cheeseman’s winner, Alan Smith’s side had nine games to fit in between April 9 and May 17 because of a backlog of fixtures caused by a wet winter.
They arrived at the final with a very tired squad, many of whom were carrying injuries as captain Sam Johnson played no part and top scorer Cheeseman agreed to go on the bench.
But they showed great strength and determination in the biggest day in the club’s 126-year history.
A couple of committee members who had arrived at the ground early noticed quite a contrast in the way the two teams arrived.
Their opponents arrived smartly dressed in their club tracksuits, with team manager Rob Mallett, first-team coaches and all the fitness staff.
Wrington Redhill would turn up in dribs and drabs with some coming to the game straight from work and not really sure who would pass fit, but all looking relaxed and ready for a big game.
They all knew that certain other key players were carrying knocks so the usual thorough warm-up was reduced to some gentle jogging, stretching and a rousing team talk from manager Smith ahead of the match.
With what seemed like half the village in the crowd, Smith’s side got off to a cautious start and things looked pretty even, until Fry took the lead after 15 minutes.
Wrington dug deep and showed the never-say-die spirit instilled in them by Smith, despite losing influential centre-back Sam Clements to injury midway through the half as they went into half-time still 1-0 down.
However the scores were level 15 minutes into a hard fought second half after Leigh White was fouled.
Whilst trying to take a quick free kick an altercation took place resulting in one of the Fry’s players kicking out and getting sent off.
This spurred Wrington on and they soon took control of the match leading to a Josh Bennett equaliser.
With 10 minutes to go a Chris Gale free-kick saw Wrington take the lead for the first time in the match.
Fry threw everything they had at Wrington, who hung on despite eventually losing White and Riggs to the injuries they had started the game with.
Then, with time running out, substitute Travis Harrison scored Wrington’s third to put the game beyond reach and spark historic scenes.
A brilliant result was celebrated in the dressing room with bottled water, as nobody had prepared for victory in case it all went wrong.
The lads did however join chairman Nick Finch in his rendition of “I wanna be like you” from Jungle Book.
Wrington: Gary Clark, Simon Rigg, (Travis Harrison), Sam Clements, (Josh Bennett), Mike Wallington, Callum Chainey, Mike Rowcliffe, Leigh White, (C), (Graham Cheeseman), Chris Bradley, Chris Gale, Liam Knight, Luke Patten.
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