Both WIFC teams were knocked out in the first round of their respective competitions at the weekend, but as ever that failed to detract from a hugely enjoyable weekend in Leeds. The highlight of the Friday evening saw WIFC presented with the Team of the Year award for a record fourth time, followed by some stirring debut songs and a rousing rendition of the Music Man and other songs in the Bod Bar.
In what may be the last Worldnet, certainly in it’s current format, the WIFC A team again raised expectations of a successful run by winning their group on Saturday. The first game saw WIFC take on Portsmouth and after a close first ten minutes in which both teams had chances, Joel Moody opened the scoring for WIFC, slotting home after rounding the keeper for his first ever Worldnet goal, on his 6th visit to Leeds. Dave Soloway added a second, while Chris Dew’s thumping header after the break completed the scoring.
In their second game, WIFC took on AFC Telford United for the first meeting between the two. Despite dominating posession, WIFC went behind but drew level when skipper Chris Dundon bundled home from close range. The Shropshire side weren’t to be denied, and they grabbed a late winner to leave the Internet ‘Orns needing a win in the last group game against Coventry to ensure progression. WIFC duly secured it with a comfortable 2-0 win against the Sky Blues, with further goals from Moody and Dundon.
Meanwhile, the Vets team took to the pitch with a first match against Leeds. It was the Yorkshire side who drew first blood, but WIFC forced several corners in a period of dominance and from one of these, a foul was punished with a penalty kick. Unfortunately, Lee Evans skewed the kick wide and Leeds held on for the win.
Looking to bounce back in their next game against Airdrie, the vets again conceded but didn’t let it dampen their spirits and another dominant spell produced more chances and another penalty. This time, Panos Fellas coolly slotted home. Looking to press on for the win, it was the Scottish side who grabbed a late winner.
Keen to ensure at least one win and a kinder tie on Sunday, WIFC took on old friends West Ham in the last game. There was no mistake this time and Paul Withey opened the scoring in the first minute, while Lozza Wells and Steve Eustice added further strikes before the break to secure a comfortable 3-0 win.
After an evening sampling the delights of Leeds and plenty more singing in the hotel bar, WIFC approached the knockout phases of the weekend in good spirits. The Vets were up first with a 9am start and went down to a single goal against Oxford despite a solid team display. The A team were reunited with AFC Telford and after a close first-half, the team produced it’s worst 15 minutes of the weekend and went down to a 2-0 defeat.
With rumours over the weekend pointing to the two tournaments being hosted separately, it remains to be seen what next year will bring, but WIFC will now take a short summer break, returning for the new league season in September.
W 3-0 v Portsmouth – Moody, Soloway, Dew
L 1-2 v AFC Telford United – Dundon
W 2-0 v Coventry – Moody, Dundon
L 0-2 v AFC Telford United
L 0-1 v Leeds
L 1-2 v Airdrie – Fellas (Pen)
W 3-0 v West Ham – Withey, L Wells, Eustice
L 0-1 v Oxford