WIFC progressed to the second round of the IFA Challenge Cup this weekend, thanks to a 5 goal win at AFC Wimbledon B. While the scoreline appears empthatic, WIFC were made to wait until midway through the second half for the breakthrough, as the home side doggedly resisted all the Internet ‘Orns could throw at them.
In a one-sided first half, home keeper Pier Barrett excelled with a series of fantastic stops, most notably from Rob Sterry, Ben Pegram and Joel Moody as the visitors looked for the opening goal. With the defence being superbly marshalled by Moz Clarke and Chris Dundon, and with Stu Holdham and James Jenkins on top in midfield, WIFC stayed on the attack for much of the half, but Barrett’s excellent shot stopping and handling prevailed, and the sides went in goalless at the break.
The second half started in much the same vein, and Barrett pulled off the save of the match to deny Sterry’s point blank header from an Andy Lewers cross. Dundon also went close with a shot that skimmed the post as the visitors searched in vain for the opening goal. A slight switch from manger Chris Davis saw Dundon move up front, with Pegram slipping back into midfield and Richard Wenham into central defence as WIFC looked to keep the pressure on the home goal.
On 71 minutes, WIFC finally made the breakthrough they deserved when Sterry was felled on the edge of the box. Having initially played an advantage, the referee pulled play back for the free kick and Sterry dusted himself down to despatch a left footed free kick into the top corner. The floodgates opened, and two minutes later Sterry prodded home with his right foot after Barrett spilled a cross. WIFC’s all-time leading scorer then completed a four minute perfect hat-trick when he headed home Dundon’s perfectly flighted cross on 75 minutes.
With the home side tiring, WIFC were able to add more gloss to the scoreline. Firstly Pegram fired home his first of the season from the edge of the box, then Dundon won a 50/50 with Barrett and slid home his 50th WIFC goal to complete the scoring. WIFC manager Chris Davis was delighted with the team performance. “Everyone worked really hard and played some lovely football. The Wimbledon keeper kept them in the game, but everyone stayed patient and got what they deserved in the end” said Davis. WIFC now face Millwall at home in the second round, on a date to be confirmed.
Team. 4-4-1-1, R to L. Jeremy Hinds; Rob Stone, Chris Dundon, Maurice Clarke, Stuart Nicholls; Andy Lewers, James Jenkins, Stuart Holdham, Joel Moody; Ben Pegram; Rob Sterry. Subs Paul Whittenbury, Richard Wenham, Brad Simmons, Phil McBride, Alex Prentice, Tom Beck.