Myall-O-Meter hits all time high

A fine hat-trick from Andy Myall was the highlight of the day for WIFC, as they secured a third successive win and a first victory against Peterborough with a 5-2 win at the Bushfield Leisure centre on Saturday. With a patched-up squad of just 13, WIFC knew they would have to work hard on a long, wide 4G pitch, and they did just that to propel themselves into the IFA league top ten for the first time since 2009.

The visitors got off to a bright start, with Joel Moody and debutant Liam McGarry linking well. And it was the new name on the teamsheet who opened the scoring when he left a defender for dead and finished expertly. Moody was to the fore when WIFC added a second soon after, as his run and cross was touched on by McGarry into Myall’s path, and his fierce low strike opened his account for the day.

The home side started to exert some pressure but WIFC’s defence, which included veteran left-back Paul Labbett in his first IFA league game since 2003 and a new centre half partnership between Ally Hill and Stuart Holdham, held firm. With Moody and McGarry looking lively on the break, WIFC always looked dangerous, but it was Richard Murphy who provided the next goal when he was felled inside the area. Richard Walker stepped up to atone for his IFA Cup shootout miss against Millwall with a confident penalty, his first WIFC goal since a 2004 strike at Crewe.

The second half would be more hard work for the visitors as manager Chris Davis continued to rotate his two subs, but WIFC were able to extend the lead to 4 when another Moody run took him into a goalscoring position, but last season’s leading scorer and player of the season unselfishly passed to the even better placed Myall, who finished calmly.

The home side finally got on the scoresheet midway through the second half, but with space opening up all across the pitch, Moody broke past his full back once more and his low cross was converted by Myall for a well deserved hat-trick to crown his man of the match display. There was still time for the home side to score from the spot after a foul by the otherwise excellent Hill.

Jeremy Hinds; Dave Morren, Ally Hill, Stuart Holdham, Paul Labbett; Richard Murphy, Rob Stone, Richard Walker, Andy Myall; Joel Moody; Liam McGarry. Subs Bernard Bradshaw, Dave Messenger.

Nicholls at the double to set-up derby win

A hat-trick from Stuart Nicholls (later downgraded to a brace in the bar for no good reason..) on his 50th WIFC appearance set up a 6-5 Herts derby win againt Barnet at Met Police yesterday.

The visitors had raced into a 2-0 lead when Nicholls was introduced as a first half sub and from his first touch, a flicked header which sent Rob Sterry scampering down the wing, the Internet ‘Orns pulled one back as Richard Murphy converted Sterry’s low cross.

Barnet came straight back in a see-saw encounter and restored their two goal cushion, but WIFC were able to reduce the arrears again when Nicholls finished a fine team move with a smart finish from Murphy’s pull-back.

The second half saw WIFC start in the ascendancy and it was Nicholls again, heading home a Mark Brennan cross, to double his tally and bring the home side level. Minutes later, WIFC took the lead for the first time when Paul Whittenbury’s free kick from halfway was sliced in by a visiting defender.

Not be outdone, Barnet took advantage of WIFC taking their foot off the pdeal and pulled themselves level, but from the kick-off the advantage was restored when Dave Soloway broke into the area and Nicholls smashed home the resulting cross, allowing WIFC to keep their noses in front.

Still the game wasn’t over, and Barnet pulled level again with a controversial penalty, but WIFC were not to be outdone and with minutes to play, Rob Sterry got between a visiting defender and the keeper, and lobbed home the winning goal.

Nicholls deservedly won the Man of the Match cow for his treble, while a good team effort after a sloppy first half hour meant that WIFC had recorded their tenth league win of the season for the first time since 2008/09.

Tom Beck; Brad Simmons, Jamie Parkins, Mickey Eales, Matt Ainsley; Richard Murphy, Rob Stone, Dave Soloway, Joel Moody; Mark Brennan, Rob Sterry. Subs Stuart Nicholls, James Jenkins, Maurice Clarke, Paul Whittenbury and Andy Myall.