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.