Nicholls quick fire treble sets up win

Watford IFCs first home game of 2016/17 took place on a gloriously hot and sunny Saturday morning at Parmiters School. Coming off the back of an opening day win at Southampton, the Internet ‘Orns were instructed to keep the ball on the floor and pass to feet throughout the game after a lack of height and speed were identified in the pre match team talk by management.

Stuart Nicholls got the home side off to a flier as they raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 15 minutes. Nicholls’ first was a neat volley from 5 yards from a Cleveland Brandy cross, then minutes later he collected a ball from Man of the match Ben Kelly and stroked the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards. Nicholls then rounded off his second treble for the club from close range, following a defensive mishap.

The first half continued with WIFC pressing and hitting the post on 2 occasions through Nicholls and Charlie Wood. A lapse in defence then allowed Cambridge to score as a poor goal kick was followed a misplaced pass out of defence and minutes later an own goal from keeper Tom Beck reduced the deficit further. The end of the first half was frenetic with the visitors seizing the initiative and pushing for an equaliser. For all their pressing this didn’t happen and the 2 goal advantage was restored when Kelly ran half the length of the pitch before smashing home from the angle inside the box.

A reshuffle of personnel gave WIFC joy down the wings with both fullbacks pushing up and joining attacks as the second half got underway. Wood was the beneficiary of such play and finished his second goal of the new season from close range following good work from Richard Murphy and Ed Sterry, in his 100th appearance for the club. A sixth came soon after, converted by John Sitowski who got the final touch off a drive from Murphy following penalty box pin ball for his second goal for the club.

Nicholls then added his 4th and beat his tally for last season inside a game. After chasing down Cambridge’s tiring defence, his resulting cross to Wood was blocked and he duly slotted home the rebound. The goal of the game was left until last when Dave Sitowski, playing higher up the pitch than his usual defensive berth, collected a cross from deep and smashed home from the edge of the box with the outside of the foot.

In the end, a convincing win for the Internet ‘Orns and a 100% start to take into tough away games at Stevenage and West Ham. There was also a welcome return for Matt Ladell after more than a year out through injury and a promising debut for Phil Winwright.

Team: Tom Beck; Dave Sitowski, Paul Watt, Dan Butterick, Ben Pegram; Cleveland Brandy, John Sitowski, Ben Kelly, Richard Murphy; Charlie Wood, Stuart Nicholls (C)

Subs: Matt Ladell, Ed Sterry, Phil Winwright

15/16 Award Winners confirmed

LAST Saturday evening saw the usual high jinks and singing as WIFC took over the Ali Baba curry house to dish out the 15/16 award winners. The full list of winners is below. As the Hall of Fame winner was not present, this will be announced in due course.

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1 Dan Butterick
2 Mark O’Connor
3 Ally Hill

Matt Ainsley

1 Mark O’Connor
2 Charlie Wood
3 Tommy Twelves

1 Ben Pegram
2 Tom Beck
3 Matt Ainsley

1 Tom Beck
2 Maurice Clarke
3 Richard Walker

1 Maurice Clarke at St Johnstone



Nine nominated for top award

VOTING for the 2015/16 WIFC awards is now closed and the votes have now been counted. Nine different players were nominated for the coveted Players Player award, which will be dished out along with several other gongs this Saturday evening. The Ali Baba curry house, the traditional venue for the WIFC awards night, are bracing themselves for another evening of food, singing and general merry making. It’s not too late to join the evening’s festivities, a thread on the Facebook group page has all the details.


A full list of the nominations is below.

Ally Hill
Ben Pegram
Charlie Wood
Dan Butterick
Mark O’Connor
Matt Ainsley
Ross Connor
Stuart Nicholls
Tommy Twelves

Ben Pegram
Brad Simmons
Dave Sitkowski
Ed Sterry
Jon Sitkowski
Matt Ainsley
Matt Wells
Stuart Nicholls
Tom Beck

Dave Messenger
Maurice Clarke
Richard Walker
Stuart Nicholls
Tom Beck

Charlie Wood
Cleveland Brandy
Connor Church
Lamar St Cyr
Mark O’Connor
Tommy Twelves

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON (nominated and voted for by the management team)
Ally Hill v Ayr (H)
Charlie Wood v West Ham (A)
Lamar St Cyr v Rochdale (N)
Mark O’Connor v West Ham (A)
Maurice Clarke v St Johnstone (A)
Richard Walker v St Johnstone (A)
Tommy Twelves v St Johnstone (A)

Dan Butterick

Hall of Fame (voted by those already in the hall of fame) and Managers Player of the year will also be awarded on the night.


Solid start for WIFC

WIFC got their 2016/17 season off on the right foot with a hard working 3-2 win on the south coast on Saturday morning. Stand-in manager Dave Messenger successfully rotated a 17 man squad and every player contributed to the win against a competitive Southampton side.

The visitors opened the scoring early on, as man of the match Charlie Wood collected a pass from Mark O’Connor and finished calmly. The Saints were back on terms shortly afterwards but Richard Murphy rounded the home keeper on the half hour mark to re-take the lead. After the break, Stuart Nicholls crashed home a third from a half-cleared corner, though he later put through his own net to give Southampton a lifeline. Some solid defending saw WIFC hang on for the win and complete a deserved win.

Team. 4-4-2, R to L. Neil Hall; Cleveland Brandy, John Sitkowski, Ben Bateman, Matt Ainsley; Richard Murphy, Ally Hill, Charlie Wood, Lamar St Cyr; Steve Eustice, Mark O’Connor. Subs Rob Sterry, Stuart Nicholls, James Farnfield, Andrew Ibbot, Phil McBride, Tom Beck.