Brave Hatters deflated by late winner

HAVING enjoyed more comfortable wins over this spirited opposition from Bedfordshire, it was a different story inside Watford FC training ground’s inflatable dome as Watford IFC laboured to an ill-deserved 2-1 victory over Hatters Fans FC.
This 12-a-side encounter (agreed due to dome pitch size) was by far the closest of the recent contests – played once again in true IFA spirit, and refereed well by Jez Hinds.
Luton’s containment policy had failed them on previous occasions, but this time the Hornets got frustrated with their own below-par passing game combined with indecision in the final third.
It took a mix-up between visiting goalkeeper and defender to grant the Internet ‘Orns a 1-0 interval lead with an own-goal from a Ben Kelly header moments before the half-time whistle.
Watford improved marginally after the break, but there could be no denying Town’s claim to a deserved equaliser when a long ball forward from a free-kick was meant with a firm header to restore parity.
Despite many personnel changes in the search for a magic formula, the Hornets continued to look unlikely to take the game by the scruff of the neck. It took a rare moment of quality 12 minutes from time – a turn and emphatic finish by Adam Gallichan – to finally break the stubborn opposition resistance.
WIFC: Matt Mesiano; Matt Ainsley, Ben Bateman, Michael Viney, David Sitkowski; Rob Stone, John Sitkowski, Tom Labbett; Alex Newman, Adam Gallichan, Richard Murphy, Stuart Nicholls (c).
Subs used: Lamar St-Cyr, Charlie Wood, Connor Church, Dean Maloney, Ben Kelly.

2019/20

The overall playing record for 2019/20.

The season was curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The IFA league positions as at March 14th stood and Worldnet was cancelled.

Cup competitions were completed in season 2020/21.

WIFC 19/20PldWDLGSGAGD
League8710381424
Friendlies110011011
Cup Games0000000
TOTAL9810491435
Goals Per Game5.441.56

Results and scorers

DateCompOpposition ScoreScorers
20-Sep-19FRS & Co XIHW 11-0Gallichan 2, O’Connor 2, Mesiano 2, Church, Moss, St Cyr, Nicholls, Anderson
28-Sep-20LGE1ShrewsburyAD 4-4Wood, Murphy, Tomlinson 2
5-Oct-19LGE2/SECQFCambridgeHW 6-4Gallichan 3, Jenkins, O’Connor, OG
2-Nov-19LGE3ShrewsburyHW 3-1Hill 3
4-Jan-20LGE4HalifaxHW 8-1Wood 2, Gallichan 2, Kelly 2, Jenkins, Anderson
25-Jan-20LGE5LutonAW 6-0Wood 3, Nicholls, Murphy, Kelly
1-Feb-20LGE6/IFACQFDunfermlineHW 3-1Gallichan 2, Wood
15-Feb-20LGE7MK DonsAW 6-2T Labbett 3, Wood 2, St Cyr
6-Mar-20LGE8LutonHW 2-1OG, Gallichan

Appearances

Name19/20 Apps
Stuart Nicholls8
John Sitkowski8
David Sitkowski8
Charlie Wood8
Adam Gallichan7
Rob Stone6
Matt Mesiano6
Richard Walker5
Richard Murphy5
Ally Hill5
Ben Kelly5
Tom Anderson5
Stuart Sperinck5
Mike Viney4
Dan Moss4
Tom Labbett4
Matt Ainsley3
James Jenkins3
Lamar St Cyr3
Connor Church3
Sol Tomlinson3
Alex Newman3
Ben Pegram2
Mark O’Connor2
Ben Bateman2
Paul Labbett2
Dean Maloney2
Kevin Newman2
Matt Ladell1
Dave Messenger1
Scott Mathers1
Sam Elvery1
Paul Carrington1
Lewis Koch1
Simon Wood1
Luke Gardner1
Owen Arnold1
Jamie Thomas1

Goalscorers

Name19/20 Goals
Adam Gallichan10
Charlie Wood9
Ally Hill3
Ben Kelly3
Tom Labbett3
Lamar St Cyr3
Mark O’Connor3
Stuart Nicholls2
Matt Mesiano2
Richard Murphy2
Tom Anderson2
James Jenkins2
Sol Tomlinson2
Dan Moss1
Connor Church1

2018/19

The overall playing record for 2018/19

WIFC 18/19 Pld W D L GS GA GD
League 10 7 0 3 38 21 17
Friendlies 1 1 0 0 4 1 3
Cup Games 5 2 1 2 10 8 2
TOTAL 16 10 1 5 52 30 22
Goals Per Game 3.25 1.88
Leading Scorer
Charlie Wood – 16
Leading Appearances
Charlie Wood – 8
Final League Position
18th
Final English League Position
9th
IFA Cup
Quarter Finals
South East Cup
Semi Finals
Worldnet
Quarter Finals
Worldnet Vets
Did Not Enter

All of the results and scorers from 2018/19

Date Comp Opposition Score Scorers
06-Oct-18 LGE1 Stevenage H L 2-6 Wood, Gallichan
13-Oct-18 LGE2/SECQF Northampton A W 4-0 Soloway 3, J Sitkowski
27-Oct-18 LGE3 Coventry H W 6-1 Nicholls (Pen), O’Connor 2, Wood, Gallichan, Elvery
10-Nov-18 LGE4 Portsmouth A W 5-1 OG, Hopkins 2, Walker, Anderson
17-Nov-18 LGE5 Luton A W 4-2 B Bateman, Walter, Gallichan 2
19-Jan-19 LGE6 Hampton & Richmond H W 5-0 Wood 2, Church, O’Connor, C Bateman
09-Feb-19 LGE7 Luton H W 5-0 Wood 2, Gallichan 2, B Bateman
23-Feb-19 LGE8 MK Dons A W 4-2 Gallichan, Kelly 2, Wood
02-Mar-19 LGE9/SECSF Stevenage A L 2-3 Wood, Kelly
09-Mar-19 LGE10/IFACQF Rochdale A L 1-6 Church
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Manchester City N W 6-0 OG, O’Connor 3, Kelly, R Sterry
01-Jul-18 Worldnet Friendly Livingston GS N W 4-1 Viney, Nicholls, Kelly 2
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Barnsley N D 1-1 R Sterry
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Aberdeen N L 0-3
02-Jul-18 Worldnet Last 16 Hull N W 3-1 Anderson, R Sterry 2
02-Jul-18 Worldnet QF Preston N L 0-3

Appearances

Name 18/19 Apps
Charlie Wood 16
Mark O’Connor 13
Tom Anderson 12
Connor Church 11
Matt Ladell 11
Ben Kelly 10
Stuart Nicholls 10
Mike Viney 10
Lamar St Cyr 10
Ally Hill 9
Adam Gallichan 8
Rob Stone 8
Richard Murphy 8
Matt Mesiano 8
Rob Sterry 6
John Sitkowski 6
Ben Bateman 6
Sam Elvery 5
Matt Ainsley 5
David Sitkowski 5
Mat Ball 5
Ciaran Bateman 5
Richard Walker 4
Dave Soloway 3
Stuart Holdham 3
Jeremy Hinds 3
Max Walters 2
John Machin 2
Paul Shelock 2
Stuart Sperinck 2
Dan Moss 2
Harry Hopkins 1
James Jenkins 1
Dave Messenger 1
Jamie Parkins 1
Laurence Wells 1
Mark Brennan 1
Tommy Twelves 1
Dean Mitchell 1
Rob Booth 1
Reece Gohil 1
Liam Martin 1
George Pennington 1
Jake Elvery 1
David Walter 1

Goalscorers

Name 18/19 Goals
Charlie Wood 8
Adam Gallichan 7
Mark O’Connor 6
Ben Kelly 6
Rob Sterry 4
Dave Soloway 3
Tom Anderson 2
Stuart Nicholls 2
Own Goals 2
Harry Hopkins 2
Connor Church 2
Ben Bateman 2
Sam Elvery 1
Richard Walker 1
Mike Viney 1
John Sitkowski 1
David Walter 1
Ciaran Bateman 1

2017/18

The overall playing record for 2017/18

WIFC 17/18 Pld W D L GS GA GD
League 11 4 5 2 41 32 9
Friendlies 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup Games 4 1 1 2 0 0 0
TOTAL 15 5 6 4 41 32 9
Goals Per Game 2.73 2.13
Leading Scorer
Ally Hill – 8
Leading Appearances
Matt Ainsley/Stuart Nicholls – 12
Final League Position
23rd
Final English League Position
13th
IFA Cup
Withdrew
South East Cup
Semi-Finals
Worldnet
Last 16
Worldnet Vets
Did Not Enter

All of the results and scorers from 2017/18

Date Comp Opposition Score Scorers
05-Aug-17 LGE1 Stevenage H D 4-4 O’Connor, Hill 2, Mesiano
26-Aug-17 LGE2 Hampton & Richmond H W 7-3 Viney, O’Connor 2, Wood, Beck, Nicholls, Hill
09-Sep-17 LGE3 Portsmouth A D 0-0
16-Sep-17 LGE4 Northampton H W 8-1 Holdham, Kelly 2, O’Connor, Wood, Murphy, Gallichan, Walker
30-Sep-17 LGE5 Coventry A L 3-7 Viney, Payne, Wood
28-Oct-17 LGE6 Millwall H D 5-5 Wood 2, Mesiano, Hill, Murphy (Pen)
04-Nov-17 LGE7 MK Dons A D 1-1 Soloway
12-Feb-18 LGE8 West Ham A D 3-3 Hill 2, O’Connor (Pen)
24-Feb-18 LGE9 Leyton Orient A W 5-2 Nicholls (Pen), Smithson, Waller, Hill 2
24-Mar-18 LGE10/SECQF Gillingham H W 5-4 St Cyr, Gallichan 2, O’Connor, B Bateman
07-Apr-18 LGE11/SECSF Maidstone H L 0-1
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Bury A N W 1-0 Twelves
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Runcorn N D 1-1 Twelves
01-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s AFC Wimbledon N L 0-1
02-Jul-18 Worldnet A’s Ayr N L 0-1

Appearances

Name 17/18 Apps
Matt Ainsley 12
Stuart Nicholls 12
Adam Gallichan 11
Richard Walker 10
Ally Hill 10
Charlie Wood 10
Richard Murphy 8
Mark O’Connor 8
Lamar St Cyr 6
Ben Bateman 6
Matt Mesiano 6
Ben Kelly 5
Connor Church 5
Rob Stone 4
Dave Soloway 4
Tom Davison 4
John Sitkowski 4
Jeremy Hinds 4
Max Walters 4
John Machin 4
Dean Mitchell 4
Sol Tomlinson 4
Phil McBride 3
Stuart Holdham 3
Rob Sterry 3
Tommy Twelves 3
Vince Machin 3
Paul Shelock 3
Kye Simons 3
Mike Viney 3
Ciaran Bateman 3
Joel Moody 2
James Jenkins 2
Andy Myall 2
Cleveland Brandy 2
Derek Payne 2
Ryan Viduka 2
Kevin Affleck 2
Andrew Ibbott 1
Steve Eustice 1
Ben Pegram 1
Matt Ladell 1
Tom Beck 1
Dave Messenger 1
Paul Labbett 1
Neil Hall 1
Josh Freedman 1
Tom Smithson 1
Stuart Sperinck 1
Sam Walller 1
Reece Gohil 1
Liam Martin 1
Chris Marsh 1
Dayle Littlejoin 1
Ali Cameron 1
Thomas Payne 1
Tom Curson 1
Lewis Bentham 1

Goascorers

Name 17/18 Goals
Ally Hill 8
Mark O’Connor 6
Charlie Wood 5
Adam Gallichan 3
Ben Kelly 2
Matt Mesiano 2
Mike Viney 2
Richard Murphy 2
Stuart Nicholls 2
Tommy Twelves 2
Ben Bateman 1
Dave Soloway 1
Derek Payne 1
Lamar St Cyr 1
Richard Walker 1
Sam Walller 1
Stuart Holdham 1
Tom Beck 1
Tom Smithson 1

Heartbreak defeat for the Internet ‘Orns

AN agonisingly late goal for Maidstone United’s fans team denied Watford IFC at least the shot at a cup final from the penalty spot at the end of an attritional but absorbing South-East Cup semi-final.

The Stones scored with just a minute of injury-time left on the watch, breaking clear from a Hornets’ corner to convert from a low cross.

It was harsh on Watford, who matched the defensive solidity shown by the visitors with a steely resolve to give few chances away on a decent morning for football at Parmiter’s School.

Unusually for IFA football, defensive quality was very much to the fore as neither side managed to fashion anything more than fleeting glimpses of goal.

Hornets’ player-manager Richard Walker plunged smartly to his left to push away Maidstone’s only meaningful first-half effort at goal, then easily repelled a 15-yard shot 10 minutes from time as the visitors looked to make the most of a rare second-half opening.

Lamar St-Cyr scuffed Watford’s best early chance and striker Adam Gallichan hit a post with a side-footed effort as he bore down on the United goal. And debutant Dean Mitchell impressed at left-back, sending in some teasing centres as the game wore on.

John Sitkowski was outstanding at the heart of the Golden Boys’ rear-guard effort, taking an inadvertent pummelling to the ribs at the hands of Maidstone’s giant centre-forward mid-way through the second 45, while the determination of Rob Stone and Max Walters in midfield was impressive.

But it was the visitors who prevailed and, with Watford IFC’s best wishes, will now advance to the final to meet Millwall – who beat West Ham United 3-1 in the day’s other semi-final.

Hornets: Richard Walker; Matt Ainsley, Ally Hill, John Sitkowski, Max Walters; Lamar St-Cyr, Rob Stone, Stuart Nicholls (C), Richard Murphy; Adam Gallichan, Charlie Wood.
Subs used: Dean Mitchell, Ben Bateman, Ciaran Bateman.

Internet ‘Orns progress in the South East Cup

WATFORD IFC will face Maidstone United’s fans team in the semi-final of the South East Cup this weekend, after a win by the odd goal in nine at home to their Kentish rivals Gillingham on March 24th.

The team, managed by Moz Clarke with Richard Walker having to referee, was grateful to two debutants in accomplished centre-halves Tom Curson and Lewis Brentham; Stuart Nicholls disobeying the golden rule of never introducing new players to the squad that are better than you.

The Gills’ persistence notwithstanding, it was more Hornets’ errors that kept the visitors in this tie, with Gillingham’s third and fourth goals of a 5-4 scoreline coming from a clumsily-conceded penalty kick and a comedy own-goal one minute from full-time.

In between the goalscoring action, Watford settled into a decent passing rhythm at times, with central midfield duo James Jenkins and Ben Kelly at the heart of much of the host’s progressive play.

That said, the first goal was 34 minutes in coming. ‘Kenbele’ slotted striker Adam Gallichan through; he lunged at the loose ball which broke off the outrushing Gills’ keeper for Lamar St-Cyr to expertly sweep it home off the underside of the crossbar from the corner of the penalty area.

Gills replied with a tidy leveller to restore parity going into the break, but just three second-half minutes had elapsed when Gallichan was rewarded for an ambitious 25-yard strike when it dipped under the goalkeeper’s grasp.

Two more Watford goals around the hour mark appear to have put the tie to bed. First a Jenkins centre flew across the face of goal and was turned in at close-range by Gallichan, then Mark O’Connor produced the game’s best piece of skill to flick a through-ball over his marker before half-volleying home to make it 4-1.

But Gillingham wouldn’t lie down and hit a second mid-way through the second 45, knocking Watford off their stride somewhat. The home team found a fifth, though, when with 12 minutes remaining sub Ben Bateman slammed home into the side of the net from 12 yards – a well-taken first-time shot after a set-piece broke his way.

Then came two late visitor’s goals and some nervy late set-piece defending by Watford to eventually close out the game as winners by five goals to four.

TEAM: Ben Pegram; Matt Ainsley, Tom Curson, Lewis Bentham, Stuart Nicholls (c); Lamar St-Cyr, James Jenkins, Ben Kelly, Richard Murphy; Adam Gallichan, Mark O’Connor.
Subs used: Tom Davison, Ben Bateman. Sub not used: Martin Pollard.

Spot-on Murphy ensures a share of the spoils

APPROPRIATELY, it was Richard Murphy – chalking up a club-record 300th Watford IFC appearance – who had the final say at the end of a thrilling 5-5 draw with Millwall supporters’ team.

Internet ‘Orns player-manager Richard Walker insisted that Murphy be charged with the responsibility of levelling the scores with what proved to be literally the last kick of the game, and the veteran weirdo didn’t disappoint.

After Adam Gallichan had been felled when about to stroke home from close-range, Murphy stepped up to notch his 69th goal of a remarkably long and consistent WIFC career – now 50 appearances clear of nearest rival Julian Carrera.

The spot-kick was the tenth and final goal of a belter of a match at Parmiter’s School, which saw the Lions race into a two-goal lead before Charlie Wood followed up to crash home a rebound from debutant Tom Payne’s shot and Matt Mesiano had wrong-footed the keeper with a flick-header from a long free-kick forward stood some 20 yards from goal.

Millwall restored their lead but it was 3-3 by the break after Wood went to the top of the season’s goalscoring chart, nodding home his 5th of the season from Walker’s cross following a quickly-taken short corner.

Watford had the better of the second-half’s opening exchanges but the Lions it was who went 4-3 in front some 15 minutes in when their always-dangerous central midfielder Dan Marsh played a series of one-twos to slot home what might have been the goal of the game on another day.

That honour, however, belonged to Ally Hill, who strode onto a clearance before unleashing a 35-yard blockbuster which the Lions’ keeper barely saw before it billowed the top of the netting under the crossbar.

Then Watford goalkeeper Ali Cameron marked his debut with a stunning save at close-quarters to round off an assured display, despite the unflattering goals against column.

The visitors did break through again, though, with a fifth goal around eight minutes from time before Murphy capped game number 300 to level – the spoils shared after a pulsating encounter.

Hornets: Ali Cameron; Phil McBride, Paul Shelock, Stuart Holdham, Matt Ainsley; Max Walters, Derek Payne, Tom Payne, Richard Murphy (c), Matt Mesiano, Adam Gallichan. Subs used: Charlie Wood, Stuart Nicholls, Ally Hill, Sol Tomlinson, Richard Walker.
Man-of-the-Match: Charlie Wood.

Second half spree seals big win

A GOAL spree during a much-improved second-half performance put extra gloss on a victory at home to Northampton Town’s Claret Shoemakers IFC; 8-1 the final scoreline as Watford IFC extended their unbeaten start to the 2017/18 campaign.

The visitors to Woodside offered stiff resistance, scoring an equaliser on the counter-attack through Scott Cornelius to send the two sides into half-time level at one goal apiece. Stuart Holdham’s close-range finish off his thigh was all the Internet ‘Orns had to show for long spells of first-half possession, which wasn’t allied to much conviction in the Cobblers’ defensive third of the field.

But after interval urgings to move the ball quicker from player-manager Richard Walker, WIFC responded with a seven-goal salvo – using good passing interchanges to take the game away from Town. Ben Kelly’s industry in forward and midfield areas earned him a brace of goals, while Mark O’Connor will know he should have had more than just a solitary strike to show for some of the positions he found himself in.

Charlie Wood and Man-of-the-Match Richard Murphy grabbed a goal apiece and Adam Gallichan powered home a Walker corner delivery with his head. The manager then turned from provider to scorer with the goal of the game; an exquisite 20-yard chip into the very top corner of the Northampton net.

The morning saw welcome returns to action for the in-love (not with each other) duo of Rob Stone & Jez Hinds, while Paul Shelock was the stand-out performer in a defence which went largely untroubled during the second 45.

Team, 4-4-2: Jez Hinds; Phil McBride, Paul Shelock, Stuart Nicholls (c), Matt Ainsley; Matt Mesiano, Rob Stone, Stuart Holdham, Sol Tomlinson; Charlie Wood, Adam Gallichan. Subs used: Mark O’Connor, Ben Kelly, Richard Murphy, Dayle Littlejohn, Richard Walker.

Pompey re-union ends in rare goalless draw

WIFC would’ve been the happier of the two sides when full-time blew on the most rare of all IFA-related scorelines outside of Worldnet’s shorter matches; the always-unlikely goalless draw.

The two teams gather for a pre kick-off picture..

Hosting the Internet ‘Orns for the first time since the 2006/07 season, Athletico Pompey struck the Watford bar from range during the first 45 minutes but, that apart, although enjoying the majority of possession they were kept largely at arms’ length thanks to a strong defensive display led by Man-of-the-Match Kevin Affleck – in control from centre-half on his debut.

Debutant guest players Reece Gohil, Liam Martin and Chris Marsh in particular all performed admirably as part of what was something of a scratch visitor’s line-up which also included Sol Tomlinson making his maiden appearance for the club – so five new faces in total.

It took until mid-way through the second half for Watford to start to find their passing range and apply some limited pressure to the Portsmouth goal. The best chances of the game fell to Richard Murphy – who lifted the ball over the crossbar as well as the keeper from 15 yards – and Charlie Wood, who steered his header wide from a raking Stuart Nicholls’ set-piece delivery.

Player-manager Richard Walker was relatively busy in goal at the other end, springing to his right to deny Pompey at close-range before the young referee – who handled a good-natured game admirably – called time on the stalemate.

Drinks were taken in the AFC Portchester clubhouse with Portsmouth promising an invite to a summer tournament to be held at Fratton Park.

Team, 4-4-2, R to L; Richard Walker; Reece Gohil, Chris Marsh, Kevin Affleck, Matt Ainsley; Liam Martin, Stuart Nicholls (c), Sol Tomlinson, Cleveland Brandy; Richard Murphy, Charlie Wood. Subs used: Andy Myall, John Sitkowski.