Welford travelled into Northampton looking to continue their recent good form but suffered an early setback when their regular goalkeeper’s hamstrings forced him off after just two minutes. Undeterred by this, however, Welford pressed on and took an early lead when a great through ball from the centre of the park was finished in style by the centre forward.
The lead didn’t last long, though, and a shaky couple of minutes saw the substitute goalkeeper – who would go on to have some considerable influence on the match – concede a free kick which – via a rebound – led to the equaliser. Buoyed by this, Phoenix took the lead a few minutes later via a calm finish from a long ball over the top. Two then nearly became three, but for a superb save right on the goal line by Welford’s keeper. On another day, that may well have been given. Welford managed an equaliser before the break, and nearly took the lead when they struck the crossbar with a great effort from long range
Welford turned on the style early in the second half with some great passing and battling by the midfield trio who set up several half-chances
but none was taken. The breakthrough came after some great hold up play drew a foul from the Phoenix defender – the striker picking himself to convert the penalty himself low and hard into the bottom corner.
Welford built on the lead with some good football. They created some good chances including hitting the post before a marauding run from our centre-half, bombing forward from the back, ended with him putting a great effort just over.
Welford’s inability to seal the game looked to have come back to haunt them when with less than ten minutes to go a long ball over the top resulted in a penalty. It was struck low and hard but was brilliantly kept out by the substitute keeper, whose efforts earned him this week’s Man of the Match award.
Welford ran the clock down for the final 10 minutes and picked up a very hard fought victory against a really tough opponent.
The Veterans now don’t have a match until March. By then, our keeper may have stopped talking about his penalty save.
Northampton Phoenix FC
2 – 3
Welford Victoria Veterans
|13th February 2022||Northampton Phoenix FC||Northamptonshire Sunday Combination|