After a week off playing for Weysiders Reserves you would think there would be some cobwebs to brush off. The team, having lost Chris Murch and David Lupaka to the first team, still looked strong with the formidable Mike Frost, Tas Makris and Gary Martin as the back three; captain Simon Stacey and Dima Minskiy holding the midfield, the ever-improving Kevin Wielocha and Ryan Sayers on each wing and welcoming back after some time Matt Rannie as the attacking midfielder. Up top Kev barrow supported James Martin.
The game started off well for Weysiders with an early attack resulting in a last-ditch tackle from the Shalford centre back. James Martin went down in the box, not looking for the penalty, but in considerable pain. After trying to carry on for 10 minutes, his afternoon was finished. With a strong bench, consisting of Gino Valentino (one of the best names in the club) new guy Dave Shilcock, Russell Minns and Bradley Goslin (making his first appearance for Weysiders), it was Shilcock who was brought on to replace Martin. Within moments of the substitution, Matt Rannie picked up the ball in the centre and went on a typical “Rannie run”, gliding past three players until getting to the edge of the box. With the trusty right foot drawn back, there was only going to be one thing . . . a shot on goal. The ball bounced awkwardly in front of the Shalford keeper and he could do nothing but palm it into the back of the net. 1-0 to Weysiders. Shalford then used this to swiftly go on the attack, resulting in the first corner of the game. Hearts stopped and the ball was delivered to the back post with Minskiy unable to reach the ball and what ensued can only be described as a scramble to clear the ball from danger. What followed was a period of 10-15 mins of Shalford dominance with some class defending from Martin, Makros, Frost and Sayers. With 30 minutes on the clock, the second change was made. Minskiy made way for Valentino, with Rannie dropping with Stacey, and Wielocha playing as the attacking midfielder. With Shilcock beginning to win everything in the air, it was only a matter of time before he knocked a ball down, and he did so to Barrow who linked up well to play in Valentino to slot home on the stroke of half time.
A jubilant Weysiders Reserve team left the pitch, knowing that if the same level was to be played in the second half, a solid victory would follow. After a half-time talk from boss Minns with positive input from the players, assistant manager and captain, the team took to the field for the second half, making some changes to solidify the lead. The team opted for a more traditional 4-4-2 formation with Hennessy keeping, Makros and Frost at centre back, Minskiy replacing Gary Martin as right back and Bradley Goslin coming on at left back for his first taste of Weysiders football. The midfield remained unchanged with Stacey and Rannie as holders with Sayers and Wielocha on each wing. Valentino and Shilcock played up top for the visiting team.
It didn't take long for Weysiders to get going again after the break and, with some solid play from Rannie and Stacey in the middle, Shilcock was soon providing another assist, playing through Valentino for a delightful volley: 3-0 to Weysiders. Fifteen minutes into the second half the change was made with Wielocha coming off for Barrow. Valentino dropped to right-wing and Barrow went up front with Shilcock. Some great kicking from Hennessy and headers from Shilcock meant that it didn't take long for Barrow to get on the score sheet from another through ball from Shilcock for the fourth Weysiders goal.
Shalford’s heads were well and truly down at this stage. Shilcock tried an audacious 40-yard curler, just missing the goal. No time to rue this opportunity, he was again swift to win the ball in the air to play through Valentino. Rather than shoot, he saw the run from Barrow and flicked the ball to him, who took the ball wide and shot across goal. The ball then hit the inside of the post bamboozling the goal keeper coming back and hitting the near post before hitting the net. 5-0 to Weysiders. With not long to go, the emphasis was on not conceding a goal. Frost came off with Gary Martin playing centre back with Makris, and Minns came on for Sayers. Some solid defending and attacking almost got the sixth goal but the referee blew his whistle and the game ended. All in all a solid result and fine victory for Weysiders Reserves.