Sean Edwards laments ‘woeful defending’ after Westfields thumped 4-1 by Black Country Rangers in FA Vase (From Hereford Times)
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Sean Edwards laments ‘woeful defending’ after Westfields, Hereford, thumped 4-1 by Black Country Rangers in FA Vase
Westfields 1 Black Country Rangers 4
MANAGER Sean Edwards lamented his team’s ‘woeful defending’ after Westfields were thumped in the first round proper of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
It wasn’t the birthday celebration that the Westfields manager had hoped for and he admitted the only gifts on offer were those presented by his defence.
“We should have pushed on in this competition – we should be serious contenders in it,” said Edwards, whose men fell apart in the second-half and conceded three goals.
“Today has been a culmination of what’s happened since the start of the season.
“Our defending has been woeful this season.
“Last year, we hardly conceded but this year, we can’t keep a clean sheet.”
It was always going to be a testing season for the Hereford club after they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Southern League last term despite topping the table for long spells.
“Last year, we had no injuries but this year that’s not been the case,” said Edwards.
“Craig Jones’ hamstring was a bit tight so he had to come off at halftime and Sam Gwynne was struggling with a hip injury.”
Striker Daryl Addis has left the club but Dene Whittall-Williams and Alex O’Leary, who made his debut in Saturday’s loss, are among the new faces.
“Daryl has gone but I think we’ve got a stronger squad this season but, today, we were completely flat from start to finish. We were devoid of ideas and energy and no-one wanted to know.”
Black Country Rangers play one tier below Westfields but looked a confident outfit and are romping away with the West Midlands League Premier Division title.
Westfields made a bright start to Saturday’s game and Aidan Thomas almost put the hosts ahead early on but his shot was kept out by Richard Kennedy.
Sam Gwynne had a penalty appeal waved away by Worcester-based referee Darren Wilding before the hosts fell behind against the run of play in the 29th minute.
Former Wolves youngster Liam Hughes, who had earlier fired wide, rifled home the opener from the edge of the box after neat work with Steve Bowes.
And, moments later, Jamie Moore produced a fine save from skipper Bowes, who had raced clear.
Chad Shepherd scooped an effort over the top before Westfields were given a lifeline on the stroke of halftime.
Leigh Pardoe sent Thomas sprawling inside the box and former skipper Anthony Robbins confidently dispatched the spotkick to level the tie.
Unfortunately for Westfields captain Jones was replaced at the break after suffering a tight hamstring and the hosts were poor in the second-half.
Hughes robbed a defender and barged his way through to put the visitors ahead in the 51st minute.
Three minutes later, substitute David Meese made it 3-1 to Rangers, tapping in a cross at the far post to end Fields’ Wembley dreams.
The hosts created plenty of chances - substitute Richard Kear was clean through twice but saw his shots saved and Carl Morgan fired weakly at Kennedy when well placed.
But the visitors were more clinical and Meese rounded off the scoring with eight minutes left to leave the home fans shaking their heads in disappointment.
Edwards said: “We were fantastic at Dunkirk seven days ago and passed them off the pitch.
“Dunkirk were miles better than the team we played against today. It’s no good shouting and bawling after the game – we are all in this together.
“We were flat from the start and defended like schoolboys. If you defend like that, you aren’t going to beat anyone.”
Westfields have a chance to bounce back against Coleshill at allpay.park in the Midlands Alliance this Saturday.
“Scott Jackson had played the last three games and was feeling a bit stiff and maybe I should have made him play because this might not have happened,” said Edwards.
FORMER Hereford United midfielder Sam Gwynne has been playing well for Westfields, says manager Sean Edwards.
Gwynne had a trial match at Brackley Town last month.
“Sam Gwynne went there for a trial game and he had to sign forms and all the papers picked up on it,”
“It was reported he had signed for Brackley but he hasn’t. He’s back here and he’s been playing really well for us.”
Black Country Rangers boss Nigel Birch feels his team are on track for promotion to the Midland Alliance. They were beaten by Pegasus Juniors earlier in the season but have established a huge lead at the top of the table.
“There are three or four players who could play two leagues above,” said Birch, previously involved with Hednesford Town and Highgate.
“Our main aim is to get promoted.
“We have now beaten a good Westfields side and a good Boldmere team this season and we’re doing OK.”