Bookham Beckons For Moles After Wembley Triumph

by Andrew Finch

Wembley 2-3 Molesey


Molesey secured their first league win of the season at the ninth attempt with a well deserved 3-2 victory over fellow strugglers Wembley.

A blistering start saw the Moles go 3 up inside the opening 17 minutes, and a rampant first half display could have seen them go in at the break with double their hefty three goal advantage.  As it was, a spirited comeback by the home side saw them reduce the deficit midway through the second half, and a nervy final few minutes were compounded by a second goal in stoppage time.  However the Moles held on for the three points, and in truth the 3-2 scoreline flattered the home side.

With the Moles rocked on the eve of the game by the news that influential skipper Steve Brown had left to join Cove, Moses Spencer took over the captain’s armband, and the only change to the team that finished Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Arundel was Phil Dexter in for Brown, meaning a first start since the opening day for Lewis Ackerman.

The first half display was helped by a Wembley defence that played remarkably high up the pitch, giving the Moles plenty of space to run into, and a through ball from Joe Yeates on nine minutes found James McShane all in space following a slip by a Wembley defender.
McShane took a touch to steady himself before placing an effort beyond the Wembley keeper via the far post.

Within three minutes it was two.  Sam Lampard and Andy Graves combined cleverly on the
right, and Matt Baxter delivered a peach of a cross into Ackerman, who glanced a header
beyond Michael Power-Simpson

The Moles fans were still celebrating when Baxter added a third, again breaking through the
Wembley back line and lobbing his effort over the onrushing Power-Simpson from 30 yards.

McShane – who ran the game from his position behind the strikers – added a carbon copy of
Baxter’s goal shortly afterwards but his effort was eventually ruled out by a linesman’s flag.

For the rest of the half the Moles ran their hosts ragged.  Balls were fizzed across the 6 yard
Box, Baxter hit a post, neat, one touch football yielded countless breakaways and in
complete contrast to how the Moles have started the season they looked like they would
score every time they went forward.

Spencer and Yeates were dominant in both boxes, Defoe caused problems with his trickery
on the left, the middle three were industrious and seemingly first to every ball, Graves got
forward at every opportunity.  Colin Harris in goal was a virtual spectator.

Despite the three goal advantage, it was generally felt that the next goal would be crucial,
And despite several early second half opportunities for the Moles, it was the home side that
scored it.

Paul Shelton wriggled clear of Defoe on the Molesey left, and the out-of-position youngster
showed his inexperience by needlessly tripping the Wembley front man in the box.  The ref
– whose errant and inconsistent card waving marred an otherwise fine performance – had
no option but to point to award the penalty, and substitute Jumo Mitchell sent Harris the
wrong way the from the spot.

The next 25 minutes caused the Moles what Sir Alex Ferguson would describe as “squeaky
bum time” as Wembley threw themselves at the Moles back four.  However there were still
opportunities to restore the three goal advantage.  Spencer saw a header hit the side
netting, substitute Aaron Cole-Bolt – formerly of Sutton United and Fisher and a player with
the potential to fill the Steve Brown role – played a peach of a cross that McShane just failed
to get his head to, and when a Cole-Bolt strike was well saved, McShane slotted home the
rebound but his celebrations were once again cut short by a linesman’s flag.

Shelton saw a drive fizz past the far post before looping a volley beyond Harris in stoppage
time to give the hosts a glimpse of an improbable and undeserved point, but the Moles held
out to secure their second league win in the last 15 attempts.

Whereas a sharp decline in league form followed last season’s victory at Wembley, the
Moles will hope that this result kick-starts the club’s season.
Next up for the Moles is a trip to Wembley on Saturday.