Dominant ‘Dron go third after victory at Godolphin

Wendron United moved up to third in the South West Peninsula League west division after strolling to a 3-0 win at Godolphin Atlantic on Saturday, writes Matt Friday.

Charlie Young, Scott Palmer and Jack Stocker netted for Michael O’Neill’s side as the Dron sealed their seventh win in their last nine league games and fifth victory in their last six away from their Underlane home.

Young opened the scoring in the eighth minute at Godolphin Way, which was the only Cornish ground to host a match above St Piran League level on Saturday following the effects of Storm Eunice.

Wendron skipper Palmer survived a stumble to double his side’s lead from the spot early in the second half, before Stocker’s well-struck free-kick deep into stoppage time wrapped up Wendron’s 14th win of the campaign.

With no games played elsewhere in the league, victory was enough to lift Wendron up to third in the table, level on points with second-placed Liskeard Athletic, while Godolphin remain 15th.

Godolphin bosses Adam Paterson and Josh Stockdale made six changes to the side that won 1-0 at Penzance seven days earlier, with Dan Peters, Luke Hunter, Billy Coton, Richie Rundle, Eli Evans and Coen Briggs all coming into the starting line-up.

Wendron chief O’Neill, who returned to the dugout after missing last weekend’s 4-3 win at Wadebridge Town due to covid, made two alterations to the team that started the game at Bodieve Park, with Joe Souch and Billy Stone coming in for Fred Walter and Sam Young.

The effects of Storm Eunice on Friday led to widespread postponements across the county, with the game at Godolphin Way the only match at step six or above to take place this side of the Tamar.

Those who made the trip to Newquay were rewarded with some unseasonal sun, and the home side were nearly rewarded for getting the game on with a goal inside the first minute, with Rundle nodding over from Josh Pope’s free-kick.

That was as good as it got for the G with Wendron top goalscorer Cam Wheat unable to add to his 18 strikes two minutes later when inexplicably striking the crossbar from six yards.

The hosts’ reprieve lasted just five minutes as Wendron got their noses in front courtesy of Young. Home custodian Peters could only parry Jack Noy’s fierce strike, with Young on hand to drill the rebound home from the centre of the box.

Charlie Young fires Wendron in front in the eighth minute. Picture: Colin Bradbury / Cornwall Sports Media

Noy almost turned from provider to scorer in the Dron’s next attack, but saw his strike cannon off the inside of the far post and to safety following a sustained spell of pressure for O’Neill’s men.

Wheat was next to come close for Wendron with the winger’s attempted lob over the onrushing Peters clearing the crossbar, before the home custodian was called into action to smartly stop Billy Stone’s daisy-cutter with his feet.

Rundle soon shot wide at the other end in a rare foray forward for the hosts, before Lucas Potts and Wheat were both thwarted by Peters in separate attacks, with the latter then shooting into the side netting with another opportunity as the high-flying Dron continued to ask the question of their opponents.

Godolphin offered some resistance towards the end of the first period with Ethan Fearn making a routine save from Rundle before skipper Josh Pope fired wide from distance at the end of a promising team move.

But it was Wendron who thought they had doubled their lead when Young found the net for a second time shortly before the break, sweeping in from close range following Joe Souch’s free-kick, only for the assistant referee’s flag to spare the home side.

The visitors may have had to settle for a single-goal lead at the break, but they only had to wait four minutes after the turnaround to finally record their second goal. Noy hit the turf under Callum Bertrand’s challenge and referee Shaun Edge promptly pointed to the spot, and while Palmer stumbled as he took the kick, there was enough on the effort for it to trickle past the despairing Peters.

Young was inches away from having the game virtually sewn up three minutes later, rising to head Wheat’s cross at goal but unable to keep it from dropping just wide of the far post.

The two combined again a minute later with Young shooting over from Wheat’s low cross before Peters made a crucial save to keep his side in with a shout. Noy beat the offside trap and bore down on goal, with the Sky Blues stopper racing out of his box to deny the onrushing forward.

Clear-cut chances were hard to come by for either side in the final third of the game as the match threatened to peter out. The introduction of Josh Margetts and George Kent gave the hosts a bit of impetus going forward, with the latter responsible for his side’s only effort on target in the 75th minute, with his strike from the corner of the box destined for the top corner until Fearn plucked it out of the air.

Keen to earn a deserved clean sheet, Fearn was on hand to snuff out another good opportunity eight minutes from time, showing quick reactions to claim Kent’s cross at the near post before Margetts could convert.

But it was Wendron who would finish the match as they started it, with the visitors creating three good chances in stoppage time. Young was responsible for the first two, beating two defenders before blazing over the crossbar for the first effort before his goalbound header was superbly tipped onto the post by Peters.

It was third time lucky, however, as Wendron finally got their deserved third in the sixth minute of additional time. The visitors were awarded a free-kick roughly 20 yards from goal, with Stocker stepping up to curl it past Peters to cap off the Dron’s dominant display with the final kick of the game.

Match information

Godolphin: D Peters, E Timmons, C Bertrand, L Hunter,  M Sanders, B Coton, M Walker, J Pope (T Bertrand 86), R Rundle, (J Margetts HT), E Evans, C Briggs (G Kent 72). Subs (unused): T Harvey, O Paterson.

Wendron: E Fearn, J Souch, R Carroll, M Roberts, S Palmer (F Walter 86), J Stocker, J Noy (K Thomas 65), L Potts, C Young, B Stone, C Wheat (M Bowden 77).

Referee: Shaun Edge

[Featured image: Colin Bradbury / Cornwall Sports Media]

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