WILTON - On the back of a couple of inspiring wins, The Wilton Ancient Warriors came into the game with the wind at their backs and feeling spirited about their play. Missing a few players, (notably Captain Greg Monaco) the team was reshuffled, but was able to welcome back stalwart Slawomir Przybysz, returning from injury.
Greenwich Gunners finished 2nd place in 2011, and are a solid team, but in the first half the Warriors used their impregnable defense, hustle, quick passing, speed and composure on the ball to prevent any fluidity from the visitors. As a result goalkeeper Mark Isaacs had a very quiet first 45 minutes. Some good build up play, free kicks, corners and individual efforts produced abundant chances for the home side but no goals. Andrew Hoffmann, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Nicholas Slater and Andrew Allers all had good attempts/chances, but couldn't capitalize on the dominant possession.
The second half brought some changes. Notably Frank Surace took a well earned rest, and Greenwich managed to get a foothold in the game and started to string passes together marshalling some threatening attacks. The Ancients' defense once again proved the 'bend but don't break' theory to be true. A few more subs, fresh legs and the Warriors gainly defended.
The deserved breakthrough came at about 75 minutes in and was a result of more stalwart defending. The Gunners had pushed many players into the box for a corner. With nowhere to go, they felt the pressure and were unable to make anything of the opportunity. A quick clearance from Stewart-Jones to Hoffmann quickly became a counter-attack. A wonderful through-ball for Allers was deftly turned, he then beat a man, the keeper, crossbar and post.
The Warriors ran out fairly comfortably and in truth could have finished with more. Man Of The Match went to Allers, with Surace a close second. Honorable mention to the entire defense and subs who slotted into the game with ease and effort, yielding another win and another game without conceding any goals. The Warriors recent run will have sent a strong message to the rest of the league that their intention is no less than to be champions.