Considering the recent weather, when I arrived at Wallingford's Hithercroft ground it was actually quite a pleasant evening. No sign of any more rain even if there was a slight chill in the air more reminiscent of Autumn than Spring. After paying my entrance fee and picking up my programme, the first person I bumped into was none other than @FACupFactFile himself, Phil Annets. Phil was tucking into one of the famous Wally Town Sausage Rolls, a delicacy that I had missed out on when I first visited the club on Non-League Day. I wasn't going to let that happen again and immediately followed Phil's lead by ordering up a sausage roll and a cup of tea. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The Wally Town Sausage Roll is up there in the Premier League of football catering. Home-made, of course, it consists of perfectly seasoned sausage meat wrapped in the loveliest of pastry cases. A case that, I was informed, seemed a little flakier than usual. However, apart from managing to cover myself in flaky pastry, I could not fault it in any way. If you haven't sampled this delight, get yourself down to Hithercroft and try one for yourself. Of course, you'll have to wait until next season now though.
Anyhow before this turns into a food blog, on with the main course, the football. The pitch looked in remarkably good condition despite the amount of rain that had fallen recently. The fact that no football had been played on it for the best part of a month was, no doubt, a contributing factor.
It was the home side who started the livelier of the two and it wasn't too logn into the game before the Milton 'keeper, a former Wallingford player, was called into action, tipping a looping affort against the bar and over for a corner.
Shortly after this the stopper was powerless as a thunderous drive beat him all ends up before smackinbg against the cross-bar and flying away to safety.
We then had quite a long dely due to an injury to a Wallingford player (Zac Field?) who was eventually taken off on a stretcher. Not a sight that you want to see at any match. Initial reports seemed to suggest there was a possibility of a break. Let's hope that it wasn't that serious. Wishing the player a speedy recovery.
When play resumed, Wally continued where they had left off. There was no shortage of effort and endeavour but a lack of definite shortage of clinical final ball once they were in the final third.
HT Wallingford Town 0 Milton United 0. Wally well on top but could regret not getting a goal.
However, after 65 minutes, Wally finally got their noses in front with a very well taken goal. An attack down the right flank and a low cross led to the ball dropping towards the edge of the Milton penalty area. Max Mohan-Triggle was first to react, latching onto the ball with a low, well-placed drive that nested into the corner of the United net for 1-0. Interestingly, three of us standing in the same spot registered three different positions for the strike. @FACupFactFile saw it as a strike from just outside the box. I thought he was well inside, closer to the penalty spot and the guy next to us thought it was just inside. That's what makes the game so freat, how people see things slightly differently. Of course, if we ask the player, he struck it from 30 yards or more. Whatever the case, Wally had the lead.
FT Wallingford Town 1 Milton United 0. Not the most exciting of games but the points assure Wally of a solid mid-table finish in their first season back at Step 6. It was great to be back out watching football and an absolute pleasure to pass the evening chatting to @FACupFactFile about all things football. I think we put quite a bit of the footballing world straight during the 90 minutes but I look forward to fixing the rest of it the next time we meet up.
Wallingford Town: Vaughan, Bickerton, Stott, Thurston, Baptie, Morgan, Field, Beach, Spruyt, Mohan-Triggle, McLaughlin. Subs: Walker, Morris, Webber, Le Paih, Eatwell
Ground Number: Not a new ground
Programme: Included in entrance fee