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May 2018

The only matter to be resolved was whether the Men's 2nds could evade the threat of relegation. After the goalless draw with Motspur Park, our rivals for the penultimate spot in the table, they had played all their games whilst Wanderers had three left with just a point between them.

Wanderers took on RH Athletic in Surbiton whilst Motspur had a week off. Early in the first half, RH scored a belter before Chedee Alexander gave away a clear penalty against RH's tricky winger. Ryan O'Neil struck back to ensure there was a glimmer of hope for the 2nds. An innocuous cross was adjudged to have struck Craig McRae's arm - despite the dust marks on his shorts - and another dubious penalty was awarded against Wanderers - and RH were ahead by two. Elliot Winspear then lashed home from close distance to capitalise on twenty minutes of sustained pressure on the RH Athletic penalty area. Considering they had nothing to play for, it was a dogged performance from the guests and they worked hard to earn their points.

To catch up on the amount of postponed games, Wanderers were forced to play Chessington KC on Bank Holiday Monday. Everything was set until a suspiciously convenient eleventh hour change of plans meant the match moved from the usual afternoon kick-off to 11am and from Chessington to Raynes Park. Having complained to the league, Wanderers attempted to delay kick-off as much as possible as protest at the poor way in which the game had been arranged but the same ref from the RH game was having none of it, despite having already confirmed for the afternoon, expressing that he was in a hurry to get away for a prior engagement.

​Wanderers played without any such distractions; a brilliant display from a patchwork team was kicked off with a goal from Tom Willis. A slender lead looked like it would be insufficient to ensure victory but then Ryan O'Neill (back row, second from the right) lashed a volley in from the edge of the box that gave the keeper no hope and whistled into the top corner. Having rarely experienced a two-goal lead, the players erupted in excitement as much as relief. O'Neill bagged again before sub Nico Kourmouzis (front row, first from the left) glided past two players from right wing and stroked the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper. Disappointingly, a well-timed Tom Rodriguez-Perez tackle sliced into the roof of the net to prevent Mark Wilson earning two clean sheets. The 4-1 win took Wanderers up to 9th and potential safety with a game in hand.

Kew Park Rangers walkover win against Wandgas Worcester Park Vets in April meant that, even with a win Wanderers couldn't catch KPR. But a win is exactly what they got!

Harry Linehan stole the show with a one-man demonstration of footballing prowess, claiming the club's first hat-trick in a league match since Timesh Pillay put three past Real Holmesdale Reserves in October 2016. KPR were perhaps already on their holidays, considering the effort they put in to win earlier in the season. Nonetheless, it was a commanding performance from Wanderers, who put into practice many of the ideas Head Coach Joe Poxon had been working hard to instil.

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