Club record win sees Wakefield AFC into round three of County Challenge Cup

Wakefield AFC returned to West Riding County FA Challenge Cup action with a big win as they welcomed Fieldhead Hospital FC to the Millennium Stadium in the second round.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:13 am
Hat-trick hero Red Bates. Picture: Steve Biltcliffe

They went into the game the heavy home favourites against the visitors, who sit four levels below them in the league pyramid and any hope of a giant killing was quickly dashed by a rampant, clinical and merciless home performance from Adam Lockwood’s side, who ran out 15-0 winners; aided by hat-tricks from Red Bates, Jake Morrison and Owen Kirman, braces from Billy Mole and Mason Rubie, and single goals from Jordan Turner and Cory Woodward.

Lookwood named a similar side to the one last seen beating Penistone Church Reserves away from home in their last Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League game. There was a change in goal as Joel Cowan made his first team debut, whilst Josh Lockwood came in at right-back.

In a performance of such dominance, it is arguably a paper exercise to write about anything other than the club-record 15 unanswered goals, albeit the game did have other quintessentially non-league points of interest and minor controversy throughout. The referee again had to do with players running the lines, whilst he garnered attention for some interesting oversights throughout the game; first denying Wakefield a clear penalty in the 21st minute for a blatant trip, before keeping his red card hidden away after two melees that saw punches thrown from Fieldhead players and at least one high, lunging, two-footed challenge.

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Most amusingly he appeared to have difficulty keeping up with the barrage of goals, as rumours abound after the match that he had called it 14-0, despite video evidence to the contrary.

It was evident from the third minute that any controversy was never likely to be close to affecting the outcome, as number 10 Billy Mole bagged his first goal for the club. Good work from winger Mason Rubie made it happen as he was played in down the right and, left with acres of space to pick his pass, squared it to Mole for an easy, side-footed finish.

The dam did not break immediately, as Wakefield continued to threaten but were unable to double the score until the 19th minute when Rubie himself got on to the score sheet somewhat fortunately. Midfielder Morgan Butcher sprayed the ball out to him in his right-wing position, before his cross-cum-shot wormed its way past the Fieldhead goalkeeper at the near post.

Minutes later left-winger Red Bates scored the first of a quick-fire first half hat-trick, although it again came from the dangerous right channel after he and Rubie swapped sides. Rubie started the move on the left, before full-back Cory Woodward crossed in towards the near post. A deflection allowed Mole to snatch the ball, turn and play Bates in at the back post. With away players lunging desperately to block the inevitable shot, and the keeper still to beat, Bates finished nicely with a rising shot in to the net.

Bates soon had his second goal as the deadly home side pounced on another Fieldhead error. The away side had initially found themselves far enough up the pitch to have a corner kick, however the resultant set-piece was cleared out towards the halfway line. An attempted defensive header then played striker Jordan Turner in-behind. He ran in on goal and smartly delayed his final action, as he worked himself space to turn and square for the on-rushing Bates to tap-in.

Bates’ hat-trick was interrupted by Mole’s second goal of the day in the 38th minute, who combined well with his strike partner Turner. Having initially slipped a piercing through-ball in for Turner to touch and see his shot well saved by the ‘keeper, Mole was then able to pounce on the rebound to side-foot in from six yards out.

The fans were treated to the first hat-trick of the day shortly before half time when Bates benefitted from another error from the overworked Fieldhead goalkeeper. The winger initially played a short corner from the left to midfielder Daniel Youel, who passed it back to allow Bates to cross from the angle with an in-swinger. The looping cross floated over to the back post and travelled on all the way through the goalkeeper’s hands as he attempted to catch the ball, contriving only to help it in to the back of his own net.

There was still time for Turner to get in on the action just before half time, as he made it 7-0 with his third goal in two games. It was again the space at the right post that was Fieldhead’s downfall. Bates started the move with the final act of his star, first-half showing when he dispatched two Fieldhead players with a darting run down the left. He pulled the ball back for Woodward who delivered a deadly cross in towards Turner at the back post. The striker reacted clinically to the bouncing ball, as he used his chest to nudge the ball in.

There was momentary respite at the start of the second half, as a new strike pairing of Jake Morrison and Cain Tailford were introduced, along with Owen Kirman who was on for Bates. It was the club’s top-scorer Morrison who eventually made it 8-0 in the 64th minute. After a pin-ball game of saved shots from point blank range, Morrison eventually pounced on a rebound to tap-in past the floored goalkeeper, who by this point was an unlucky outfield player elected to swap with the previously injured first-choice ‘keeper.

It took only a minute more for Kirman to find his goalscoring feet as he was able to find joy again at the right post, after a shot from Rubie dribbled past the keeper to allow the winger to finish the move off. Moments later Kirman had his second when he collected the ball deep on the right from another saved Wakefield shot. With work to do, he turned to beat the demoralised defenders and side foot through the goalkeepers legs from a tight angle.

Morrison scored his second with another simple tap-in in the 71st minute. A corner was delivered from the left and inadvertently nodded on by the defender who headed at his near post. The poorly deflected attempted clearance went straight through to Morrison who was unmarked at the back post for yet another tap-in.

Defender Woodward scored the highlight of the slideshow of goals when he made it 12-0 in the 83rd minute. Tailford received the ball with his back to goal near the 18 yard line and held off the jostling defender. He laid the ball off to Woodard who touched and the smashed a drilled, pin-point shot low to the keepers left from 20 yards out.

That appeared to be that as the clock moved on to 90 minutes, however a merciless Wakefield still found time in added time for three more goals to complete two more hat-tricks. First, Rubie completed his brace when Morrison timed his run well to beat the Fieldhead backline. He went on to strike a powerful cross across goal from the right which Rubie duly side-footed in to the net.

Roles reversed from the kick-off as Rubie returned the favour to assist Morrison in completing his hat-trick with his 8th goal of the season. There was symmetry with the previous goal, as Rubie was the one played in behind on the left after a menacing run and incisive pass from Kirman. Rubie squared and Morrison was able to finish at the right post that by now Wakefield’s strikers called home.

The last kick of the game saw Kirman complete his hat-trick and move one behind Morrison with seven for the season. In typical fashion for the skilful and pacy winger, he used strength and speed to beat two men down the right before opening his body and striking a left-footed shot through the goalkeeper’s legs to complete the Wakefield rout.

Wakefield now move in to the third round of the cup and await their draw, but will now turn their attention to clawing back their league position with a big game at home to likely title rivals Swinton Athletic this Saturday.

Wakefield AFC: Joel Cowan; Josh Lockwood, James Morris (C), Bradley Swain, Cory Woodward; Mason Rubie, Daniel Youel, Morgan Butcher, Red Bates; Billy Mole, Jordan Turner. Subs Used: 49m, Owen Kirman for Red Bates; 50m, Jock Curran for Morgan Butcher; 57m, Cain Tailford for Billy Mole; 57m, Jake Morrison for Jordan Turner.