Wakefield AFC pass tough away test to keep winning run going
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Notwithstanding the distance to travel, Louth – 11th in the league – were set to be no easy walk in the park for Wakefield; their record respectable as newcomers to the league, having won eight of their 17 fixtures, only failing to score in two of those matches and only losing by more than two goals on two occasions, writes Austin Ainsworth.
But Wakefield were determined to carry on where they left off in their impressive win over leaders Wombwell Town and came away with a 2-0 victory.
Their side showed just one change with captain Danny Youel returning to replace the absent Jaydan Sandhu and they started quickly, allowing the home side no time to breathe, again working as a cohesive, pressing machine and showing slickness in possession.
The chances came quickly with lively winger Oliver Rodriguez, who tormented the home side throughout, testing the keeper with a stinging shot inside two minutes.
Youel and Sebastian Losa, again operating as Wakefield’s central attacking option, both missed good chances before Losa put his side ahead in the 16th minute.
Youel, in and out of the side for the first time in his Wakefield career of late, was the architect, with a perfectly weighted through ball for the striker to take a touch and finish past the keeper when one against one.
Three minutes later Wakefield deservedly doubled their lead through Rubie with his seventh goal of the season after was a crisp counter-attacking move started by Aaron Pilkington and involving Losa and Cameron Barnett.
More good chances were crafted, seeing the ball cleared off the line and having further attempts narrowly miss the target.
Rodriguez, thanks to the quality of his performance, started to see increasingly rough treatment from opposition who could not deal with his speed and skill. That led to Louth’s Mitchell Taylor seeing red for a late, two-footed lunge on the winger in the 36th minute.
New signing striker Ben Gelder came on for his debut at the start of the second half but, despite their man advantage, Wakefield failed to extend their lead as the increasingly inclement conditions, along with a spirited home defence, appeared to hamper the flow of the game.
Wakefield did still have their moments, particularly with the introduction of Jake Morrison just after the hour mark, with he and the eye-catching Gelder combining on a number of occasions.
Gelder went several times while Morrison, searching for his first goal in nearly a month, had Wakefield’s best chance of the half when fellow substitute Owan Derrett delivered a perfect ball from deep through the heart of the Louth midfield and defence.
Morrison timed his run to perfection to meet the ball on the penalty spot, but his first time toe poke went over the bar.
Ominously for the rest of the league Wakefield – now up to second, just one point off top spot – appear as though they are finally up and running this season as the league moves in to the winter period.
With another win and clean sheet under manager Gabe Mozzini they are now looking just as well-drilled, consistent and committed off the ball as they are on it.
Wakefield have set the levels required with five league wins in a row – their best run of the season – and they will now look to maintain that form as the hunt for top spot takes a break in midweek, with their re-arranged West Riding County Cup first round tie away to Selby; kick-off 7.45pm tomorrow (Tuesday).