Twigger hat-trick sees Kenilworth Wardens edge out The Engine in seven-goal thriller
By Eamonn Richards
22nd Aug 2022 | Football
A hat-trick from Dan Twigger saw Kenilworth Warden's new-looking Sunday side edge past last year's Leamington and District Division Two champions The Engine.
The visitors started the better of the two sides and after 15 minutes were awarded a penalty when the impressive Leo Notice was inadvertently brought down in the box while battling against Wardens' centre backs James Carro and Chris Porter.
Stan Moss took the penalty, hammering it into the top right corner leaving captain Alex Brown in goal with no chance of saving.
But Wardens levelled things up 10 minutes later.
A through ball by player-manager Eamonn Richards led to a defensive mistake allowing the ball to fall for Twigger who volleyed home into an open goal for his first of the match.
The Engine retook the lead on 30 minutes. A poor ball from the Wardens' defence invited pressure, Notice bullied his way into the box, his initial shot was expertly saved by Brown, but his follow up shot was hit high into the top corner.
It then took Wardens just five minutes to find a second equaliser. Smart play in midfield saw Dane Watt play the ball to Roger Kingston out wide who turned The Engine defender several times before delivering a perfect cross to Twigger to head in from six yards out.
The second half continued to be an even game, with The Engine forcing Alex Brown into several good saves.
But on 60 minutes Wardens took the lead for the first time when James Smith delivered a brilliant cross following a quick throw in for Twigger to divert the ball into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick and bag his ninth goal in four preseason games.
On 70 minutes, after a period of dominance, The Engine scored to bring the game back level.
With Wardens stretched a brilliant Moss ball was met by the run of Matt Wright, who calmly passed the ball into the bottom corner.
Wardens looked more likely to score the winner, with several dangerous crosses coming close, but they left it until the 88th minute to find the crucial last goal.
Smith took a quick throw in to the unmarked Richards 30 yards out. His brilliant in-swinging cross found Kingston to get a flicked touch from six yards leaving the keeper with no chance.
With the match finishing 4-3 it was the second time in as many games that Wardens scored four, having beaten Heathcote 4-2 the weekend before.
Following the match Richards praised his side's performance.
"This is essentially a new side, with only two or three players from last year returning. There has been some anxieties over how we will look this year, but last two weeks can see how we're shaping up and been really happy with the commitment, quality and execution in games," he said.
"I think we can be quietly confident of having a good season. Although The Engine were hampered by players being unavailable today, the players they did have were good footballers and there is a reason they won division two last year.
"What was really pleasing is that we successfully changed our tactics throughout the game to combat The Engines formation and pressing, which I always feel is a sign of a good side."
Kenilworth Wardens are proudly sponsored by LPC Sports Therapy and Yoga.
Lead-therapist Lily is a Level Four qualified sports massage therapist and yoga Practitioner, specialising in anxiety support.
Lily is trained to diagnose injuries, rehabilitate, and is fully recommended by players of Kenilworth Wardens.