Kenilworth Wardens lift Bedworth Nursing Cup after dominant display
By Eamonn Richards
16th Apr 2022 | Football
Three first half goals saw Kenilworth Wardens beat RS Sports to lift the Bedworth Nursing Cup at the Bedworth Oval.
League winners RS Sports had already beaten second-place Wardens twice this season and were the favourites going into the match.
And it was RS who started the better and nearly went ahead after just five minutes. A long ball from James Proctor was chased by David Buckley who beat both Ashley Saines and the onrushing Andy Whitehouse in goal but pushed the ball wide in the process and couldn't find the net with his finish.
RS dominated the early possession but the Wardens defence of James Butler, Tom Griffith, Saines and Roger Kingston looked comfortable in defending every attack.
On 20 minutes captain Griffith intercepted the ball and passed to player-manager Eamonn Richards who played a long ball into the channel to Guy Pearson. Pearson beat his man to the ball and hit a left footed first-time volley straight onto Andy Legg's head who powered home from 6 yards out to put Wardens 1-0 up.
Within five minutes Wardens made it two.
Butler took a routine throw in 30 yards out. His throw to Legg was passed back, Butler beat his man to the byline and put in a perfect pass, beating everyone except for Pearson who prodded in from 2 yards out - his 22nd goal of the year.
Wardens nearly made it three a few minutes later when a brilliant run in behind by Legg was found by Richards, Legg killed the ball dead 8 yards out but his finish went inches over the bar.
But with ten minutes of the first half left to play Wardens did find a third. A corner was cleared out to Richards who crossed to Griffith who volleyed into the top corner after letting the ball drop over his head.
It took RS one second half minute to pull a goal back.
Buckley pulled off Saines 20 yards out and hit a shot which deflected off the Kenilworth centre half and wrong footed Whitehouse to make the score 3-1.
On 50 minutes a rare Wardens error let the speedy Cyrus Small in one-on-one with Whitehouse, as Small went to shoot, Griffith managed to make up 10 yards and get his foot on the ball, with by far the best tackle of the game.
And it was Griffith who nearly scored again two minutes later as he beat everyone to win a Richards free kick but his flicked on header landed just over the bar.
But as the game continued neither side created anything of note and Wardens saw out the game to lift the trophy.
"Honestly? I thought we'd win today," said Richards after the full time whistle.
"I felt like the tactics I asked the lads to do would nullify RS Sports and with the attacking players we had we were always going to score.
"We had so many brilliant performances today, Brewitt and Saines were perfect in their man marking roles, Butler had possibly his best ever performance, Kingston won every tackle and every header- which is rare - Legg won literally everything and Pearson got his goal and assist.
"Every player was brilliant, subs (Beck and Wells) were perfect when they came on too.
"In a game with brilliant performance, Tom Griff's stood out. His goal was insane and his tackle to stop a certain goal was brilliant. He was flawless today.
"I'm lucky to have such a great group of lads, smart, talented footballers with no ego.
"RS Sports are a really good footballing team and deservedly won the league, but we were clearly better today."
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.