Wotton-under-Edge 2 Firebrands 0

WITH the league campaign restarting this Saturday after a long Christmas break, Wotton gained a confidence-boosting friendly win against Firebrands.

The midfield duo of James Cruickshank and Dave Newns pulled the strings in the centre of midfield and it was not long before Wotton won a short corner.

A strong strike from Ryan Howarth was well saved by the keeper but the ball fell to Darren Pearce, who turned the ball goalbound only for the defender to stop the ball with his body on the line.

The resulting flick was converted by Cruickshank into the bottom left corner and Wotton had a deserved lead.

The tireless running from forwards Jamie Gosling, Howarth and Harry Wilcox were causing problems for the Firebrands defence and it was not long before Howarth found some room at the top of the D and fired a fierce reverse stick strike beyond the away keeper.

Wotton were almost caught out on the break by the only Firebrands attack, however keeper James Wells-French was quickly off his line to make a block from a Firebrands strike.

The second half continued in the same vein with Wotton controlling play and holding onto the ball wherever possible.

The energetic Andy Edwards intercepted a ball on the left and played a ball out wide to the promising young left back Buist, who was brought down by a clumsy tackle from frustrated a Firebrands forward, who was shown a yellow card and the opposition were down to ten men.

Firebrands' frustration continued and a further yellow was shown for dissent.

Wotton were then reduced to ten for the last period when Newns was shown a yellow card.

With Wotton transferring the ball through the defence they held onto the ball, minimising the opposition's threat, and held onto a clean sheet and a well deserved victory.

Wotton travel to Penarth on Saturday looking for their first three league points of 2014.