Hamilton Wanderers 3 ECB 1 played 25 April 2012 at Porritt Stadium

It was 1-0 at half time and Bays were playing well, but somehow the wheels fell off in the second half and the unbeaten start to the season came to an end.

Mikael Munday, Jeff Campbell and Leigh Kenyon were all injured so Emmanuel Darkwa got his first start and development players Sam Barnfield and Brock Messenger were promoted to the bench.

The game started with both sides testing each other, with Wanderers playing a long ball game and Bays their build up from the back. Scott Campbell tested the Wanderers defence with a couple of free kicks which were hastily whacked away from the goalmouth and Jason McKeown and Dan Peat came close with drives from distance.

At the other end of the park, Jack Beguely blocked David Samson and David Smith was off-target with his shot.

Bays felt aggrieved when Nathan Palmer was taken out by the Wanderers' keeper and not even a free kick was awarded and minutes later a strong shout for hand ball in the Wanderers penalty area was waved away.

With just four minutes until the break, Wanderers were beaten at their own game when a long clearance from Aidan Gwilt was not cut out, and Palmer beat the defenders, rounded the keeper and stroked the ball into an empty net to give Bays the lead. Palmer was almost through minutes later only to be called offside.

The second half began much the same as the first but Emanuel Darkwa lasted only eight minutes before being injured in a tackle and was replaced by Barnfield. Peat made a run but the keeper saved at his feet. Then a defensive mix up saw the ball not cleared and Mark Jones headed home the equalizer.

Just past the hour, a Peat rocket was just tipped over the bar by the keeper.

Wanderers came back at Bays and took the lead from a David Smith header from a cross from the right flank.

Smelling blood, Wanderers attacked from kick off but skipper David Samson landed awkwardly and play was held up for some ten minutes while he was treated and eventually stretchered off with a broken leg.

The restart was a disaster for Bays. Gwilt had the ball and was about to clear but changed his mind, dropped the ball and a Wanderers player was on hand to collect and sweep it into the net.

Wanderers were now 3-1 up and elected to defend their lead. Kelly Escolme and Brock Messenger came on and Bays laid siege to the Wanderers goal.

The Wanderers defence managed to get bodies behind every attack, thwarting every chance Bays created as time ran out.

A sombre bus trip home.


Team: Gwilt, Darkwa (Barnfield 53), Beguely, Edginton, Wynne, Scott Campbell (Escolme), Bresnahan, McKeown, Barnett (Messenger), Peat, Palmer.


Scorers: Palmer 41


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