Duke Show Battling Spirit To Fend Off Physical Wanderers

February 28, 2012

Duke Of Wellington dug deep into their reserves to claim a deserved 1-0 victory over Whitworth Wanderers at Heywood Leisure Centre on Sunday.

The winning goal came from the cultured boot of Alan ‘The Boulder’ Horan, with an early penalty.

They were indebted to another battling performance at the back, with Lee Bates and Steve Hutchinson again to the fore, and Mikey Grogan pulling off a number of scrambling saves.

It makes it two wins in two for Duke in the FJ Williams Cup after they saw off Oldham side Salem last week, and gives them a great chance of progressing from the group stages.

Manager Alan Renny was almost given too much choice as he was able to field five subs for the start of the game.

They needed all the options as Whitworth proved why they are such a strong side in the first division of the Rochdale and District Sunday League.

Time and again tackles flew in and it was great testament to the restraint and commitment to play of the Heywood side that they didn’t rise to the bait.

Horan’s penalty gave Duke and early lead and although they offered threats down the flank and from Horan’s dead balls, leading striker Steve Kilcourse was left to feed on scraps on the muddy top pitch.

The match was often bogged down in midfield, but when threatened Grogan, stout defending and, on one occasion, the post came to the rescue.

Renny was delighted with the performance.

He told Heywood Sport: “It was a real gutsy performance from the lads and they gave a great account of themselves.”

Duke return to league action next week with a trip to Salem.

They currently sit in fifth in the First Division.


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