Stoke on song in a tale of two cities
Week three of the IFA season was a quiet one, with just the four games played.
Pick of the fixtures was the return to action of Stoke City, having served a suspension last season. The Potters have worked hard to regain their place in the league and the efforts of management team Dan Buxton and Simon Duckmanton were rewarded, as they secured a 2-0 win against James Penny’s Coventry. Stoke started well and some fine last ditch defending from the visitors prevented a couple of tap in, while Buxton himself hit the cross bar. Coventry had a good spell that saw them have one cleared off the line and miss a good one on one chance.
Substitutions midway through the half saw Chris Wollington come on and break the deadlock for Stoke, with a poachers effort after a fine run from Lee Tawn. Wollington then doubled the lead before half time with a shot across the keeper. The game was open and end to end during the second half, Coventry had a late Ryan Harkin goal disallowed for offside, but Stoke’s rearguard held firm.
Elsewhere, three IFA/big team double headers took place. After some confusion in the days leading up to the game, two IFA newcomers met as Gillingham traveled to Wolves. After a goalless first half, a rare event in any IFA game, Darren Everitt gave the Gills the lead early in the second period. The home side then missed a penalty, before the visitors added a second. Wolves then swapped keepers and with his first touch after ditching the gloves, Anthony Penn got the home side back into the game. However, a bizarre third goal secured the win, as a Gills cross wrong footed the stand-in home custodian.
Oxford entertained Bury A and the two sides served up a vintage IFA cracker, packed with goals. Oxford raced into a two goal lead, with Patrick Wehmeier and Thom Airs on target. Oxford then provided a perfect example of the spirit that exists in IFA football, when one of their midfield players was tackled awkwardly but fairly inside the area. The referee blew for a penalty, but the player got straight up and told the ref it wasn’t a foul and the game was restarted with a drop ball.
The second half was a different affair, as Bury pulled level within ten minutes of the restart and then kicked on to be 4-2 in front as Oxford seemed to tire. Paul Soper pulled a goal back to make it 4-3, but the visitors secured an excellent win with two further strikes. The Bury scorers were Nev Hardman with a hat-trick, Jake Wadsworth, Daniel Bowerbank and Paul Pfau.
In another high scoring affair, Rochdale ran out 6-2 winners at Burton Albion. Liam Eaton gave the hosts the perfect start, but Rochdale had a good day in front of goal, with strikes from Jack Leeming, Kyle Davies, Luke Walsh, Jonny Hall and Andrew Lorimer (2). Dan Wright was on target with the Brewers’ second goal.
Last but not least, Shrewsbury traveled to East London to take on Leyton Orient. The home side got off to a poor start, as they were two down in ten minutes to goals from Charlie Warren and Tim Klekot. Orient composed themselves and got one back before half time through Darren Blanchard, but a further strike from Warren secured the win for the visitors.
Week Three full results announced so far;
Stoke City 2 Coventry City 0
Wolves 1 Gillingham 3
Oxford United 3 Bury A 6
Burton Albion 2 Rochdale 6
Leyton Orient 1 Shrewsbury 3
As ever, the league tables will be updated on this website later in the week.