On their return to a rain-soaked Bowl, FC Isle of Man broke their seven-game winless streak with a crucial victory over Wythenshawe FC. The home crowd were treated to an intense clash that not only lifted the spirits of the supporters but also marked a significant turning point for the team.
Wythenshawe wasted no time, and just 2 minutes into the match, Saul Henderson found himself one-on-one with FC IOM’s goalkeeper, Ben Wilkinson. He fired low to his left, but Wilkinson made a vital save, denying an early breakthrough.
Despite the early pressure from The Ammies, The Ravens started to find their rhythm. The match then had a momentary pause due to an injury concern for Wythenshawe’s Brown. The delay allowed both teams to regroup. Wythenshawe then made a substitution on the 18th minute, bringing in Vargas as his replacement.
FC Isle of Man showed sparks of brilliance with a well-executed one-two on the right wing between Sherrard and Pinnington. However, Pinnington’s drive into the box was met with a determined tackle, thwarting the attack.
Tiernan Garvey then burst into the Ammies’ penalty area and unleashed a viscous shot. Despite his effort, Maxwell Povey in the Ammies’ goal, dealt with his attempt confidently.
As the first half progressed, Sean Doyle shrugged off a challenge on the right, setting up Frank Jones for a promising cross. However, Jones’s delivery eluded everyone in the box and was eventually cleared by the Wythenshawe defence.
Ryan Burns then made a last-ditch clearance off the line following a Dickov corner, again denying Wythenshawe a breakthrough.
In the dying moments of the first half, Wythenshawe appeared to have broken the deadlock on the 44th minute. A simple corner from the right found an unmarked Ryan Shenton at the edge of the box, and he rifled the ball into the net. However, jubilation turned to disappointment as the linesman raised his flag, ruling the goal out for offside.
The final minutes of added time in the first half saw Sean Doyle with an opportunity on the edge of the box; unfortunately, he mishit a soft volley, and the chance went begging, leaving the teams level at the break.
Four minutes into the second half saw a pivotal moment when a handball by Goodwin in the Wythenshawe penalty area resulted in a penalty for the ravens. Jack Mcvey stepped up confidently from the spot, jinking his run-up, and he slotted the ball to the keeper’s left, breaking the deadlock and giving FC IOM the lead.
As the game progressed, tactical changes were made. Joe Quayle replaced Kyle Watson in midfield, aiming to provide fresh impetus for FC Isle of Man.
Then a fantastic cross from Sherrard narrowly missed Doyle in the box, but Jacob Crook seized the opportunity. He latched onto the ball and drove a powerful shot goalwards, forcing Povey to parry. Crook then attempted to head the rebound towards goal, but the Ammies eventually managed to clear their lines.
Frank Jones was replaced by Michael Williams on the 69th minute, Saul Henderson then had an opportunity to equalise for Wythenshawe, firing over from close range on the turn, much to the frustration of the Wythenshawe faithful.
Jacob Crook again displayed some individual brilliance, managing to ride the challenge of four players down the left. However, his final shot lacked power and posed no threat to the Ammies’ goal.
A foul by Ryan Burns on the edge of the box provided a promising set-piece opportunity for the Ammies. Bryan Ly stepped up, aiming to capitalise, but his effort was blocked by the solid Ravens wall.
Dean Pinnington was replaced by Ste Whitley, Joe Quayle was then booked for a foul halfway inside his own half as the match neared its conclusion.
In the closing moments, The Ravens faced intense pressure from the Ammies. A chaotic 16-man scramble on the goal line on the 86th minute eventually resulted in a free-kick for FC Isle of Man, allowing them to regain composure. Tiernan Garvey was then replaced by Charlie Higgins, providing fresh legs for the final moments.
With six minutes of added time, the tension reached its peak. FC Isle of Man managed the game, Crook had a crucial defencive contribution, heading a dangerous cross clear as the Ammies pressed forward.
The 95th minute brought a late opportunity for the ravens as Sean Doyle feigned and allowed the ball to run onto his other foot after a pass from the left off Higgins. Unfortunately, the shot hit the side netting.
In the 96th minute, Higgins committed a foul, leading to a free-kick 10 yards inside the FC Isle of Man half. The Ammies threw everyone forward, including the keeper, but the resulting free kick was cleared, and the final whistle was blown, prompting jubilation among the Ravens.
The final whistle had confirmed the victory for FC Isle of Man. Jacob Crook was named the Boal & Co Man of the Match for his endeavours throughout the game.