Wagner celebrates 22nd birthday in style

Birthday boy Oscar Wagner gave HMH the perfect present after firing HMH into the third round of the London Sunday FA Trophy following a hard-fought win over Tooting Celtic.




Playing at home at the Hive in beautiful autumnal conditions, HMH started well and seeming not to notice the catalogue of injuries and absentees that affected the starting line-up as Jacob Shapiro the goalkeeper played out in defence, Adam Abadi shifted back into midfield to cover for the missing Winters, Sam Monjack and Alex Moss whilst George Goldberg moved to assistant-referee as he recovered from a bruised foot. Leo Berger and Jonny May were drafted in for second start and debut respectively, both performing admirably.

Despite all this, the first half was one of HMH territorial domination but we failed to convert with the closest chance falling to Wagner with a  header from six yards that glanced just wide.

The second half was more open, particularly after the HMH midfield was decimated by the loss of Abadi and Eli Wegrzyn to injury, but both teams were restricted to a few chances each.

Into extra-time the match went, tensions rose, HMH regrouped and dominated possession again but neither team could find a goal.  With penalties looming, manager Avi Goldberg made a brave call and switched goalkeepers to prepare for spot-kicks, but with one minute of extra-time remaining, Wagner found room at the back post to chest down a perfect cross and on his 22nd birthday drill the ball into the bottom corner sparking jubilant scenes amongst the players and larger than average crowd.

Delighted HMH manager Avi Goldberg told JC Sport: “This was a good performance, despite numerous injuries against a dogged side. Our game-management, which we have been working on, improved significantly and importantly we kept a clean sheet and indeed had restricted them to no clear sight on goal until we lost key midfielders Eli Wegrzyn and Adam Abadi to injury.

"There were some very good performances from the defenders, particularly Jake Norton, Sammy Kingston and Jacob Shapiro, a top performance from Tom Prais in midfield and a solid debut on the wing for Jonny May.

"Finally Oscar Wagner continues to turn up with a goal a game, especially satisfying with a minute left on the clock and on his birthday.”

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