Irish at the double to take Wick top

Josh Irish struck twice in Wick's win over Mile Oak. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Josh Irish struck twice in Wick's win over Mile Oak. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Wick Football Club went top of the Southern Combination League Division 1 table on Saturday.

Josh Irish’s brace, coupled with Alex Kew’s goal sealed a 3-1 home win for Wick over in-form Mile Oak.

Victory proved enough to take them top - above Little Common - after they suffered a surprise 6-0 defeat at Lingfield.

Lee Baldwin’s side were made to work hard for victory, though, with Mile Oak having two goals disallowed and missing a late penalty.

Wick boss Baldwin admitted they were far from their best but was pleased to see his team leapfrog Little Common.

He said: “They (Mile Oak) were exactly what we knew they would be. They had two goals disallowed, which for me were great calls from the linesman.

Kieron Playle-Howard battles for possession during Saturday's clash with Mile Oak. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Kieron Playle-Howard battles for possession during Saturday's clash with Mile Oak. Picture by Stephen Goodger

“We never really got going but it’s another big three points. Josh (Irish’s) strike for his second goal will take some beating this season.

“Promotion is the aim first and foremost this season, so we’ll be doing everything we can to get that.”

Oak defender Damon Pollard handled in the area after five minutes, with Irish slamming home the resulting penalty.

Gould and Coates both had goals disallowed for offside - in the space of two minutes - as Wick remained ahead.

Oak got their reward on the half-hour, though, with Gould’s beautiful right-foot strike beating Keelan Belcher in Wick’s goal.

Oak’s work to get back in it was undone three minutes before the break as Kew fired the home side back in front.

Irish’s audacious lob from just inside the half left stand-in Oak goalkeeper Aaron Howard no chance as Wick went 3-1 in front eight minutes from time.

Mile Oak kept pushing and were gifted the chance to set-up a thrilling finale on 85 minutes.

The visitors’ were awarded a penalty by referee Barry Cox but Coates saw his spot-kick saved by Belcher as Wick won it 3-1 - a result which took them top.

Leaders Wick welcome third-placed Langney Wanderers on Saturday, which boss Baldwin knows will be hard.

He added: “Every game in this league is tough, so we’ll approach it just the same as we do every game.”

WICK: Belcher; Eyres, Northeast, Bunker, Bingham; Cox, Playle-Howard, Kew; Mepham, Irish, Wimble. Subs: Ebling, Weir, Hawkes