WHOEVER said age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm definitely got it seriously wrong last weekend. Penarth Wanderers Vets entertained a youthful Penarth Exes team for their latest match in the EVS SW Casual League Charity Division.

The Wanderers team was Jonny Allinson in goal, a defence of Rich Desbois, Jodie Shepherd, Dave Lewis and Carl Sealy, in midfield were Andy Cayford (Capt), Mike Roberts, Huw Richards, Joe Davies and Tommy Lee James with Cam Williams as the sole forward. On the bench were Chris Rodd, Scott Ato, Wayne Herbert, Mike Kean and Regan Llewellyn.

With the good performances in the last few matches, the Wanderers were in a confident mood. A couple of minor errors, which went unpunished due to a reshaped back-four, were soon overcome and the team settled into a good rhythm with Cayford, James and Richards forcing the Exes back with their runs beyond Williams. This presented the Wanderers with their first goal, nearly a carbon copy of one scored the previous week, when a superb free kick landed at the feet of Richards who rifled it into the net - 1-0 to the Wanderers.

The Vets were certainly dominating the match with Roberts and Davies providing the service to the wide men. Within minutes the Vets were two up when Roberts moved onto a loose ball and let loose from 30 yards. The ball flew in off the far post - 2-0 to the Wanderers!

However, these two pieces of brilliance were only papering over the cracks which were starting to appear in midfield and defence. This was not helped when James turned his ankle running onto a through ball and had to be substituted with Scott Ato coming on.

Penarth Times: Williams tussles for the ball in attack. Picture: Rob Reed

Williams tussles for the ball in attack. Picture: Rob Reed

The Wanderers performance steadily deteriorated from that point with the unfortunate injury to James. The Vets soon conceded a soft goal - 2-1 - but for some reason heads went down! Instead of upping their game to re-establish their grip they soon conceded another goal! 2-2! Williams had to leave the field, temporarily, so Llewellyn went on for him.

Before the team knew it they were 4-2 down due to a combination of poor defending and equally poor goalkeeping. 4-2 half time - which couldn't come quick enough!

The half-time break gave the Wanderers the opportunity to consolidate, make a couple of enforced changes and settle.

Getting going again was difficult but changes had to be made. Shepherd had to be replaced by Kean, Desbois had to be replaced by Rodd, then Richards for Herbert. Williams had to return now as a make-shift centre half when Kean came off due to injury. Switching players into different positions was not helping matters. Cayford was unbowed though and his never-say-die attitude was rewarded when he netted the Vets' third goal. The Exes struck back again (and again) with their fifth and sixth goals! 6-3 to the Exes with time running out. But Cayford wasn't having any of it as he hit his second. Another great performance by him, but he can't do it on his own. Other players needed to work harder to progress in this division or the cup.

The final score being 6-4 to Penarth Exes - revenge for the mauling we gave them in a pre-season friendly.

It now remains to be seen how long the injured players are out for. Not too long we hope.

Alan Robinson