Despite a pre-season exodus of Hartpury student players, as well as a depth of injuries, Westfields approached the 21/22 campaign looking sharp. Manager Phil Glover spent his summer reshaping the squad to embody a mix of Hereford’s youth and personnel experienced in Step 5 and above.
The team targeted promotion after feeling rather hard done by the FA’s points per game standings, which saw relegation and promotion determined through statistics calculated via the unfinished 19/20 and 20/21 seasons.
The Season commenced at Allpay Park with a well earned 1-1 draw against Malvern Town, in a game that saw Fields recover from being down by a goal and a man at the break. Following this result the team encountered a COVID-19 spike. A 3-2 loss at Cribbs despite a promising performance, then back to winning ways with a tight 1-0 victory at home. Supporters could soon come to recognise just how mixed a season was to come for the local side.
Things appeared to get worse in the camp. Westfields later lost their key talisman Aidan Thomas to a season ending injury amongst a 3-0 thrashing. Ironically, a game that saw the return debut for his fellow striker, Joshua Hunt, who went on to be seasons top scorer for the club.
Call it the calm before the storm, his contribution alongside returns for work horses Daniel Stoneman and Sam Rawlings got Fields back on track with a host of impressive wins. This including a 2-1 derby win at Lads Club, a 3-2 comeback victory at Malvern and most remarkably, Fairford at home which saw the side trailing 4-1 late in the game but Westfields came back and ended up winning 5-4 in the dying embers. The team didn’t look like they could be stopped, the belief was sky high and the talent was shining.
Come November, it was apparent the team would add quality, announcing the signature of ex Hereford FC forward Jamie Bird.
Bird was brilliant in this run with six goals to his name before New Year. Recovering after a not so fashionable start, bagging a debut own goal at Edgar street against Hereford in the County Cup. This was a tight fixture that consisted of a multitude of Fields chances failed to be put away. The improvement continued leading to Christmas. A festive holiday celebrated by Fields as they jingled all the way to a 2-0 win against rivals Lads Club to complete a derby double. This day was particularly successful for Herefordshire football with an attendance of 585!
In new year Jamie rounded off his great run of form, substituted on for 10 man Westfields to rescue a point with what was ‘the best freekick ever seen by a Westfields player as described by former manager Sean Edwards.
As aforementioned, a mixed season was expected. From nowhere January witnessed the inconsistency rekindle. The goals seemed to dry up. Multiple points being dropped game after game saw them drift further down the table. A run that involved one Westfields win in eight games. There were some fantastic displays from Westfields during this period, most notably a 0-0 draw at the league champions where Fields arguably outplayed the opposition for a large majority. Despite their efforts the side finished the season in 7th, missing out on promotion.
In regards to cup competitions, Westfields were knocked out of both the FA Cup and Vase to a highly rated Coventry side. The defeats came in the early rounds of each respective tournament. The HFA County Cup saw fields lose away at Hereford FC. Overall a campaign which the club will learn from, going into next season with further experience for their young side and the flowing football they have in the locker, there is plenty of reason to be positive!
Westfields held their awards evening on Friday night (13th May) in honour of the players and staff efforts. The ceremony saw defender Joe Davies win Player of the Year as voted by the committee; Players Player of the Year was awarded to midfielder Matt Macdonald and the seasons Young Player of the Year was awarded to Harrison Summers.
All three players were playing their first season in claret and blue after signing last summer. Paul Boltman also won Clubman of the Year!