Worthian's Deny Bracknell Title Dream - 10 April
Highworth Town played with intensity as they came from a goal behind to beat Bracknell Town 2-1 - denying the home side the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division title.
George Short had put the home team into the lead, before an Adam Ferris double in the second half saw the Worthians claim all three points in an eye-catching win. With one more league fixture to play and his team unable to finish any higher than fifth in the table, Roberts was happy to see his players dig deep for the triumph.
“We could have had four or five goals. We brought Ash Edenborough on with about 30 minutes left to play and he had two or three clear-cut chances,” said Highworth boss Jeff Roberts to Matt Davies, Sports Reporter of the Swindon Advertiser. “We got ball down and moved it around quickly, which is our game. It was very hot and I’m surprised there weren’t a few water breaks. What we didn’t want to happen was us go into a rhythm of losing and go into the (forthcoming) cup games feeling quite low. The amount of talent and ability we have is great but if you’re not going to graft for it you won’t get anything. But we saw the team spirit on Saturday and it showed what we are capable of doing. It was a good all-round performance.”
The fact that Bracknell, who ultimately finished second in the league, three points behind Thame United who won 9-0 at Henley Town, could have had a chance of the title with a win over Roberts’ troops further underlined a notable success. “It was an impressive result really. We had nothing to lose from the start of the game,” added Roberts. “We told the players to go out and enjoy it. In the first half I thought we were a bit disappointing because we gave them too much respect. We gave them too much time to pick passes. When we did get the ball forward we wanted too much time in the box to get a strike on. We got them in at half-time and said they needed to be tighter and quicker in front of goal. Our second half was much better. When we got the first goal I thought Bracknell’s heads dropped a little bit and we took control of the game.”
Walking Wounded - 7 April
Jeff Roberts admits his Highworth Town troops resemble the walking wounded at present as they try to plot a course to silverware before the end of the season.
The Worthians went down 3-1 at Brackley Town Saints on Wednesday night, a result that means they can finish no higher than fifth or lower than seventh in the Hellenic League Premier Division whatever the outcome of their final two matches. Roberts’ side have also qualified for the Wiltshire Senior Cup final against near-neighbours Swindon Supermarine, of the Southern League, on April 27 and are into the semi-finals of the Hellenic Challenge Cup.
Cup success has therefore taken priority over league points, meaning Roberts will have to carefully manage his already-depleted ranks for Saturday’s trip to leaders Bracknell Town. Tony Joyce suffered a fractured foot against Brackley in midweek, while Kieran Gleed broke his arm on Monday night playing five-a-side football and both are extremely unlikely to play any further part in the Worthians’ campaign. Ash Edenborough and Aysa Corrick are also both carrying muscle strains and are expected to be rested this weekend.
“We have got to be sensible with our selection in these last few league games – we know what our priorities are,” said Roberts in the Swindon Advertiser. “A few players have left recently so the squad is a bit on the small side but it’s too late in the season to bring more people in now.“It’s a little bit of a juggling act. We’ve got people injured and anyone who is on four bookings, we don’t want to risk them getting another one over the remaining league games because they’ll miss the cup games. We’re a bit banged and bruised at the moment but we will get a team together that we think is capable of being competitive.”
Bracknell top the table on goal difference from Thame United and victory over Highworth is likely to see them crowned champions as both title chasers conclude their campaigns this weekend.Although the Worthians have their own eyes elsewhere, Roberts concedes they have a responsibility to the league to make as tough a game of it as possible for Bracknell. “It’s either going to be Bracknell’s or Thame’s title, and I think Thame have got Henley this weekend and they are bottom of the league, so Bracknell will know they have to beat us,” said Roberts. They will have to attack us, so hopefully that will give us a bit of a chance to exploit them as well. We are not going there to roll over, if they want the title, they will have to earn it by beating us fair and square.”
Over Critical ? - 27 March
Jeff Roberts admits he may be a little over-critical of Highworth after feeling they could have performed better in their 5-1 success at Ascot United.
Fresh off the back of their Wiltshire FA Senior Cup semi-final heroics against Southern League Division One South and West play-off hopefuls Salisbury, the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division side were always in control of Saturday’s contest at the Racecourse Ground.
However, Roberts felt that his side could have done even better. “I know what the ability of this squad is,” said Roberts. “We have got a lot of players who are Southern League quality and they have come to us from that level. We were a bit scrappy and maybe we were tired from Tuesday night, but we are better than what we showed on Saturday. Maybe I am over-critical, but it is OK doing it against the likes of Salisbury, and they did put out a strong team against us, on a one-off match basis. But we have been a little too inconsistent in our performances this season.
Ascot Trip For Worthians - 24 March
Fresh from their Wiltshire Senior Cup heroics, Highworth Town return to Premier Division action at Ascot United tomorrow.
Manager Jeff Roberts watched his side come from 2-0 down on Tuesday night to eventually win 4-3 against Southern League Division One South & West promotion hopefuls Salisbury City to reach the final of the county cup.
But now his focus has returned to Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division commitments and Roberts insists his players won’t be taking it lightly, with plenty still to play for. “We will go down to Ascot with a strong team because the players have a 10-day break afterwards,” said the Highworth boss in the Swindon Advertiser. “The highest possible spot I think we can get is fifth. I want to finish as high as we can and we have four games left. Ideally, I would like to pick up 12 points from those games. On top of that we have another cup semi-final to play. That is something else to look forward to. We still have a lot to play for this season, which is good. I think the boys deserve some kind of silverware this year.”
Highworth made a slow start to the season with just one win in their opening five fixtures, which also included a 3-2 loss to Ascot in August.
The Worthians boss thinks his side could have been potential title contenders if they hadn’t endured such a pedestrian start. “The players have worked hard considering the start to the season we had. If we had a good start, we could have been challenging for the league,” added Roberts, who already has one eye on next season. “This year was all about trying to build a side. Obviously we kept a few from last season, it was about building a good group. Inside the club, the team spirit is tremendous, the players all get on and we have some good characters in the team.”
Greater Expectations - 20 March
Whilst he was happy with the result, the Highworth boss Jeff Roberts expected more from his players against Henley Town at the Elms.
“It was a comfortable game but I think our performance was below-par,” said Roberts. “Henley made it uncomfortable for us and the conditions didn’t really suit us. I think we were below-par but I can’t grumble too much because we’ve scored three goals and kept a clean sheet.I thought we might be a bit more professional. Whether that is because we had some tired legs I don’t know. It’s still a good result, I just think character-wise, we could have been a bit better. But maybe I am being too critical.”
Roberts will hope for further improvement when his team travel to Melksham Town’s Oakfields ground on Tuesday night when they tackle Southern League side Salisbury in the Wiltshire FA Senior Cup semi-finals.
Maintain Level - 17 March
Jeff Roberts would love to Highworth maintain the level they reached on Tuesday night between now and the end of the season.
In their first game for two-and-a-half weeks, the Worthians travelled to Flackwell Heath, who are third in the Hellenic League Premier Division, in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup and came away with a 3-1 triumph.
Aysa Corrick blew out the cobwebs with an early goal before doubling Highworth’s lead after the break, with Keiron Gleed grabbing the visitors’ third while the hosts, who hit a late consolation through Daniel Rapley, ended the day with 10 men after James Essex was shown a straight red card for a heavy challenge on Lewis Brown.
“I went to watch Flackwell a few times – down at Bracknell and when the played against Fairford recently – and we changed our formation there,” said Roberts. “We wanted to play with a high tempo and cut off their full-backs, and Aysa got us a goal early on. I don’t think that a lot of people thought that we would go there and win like that but we played really well. If we could reach that level all the time, we’d win a lot of games. We obviously found it hard getting a new team together at the start of the season but they’ve gelled now and I think that if we’d had a better start, we might be challenging now. I think that pretty much everyone is looking to stay next season now and we’re already looking forward to next season as well. We’re still in two cup competitions and it’s nice that we’ve got something to play for.”
Highworth welcome second-from-bottom Henley Town to the Elms tomorrow and then next Tuesday, they face Southern League giants Salisbury in the semi-finals of the Wiltshire Senior Cup at Melksham Town’s Oakfields ground – that clash was rearranged, having been rained off on March 8.
Meanwhile, Roberts is also confident that star strikers Corrick and Ashley Edenborough, who have scored 59 goals between them so far this season, remain committed to the Highworth cause, having played at a higher level while the Worthians were without fixtures. The duo have featured for Yate Town and Evesham United respectively in recent weeks. The Highworth manager said: “We didn’t have a game for two weeks and them playing elsewhere keeps them sharp. They’re both Highworth through and through.”
Second Successive Defeat - 27 February
Highworth Town slipped to their second successive defeat as they lost 2-1 at home to Bracknell Town in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.
Jeff Roberts’ side have endured a tough couple of fixtures of late, having faced third-placed Flackwell Heath last weekend.
The visitors took the lead in the first half through former Highworth man TJ Bohane, before Aysa Corrick levelled things with an effort from 18 yards.
However, the Worthians were unable to build on the momentum gained from that goal as Bracknell’s Adam Cornell headed home what would turn out to be the winning goal in the first half.
Put It Behind You - 24 February
Jeff Roberts has called on Highworth to put their defeat to Flackwell Heath behind them when they host second-placed Bracknell Town.
A fortnight ago, Roberts’ side suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Flackwell and the Worthians chief wants to see a huge improvement from his players as they bid to reignite their Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division season.
Highworth will have their work cut out if they are to secure all three three points as the visitors are unbeaten in their last four games.“Obviously I thought Flackwell were a good side, we were unlucky not to sneak a point out of them but they took their chance and we didn’t,” said Roberts in the Swindon Advertiser. “I went down to watch Bracknell against Flackwell last Saturday, they’re a good side and are quite well organised as well. On our day I think we can beat most sides, but it will be a tough test as they are trying to get promotion. It’s down to the lads because they are the ones who are on the pitch, we can tell them what we expect but it is down to them. They are quite lively upfront but I think they leave a lot of space between their defence and midfield.”
For the game, Highworth will be without Fabian McCarthy who is suspended while there are doubts duo Ashley Edenborough and Chris Taylor who both have hamstring injuries. The Worthians will also be without Ryan Stanners and Jonny Aitkenhead after they joined Division One West title chasers Fairford Town.
“People don’t want to sit on the bench, especially with Ryan. He’s a very good player but for us he was a little bit too inconsistent,” added Roberts. “If you’re only doing that once every three or four games there comes to a point where bringing someone else in might liven that up a little bit.”
Tough Test - 10 February
Highworth Town have a tough test this weekend as they welcome Flackwell Heath to the Elms for a top-of-the-table clash in Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.
Flackwell sit second in the table, two places above Jeff Roberts’ side, who have played a game more than the visitors. The Worthians will be looking to make the most of having home advantage again after churning out three away wins on the spin, with their most recent coming against Burnham last Saturday. Despite his team’s good form, Roberts has reiterated his troops’ need to be focussed if they are to come away with another positive result.
“It’s very tight at the top of the table so it could be a massive six points for us and closes the gap on them as well,” said Roberts in the Swindon Advertiser. “They’re on a good run so it will be a very tough. If we turn up and play as well as we can do, we shouldn’t have a problem. But we need to start a bit quicker than what we have been doing recently because it seems we are still in the changing room for the first 10 minutes. Even on Saturday against Burnham, we went 1-0 down and in the second half, we were able to get the goals.”
The Highworth manager also believes the game will be a good chance for him to see how his side stands up against one of the division’s top teams. “In the summer, if someone said to me we would be fourth at this point in the season I would have bitten their hand off, but now it’ll be disappointing if we let that slip considering the kind of squad we have got,” added Roberts. “I know we can push a little bit more than we have. It’s a massive game, especially as it is at home. We still have a lot of things to go for. We want to finish as high as we can and we still have to play Bracknell twice. One of those is in two weeks’ time. All we need to do is concentrate on ourselves and pick up as many points as we can.”
Ahead Of Schedule - 3 February
Jeff Roberts believes that things are probably progressing ahead of schedule at Highworth Town.
On Saturday, the Worthians return to action in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division, where they find themselves fifth in the table behind Thatcham Town, Flackwell Heath, Thame United and leaders Bracknell Town, all four of whom have applied for promotion to the Southern League. Highworth, who thrashed Highmoor Ibis 4-1 to move into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup last weekend, have scored 15 goals in their last four league matches and remain within touching distance of the promotion-chasers above them.
Roberts took over from long-serving boss John Fisher in the summer and while he admits that it may prove to be a bridge too far to reel in free-scoring Bracknell, who are 10 points ahead, the Worthians manager is happy to see his team in the mix at the right end of the table.
“We haven’t really given up on top spot but Bracknell have to be the favourites for the league,” said Roberts in the Swindon Advertiser. “We’re in that top-five and we’re happy to be there. We play Flackwell a week on Saturday, and that’s going to be an important game but if we win that, maybe we can go up a place. A lot of the other teams at the top have still got to play each other, so there might be a bit of moving around, but we’re just trying to take every game as it comes at the moment.“With taking over last summer and getting a new side together, we’re probably doing better than we thought we would be doing.”
Highworth will be hoping not to have their fingers burned when they travel to second-from-bottom Burnham on Saturday.
Highworth Summer Tournament - 24 January
Highworth Town Football Club will be running their 25th Anniversary Summer football tournament over the weekend 9-11th June 2017.
We will be running Boys age groups from Under 7's through to Under 16's. We will also be running a Ladies tournament + Under 10's Girl's, Under 12's & 14's Girls.
Last year we received around 250 entries into the tournament with team's entering from as far afield as Pontardawe in Wales. If you would like to enter please contact Secretary Fraser Haines on email email@example.com or mobile 07939 032451
"Tuff" Task At Highworth - 30 December
Highworth Town host Tuffley Rovers in the Premier Division tomorrow and boss Jeff Roberts believes his team are a hard side to beat at the moment.
Boxing Day’s 4-0 triumph over local rivals Royal Wootton Bassett means the Worthians are now joint fourth in the table with Thatcham Town. Heading into tomorrow’s game, the Highworth boss (pictured) believes his men are more than capable of picking up all three points, but is urging them to remain focussed.
“There is a little gap between us and sixth place. We played Tuffley on the first day of the season and we got beaten 2-1,” said Roberts to Matt Davies of the the Swindon Advertiser.“It will be a tough game, we have to be professional and do what we have been doing for the last couple of months. They won 1-0 on Monday against Longlevens. We can’t go into any games thinking they are going to be easy, we have to be professional in everything we do now.”
Monday’s 4-0 win over Bassett saw striker Aysa Corrick return to form as he snared all four of the goals in the festive fixture and Roberts was delighted to see his man among the goals again.
“It’s good, Aysa has been struggling of late and had started to get a bit frustrated. I had a sit down with him and told him not to force it,” added the Highworth boss. “Usually he holds on to the ball for too long, but his goals on Monday show that he can give and go and he’ll get more chances.”
Following that win, Roberts believes everything is falling into place for his side despite a slow start to the season, which saw them lose their first four league games. Now he reckons the Worthians have what it takes to be competitive in the Premier Division.
“We are working a lot harder off of the ball now, our squad is getting back to where it should be now after all of the injuries,” added the Elms manager. “The squad is very strong. What we had on the bench on Monday are good enough to get into most Hellenic League sides. We have just got to keep the players going, there have been too many games where we have dropped off in the second half. But we learned from those mistakes in the last couple of months, we need to go for 90 minutes but I think we are a hard team to beat.”
Three Points On The Road - 19 December
Highworth went into the game against Binfield on the back of a 2-0 Wiltshire Senior Cup win over Bradford Town in the week, picked up all three points at Stubbs Lane.
A 2-1 victory, despite the narrow nature of the success, Worthian's manager Jeff Roberts is more than happy with how his side have been playing of late.
“It was a follow on from Wednesday night really, I always knew it was going to be a tough game they’re a strong side to beat,” said Roberts. “It was the same again. We went out there and played some excellent football in the first half. We totally dominated and all they could do was sit back and let us play, there was some good interchanging and we looked awesome. It was an excellent performance from the players, it was just another game today. We’ve clicked and it has come at the right time. We should have taken the game out of their hands in the first half because they were just letting us play football.”
Roberts’ troops are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Ardley to engage One East Bicester Town in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup.
County Cup Rejuvenation? - 16 December
The Worthians go into their clash with Binfield tomorrow rejuvenated after a 2-0 Wiltshire Senior Cup midweek win over Toolstation Premier Division side Bradford Town.
Manager Jeff Roberts believes it was the perfect way to get back to normal following a disappointing loss to Thatcham Town in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division last weekend.
Roberts was particularly impressed with his side’s performance in the first half, labelling it their best so far this season. “We started very well, took the game straight to them and caused them some problems down the flanks,” said Roberts.“It was a really good 45 minutes for us. It all clicked in the first half and it was the best half from us so far this season.”
Following their cup triumph, Roberts wants to see his side produce the same level when they travel to Binfield tomorrow. “We are going to have a tough game against Binfield. They came to us last month and we beat them 4-0 so they’ll look to react to that,” added Roberts. “We need to kick on from our result in the week and take that into the game on Saturday.”
Injury Concerns - 9 December
The Worthians will be without strikers Ashley Edenborough and Fabian McCarthy, when they take on Thatcham away tomorrow, plus midfielder Chris Taylor, who were all withdrawn during their 4-2 Premier Division win at Brimscombe and Thrupp.
Edenborough was the first to be replaced when he came off in the 25th minute after pulling a hamstring. Taylor was the next to go after lasting the first half before a thigh strain was too much for him to continue with, while McCarthy came off late on due to rolling his ankle.
Manager Roberts was surprised the game went ahead on Tuesday night and admitted the conditions did his side no favours on the injury front. “The conditions were really poor. I’m surprised they played the game on a boggy pitch which didn’t suit either side, especially us as we try and move the ball quickly,” said the Highworth boss. “Midweek didn’t really help us, so hopefully we have the depth in the squad to cover that. The three players are going to be a bit of a miss for us. If you look at the league table, it is very close now between five of us. We are on a good run. Confidence is high but we picked up three injuries.”
Despite those injuries, Roberts was happy with how his side were able to grind out a result in Gloucestershire. “It was good character from the players getting a goal up. We conceded very early again, then we came out in the second half and scored within a minute,” added Roberts. “We conceded very quickly again to make it two-each, but then we dug deep and hit them on the break. We weren’t really in danger, and I think we thoroughly deserved to win."
As well as the three new injuries, the Worthians are also without central defender Ross Adams, who is struggling with a knee problem, for their crucial trip to third-placed Thatcham Town. Ryan Stanners continues to recover from a groin problem, as well as Lee Cousins and Paul Alder who are out with a foot and ankle problems. Roberts added: “Thatcham is always an awkward place to go. They have a good side and they’re difficult team to beat at home. “
Bluefin Sport Greater Significance - 25 November
Manager Jeff Roberts says the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup has taken on greater significance for Highworth following their elimination from the Buildbase FA Vase.
The Worthians’ bid for national glory was ended a fortnight ago when they were knocked out in the second round at home by Combined Counties League outfit Knaphill. Roberts is keen to fight on as many fronts as possible in his first season as Highworth boss. The Worthians currently sit fifth in the Premier Division table following a 4-0 romp at home to Binfield last weekend and although Roberts would have liked the chance to sustain that league momentum, he does not view the Challenge Cup as an unnecessary distraction and will be going all out for glory when Oxford City Nomads visit the Elms on Saturday.
“I would have preferred a league game but being out of the Vase, every game is important and this is another competition that we want to do well in,” said Roberts. “The Vase would have been a decent competition to have a nice run in but we turn our attentions elsewhere now. It’s a cup that we want to go as far as we can in. It’s my first season so the club are saying there is no pressure on me but I want to try to push on and finish as high in the league as we can, although as this is our first year together, we know that will be difficult. We just want to try to win every game we play.”
Ashley Edenborough and Tom Cole are both rated as 50-50 to feature against Nomads, while Ryan Stanners is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the campaign. Highworth have claimed two narrow victories against the same opposition already this term and Roberts is sure his side can make it a hat-trick if they play to their potential.
“We have played them a couple of times already and beaten them both times but I still think they are a decent footballing side, so we won’t be taking them lightly,” said Roberts. “We have worked hard in the last few weeks and our work-rate has been second to none. We’ve been clinical in front of goal too and in the last two games, I couldn’t really have asked for any more from the players.”
More Than Capable - 18 November
Jeff Roberts believes Highworth Town are more than capable of picking up another three Premier Division points tomorrow when they host Binfield.
Fresh from a 2-0 victory over Westbury United in the Wiltshire Senior Cup during the week, Roberts sees no reason why he can’t expect more of the same at the weekend. “I don’t know too much about Binfield, they’ve always had quite a strong side so I think we just have to go at it like we do for most games,” said Roberts. “As long as most of our players turn up on the day, we should be okay. We have a strong enough side and I think the players now realise if they’re having a bad game then they could be on the bench. On our day, I think we are capable of beating most sides but we need to turn up and be hungry for it too. We could potentially have the best eleven players on the pitch but whether the work rate and the attitudes are right is something else.”
Second half goals from Kieron Gleed and Ryan Stanners were enough to see off Toolstation League outfit Westbury on Tuesday. “We went down there with bare bones really and a few little niggles but it was a good performance. I thought, on a boggy pitch with quite long grass, it didn’t really suit either team,” added Roberts.
“I thought the players kept the ball well, dragged Westbury in and then we opened up the gaps, perhaps we could have been a little bit more attacking. In the first half, when we did have the ball, we were a little impatient with ourselves but in the second half, we had two great strikes.”
Disappointing Highworth - 14 November
Highworth Town manager Jeff Roberts handed his players a dressing down immediately after they crashed out of the Buildbase FA Vase at home on Saturday.
The Worthians lost a fiercely-competitive second round proper tie against Combined Counties League outfit Knaphill 3-1 at the Elms and Roberts thought that his troops ‘embarrassed’ themselves with their second-half showing. After a goalless first 45 minutes, Charlie Postance’s hat-trick won the day for the visitors, the Knaphil man netting a spectacular long-range lob, latching on to a long ball and rounding goalkeeper Kent Kauppinen and then reacting quickest to fire home from a fortuitous rebound to seal his treble.
Chris Taylor’s late penalty after Ryan Stanners' shot was adjudged to have been handled did little to lift Roberts’ mood.
“The second half; we just stayed in the changing room, to be honest,” said Roberts in The Swindon Advertiser. “I thought we gave them too much time on the ball, were going in to challenges we didn’t need to go into and I thought when we had the ball, our distribution of the ball was poor. That’s why we grabbed them all over in the dugout and said: ‘it’s not good enough’ because at the end of the day, I don’t mind players giving me 90 minutes and grafting but to come off in the second 45 minutes is embarrassing.They’ve embarrassed themselves because I know that, potentially, they’re all good players but at the end of the day you need 11 good players on the pitch and we’re going to have to work hard as well. I think, especially second half, our attitudes weren’t there. Especially, when the second goal went in, heads went down and we lost our shape a little bit. It’s disappointing, knowing how good we are on our day but we’ve got to be consistent. We shouldn’t be letting sides dictate us. Going out is disappointing. I thought we could go maybe another round or two but it is what it is. Good luck to Knaphill in the next round but we’re all disappointed.”
Physical Vase Encounter Anticipated - 11 November
Jeff Roberts is fully focused on seeing his Highworth Town side progress in the Buildbase FA Vase.
The Elms side entertain Combined Counties Premier Division Knaphill tomorrow and Roberts is expecting a physical encounter with Knaphill after watching them in their 3-3 draw with Abbey Rangers. “I went down there on Monday to watch them (Knaphill) against Abbey Rangers and they went 3-0 up,” said the Highworth boss. “They’re quite a strong side, they are very physical at the back and lively up top so it will be a good test for us. Technically they’ll be another good test but I don’t think we will play sides who are a lot better than AC London.”
Highworth took three attempts to dispose of AC London, with the first game ending in a draw, then the rearranged fixture was abandoned after one on of the opposition player’s breaking his ankle. They finally booked their place in the next round at the third time of asking and the Highworth manager also believes his side will be more than capable of seeing off the Combined Counties Premier Division side.
“At the end of the day we were able to overcome them and now we have Knaphill who have something about them with a few quick wingers,” added Roberts. “We just have to be on our toes really, we have a big strong squad now and everybody is available on Saturday. The atmosphere within the squad is very good, it’s good to see the team spirit so we couldn’t ask for any more from them really.”
No Complancency - 4 November
Jeff Roberts has warned Highworth players about complacency as they prepare to face Premier Division strugglers Henley Town.
Tomorrow’s opposition currently sit in 17th place and have only amassed 12 points so far this campaign. However, Roberts thinks the ’Red Kites’, who appointed a new manager last week, could raise their performance against the ‘Worthians’ the Triangle Ground.
“Henley will be looking at us and upping their game a little bit. Looking at our position in the league, most teams tend to up their game when they face a top side,” said Roberts “They’ve conceded a few goals so we know they are vulnerable at the back but we have also got to be aware of that. They are second from bottom, last weekend we played Oxford City Nomads who were at the bottom and I thought they were a good side. We can’t take it for granted that we are going to go there and collect three points.”
Highworth go into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over AC London in the FA Vase, with both goals coming from Aysa Corrick. After finally seeing them off at the third attempt, Roberts admits he is glad to see the back of the Combined Counties League Division One side.
“We changed our formation against AC London after our first two games, which actually worked for us,” said the Highworth boss “They’re a good side and they do play a lot from the back into midfield. We went more attacking minded and cramped out midfield to stop them playing. They didn’t have any ideas. Fair play to the lads for doing what we asked them to do and after three games, it was good to get rid of them.”
The Worthians will be boosted by the return of in-form striker Ashley Edenborough after suspension and Chris Taylor, who was unavailable on Wednesday, but are without Jonathan Aitkenhead, Jonathan Davoile, Ryan Stanners and Antony Joyce, who are all unavailable.
Vase Scheduled For Wednesday Night - 28 October
Highworth Town will bid to reach the second round proper of the FA Vase for a third time next week, following the abandonment of this week's game.
After an exciting 3-3 draw at Combined Counties League side AC London last weekend, Jeff Roberts’ side looked to be heading out of the competition as they trailed 1-0 during Wednesday night’s subsequent first round replay at the Elms.
However, with the Worthians in the hunt for an equaliser, the match was brought to a premature end as a challenge from home keeper Kent Kauppinen left an opponent with a broken ankle, which caused the tie to be abandoned. “It was in the last few minutes of the game. We pushed and Kent came out to try and get a goal,” explained Highworth boss Roberts to Swindon Advertiser reporter Matthew Davies. “It was a 50-50 ball and Kent has gone in with their left-back. Kent is quite a solid lad. He went fully in and their player has broken his ankle.”
After the abandonment, the game has now been rescheduled for next Wednesday (November 2) and Roberts will be hoping for an improvement from his side after a disappointing performance last time out. “They’re a very good footballing side and they have a lot of talented players, who move the ball around quickly,” added the Worthians manager. “We knew what they were about but three or four of our players didn’t show up and we struggled a little bit. Luckily, now we get to replay it again so it’ll be third time lucky because we have another opportunity, but we need to play better. They made us look a little bit silly and that was because too many of our players weren’t giving their all, but we know we can match them.”
Highworth also return to league action tomorro as they hit the road to face 16th-placed Oxford City Nomads. “I know Oxford are down towards the bottom. We played them at home not too long ago and they’re not a bad side, to be honest,” said Roberts “Saturday will be a test. It depends what players Oxford will have to return from injury. We should be quite comfortable but we have to turn up. We can’t turn up and think that three points are going to be gifted to us. We have to work hard on and off the ball.”
Sunday Vase Game For Highworth - 21 October
Jeff Roberts’ Highworth Town, who were 4-0 winners over Lydney on Wednesday night in the league, face an intriguing trip to ambitious Combined Counties League outfit AC London on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
Only founded in 2012, AC London’s 21-year-old founder and chairman Prince Choudary is also his team’s manager and last season, they played at the 16,000 capacity Crystal Palace National Sports Centre but are currently ground sharing with Surrey-based Banstead Athletic, who are also in Vase action this weekend.
The Worthians’ opponents also boast Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and former Fulham defender Zesh Rehman as club ambassadors.
Selection Headache - 7 October
Jeff Roberts faces a selection headache ahead of Highworth Towns' trip to Brackley Town Saints tomorrow.
Roberts could be forced to play with makeshift strikers in the Premier Divison clash at the weekend, writes Matthew Davies in the Swindon Advertiser, as Ashley Edenborough is one booking away from suspension, whilst Kieran Gleed and Fabien McCarthy both have ankle injuries. Aysa Corrick and Matty Jenkins are also out of the running as neither are available for selection, while Ross Adams is suspended after picking up two yellow cards against Fairford Town in midweek. Roberts’ men were 2-1 winners over their Division One West opponents in the Hellenic Challenge Cup, with Edenborough and Tom Coles getting the goals.
“It was one of those where Fairford had a lot of confidence because of the run they were on so we knew we were a bit susceptible,” said Roberts. “We started OK but in the last third, we didn’t really penetrate. Fairford sat back a little bit and we took the game to them so we had a bit more penetration later on in the game.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash away to Brackley, Roberts is expecting a tough game against the Northamptonshire side. “They beat Binfield so it all depends what they take with their first team. We have to be a bit careful because Ash Edenborough and Kieran Gleed are on four bookings,” he added. “It’s whether we take the risk on Saturday and leave them out. We are a bit short on numbers at the moment, it’ll be a tough one, we might have to play with some makeshift strikers.”
Despite a depleted front-line, Roberts has strengthened his squad by signing goalkeeper Kent Kauppinen from Southern League Premier side Chippenham Town.
Heading In The Right Direction - 9 September
Highworth’s assistant manager Ant Brown believes that the recent signing of former Swindon Supermarine captain Chris Taylor (pictured) is a sign that his club are heading in the right direction.
The Worthians have managed to convince Taylor to say goodbye to Southern League football at Cirencester Town and join Jeff Roberts’ side at the Elms. The midfielder made his Highworth debut coming off the bench in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Lydney Town and Brown believes the former Marine man will be an excellent addition.
“There were conversations with Chrissy in pre-season and he decided to try things at Ciren but now we’ve managed to bring him in and it’s a bit of a coup,” said the Worthians number two. “I don’t think that there’s any weight of expectation on him because he’s an excellent football player. He’s a winner and he’s going to give us a lot in that midfield.
“We always knew that it was going to be a slow start this season but with the players we’re bringing in and the ones that we’ve got coming back from injury, I think people can see that we’re trying to be a competitive side.”
Highworth host winless Burnham tomorrow.
Highworth Enter FA Cup On Sunday - 11 July
Premier Division Highworth Town will be playing their home Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against Tadley Calleva on Sunday 7 August.
Hampshire based Sydenhams Wessex Football League Tadley finished third in Division One of the league last season, scoring the greatest number of goals in the division but falling five points short of a promotion place.
With a 3pm kick off, Highworth will be open for business from 11am with food available from noon.
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