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March

April 4-5 2017

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Semi Finals

Ardley United 0 Lydney Town 2
Ardley bowed out of the Floodlit Cup at the semi-final stage on Tuesday night to Lydney Town, who scored five minutes into the game then wrapped up the victory with a minute of regulatory time left with a stunning goal from Jack Rutter. Ardley were in fear of being muscled out of the game for the first twenty minutes, simply not getting to grips with the physical prowess of their guests, but eventually worked their way back into the game to go on and create numerous chances after the break but it was a night where nothing came off, and the Lydney defence stood strong to deny their hosts any way back into the game.

Lydney took the lead in the fifth minute when skipper Jamie Addis was allowed the freedom to push forward and thump past Nick Bennion in the United goal. Jack Ross screwed a shot wide and Bradley Cox had a header cleared off the line before the break. Troy Bryan fired wide seconds into the second half, and a Nathaniel Lewars cross was headed over by Declan Benjamin from eight yards out.

Whilst Ardley pushed for an equaliser Lydney were happy to hit on the break and forced Nick Bennion into two good saves, but Carl Tappin had a shot saved by Lydney keeper Richard Thomas & a Declan Benjamin free kick almost crept in under the bar, but with a minute left Jack Rutter received the ball some twenty yards from goal, he looped a shot over Nick Bennion and into the top corner, and with it booked a place in the cup final.

Brimscombe & Thrupp 1 Flackwell Heath 2
It was late heartbreak for Brimscombe and Thrupp in the Floodlit Cup Semi Final.

Flackwell Heath opened the scoring when Sheridan Campbell jumped on a goalkeeping error. After half time, the visitors pulled one back when Jack Smith found his shot go bottom corner away from the Heathens goalkeeper. It was a dramatic ending with the game looking like it was going to extra time, Lewis Skyers was shown a straight red in the 90th minute. Josh Jones took over the gloves and saved the original penalty before captain Ben Sturgess put away the rebound.

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One East

Didcot Town Reserves 4 Bicester Town 1
The Railwaymen Reserves carried over their good form at Chinnor on Saturday to their last home league match this season against Bicester at Loop Meadow.

They got off to a flier when Keiren Collins brushed off a defender and beat another to a through ball and shot home from a tight angle in the first minute. Stuart McCarthy suffered an early injury and was replaced by Jack Hollister and a Powell shot for the visitors was blocked. A couple of minutes later and Callum Young headed away a dangerous goal bound header.

In the 12th minute Jack Kitchener first timed a pass and Ross MacDonald ran on to beat the keeper and give Didcot a two goal advantage. The lead was halved following a good Ashley Stevens save Gavin Kidd followed up to tuck home the rebound. The match entered a competitive stage but boiled over when Ross MacDonald was pushed over shielding the ball and Lewis Gabbidon appeared to kick Ross while he was on the ground. Following a melee Lewis Gabbidon was sent off along with Ross Tanner for Didcot.

The second half opened well for Didcot when Emmanuel Hammond shot past the post after turning his defender but the two goal lead was restored later when Hammond shot home after a good Jack Hollister move. Ross MacDonald blocked a clearance although his shot was saved. Keiren Collins provided the ammunition for Jack Hollister whose shot was just wide and Ross MacDonald had a chip,just fall the wrong side of the net. Bicester attacked in numbers but lacked the finishing touch or were thwarted by good defending and in injury time Emmanuel Hammond scored his second following good work by Jack Hollister finishing with Tom Morris providing the pass to Mani. Another good team performance by the home team.

Woodley United 1 Finchampstead 0
Woodley beat Finchampstead for the third time this season on Tuesday evening and in the process made it six wins in a row. If United pick up three points on Saturday in their home game against Holyport and Headington fail to win Woodley will be promoted.

The opening stages were cagey, United were having more of the ball but it was the visitors who had the game’s first chance. A long range effort was easily dealt with by Alex Reed in the home goal. Fifteen minutes in saw the hosts string together several half chances. Captain Jake Nicholls missed to the right whilst Danny Horscroft tested Finchampstead keeper Neil Griffith.

Mid way through the half saw a fantastic effort from Horscroft; allowing the ball to bounce his shot from twenty five yards just went over. More pressure from Woodley followed. A Horscroft free kick on the right was headed goal wards forcing Griffith to save before the visitors hacked clear. At the other end a good left wing cross by Chace Jewell picked out Chris Dean in the box; swivelling on the ball the Finchampstead player put a difficult chance wide. Three minutes before the break saw United presented with a golden chance to take the lead when Greg Beckett was bought down in the box. Beckett stepped up to take the penalty but saw his shot tipped onto the post by Griffith.

The first chance of the half saw a Horscroft cross pick out Abdul Kamara; however the Woodley midfielder couldn't get much on his header and it went wide. On the hour United made a change when Josh Drew replaced Matt Jones. Five minutes after his introduction Drew got the game’s only goal when Woodley were awarded another penalty after the away side were harshly penalised for handball. Drew beat Griffith with a low shot into the left corner. United made another change mid way through the half when Liam Wilson came on for Teddy Thomas.

Finchampstead were really struggling to create anything. Their first chance of the half saw a header from a David Stevens corner blocked. With the game in its final stages Wilson prodded wide a right wing cross whilst Griffith pulled off a very good save back peddling to tip over a Horscroft effort after it nicked off a defender. The resultant corner was half cleared to Drew who narrowly missed to the right from twenty yards.

The final chance fell to Finchampstead. A long throw on the left wing found a red shirt in the Woodley box; the shot was well struck but kept out by Reed ensuring he kept his fifth clean sheet in a row.

Woodley United 1 Finchampstead 0 (away view)
Woodley needed a win to keep their quest for the title alive and with more games in hand they still have a fair bit to accomplish. Finches knew that whatever the result, teams with games in hand can leapfrog them in the table. The hosts kicked off and soon were tempted to take a shot at goal from distance which went wide of the mark. Finches then made a tentative push upfield to test the defence, gaining territory and giving Alex Reid work in goal with a fine save. Woodley made a bold approach but a solid defence foiled the move but skipper, Jake Nicholls, returned with a shot that narrowly missed Neil Griffith's net at the near post. Greg Beckett then tried his luck but Griffith held on to the ball. At this point, Harry Swabey was sat on the turf and had to limp off injured as Dave Stevens came on in his place. Beckett struck again but to no avail and Woodley took advantage of a free kick to pressurise Finch defenders but as the ball bobbled back, Dan Horscroft skied it over the crossbar. Finches then went through a phase of possession with tight passes between each other until Chace Jewell supplied Chris Dean with a chance which Alex Reid attempted to save but the ball bypassed both him and the post for a goal kick. Woodley were then awarded a penalty on 45 minutes which Beckett then smashed the ball goalward from the spot. The ball rebounded from the framework but the follow up went out of play..

The second half saw Finches kick off and, working upfield, gained advantage with a free kick only to find Woodley win the ball and test the defenders again. Once Chace Jewell received the ball he set about manoeuvring himself to deliver a cross from the left wing although Woodley's defence halted progress.Greg Beckett had a chance which lacked power and direction and a couple of free kicks later both teams were stuck in a temporary stalemated in midfield. Woodley emerged from the middle into Finch territory but were stoutly repelled by the back line. Following this, Woodley went into the Finch area and a handball call created a scoring chance from the penalty spot. Josh Drew slotted the ball after 65 minutes and play resumed with substitutes arriving for Woodley, giving Teddy Thomas a break and joining Drew from the bench. Garry Callaway returning from injury, replaced Richard Thomas as Finches sought an equaliser after clearing their defensive lines. Woodley pressed up again and sent the ball into the area forcing Griffith to punch the ball out; the ball landing back with Woodley and the shot back missed the goal. Woodley played the corner flag time consuming tactic and were overjoyed to hear the final whistle. At least, Finches contained the opposition throughout the 90 minutes.

One West

Fairford Town 5 Milton United 0
Fairford Town secured the Uhlsport Division One West league title in style with a 5-0 home win over Milton United on Tuesday evening.

After a five-year absence from the Premier Division, the Reds will be back in step five football and it has been quite a season for the Cinder Lane club. With three league games still to play, Fairford have scored 121 goals with just three defeats in Division One West.

It was a typically dominant display that ultimately secured the title, with the goalscoring opened by skipper Sam Ockwell who capitalised on a loose ball to settle the nerves and drive home on 20 minutes.

Ockwell doubled the advantage just before the break with a towering header that powered into the net to the delight of the club’s biggest crowd of the season of 120.

The club’s leading goalscorer Lee Smith added to the tally just after the break, cutting in from the right before unleashing a powerful shot into the corner of the net for his 30th goal of the campaign.

Levi Cox, handed a starting place with Jason Milhench missing out, made his mark on 67 minutes with a well-taken fourth. Cox was played through and showed good composure to land his 16th goal of the season.

The goal of the night arrived with a minute left on the club as youngster Dan Reynolds powered through the middle before smashing home a right-footed thunderbolt from the edge of the box to put the season on a memorable win.

There is still plenty of football still to be played this term; as well as three away league fixtures – there is the Supplementary Cup quarter-final (at home to Henley Town) and the Gloucestershire FA Challenge Trophy final on Thursday 27th April

Tytherington Rocks 5 Purton 0
Tytherington Rocks fired 5 goals past Purton on Wednesday night with an impressive display of attacking football in a 5-0 win. Victory for the Rocks is their third of the season as they look to finish a rather disappointing campaign on a high.

Despite very little to cheer about this season, Dan Gillespie’s side showed tremendous determination and energy right from the first minute of this mid-week clash. The Rocks had an attacking line up, with Liam Gale and Luke Whittam providing dangers for the Purton defence.

However, it was Purton who were awarded a penalty in the 9th minute after some intricate passing play allowed Jamie Sheppard in behind the Rocks, defence only to be fouled inside the area. The resulting penalty was taken by Ollie Hunt but Adam Clark saved the shot well down to his right. Just one minute later, the Rocks capitalised on the penalty miss and took the lead. Purton’s defence was caught off guard when a misplaced backpass found its way to Luke Whittam who clinically chipped the ball over the helpless Max Schofield into an empty net.

In a game with attacking impetus from both sides, Liam Gale appeared to be thriving best on the right wing for Tytherington. He got the better of the Purton left-back Josh Kirby on several occasions in the opening half an hour but each time failed to produce the final product. At half time, the Rocks would have wanted to have a two or three goal lead after a few missed chances. The attacking intent was a sign of things to come with a Purton defence seemingly unable to deal with the threat.

In the second half, Tytherington came out with the same attacking threat. Whittam switched to being a sole striker with Mbika on the left, allowing the attack to be much more well balanced. Whittam got a chance on the 50 minute mark after Gale crossed from the right but his shot was well saved by Schofield. Nevertheless, the Rocks got the all important second goal in the 59th minute through Luke Barstow. The centre-back headed well from a corner into a top left of the goal. The ball, though, rebounded out of the top left stanchion which allowed Purton to clear to the edge of the area where Jack Edge blasted the ball into the roof of the net. However, by the time the ball entered the goal for a second occasion, the linesman had signalled that the ball crossed the line from Barstow’s header.

The Rocks were in dreamland by the 67th minute when Whittam got his second, and his side’s third, following some poor defensive play from Purton. Lewis Bezer latched on to another misplaced pass to slot in Whittam who calmly finished into the bottom right corner. By the now, the Rocks were brimming with confidence and looked a world apart from what their league position of second bottom might suggest. Paradoxically, Purton’s defence was in dismay which allowed Tytherington to score their fourth. It was Whittam, again, who converted well from 10 yards to get his hat-trick in a good attacking performance. Substitute, Ryan Stevenson, even managed to get on the score sheet in the 80th minute following an accurate cross from the left. Stevenson, unmarked, headed well inside the area to top off an impressive performance for the home side. To the defence’s delight, Tytherington also held firm in the final few minutes to obtain a rare clean sheet which is their first since a 0-0 draw with New College Swindon back in mid-October.

Tytherington Rocks 5 Purton 0 (away view)
Purton’s hopes of ending 4th in the table were squashed on Wednesday night at lowly Tytherington Rocks. Going down 5-0 in a game that could have gone the other way as Purton dominated the first half, but were still 1-0 down at the break.
 
Missed chances with Ollie Hunt missing a penalty and a poor defensive error and a clear offside not given did not help Purton’s cause.
 
Manager Justin Miller was obviously bitterly disappointed “It was a strange game we could, and should have, been well ahead at the break but were not. Errors in the seconnd half proved costly. It’s a fair old trip to the ‘Rocks but as in many of our games this season games where I thought we could win we came away empty handed.”
 
Purton’s hopes of progressing in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup also were also dashed  after a 2-1 defeat at Premier Division side Henley Town. A goal by Jamie Sheppard not enough to prevent elimination.

 
 
 
 
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