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Pre-Season September

4 to 6 August 2017

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Ardley United 1 Baldock Town 3
After a strong pre-season and success in the first home league match, Ardley found Baldock Town from the Spartan League to be much tougher opposition. Baldock Town started the stronger, kicking down the slope and Ardley found it hard to get into their rhythm of passing football. In the 14th minute Baldock took a deserved lead, when a cross from the left on a set piece found Lewis Barker unmarked 6 yards out and he was able to finish comfortably with a well taken goal.

Baldock extended their lead in the 35th minute when Ardley keeper, Steve Lewis and Baldock player, Harry Holland, collided on the edge of the penalty area, leaving Lewis injured on the ground clutching his head. The loose ball fell to Holland, who had an easy finish with an open goal at his mercy.

The second half saw Ardley come out and start to take better control of the game, but good defending from Baldock kept chances to a minimum. However, in the 61st minute a good run from Kaylem Patterson, saw him make progress into the penalty area where he was pulled down to win a penalty for Ardley. Billy Gillett stepped up to take the penalty and coolly slotted it into goal to bring Ardley back into contention.

Gillett was playing well and causing problems and then just a minute after his penalty he won a free kick on the edge of the Baldock penalty area and the resulting free kick taken by Mikey McKirnan looked destined for the top corner, but the Baldock keeper made a great save tipping it over. Ardley were now completely on top and looking likely to get an equaliser, when they were suddenly derailed in the 64th minute! What seemed like a harmless cross from the right into the Ardley penalty area ended up going staright into the goal when Steve Lewis missed his punch to clear the ball. This put Baldock 3-1 up and Ardley were then unable to come back from that and Baldock progress to the next round.

Brimscombe & Thrupp 4 Sun Sports 0
It was a day to remember for the Lilywhites as they beat Sun Sports, from Watford, 4-0

Ollie Pitt was on target throughout the game, scoring all 4 goals. The first came at the 12th minute mark, when a low ball in from the right from Sam Blackie found Pitt at the front post who knocked it past the Sun goalkeeper with a back heel. Two minutes later Pitt found himself on goal again this time opting to hammer it home into the roof of the net. The third came after hitting it on the turn away from the outstretched arm of the goal keeper. Pitt wasn’t done there and nearly got his fourth when his free kick found the post. He had no such trouble with his next chance after taking it past his covering defender and slotting it away into the bottom corner just before halftime.

The hosts were down to 10 men after Karl Nash got sent off, but that didn’t dampen their performance as they still dug in to keep their comfortable lead. Ollie Pitt was brought off for new signing Paul Holmes while youngster Elijah Simpson replaced Tom Pass and Ben Deakin replaced Ed Major. Sun Sports did have a great chance late on when Adam Gale tipped the ball onto the post but they couldn’t find the net.

The Lilywhites now head to Hayes and Yeading in the next round of the FA Cup.

Fairford Town 1 Longlevens 1
Fairford now face a trip to Longlevens on Tuesday to determine the winners. Lee Smith opened the scoring for the Reds before an equaliser from Brad Martin soon after midway through the second period.

Fairford boss Jody Bevan named the same starting side that drew with Tuffley Rovers in the league on Tuesday evening, with several players making their full home debuts for the Cinder Lane side.

It was a competitive start to the game with both sides eager to make an impact early on with the stakes high as always in the FA Cup. Myron Turner had the first opening for the visitors but his neat turn and shot finished wide of Ben Mitchell’s post. Liam Gale then fired wide for the hosts before Jason Milhench saw his effort saved by Ashley Wintle in the visitors’ goal as the game opened up. Gale then got himself into a good position but saw his attempted lob gathered by Wintle as the Reds tried to make the most of their possession.

After a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken four minutes into the second period. Lee Smith grabbed his first competitive goal in Reds’ colours with a header following good work from Milhench on the left.

However, the lead lasted just ten minutes as a long ball through from Jaybe Kennedy found Brad Martin who rounded Mitchell before firing home to level the game up. The visitors thought they had won the tie with a goal 86 minutes in, but a header from Jack Byard was ruled out for offside. Substitute Sean McKeon’s powerful drive found the arms of Wintle in the closing stages before the game was brought to a close.

Fairford Town 1 Longlevens 1 (away view)
Levens travelled to fellow Hellenic League counterparts Fairford Town for what would be their 3rd appearance in the Emirates FA Cup.  The game from the side wouldn't have gone down as a classic and both managers reflected afterwards that they had wanted more from their sides performance and were grateful to "still be in the hat.

The first half came and went, the only real notable action being Dave Merricks shot from 20 yards with failed to find the target and Brad Vanstone misjudged his shot across the goal going for power over placement.

The second half was where all the action was, the hosts that started brighter and deservedly took the lead. A cross from the left hand side was met by the head of Lee Smith, finding space in the box and directing a good header into the bottom corner.

Longlevens worked their way back into the game, after good work from Jay Kennedy, he released Brad Martin whose first touch took him round the Fairford keeper and with his second touch rolled the ball into the empty net to draw Longlevens level.

Longlevens could of then won the game, after Jack Byard rose well at the back post, his header was palmed into the net but the celebrations were cut short as Byard was deemed to be in an offside position. The teams will do battle again on Tuesday evening at Saw Mills.

Highworth Town 1 London Colney 1
On a bright Sunday afternoon at the Elms in front of a crowd of 174, which pleasingly included non league fans from Nottingham, London, Eastbourne, Worcester and Cheltenham, the Worthians and London Colney fought out a draw which means a long trip to Hertfordshire (AL2 1EB) on Tuesday night for the replay.

The home side started brightly with Jake Slocombe forcing the visiting keeper into a decent stop from a low shot before having a later effort cleared off of the line. London Colney forced Kent Kauppinen to tip away a long range effort but generally the home side controlled the first half with a Josh Jones free kick being pushed away by the keeper shortly before half time.

The second half opened with Jake Slocombe slotting home but his effort was ruled out when the assistant referee flagged for off-side against Ash Edenborough before he crossed the ball. Having been in little difficulty the home defence was then breached immediately when a long ball through to Dwayne Clark found the forward one on one with Kauppinen. His first effort was stopped by the home keeper but deflected back to Clark who then put the ball into the empty net.

Highworth then dominated the game again with the visiting keeper seeming likely to keep his team ahead until the end with a highly competent performance. However on 70 minutes a Ryan O'Hara corner found the head of captain Tom Cole who powered the ball home from 6 yards.

The home side then pressurised the visiting defence for the remainder of the game but could not find the net again.

Thatcham Town 5 Petersfield Town 0
After a quiet opening five minutes Thatcham Town started to turn up the pressure with a goal on six minutes, courtesy of brilliant work from Joe Blount up the right before squaring the ball for Harry Grant to easily tap-in from a couple of yards. Afterwards, Blount went on to give Petersfield's left back a torrid time with relentless pressure and skill providing a string of chances for the Kingfishers, although none of them came to anything.

Hungry to get the left flank in on the action, Ekow Elliott showed some nice touches to retain possession and beat his man before putting a fierce cross in, which Shane Cooper-Clarke got on the end of but couldn't steer home. After 20 minutes, another wave of Thatcham's attack earned a corner which was headed back across goal, only for Ekow Elliott to head against the angle of the crossbar and post.

The game evened out with Petersfield showing more attacking intent halfway through the first half, although, when a poor corner of theirs was intercepted by Elliott on the edge of the Thatcham box, the ball was driven into Cooper-Clarke who held it up well before releasing Blount into a two-horse race with the Petersfield keeper, George Hill, for the ball, who got there just in time to snuff out the danger. After 35 minutes, captain Tom Melledew picked the ball up inside the opposition half and threaded a delicious through-ball for, that man again, Blount to run on to, having snuck-in behind the left full back. His effort was deflected wide and, moments later, he tried his luck from 30 yards and almost caught the keeper off his line.

Into the second half and an early free kick, won by Grant on the edge of the area, was taken by Cooper-Clarke but soared over the bar. On 51 minutes, Tuesday night's matchwinner, Elliott latched on to a loose ball in the area to slot home and put Thatcham two ahead. Thatcham, picking up where they left off in the first half, applied more pressure with Melledew putting Grant through on goal, his deflected shot going just wide.

As the half wore on, it really was exhibition stuff as the Thatcham midfield passed the ball around themselves, lining up on the edge of the area, before a cross was put into the box and onto Babs Jarra's head, only for the effort to go just over the bar Shortly after, another sustained period of pressure from The Kingfishers saw Grant return the favour from the first half, by putting Blount through on goal. He took it around the keeper and passed it into the net, but it was ruled out for offside to the crowd's dismay.

After a quiet period, within which Petersfield started to get back into the game, Blount played a lovely ball from deep through to Cooper-Clarke who was brought down by the keeper in the area on 66 minutes. He brushed himself down to take the resultant spot kick and sent it down the middle with the keeper diving to his left to get his goal tally for the season off the mark. Harrison Bayley did well to win the ball with a tenacious tackle and his central midfield partner-in-crime, Melledew, played a characteristically smart, defence-splitting through-ball for Elliott, whose side-footed effort was excellently tipped around the post by the Petersfield keeper, with the referee inexplicably awarding a goal kick.

On 75 minutes Petersfield had their first shot on target, but Chris Rackley was equal to it. After 83 minutes, Cooper-Clarke picked up the ball near the byline, surged into the area and smashed into the top corner from a tight angle. Moments later in the 86th minute, Cooper-Clarke, on a hat-trick, had the goal in his sights but unselfishly passed to Jemel Johnson whose effort deflected into the path of substitute Lamin Sankoh. He took a touch before slotting it expertly under the keeper's dive to mark his first competitive appearance since signing for the club over the summer.

A final flurry of attacks followed from Petersfield, but Town held on to the clean sheet and march on to the next round of the FA Cup, where they travel to Alresford Town FC on 19th August.

Ringwood Town 0 Ascot United 6 (away view)
Ascot United scored three goals in each half, boosted by Rob Lazarczuk’s hat-trick, as they defeated Ringwood Town 6-0 in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday. The Yellamen’s nerves were settled by two early penalties, but they maintained a high tempo throughout to leave their Wessex League Division One hosts shell-shocked.

The first of Ascot’s penalties was awarded after just two minutes when Victor Abreu was needlessly chopped down just inside the area. Having confidently drilled the resultant spot-kick into the bottom left hand corner – ‘keeper Lee Smith rooted to the spot – Lazarczuk’s second spot-kick in the 17th minute was an unstoppable effort which he rifled into the top right hand corner after Samir Regragui had been pushed.

In between those goals, Ascot ’keeper Lee Allen was almost punished for racing out of his area only for home striker River Smith to drag his effort wide. Allen made a decent save from Ben Harris’ deflected effort after 23 minutes, Lee Vint then headed across the face of goal and wide on the half-hour mark and Allen saved the same player’s shot on the turn as Ringwood grew in confidence, but that was as good as it got for the hosts as Ascot soon struck again. this time, Abreu’s pace forced a foul, and after Jonny Denton swung a dangerous free-kick into the box, Josh Dillon rose to glance a precise header into the left hand corner.

There was still time for Allen to produce a good double save on the greasy surface, ensuring the visitors led three-nil at the interval.

A back injury to Dillon saw James Goodey introduced for the second half, and his contribution on the right wing would cause the hosts further trouble as the match progressed. A crunching tackle on Sam Boultwood sentenced the end of his afternoon – Jono Malone the replacement – before Allen saved another Harris effort for Ringwood.

However, the visitors maintained their pressure and scored three times in the final 15 minutes. Firstly, Abreu held his nerve to round Smith and fire home after racing onto Louis Bouwers’ clearance, Regragui capitalised on dreadful defending to smash home a fifth on 79’, before Lazarczuk drilled home an 89th minute effort at the near post to complete his hat-trick; Abreu this time the provider.

It was a job very well done for Neil Richards’ side, who will take much pride at the response  to the midweek defeat, with a clean sheet the icing on the cake.

Thatcham Town 5 Petersfield Town
After a quiet opening five minutes Thatcham Town started to turn up the pressure with a goal on six minutes, courtesy of brilliant work from Joe Blount up the right before squaring the ball for Harry Grant to easily tap-in from a couple of yards.

Afterwards, Blount went on to give Petersfield's left back a torrid time with relentless pressure and skill providing a string of chances for the Kingfishers, although none of them came to anything. Hungry to get the left flank in on the action, Ekow Elliott showed some nice touches to retain possession and beat his man before putting a fierce cross in, which Shane Cooper-Clarke got on the end of but couldn't steer home. After 20 minutes, another wave of Thatcham's attack earned a corner which was headed back across goal, only for Ekow Elliott to head against the angle of the crossbar and post. The game evened out with Petersfield showing more attacking intent halfway through the first half, although, when a poor corner of theirs was intercepted by Elliott on the edge of the Thatcham box, the ball was driven into Cooper-Clarke who held it up well before releasing Blount into a two-horse race with the Petersfield keeper, George Hill, for the ball, who got there just in time to snuff out the danger.

After 35 minutes, captain Tom Melledew picked the ball up inside the opposition half and threaded a delicious through-ball for, that man again, Blount to run on to, having snuck-in behind the left full back. His effort was deflected wide and, moments later, he tried his luck from 30 yards and almost caught the keeper off his line.

Into the second half and an early free kick, won by Grant on the edge of the area, was taken by Cooper-Clarke but soared over the bar.On 51 minutes, Tuesday night's match winner, Elliott latched on to a loose ball in the area to slot home and put Thatcham two ahead. Thatcham, picking up where they left off in the first half, applied more pressure with Melledew putting Grant through on goal, his deflected shot going just wide.

As the half wore on, it really was exhibition stuff as the Thatcham midfield passed the ball around themselves, lining up on the edge of the area, before a cross was put into the box and onto Babs Jarra's head, only for the effort to go just over the bar. Shortly after, another sustained period of pressure from The Kingfishers saw Grant return the favour from the first half, by putting Blount through on goal. He took it around the keeper and passed it into the net, but it was ruled out for offside to the crowd's dismay.

After a quiet period, within which Petersfield started to get back into the game, Blount played a lovely ball from deep through to Cooper-Clarke who was brought down by the keeper in the area on 66 minutes. He brushed himself down to take the resultant spot kick and sent it down the middle with the keeper diving to his left to get his goal tally for the season off the mark.

Harrison Bayley did well to win the ball with a tenacious tackle and his central midfield partner-in-crime, Melledew, played a characteristically smart, defence-splitting through-ball for Elliott, whose side-footed effort was excellently tipped around the post by the Petersfield keeper, with the referee inexplicably awarding a goal kick.

On 75 minutes Petersfield had their first shot on target, but Chris Rackley was equal to it. After 83 minutes, Cooper-Clarke picked up the ball near the byline, surged into the area and smashed into the top corner from a tight angle. Moments later in the 86th minute, Cooper-Clarke, on a hat-trick, had the goal in his sights but unselfishly passed to Jemel Johnson whose effort deflected into the path of substitute Lamin Sankoh. He took a touch before slotting it expertly under the keeper's dive to mark his first competitive appearance since signing for the club over the summer.

A final flurry of attacks followed from Petersfield, but Town held on to the clean sheet and march on to the next round of the FA Cup, where they travel to Alresford Town FC on 19th August.

Woodley United 1 Tuffley Rovers 2
Woodley's FA Cup adventure ended at the first hurdle in front of the club's biggest crowd since moving to Rivermoor Stadium.

United started slowly; the visitors having much the better of the opening ten minutes. Twelve minutes in and with Rovers dominating possession Woodley fell behind when Brett James placed a shot into the right corner from the left side of the box. The hosts were looking most dangerous from Nathanael Robinson's set pieces; a beautifully flighted left wing corner somehow evaded a sky blue shirt as it flashed across the six yard box.

Tuffley doubled their advantage on twenty five minutes when an Ashley Davies effort crept over the line after Alex Reed in the home goal got a hand on the shot from fifteen yards. Moments later Rovers nearly increased their lead further when Jack Overthrow clipped the top of Reed's crossbar.

Woodley were struggling; but were nearly presented with a chance to get back into the game when a defender failed to cut out a long Josh Drew pass to Charlie Oakley. Unfortunately the United forward couldn't control the ball and Tuffley cleared. The final chance of the half fell to the away side when a slip by Woodley captain Jake Nicholls allowed Alex O'Leary to shoot narrowly wide from outside the box.

The second half got underway with a flurry of United corners. Centre back Michael Porter saw his header nick off a Tuffley head and miss to the right. Woodley were much improved since the restart. A nice move saw Danny Horscroft win back possession in the final third and find Robinson on the left wing; his ball to Oakley was slightly too strong allowing Tuffley keeper Dave Evans to rush off his line and gather. Rovers’ first chance of the half saw Overthrow sky a difficult chance.

United made a double change on the hour when Robinson and Ashley Ledger made way for Carl Prestidge and Amin Khomsi; the latter making his first competitive appearance for the club. After an easy save for Reed from an O'Leary free kick Woodley made their final change when Marvin Hinds replaced left back Joe Barley. This saw United change formation with right back Danny Greenwood joining Idris Kamara and Porter in a back three.

The change immediately payed dividends when Hinds set up Horscroft who curled a left foot shot into the top corner from twenty five yards. A fitting goal for a historic occasion.

With real urgency Woodley went looking for an equaliser. Horscroft missed from a free kick before Nicholls sliced wide from distance. More chances followed; Oakley volleyed a difficult chance over from a Drew corner whilst Horscroft hooked over from twenty yards. With the game into injury time Tuffley went down to ten men when Davies was shown a red card following a bad tackle on Prestidge. However with just ninety seconds left United had no time to make the most of their numbers advantage and Rovers went through.

Woodley United 1 Tuffley Rovers 2 (away view)
Despite being reduced to ten men in the closing moments, when Ashley Davies was dismissed, Tuffley Rovers’ held out to beat Woodley United 2-1 and progress to the Preliminary Round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup. Mark Pritchett’s side arrived at the Riverside Stadium in good spirits, following a midweek draw with one newly promoted club, Fairford Town, ready to acquit themselves against another newly promoted side, who were playing in the FA Cup competition for the first time ever. New signing Alex O’Leary was named in the side, whilst Sam Hill was recalled, after only appearing as a substitute in the midweek draw at Glevum Park, as Pritchett made two changes to his starting eleven. However, O’Leary was injured in the warm-up, meaning that Marcus Foxwell was drafted in, moments before kick-off.

Rovers went on the offensive immediately from the kick-off and almost opened the scoring within five minutes, as Davies’ header, from a terrific Tristan Haswell cross, cannoned onto the crossbar. The traveling Rovers support didn’t have to wait long for a goal, though, as Brett James picked up the ball, out wide and twenty-five yards from goal, played a neat one/two with Warren Mann, and cut inside to curl the ball beyond Woodley’s keeper, Alex Reed, and into the bottom corner of the net on 12 minutes.

Pritchett’s side was very much holding the upper-hand and two Foxwell corner kicks caused considerable problems in the Woodley United penalty area, as Davies and Tunnicliff both came close to scoring, without troubling Reed. After 27 minutes, Rovers’ superiority reaped reward with a second goal, as Davies struck goalward and Reed’s save lacked enough power to prevent the ball rolling into the bottom left corner of his goal. It was almost 3-0 moments later, as Jack Overthrow produced a clever lobbed shot that left Reed rooted to the spot but struck the frame of the Woodley United goal and went out of play.

Despite all the pressure, chances became fewer and farther between during the remainder of the half and the game entered the half-time interval with the score still 2-0.

The hosts started the second half in inspired fashion and only some terrific defending, with Haswell, Davies & Tunnicliff all producing excellent clearing headers, whilst James also produced some excellent blocks in the left-back position. Woodley continued to have the territorial advantage as the half progressed but Rovers continued to defend stoutly, to the extent that ‘keeper Dave Evans was largely untroubled in goal. The game wasn’t being played in one direction, despite the hosts’ having the better share of the play, and both Jack Overthrow and Davies had chances as Rovers looked to attack on the break.

Woodley United made a series of substitutions, in an effort to turn pressure into a goal threat, and Owen Davies’ introduction saw them up their tempo, which forced Rovers into even more desperate defending. Shayne Bradley who had been carrying an injury coming into the game, was withdrawn to be replaced by Chris Manners, as the former Undy Athletic player made his Rovers debut.

The pressure eventually told, when Danny Horscroft picked up a loose ball, 25 yards from goal, cut inside a challenge and curled the ball high into the top corner of Evans’ net, to make it 2-1. Five minutes later, Horscroft again went close, as his free-kick, from 20 yards, only narrowly flew over the frame of Evans’ goal and Woodley continued to apply pressure, with little respite for the Rovers defence.

As the game wore on, Rovers looked to have negated the threat from Woodley, but after Manners had produced on foul and the ball span into the path of another Woodley player, Davies made a physical challenge that drew the ire of the match official, who showed him a straight red card. Manners was booked for his initial challenge, Rovers defended the resultant free-kick capably and held out to record a 2-1 win that consigned Woodley United to an exit at the first stage, following their debut performance in the competition.

The victory means that Rovers face a long away journey, to face Leighton Town of the Spartan South Midlands League, on Saturday 19 August, in the next round of the competition, after their prospective opponents defeated Oxhey Jets 4-0.

Pre-season Results

Clanfield 3 Mansfield Road 1
Holidays, weddings and sundry other non-availabilities saw both sides field mixes squads with the Robins rounding off their Pre-season with a 3-1 win over their Visitors who play in the Oxfordshire Senior League. Clanfield took the lead on 20 minutes when Youth Team player Finlay Heritage celebrated his recent seventeenth Birthday with a fine strike. Jack Kennedy doubled the lead on the half hour with a shot from the edge of the area. Mansfield Road pulled one back before the interval with a cheeky finish from a one-on-one with ‘keeper Mike Bawn.

Clanfield gave an improved performance in the second half but good goalkeeping and a lack of steadiness in front of goal meant that the home side only had an excellent strike from the edge of the area by Jozef Fullerton to show for their efforts to round off a 3-1 win.

Kidlington
Kidlington’s Uhlsport Hellenic League side won their last two pre-season friendlies last Thursday and then again on Saturday.

On Thursday night they dispatched Oxfordshire Senior League Premier outfit Cropredy 5-0. Striker, Marvin Lwasa scored a hatrick on his home debut. The other goals were scored by Declan Allen Stokes and Callum Harvey.

On Saturday 'The Green Machine' beat Wokingham & Emmbrook, who play in the Uhlsport Hellenic Division One East Division. The match ended in a 2-1 victory with Josh Tooke and Mark Gaul scoring two very good first half goals. The hero of the afternoon was retired former Kidlington FC stalwart, Simon Grossmann.

During the warm up, The Greens goalkeeper Nick Lacey injured his shoulder, and with 25 minutes to go before kick off manager Nick East rang his old friend and associate Simon who was enjoying a quite Saturday afternoon on the sofa at home. “Grozzer” sprung into action and drove from his home in Bicester to take up the position between the sticks. Although he was an imposing centre half in his playing days, he had operated in goal on rare occasions, just to help out. After a very assured performance, in the 85th minute he made an incredible point blank save to deny a Wokingham striker what looked a certain goal with a magnificent save.

Following the match, Easty understandably signed Grozzer on for the forthcoming season!!

These were the final friendlies for Kidlington's second string and they will now start their league campaign with what looks an extremely difficult fixture next Saturday away to Ardley United.

Letcombe 2 East Hendred 1
The East Hendred team included a number of players with Hellenic league experience, including former Letcombe player Richard Claydon.

An even first half saw neither keeper really tested, but East Hendred took the lead when a passing move freed Tom Austin on the right, and his shot found the net despite a brave attempt to save from young home keeper Charlie McCreadie.

Letcombe gradually got on top in the second half as their superior fitness began to tell, and they equalised when Conor Lynch cut in from the right, and his low shot found the net via a deflection from a defender.

Angelo Fragata hit a post for Letcombe, but they snatched a winner in the last minute, defender Joel Mumby rising highest to find the net with a glancing header from a left wing cross.


Staines Lammas FC 3 Chalfont Wasps 2
Tring Athletic Reserves 8 Chalfont Wasps Reserves 1

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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