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Puhlsport football kitremier Division

Ascot United 0 Royal Wootton Bassett Town 1
Royal Wootton Bassett scored a second half goal and produced a defensive masterclass to frustrate Ascot United on Saturday. The visitors netted a 72nd minute effort to consolidate their league position and pour cold water on Ascot’s mini-revival. Bassett were the only Uhlsport Hellenic League side to play during midweek – a 5-2 home county cup reverse against Highworth – but their league form had seen them climb to an impressive eighth place. And, whilst the Yellamen languished in sixteenth, they had improved of late and a third straight victory would see them move further away from the dropzone.

 Last season’s meeting at the Racecourse was a fiery affair that ended in the visitors’ favour and although they repeated the outcome, the game itself was played in much better spirits. Ascot United named a virtually unchanged side once again, with Rob Lazarczuk replacing Matt Jones in the starting line-up, and he would be at the heart of a lot of Ascot’s attacking forays in the first half.

However it was Trevor Mutero who came close to giving the home side the lead after just four minutes when his shot inside the six-yard box from Ben Harris’ left wing cross went over the bar. Harris saw his glancing header from Samir Regragui’s cross fizz narrowly over in the sixth minute, before Bassett responded through Giorgio Wrona – who skied Lewis Waldon’s cut-back over – and then the unmarked Stephen Yeardley’s wayward header from a corner.

But Ascot would finish the half more strongly and their best move of the half saw Lazarczuk produce a fine save from Kurtis Sharkey after the striker had played a neat one-two with Mutero before unleashing a stinging angled drive that Sharkey did well to get down to. Harris’s 33rd minute effort curled over the angle of post and bar and Callum Carlisle’s rising effort was plucked out of the air by Sharkey, but Ascot couldn’t force a breakthrough before half time. The hosts almost took a 47th minute lead when Regragui’s shot took a wicked deflection and looped wide, although the impressive Lewis Waldon played a neat one two with Harvey Scholes at the other end before Allen saved smartly at his feet.

Harris saw another low-shot easily saved for Ascot who then produced heroic defending at the other end to deny Carl Evans as both sides continued to trade chances, but Bassett went even closer when Scholes’ long range effort grazed the bar in the 69th minute. However, the visitors took the lead three minutes later when Scholes converted at the far post after Allen had saved substitute Dale Richards’ initial shot from a tight angle.

Ascot huffed and puffed as time ebbed away but the visiting defence held firm – although it took a brilliant fingertip save from Sharkey in injury time to push substitute Jones’ glancing effort onto the underside of the bar – and the visitors escaped with all three points.

Wantage Town 0 Windsor 0 (away view)
Windsor turned things round after a couple of league defeats with a 0-0 draw at high flying Wantage Town. The match was played on a pitch that was very wet and heavy after the recent snow, rain and frosts. The hosts must be commended for getting the game on when matches all around us were called off.

Both teams defended as the chances were few and far between. The writing was on the wall that a goal would not come, both keepers when called upon did their job well. The referee did well to keep the upper hand as the hosts seemed to contest every decision. Both managers will possibly feel a point was fair.

One East

Didcot Town 1 Wokingham & Emmbrook 4
Didcot Reserves once again had major changes to the side from the previous week which this week included 5 from the Didcot Under 18 side. The game got off to a flying start with both teams going for it. As early as the first minute Chris Mortimer crossed for Ross MacDonald whose curler just was wide of the post. Not long after Josh Pearson shot low past the post for Wokingham. A minute later and a ball was cleared out of the Wokingham defence and was met by Tom Stone who hit a cracking first time shot which came down off the crossbar for one of those was it over the line or not moments. Unfortunately the ball was cleared and no goal given.

Quickly after and the away team shot just past the post from the edge of the box. With 14 minutes on the clock a sweeping home move saw the ball played to Chris Mortimer out wide who kept ahead of his marker and got in a hard cross met first time by Ross MacDonald who blasted the ball in to the roof of the net for the game’s opening goal. A great team goal. 5 minutes later and it was nearly two when a lovely build up involving
Stone and Ross Tanner saw MacDonald fire in a cross and Mortimer just miss a good chance. Mortimer turned provider when he passed to Alex Marshall whose shot was saved.

On 30 minutes the away team equalised however I missed the goal scored by George Marsh however in the aftermath two home players recovered treatment. Soon after Siji Akinlosi had a fine header towards the corner of the goal from a MacDonald cross however Wokingham keeper Woodward made a fine diving save to keep the ball out. That was as good as it got for Didcot in the first half and not long after home keeper Stevens
mis-kicked a through ball and Lawrence had an easy task of tapping the ball in to the empty net. Five minutes before half time and Charlton scored a third Wokingham goal to give them a very flattering score line.

Four minutes after half time and Wokingham score a fourth from a break down the right side ultimately tapped home by Rushforth. Didcot brought on substitutes Madeiros and Isaac. Ashley Stevens made a fine save from close in. A lively cross for Didcot found Isaac on the edge of the box and as he held the ball up he had his feet taken away from him for an awarded Didcot penalty. Unfortunately Ross Tanner’s effort was tame and easily gathered by the away keeper. Hueller Colonna let fly a ripping shot that flew just over the bar and another MacDonald run and cross was cut out. MacDonald sent a curling shot just wide and another Colonna shot was just wide. With 17 minutes remaining a good MacDonald run ended with him cutting inside and passing to Madeiros who finished well in to the corner of the net but he was adjudged offside. Not long after MacDonald was laughingly given his second yellow for what was a 50/50 tackle. He who shouts loudest seemingly gets the decision !

Throughout the match the official allowed himself to be swayed by players over reacting and he had a poor afternoon booking six players. All the more disappointing for Didcot’s young side who more than played their part in this game.

One West

Pewsey Vale 0 Shrivenham 3 (away view)
Shrivenham got back to winning ways in the Hellenic League 2 West on Saturday afternoon with a hard fought victory over Wiltshire based Pewsey Vale. Despite the home sides Ryan Banks sending an early warning shot across the visitors bow with just 7-minutes on the clock, none of his teammates were able to connect with his inch perfect ball which fortunately eluded their best efforts, leaving Shrivvy to breathe a sigh of relief.

Four minutes later, the hosts Lee Smith was also unlucky with his long range speculative effort, which went wide much to the delight of an unsuspecting Shrivvy defence. Smith was to provide further annoyance when he managed to beat the offside trap just two minutes later, but this time he only managed to fire the ball over the crossbar. Pewsey continued to pressure and produce some decent saves from Connor Johns and it wasn’t until the 20-minute mark when the visitors began to get themselves in to the game, but it was a fifteen minute spell before the end of the first half that the visitors were able to take the advantage.

After Josh Morse had a half-chance after getting through on goal, it was on 33-minutes that the visitors finally made a break through via Rob Hendry. The midfielder produced a fine solo run from his own half, cutting through the pitch and evading everything that challenged him before unleashing an effort that nestled in the bottom corner of the home sides net to make it 0-1. Six minutes later, some fantastic link-work between Jamie Prictor and Tyler Sheppard saw the latter strengthen their sides grip on the encounter when his shot found the top corner of the home sides net and give the visitors a two-goal cushion going in to the break.

The second half began as another tough contest between the two sides but after Morse saw a free kick gathered comfortably on 51-minutes, it was Prictor who was to score the goal which ultimately confirmed the three points for the visitors. With 60-minutes on the clock, the Shrivvy captain forced an error from the home sides defence and picked the ball from out from underneath a defenders feet on the edge of the penalty area and confidently fired home number three.  Two minutes later, Mark Jones almost pulled one back for the hosts, however his shot cannoned back off the woodwork however that was about it as a contest and as Shrivvy made substitutions to frustrate the home sides efforts to regain a foothold, Ryan Banks found himself issued a second yellow for an off-the-ball incident and became the first Pewsey player to be dismissed this season.


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