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12 January 2019

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Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup - Quarter Final

Ascot United 3 Longlevens 2
Ascot United twice came from behind to beat Longlevens 3-2 in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup Quarter Final on Saturday.

Longlevens took the lead after just three minutes when Jonty Welch outmuscled a couple of defenders before lobbing exquisitely over Lee Allen and into the right-hand corner. Ascot responded and George Lock stung the palms of Ash Wintle from a tight angle after playing a neat one-two with Geoff Kibaki, before Jonny Denton beat Wintle with a deflected effort only to see it cannon back off a post.

James Campbell’s trickery ended with a cross-shot that arrived too quickly for Jay Malshauskys to divert his header goalwards as the visitors threatened again, but it was Ascot who scored after 28 minutes when Lamin Sankoh dug out a left-footed shot which sailed over Wintle after Harry Laflin had earlier robbed Ellis Sausman.

Welch’s back-header then landed on the roof of Allen’s net, before Welch fired a free-kick through the wall to restore ‘Levens lead after Elliott Carey had conceded the foul just after the half-hour mark. However, Dan Price nipped in to rifle a shot past Wintle and level proceedings for a second time just three minutes later, although the chance owed much to the hesitancy of defenders Sausman and Finn Brown who failed to take ownership of a hopeful ball forwards.

Man-of-the match Price thumped an effort through a crowded penalty area moments after the restart and Sankoh’s snapshot from Laflin’s lay-off signalled Ascot’s intent, although they would make the decisive breakthrough when Kibaki raced onto the ball, rounded Wintle, and did well to stay on his feet before slotting into the open goal; 56 minutes played.

To their credit, Longlevens kept battling for an equaliser and Allen tipped Barnett’s effort over from Campbell’s throw-in before Welch fired over when well placed to complete his hat-trick in stoppage time. However, Barnett did superbly well even later to deny Ascot substitute Luqman Kassim who had rounded Wintle before seeing his shot blocked by the hard-working defender.

Ascot United: Allen, Lock, F Etienne, Carey, Bouwers, Ellis, Kibaki (JC Etienne), Sankoh (Carlisle), Laflin, Price, Denton (Kassim). Subs unused: Sullivan, Regragui

Ascot United 3 Longlevens 2 (Report by Arthur Strand)
Top v Bottom of the Premier Division was the order for the quarter-final of the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup Quarter Final tie at the Racecourse Ground.

A shock awaited Ascot though because Longlevens, Jonty Welch broke through the defence and lobbed the ball over the head of Lee Allen who was advancing towards him and scored the opening goal with only three minutes of play taking place. Not content with that, they broke into the Ascot area again but to no avail.

Ascot then made a break when George Lock was able to take a shot which went out for a corner and, as with cup games, play swung back to Ascot's end but Lee Allen took a ball which went high. Geoff Kibaki was back in Longlevens area but his effort missed the target but the next shot came off the upright in a crowded Longlevens' area as they extricated themselves from more pressure by gaining a free kick.

At the other end, Ascot also escaped and Fabien Etienne was able to crack a good shot on target but direct to Ash Wintle. Longlevens returned to Ascot territory, creating a corner kick which Allen punched clear of the crowded penalty area. At long last Lamin Sankoh broke the ice for Ascot in the 28th minute to level the scoreline. Within 5 minutes, Jonty Welch had struck again as he scored in the 34th minute. Back to the opposite end as Jon Denton missed the target but Dan Price pulled back a second in the 37th minute. The first half thus was concluded with the scores level.

A run along the wing gave Ascot a good start to the second half as the ball went out for a corner kick and Dan Price sent in a cracking low shot which Wintle was able to save.and then a later shot went wide of Wintle's upright. As Longlevens made a break chasing a long ball in the middle of the pitch, Elliott Carey sprinted onto the ball with a timely interception. although, having sprinted over the halfway line the ball went back to the visitors' defenders and was hoofed back to near where it came from. Ascot then provided Geoff Kibaki with the ball in sparsely occupied Longlevens defence and rounded keeper, Wintle, for an easy tap into goal for what turned out to be the winning goal for Ascot Utd. in the 56th minute.

After the restart, Chris Ellis made a similar timely interception to that of Carey earlier which produced a corner kick. Ascot then took a free kick from several yards outside the penalty area which went direct to Wintle who spilt the ball but managed to recover it and Longlevens cleared the ball gaining a free kick. This went straight to Allen, Shaun O'Connor was able to let the ball fly at Ascot's goal but it sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. Adjusting the scenario, Ascot took a corner before tha ball went back to the flank where Jonny Denton was and he provided Louis Bouwers with a header although Longlevens were able to clear the ball. Next phase, Wintle sent the ball to Ellis Sandman who sent the ball along the wing but Ascot gained a free kick from which Longlevens regained possession.

Substitutions were made, Ascot with a double substitution tactic, Denton and Kibaki replaced by Jean-Claude Etienne and Luqman Kassim. in the 72nd minute. A corner taken by Longlevens saw the ball nodded down for Allen to claim. As time passed, Callum Carlisle replaced Lamin Sankoh and, when Ascot took a corner, the ball went all around the penalty area but no bonus goal for the hosts. 3 - 2 at the final whistle and a surprisingly close game, played in a good spirit, considering that Ascot are top of the Premier Division and Longlevens are bottom.

Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup

Brackley Town Saints 4 Tuffley Rovers 1
The first match for Saints since Boxing day, and it showed in a first half where Saints were sluggish and repeatedly surrendered possession to a Tuffley side that started brightly and enjoyed the upper hand for the first 30 minutes after taking the lead on 5 minutes when Bradley flicked on a long ball for Warren Mann who broke into the box and calmly slid the ball under Worby.

Tuffley continued to boss things and created further chances on 21 minutes when Brett James pulled his shot wide when well positioned and on 24 minutes when Worby saved well with his legs from Dom Kent. Saints began to pull themselves back into the game and on 25 minutes a half chance was created for James Watts whose shot cleared the bar, and soon after George Ball played a nice one two with James Hammond and burst free in the box but was thwarted by a well-timed last ditch challenge from the defender. On 39 minute Tuffley’s Dom Kent cut in from the left wing and sent a powerful shot just wide. Saints responded with Ball again showing good feet to get into a shooting position, but he curled his shot just wide

Manager Gordon Kille made a couple of tactical changes at half time with Bowden replacing Jordan and Carter replacing Whitmore. The initial exchanges of the second half saw Saints more assertive and moving the ball more quickly and Carter was immediately involved setting Hammond free down the left on 47 minutes. Hammond set up James Watts on the edge of the box but his shot fizzed over the bar. Watts then won a good header in midfield which Hammond controlled deftly but his left foot shot also cleared the bar. However the tide had turned and Saints were growing in confidence. Lewis Baldwin was finding the midfield players between the lines and Ryan Knight and Ball were beginning to find space out wide with Curtis Green and Dan Middleton both able to get further forward in support. What was needed was a little more composure in front of goal.

On 60 minutes Watts was forced to leave the field and replaced by Jordan Godfrey. Tuffley were struggling to retain possession and Saints were camped in their half. On 70 minutes Hammond dribbled skilfully into the box and his cross cum shot was cleared off the line by Luke Payne. A minute later Saints finally found an equaliser breaking from deep the ball found its way out to Knight on the left wing and his delicious cross was met by Bowden. His header was well saved by Winman in the Tuffley goal but the rebound was scrambled home with Bowden getting the final touch.

It took only 4 minutes for Saints to take the lead. Tuffley had initially defended a corner well but Saints recovered the ball just outside the box and when it was played to Baldwin he speared a right foot shot into the top corner from 25 yards giving Winman no chance at all. Tuffley dug deep but were visibly tiring and Saints are a young and fit side and were now knocking the ball around confidently. On 78 minutes Knight again found space left of centre and struck an absolute belter that whizzed past Winman before he could react. Saints purple patch was complete 3 minutes later when Godfrey picked up a pass from Goddard just outside his own penalty area. He turned on a sixpence, wrong-footing 3 Tuffley players, and sent a 60 yard cross field ball to Knight who quickly fed Bowden who shot, and although Winman made a great save George Ball was on hand to guide in the rebound to seal the game.

To their credit Tuffley did come close to reducing the arrears when a header from a corner flashed just past the post and in the last minute when Worby made a marvellous point blank save with his legs. Fair to say that for long periods of this game Saints were not at their best, and Tuffley must be applauded for making things very hard, particularly in the first half. However a sign of a good team is being able to turn a potential “bad day at the office” round and Saints did this. Onwards and upwards…….

Brackley Town Saints 4 Tuffley Rovers 1 (away view)
Tuffley Rovers saw their last hope of silverware in the 2018/19 season extinguished at Brackley Town Saints on Saturday, as the hosts – who were sitting in second place in the league table –scored four times in the last twenty minutes of the second-half to book their place in the next round of the Supplementary Cup competition. With attention firmly fixed on ensuring his side improve their league position, Rovers’ manager Mark Pritchett made a raft of changes to his starting line-up following the draw at home to Holmer Green seven days earlier, and there were recalls for Joel White, Rhys Davies, Brett James, Paul Carter, Dominik Kent and Warren Mann, who started a game for the first time since sustaining a serious injury on 5 September 2018.

Although they were fielding a much changed line-up, Rovers managed to quickly find themselves on the front-foot against opponents who had not played since Boxing Day and they took the lead, with almost the first attack of note, when Mann latches onto a ball launched over the top of the hosts’ defence, before holding off a defender’s challenge and rolling the ball under Saints’ keeper Ali Worby. Carter, in particular, looked to be using the opportunity presented to him by his recall and twice in four minutes he produced superb, long passes that almost presented chances for Pritchett’s men to extend their lead. Another recalled player, James, was the beneficiary of Carter’s skill on both occasions, first drawing a good stop from Worby and then shooting narrowly wide, from 18 yards, with the hosts’ keeper scrambling across his goal.

It was far from one-way traffic but Rovers were much the better side and Saints had Worby to thank again, on 22 minutes, as he saved well from Kent, who had been set free after a good combination play between James and Shayne Bradley.vWhen the hosts did attack, the Rovers defence stood up to the challenge and the closest Saints came to testing youngster Kane Winman, who was making a tenth consecutive appearance since Luke Merchant’s return to parent club Cirencester Town, was when James Watts shot high and wide of the goal, from 18 yards, after 25 minutes. George Ball was prompting many of the Saints’ attacks and had the next chance, albeit producing an outcome similar to that of Watts, on 30 minutes and the same player then looked set to equalise, only for Carter to produce a superb last ditch tackle to force the ball away from goal, two minutes later. Kent had another chance, that flashed wide of Worby’s goal, before Ball almost equalised on the stroke of half-time, but he was unable to keep the ball down and it was, once again, off target, as the sides entered the half-time interval.

Mann had picked up a knock almost as the first period ended, so he was withdrawn from the action and replaced by Kieran Alder when the teams came out for the second half. If the hosts had found their feet towards the end of the first period, they were now in full flow and Pritchett’s side were restricted to counter-attacks, as Gordon Kille’s charges settled into a groove and played in the manner which had helped them secure a league double over Rovers already this season. However, despite waves of pressure, Rovers stood up to the task and other than Luke Payne’s goal-line clearance from James Hammond, they were restricted to long range efforts that flew high or wide of the visiting team’s goal. If Pritchett had hopes that his side would hold out for a memorable win, a familiar tale began to unfold on the 70-minute mark. Ryan Knight, burst down the left-hand side, before producing a precision cross that Josh Bowden steered goal ward. Winman did enough to stop the ball crossing the line, but he was unable to keep hold and Josh Bowden had little trouble in forcing it into the net, to make it 1-1.

Eight minutes later, the tie had been turned on its head. Rovers produced some sound defending from a corner-kick, but when the ball came out to Lewis Baldwin, who produced a rocket of a shot that flew past Winman and into the top corner of the Rovers net. With his team behind, Pritchett made two changes, introducing Henry Birkett and Jake Rhodes for Carter and Bradley, but this proved to be a fruitless exercise, as Knight took advantage of some loose defending, before producing a rocket of a shot that went past Winman before he could move.

As the 90-minute mark drew closer, Rovers were condemned to a comprehensive defeat, on a day when they might easily have held out, as their defensive frailties came to the fore again. As Knight chased down a ball deep in visiting territory, Winman and Payne both hesitated, and although the Rovers keeper did well to keep out Bowden’s shot, the ball went straight to the aptly named Ball, who was left with the simplest of chances to make it 4-1 and end Rovers’ Supplementary Cup campaign for 2018/19.

Easington 2 Newent Town 0
Joe Coleman Easington fc Edwin Barson @ebarsonphotosEasington had to work hard to secure the victory against Newent Town in the Bluefin Supplementary Challenge Cup. An early goal from Joe Coleman and another just minutes into the second half from Joe Eyre put Sports through to the next round of the cup.

This was a keenly contested game played in the right spirit for the full 90 minutes. On a sticky surface both sides tried to get the ball down to pass, although the game had scrappy spells as the pitch began to cut up making things more difficult. Sports took an early lead after a good start to the game. Joe Eyre drifted out wide and after being played through he crossed to the far post for Joe Coleman to slide in for a tap in. Unfortunately for Coleman, he injured himself sliding into the post and had to come off minutes later. Easington looked a threat from set pieces and there were further efforts on goal and headers just over the bar. Newent were certainly not out of the game and Adam Rimmer made to excellent one on one saves at crucial times to maintain Sports’ narrow lead into the break.

Easington started the second half brighter than the first and doubled their advantage in the 49th minute. Sports took the lead from a well worked move and a neat one-two between Convey and Eyre. Convey slipped a neat pass inside the full back for Joe Eyre to run onto and he finished well striking across the keeper into the far corner. Convey continued to influence the game with his range of passing and Craig Robinson provided a physical presence up front allowing Joe Eyre and Henry Rose more freedom to play on the second balls and knock downs from the target man. Eyre continued to exploit the space in behind the full back for the rest of the half and cut back a number of his trade mark balls which Easington players could not make the right contact with to extend the lead further.

Manager Ben Milner can certainly be pleased with the overall outcome of the game but knows his side will be in for another tough game when they face the same opposition away from home next week in the league. Easington will now face another unknown opposition from the eastern section of the Hellenic League in the next round of the cup. Sports have a home tie against Langley.

Fairford Town 3 Penn & Tylers Green 0
Fairford Town cruised to a 3-0 home win over Penn & Tylers Green on Saturday in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup, thanks to a double strike late in the game.

Ben Snook struck the opening goal of the day as his 13th minute effort broke the deadlock, as the score remained the same going into the break.

The Division One East side held firm until 81 minutes, when substitute Dan Bailey doubled the Reds' advantage, before a goal deep into injury-time from another replacement, Jon Thomas, sealed a comfortable win and a place in the next round.

Fairford Town: Ellis; Hall, Joe Thomas (capt), Saunders, Oakes; Beardsell, James, Reid (Boucher '86), Snook; Lodge (Jon Thomas '60), Thompson (D Bailey '69) Substitutes not used: Watson, Hawkins

Woodley United 2 Chalvey Sports 1
Woodley’s first Saturday fixture of 2019 saw them beat Chalvey Sports for the second time this season and in the process book themselves a place in the third round of the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup away to Milton United.

The hosts started the match playing 3-4-1-2 and had the better of the first ten minutes with Pablo Fernandez shooting over, then left wing back Pele Hagger having an effort blocked into the path of Fernandez who missed to the right. Chalvey then got a foothold on the game, going on to dominate the majority of the first half. Bryan Taylor had their first shot, seeing it blocked by Harry Swabey, whilst Paolo Cicero failed to hit the target from distance.

Twenty minutes in, the visitors almost went in front when Aydn Coomber somehow failed to get on the end of a great left wing cross from Taylor, before United keeper Tom Bryant made his first save of the afternoon tipping over after a free kick was knocked goalwards. The pressure continued as Woodley were struggling to get out of their own half; Jason Marney had a shot blocked following a left wing cut back. Just past the half hour, Chalvey went close to opening the scoring when an unmarked Taylor clipped the outside of the post from the right side of the box Bryant’s goal was under siege. A superb save by his legs and a goal line clearance only delayed the inevitable which came on thirty nine minutes albeit in fortunate circumstances. With the ball rolling out for a goal kick, Swabey and Taylor had a coming together that the ref deemed enough to award a penalty. Taylor took it and beat Bryant with a strike into the right corner.

Falling behind woke United. Adam Barnard, who was captaining the side, had a well struck shot blocked whilst some fine work by Freddie Barron on the right wing, saw him beat several players before teeing up Harrison Moore who forced Kieron Hudson into a routine save. The final chance of the half fell to Barnard who couldn’t test Hudson with his free kick after a foul on Fernandez.

Moments after the restart the away side were presented with a great chance to double their lead when Jamie Earis placed wide whilst in a good position. Woodley then got a real grip on the game, dominating possession and creating several decent chances. Hagger shot well over, whilst Swabey missed to the left after a Fernandez free kick was cleared to him on the edge of the box.

Just before the hour saw a double United substitution and a change of formation. Moore and Ryan Alexander made way for Ed Thomas and Harry Hawkins. Thomas lined up on one wing with Max Laschok, who had started the game up top, the other side of central striker Leon Mannion. Hawkins anchored the midfield alongside Barnard with Fernadez the most advanced of the midfield three. Chalvey sub Kyran Quelch had a shot blocked with minor appeals for handball before Woodley made their final change on sixty six minutes when Chace Jewell replaced Hagger, making up a back four of Freddie Barron at right back, Jewell at left back and Richard Thomas and Swabey in the middle.

With twenty minutes to go United forged their best chance so far, started by good hold up play by Laschok. Passing to Hawkins his low cross found Mannion who prodded over from close range.
The equaliser did come two minutes later started by a Barnard free kick on the left. The ball fell to Richard Thomas who was denied a goal by a brilliant block; the ball broke to Swabey who got his first for the club burying from eight yards. Seven minutes later Woodley went ahead and once again it came from a Barnard free kick. His delivery was headed back across goal by Mannion to Ed Thomas who fired into the top right corner. Great finish.

The final ten minutes didn’t see either keeper tested. Jewell found Ed Thomas who cut in from the left before seeing his shot blocked whilst the only chance of note for Chalvey saw a Taylor free kick go miles over.

uhlsport football kitDivision One East

Thame Rangers 4 Wokingham 4
Manager, Craig Faulconbridge volunteered to wear the gloves his
first ever appearance between the postsThame Rangers were not at their best today and gifted visitors Wokingham and Emmbrook with a two goal lead at the break but came out fighting with a better second half display to get a draw, the least they deserved out of the game.

With a keeper crises at Thame Rangers Manager, Craig Faulconbridge volunteered to wear the gloves in his first ever appearance between the posts. Rangers started the game well dominating territory and possession for long spells but lacked the invention to open up the visitor’s five man defence. Wokingham were happy to counter and from their first were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position that Faulconbridge punched clear. Chances were few and far between for both sides until on 35 minutes Wokingham were gifted their first goal when a defensive error allowed them to tap in from close range. Wokingham doubled their lead in similar fashion as another defensive error resulted in the same tap in before the break.

Rangers started the second half strong and reduced the deficit when Patrick Buston crossed from the left for Jordan Rogers to volley home. Within minutes Wokingham restored their two goal advantage and soon after Rangers scored their second when Buston headed home a Dan Hatton cross. Goals were coming thick and fast and Wokingham restored their two goal advantage again with an unchallenged header. Rangers responded well and Buston raced clear of Wokingham’s five man defence to volley over the visiting keeper from outside the box. It was all Rangers at this point and the pressure paid off when Finlay Murray smashed the equaliser home from the edge of the box.

Rangers could not find a winner and referee Steve Williams who had a great game in the middle blew for full time with the two gifted goals in the first half costing Rangers the victory.

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