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27 January 2018

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Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup

Tytherington Rocks 0 Faringdon Town 4
Any thoughts of a Cup run to lift the morale in the New Year were dashed during the first half of Tytherington Rocks home game on Saturday against Faringdon Town. Leading 3:0 after 45 mins the visitors ran out comfortable 4:0 winners,confidently moving into the next round of the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup.

The home team started brightly enough, with no.7 Tawanda Kweke producing a strong run on goal only to see his shot blocked by a Faringdon defender. At the other end, on 9 mins, an almost intuitive back pass was caught, equally intuitively, by the Rocks keeper, resulting in an indirect free-kick within the penalty area. The free-kick itself rebounded, and Faringdon's James Taylor drove home the visitors first goal.

Play settled down in the middle of the field, with Conor Burns, Zico Haughton and Shakeil Barrett tackling with their usual determination. Twenty minutes passed before the visitors claimed their first corner and that was quickly followed by Rocks first real chance -----a shot, sailing wide from Kweke. On 25 mins a precision pass sliced through the home defence,allowing James Taylor to score for both his, and Faringdon's, second goal.

A Rocks chance fell to Conor Burns,but the shot only found the side netting,and a Rhys Tuberfield corner was met promisingly by Kweke but his effort flew over the Faringdon bar. The home side's frustration at missed chances was compounded when, on 44 mins, James Taylor claimed his hat-trick via a deflection to give the visitors a comfortable 3:0 lead at the interval.

The restart whistle was still echoing across the pitch when,after 46 mins, a cross from Faringdon's Adam Sly on the right wing was headed home by Taylor for his 4th goal. Both teams made full use of their subs, but for a large part of the second half the game remained between the penalty areas with few scoring opportunities for either side.The Tytherington forwards were frequently caught offside, whilst Faringdon failed to capitalise on the occasional half chance. Throughout the game Kieron Williams in the home goal gave another sound performance despite the scoreline.

Five minutes before full time the Rocks forwards were given their best chance of the game to score, but indecision gave Jack O'Reilly in the Faringdon goal a moment to pounce on the ball and keep a clean sheet. A 4:0 defeat, but not a rout, brought to an end all Tytherington's Cup journeys this season. Traditionally, and at all levels of the game, teams at this stage now concentrate on their League points and positions.

Wallingford Town 2 Ascot United 3 aet (away view)
Barry Dunbar stepped off the bench to score twice as Ascot United came from behind to beat Wallingford Town 3-2 in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup. The Yellamen had been thwarted by a combination of resolute defending and home ‘keeper Liam Vaughan, before finally shrugging off their lower-tier hosts in added time.

It was a case of deja-vu for both sides having met in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup earlier this season, a match which Ascot won 2-0. However, notwithstanding Division 1 (West), there were just nine places between these Uhlsport Hellenic League sides, which made for another close game on paper. Visiting ‘keeper Lee Allen has missed just two matches this season – and one of those was that earlier cup win at Hithercroft – and although he would save a first-half penalty he was powerless with the follow up that gave the home side a first-half lead.

Before all of that, both sides had toiled in the blustery conditions. It took fully twenty minutes for the first chance of note – a stinging shot from Jack McLaughlin that Allen stood up well to save. Ascot countered immediately through Callum Carlisle, and after he sprayed the ball wide to James Goodey, Goodey swung the ball in for Rob Lazarczuk, who saw his header cannon back off the angle of crossbar and post. Steve Gair then saw his difficult effort sail over for the hosts, but their penalty in the 29th minute came after calamitous communication in the Ascot midfield. In possession, Carlisle and Ben Hodges both left the ball to each other, and after Wallingford nipped in and fed James Spruyt, Ryan Cooper sent the striker tumbling after desperately trying to recover. Allen almost redeemed his midfielders in diving to save McLaughlin’s spot-kick, but Gair would drill home the rebound.

Goodey saw a couple of half chances go begging for an Ascot side otherwise devoid of zest, whereas George Lock and Louis Bouwers needed to be alert at the other end to limit any more damage before the interval. Dunbar entered the action at half time, and his cross-shot from Goodey’s pass fizzed across the box and agonisingly wide ten minutes after the restart.Dunbar should have scored when clean through three minutes later only to be thwarted by a combination of Vaughan and Jon Stott, and Vaughan would go on to make a fine save from Hodges’ thumping volley later on. James Richardson came off the bench and curled a delicious effort onto the crossbar, but it was the home side who missed the easiest chance of the half when Spruyt broke clear and centred for McLaughlin, who sliced over with the goal at his mercy. Ascot spent most of the second period camped in the hosts’ half and it looked as if it would not be their day until Dunbar’s equaliser in the 79th minute. Rob Lazarczuk, who would receive his marching orders in extra time, played Dunbar in, and Dunbar’s low, hard drive beat Vaughan. The Yellamen then laid siege to Vaughan’s goal and Dunbar’s shot deflected wide before Goodey saw an effort saved and another effort sail wide, but it remained one-all after 90 minutes.

Now in the ascendancy, Ascot scored within a minute of the restart when Hodges tapped in after Vaughan’s brilliant fingertip save had diverted Lazarczuk’s shot onto the right-hand post. Incredibly, Wallingford levelled matters in the 97th minute with a fine goal; the lively Spruyt picked out substitute Zach Field, and he drove forwards before lashing the ball past Allen and into the roof of the net. With both sides continuing to tire on an increasingly heavy pitch, home captain Danny Morgans was dismissed in the second period of added time, and Lazarczuk would join him for his reaction to the initial infringement.

However, the key contribution came from Dunbar, who kept his head to slot home when unmarked after Denton’s free kick was headed back across his own penalty area by Wallingford defender Will Clement; 113 minutes played. That goal finally broke Wallingford’s gritty resolve, and Ascot held onto their 3-2 lead.



uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Fairford Town 1 Thatcham Town 3
Fairford Town produced a determined performance on Saturday afternoon, going down 3-1 to promotion chasers Thatcham Town who extended their unbeaten run to 18 games in an eventful Cinder Lane showing.

The Reds could have taken the lead with just 30 seconds on the clock but an effort from Conor Lynch, making his first Fairford start, struck the post. However the visitors were soon into their stride with Shane Cooper-Clark hitting his 41st goal of the season inside two minutes. Thatcham doubled their advantage on 18 minutes with Harrison Bayley on target, but Fairford continued to plug away and went in two goals down at the break.

Jody Bevan's side got back into the affair when Lynch found the back of the net just before the hour to open his Fairford account with a fine finish. Midfielder Dan Bailey then almost drew the Gloucestershire level but his effort hit the post. Liam Ferdinand rounded off the scoring 22 minutes from time to seal an 18th consecutive victory, as Fairford ended with ten men following the late dismissal of Josh Gregory.

One East

Didcot Town Reserves 2 Chalfont Wasps 2
Despite the wet weather this week the Loop Meadow pitch held up well for this league fixture. Didcot's first attack was down the right when Alex Marshall received the ball out wide, his cross ended up over the goalkeeper and nestled in the corner of the net to give the home team the early lead. A neat 1-2 between Madeiros and MacDonald for Didcot ended with Madeiros fouled but the home team could not convert the free kick in to a clear chance.Chalfont were awarded a free kick out wide on the left and instead of swinging in the kick for the away team to run on to Ryan Welsh swung the ball under the crossbar under an unsuspecting home keeper Ashley Stevens to tie the game at one each.

A minute later and MacDonald passed to Madeiros who shot just wide. On 16 minutes MacDonald won the ball out wide but Kitchener could not connect with the cross properly. On 22 minutes Alex Marshall was played in on a 1 on 1 with the Chalfont keeper Dan Little who made a save from the shot. A Madeiros cross was behind three onrushing Didcot players before the same player again was involved with MacDonald in a 1-2 and his cross was met by Marshall who was deemed to have fouled a Chalfont defender on the line.

A Taylor Janes free kick found MacDonald who turned his defender and crossed but both Wilcox and Marshall could not connect clearly and from the ensuing corner the ball bounced about before being cleared. Chalfont then had a spell when Ashley Stevens was forced to punch the ball over the bar and Galvina Sandy shot narrowly past from the corner. In the 39th minute Taylor Janes released Ross MacDonald on the left and he bore in to the penalty area and unselfishly squared for Alex Marshall to tap in to an empty net to put the hosts ahead. A minute before half time and Didcot gave away a free kick which was swept in to the net by Ryan Welsh this time wrong footing the home keeper.

Early in the second half Taylor Janes got back to thwart a dangerous Chalfont attack before MacDonald for the home team was through but too wide to steer the ball home. Tom Stone's through ball found MacDonald wide again and his shot was saved at the near post, the ball rebounded and MacDonald's follow up shot was deflected just wide for a corner. Keiran Collins shot was deflected wide this time for Didcot. Tom Hoskin entered the fray for Madeiros for Didcot and scored as the Chalfont keeper dropped the ball at his feet however a Didcot attacker was adjudged to have fouled and the goal was disallowed. Ashley Stevens then had a fine one handed save to push the ball round the post and shortly after Collins shot wide from a MacDonald lay off. MacDonald then flicked the ball over the defence and Hoskin's shot when through n the keeper was saved.

MacDonald then skinned a defender and his cut back fell to Hoskin whose shot was blocked by a busy defence. An Alex Marshall shot was over the bar from a corner before Chalfont had the last chance of the game which narrowly went past the post. So another draw for the Railwaymen Reserves from a highly watchable game.

Didcot Town Reserves 2 Chalfont Wasps 2 (away view)
Despite going one down early on Wasps came from behind twice to earn a well-deserved point on the road thanks to two cracking free kicks from Ryan Welsh.

didcot town v chalfont wasps 27 january 2018Welsh’s first deceived the home ‘keeper and flew into the top left corner from 35 yards to make it 1-1 after nine minutes. Wasps built on this and put together some decent periods of play, Neumann Khan providing a lot of the link up through midfield. After the initial flurry, chances were few and far between. Didcot had a couple of corners; Wasps a couple of breaks and free kicks and it was all a bit stop and start due to minor infringements until the last 5 minutes of the first half. Didcot got their noses back in front with a suspect offside goal. Welsh came to the rescue on 45 mins with another super dead ball strike, this time from 40 yards!

The lights came on for the second half. The match opened up with both sides enjoying phases of possession and crafting some half chances. Dan Little in the Wasps goal made a few decent saves to deny Didcot. Garluwa Sandy and Mason Wright’s pace on the flanks put Wasps in on a couple of occasions. During Wasps better spell of 20 minutes in Ryan Forbes and Jack Pearce combined, Welsh’s header went just over the top, and Michael Green header over a few moments later. Changes were made; first Nick Little and Brad Finch, then Gary Simpson later on. Wasps finished strong and could have bagged all three points, Khan shot and a Chris MacDonald header flew over late on.

One West

Shrivenham 6 Ardley United 6
In true top-of-the-table style, Saturday afternoon’s game at Barrington Park certainly lived up to the hype as both teams took a share of the points.

With the home side shooting down the slope in the first half, it was Ardley who came out of the blocks the quicker of the two sides after Jamie Mundy was denied by a post after four minutes, but in a hint of how the game was to play out, Josh Morse saw his long rang test only just sail wide of the visitors goal two minutes later. Before anyone could gain their breath, Connor Harris struck a thunderbolt free-kick in to the top left corner to beat Connor Johns from range but Shrivvy made an instant reply, when a neat move between Jamie Prictor and Morse set up an unmarked Lewis Petrie who calmly drilled home the ball to open the home sides account. Almost immediately, Harris had a chance to increase the score, however Johns managed to keep his effort at bay but it was only a temporary reprieve as the player grabbed his second just two minutes later when another top drawer free-kick from a similar position as his previous one, sailed past the Shrivvy wall at shoulder height and crept in the post just beyond Johns who was at full stretch.

A rare mistake from Aaron Dainton saw his backwards header not carry any weight and with Johns not rushing out to collect, Troy Bryan capitalised on the error to tap home an easy lob on 26 minutes to give the visitors a commanding 3-1 lead. The game became less intense as Ardley became comfortable with their early first half lead but with five minutes to the interval, Shrivvy began to increase the pressure but out of the blue, Danny Hale was beaten inside his on penalty area and as the ball was crossed on the floor, went under Johns and rolled to the far post where Bryan was surprised to find the ball at his feet to tap home with ease. If that goal had been a little harsh on the visitors, just a minute later, Shrivvy got some luck of their own. A lunging tackle in the middle of the park from Leigh Brown saw him win the ball which kindly fell to Morse who sent a perfectly weighted first time pass through the visitors back line that Prictor read perfectly and as he advanced forwards, sent a low shot between the legs of Tom Molloy from 18-yards out to give his side hope heading in to the interval.

At 2-4 Ardley had certainly demonstrated why they are top of the lead, but heads hadn’t dropped and some much needed words of advice from the management certainly did the job when another lunging tackle from Brown shoved the ball towards Prictor on 50-minutes and after holding off a challenge, flipped the ball to Lewis Petrie who beat his marker to dink the ball over an advancing Molloy and it dipped perfectly under the crossbar to get Shrivvy back to within one goal of their visitors.

There was no let-up however and some further poor defending let sub Alex Feaver increase his sides lead to 3-5 when his tame effort beat an unprotected Johns while three minutes later at the opposite end of the pitch, Petrie with his back to goal, chested down the ball to Prictor who was on the edge of the 18-yard box and his low effort powered through a sea of players and nestled in to the base of the net. Ten minutes later Mani Roper had a long range shot cannon off the post but on 67-minutes, Danny Hale equalised after he latched on to a long high ball which was sent in to the penalty area and he managed a volley under the challenge of Drew Boyd, which easily beat an unsuspecting Molloy.  Eight minutes on and a scuffed half-clearance from Johns fell to the advancing Feaver and his pass put in Jordan Moore who calmly fired home.

Both side continued to battle knowing that the game wasn’t won and with five minutes remaining, Hale found himself brought down by Leggett inside the area and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Hale calmly slotted home the resulting penalty.  A minute later, Petrie could have given the home side an unsuspecting lead, but his effort was deffected wide and by the time Tyler Sheppard came on for Brown, the game was all but over in what had been a fantastic advert for grassroots football between two great teams on a sticky surface with some superb officiating.

Woodstock Town 2 Letcombe 5 (away view)
throughout the morning, but the well drained Woodstock pitch was perfectly playable, and the referee was happy for the game to go ahead even though rain was still falling. Letcombe started quickly, with Zachary Pettifer, making his debut start for the first team, seeing plenty of the ball on the left, and a couple of dangerous early crosses just eluded his team-mates. Harry Monger gave Letcombe the lead with a fierce low shot from 25 yards in the fifth minutes, and the hard working Ben Hummel almost added a second but his effort hit the bar. Letcombe soon increased their lead, however, when a low shot deflected in off Monger, and Letcombe seemed to be in control of the game. Hummel and Monger both had chances to increase the lead, but home keeper Mathew Ingram saved well. Full backs Jack Heggie and Shemar Pettet were finding time to push forward as well as doing their defensive duties, but Woodstock came more into the game as half time approached and scored with five minutes remaining, a missed header allowing Olie Hawkins to reduce the arrears.

Letcombe came racing out of the blocks in the second half, and Iggy Ilott sent a screamer into the top corner in the second minute, his first goal for the club, to restore Letcombe' s 2 goal cushion. They had chances to increase their lead but failed to take them, and another missed header allowed Jordan Buckley to score for Woodstock on the hour, and the visitors lead looked precarious for a while. Jack Heggie provided the pass for Ben Hummel to race clear and lob the ball into the net to calm Letcombe nerves, and home keeper Mathew Ingram made four tremendous saves, whilst Letcombe keeper Charlie McCready also brought off two good saves. Hummel collided with the post as he tried to reach the ball, Pettifer had an effort well saved, and Tinashe Gwavava shot inches over the bar following a corner as Letcombe sought another goal. Danial Elvestad completed the scoring with two minutes remaining to ensure a convincing win for Letcombe, and it could have been more if it had not been for the heroics of home keeper Ingram, but manager Garry Cook was more than happy with a solid team performance.


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