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11 -13 March 2018

Division One East

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Woodley United 0 Didcot Town Development 2
United slipped to their sixth defeat in seven games on Monday evening against a decent Didcot Town Development side. 

The visitors started well with a couple of long range shots going over Tom Bryant’s crossbar. The first shot of the match on target came courtesy of Woodley centre back Harry Swabey who showed good technique to strike the ball cleanly from twenty yards forcing keeper Sam Eeles into a good stop. Despite Town having the majority of the play, Bryant was rarely troubled. A Jack Hollister effort from distance missed the target whilst another shot missed to the right. Midway through the half, a good run by Daryl Harris saw him cut in from the left before having a shot blocked into the path of Ross MacDonald who was denied by Bryant. 

Ten minutes before the break the hosts had a good chance when Leon Mannion prodded over from the left of the box. Sixty seconds later United fell behind when a fine run, started just inside the Woodley half by Seth Humphries, ended with him burying the rebound after Bryant saved his initial shot. The half ended with Woodley defender Pele Hagger clearing off the line whilst at the other end Chace Jewell lofted over both Eeles and bar. 

Minutes after the restart, Eeles pulled off a remarkable save diving to his left and getting a strong hand on a vicious Mannion free kick destined for the bottom right corner. Didcot doubled their lead on forty nine minutes when a Hollister strike from the right of the box. beat Bryant at his near post. 

With the wind picking up, the game became a bit ugly with several players clashing and neither team able to fashion out any clear goal scoring opportunities.  Sixty five minutes gone Bryant did well to beat out a well hit shot that went through a sea of bodies. Three minutes later United made a change when Ryan Alexander replaced Ben Clark in centre midfield. Bryant then made amends for the second goal with a superb save to tip over at full stretch a Harry Moreton effort. 

Woodley’s best spell of the match came in the final ten minutes. A brilliant interception by Didcot captain Adam Learoyd prevented Mannion going one on one with Eeles. With five minutes to go, United made a double substitution. Max Laschok and Joe Sissons made way for Andrew Gilbert and Luke Axton-Hall who was returning from injury. This saw Teddy Thomas join Mannion up front whilst Gilbert took over from Thomas at wing back. 

The changes nearly worked immediately when a decent Harry Hawkins pass found Thomas. Running into the box, he stayed on his feet despite being clipped by a defender only to see his delivery from the left land on the roof of the net. Woodley’s final chance saw an Alexander shot blocked with strong claims of hand ball before Didcot substitute Nick Skiller just missed to the left after a counter attack.

Woodley United 0 Didcot Town Development 2 (away view)
The Railwaymen team moved on to Rivermoor Stadium on Monday night in this league encounter. Just two days after their previous game the team was freshened up with Adam Learoyd and Seth Humphries getting minutes returning from suspension. Nevertheless it was a big ask against Woodley who had no game on the Saturday before and a pitch although dry was bobbly and the bounce difficult to predict.

Didcot did start well though with Daryl Harris shooting over in just 4 minutes. Shortly after Ross MacDonald shot from 25 yards and was just over the bar. Sam Eeles in the Didcot goal had a good save low down and just after it was Jack Hollister that shot over the bar in 15 minutes. Seth Humphries was next to shoot with home keeper Tom Bryant saving easily. A lovely bending cross from MacDonald was almost met by Caelen Isaac who would have been in on goal but the opener finally came on 35 minutes when Seth Humphries capitalised on a poor defensive clearance and stepped between defenders and around the keeper to slide home. Before half time MacDonald slid the ball through for Daryl Harris who could not quite get his shot away to increase the lead.

Woodley had some of the ball after this but the Didcot defence held firm with good interceptions from defence and midfield breaking up play and not allowing the home team to build up a head of steam.

Woodley came out in the second half looking eager to make inroads and Sam Eeles made a good save from a Free kick and he smothered a follow up attempt. Just four minutes in to the second half and Jack Hollister swivelled in the box and shot low first time to put the visitors two up. A couple of bookings ensued as Woodley tried to get physical but it still looked more likely that Didcot would increase the lead. Another good Hollister shot brought out a good save and Substitute Nick Skiller held up the ball well for MacDonald to play the ball back for Harry Moreton to hit a rasping shot which Bryant did well to tip over the bar.

MacDonald bent a lovely through ball for Alex Marshall to stride on to and shoot home but he quickly realised he had been given offside. There was time for Woodley to chip the ball on to the top of the net but largely Didcot saw the game out well to garner the three points. Well done to all for a great team performance and those having played both games will no doubt know all about it for a couple of days.

OFA Patrick O'Flanagan Memorial Veterans Cup - Semi Final

Watlington Town Veterans 3 Goring United Veterans 0 (away view)
After the worst possible start for Goring, conceding after just three minutes, it was an uphill battle against a well organised and robust Watlington side.

Chances were few and far between for Goring and, despite a healthy percentage of possession, came unstuck after the break when Watlington countered and smashed home their second. 

It was just a materr of when not if Watlington got a third and it came with just minutes on the clock, after a perfectly placed pass across the box, from a fluid counter attack, found an unmarked forward, waiting to pounce. 


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