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10 November

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Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup

Cirencester Town Development 1 Brackley Town Saints 3 (away view)
A very entertaining game which was in the balance for much of it but which Saints fully deserved to win. Both teams had a number of U18 players involved with Saints giving a full debut to Lewis Middleton at right back.

Saints were in control in the early stages knocking the ball around confidently and after only a few minutes Alex Stott played Ryan Knight in behind the defence but a moment’s hesitation saw the opportunity snuffled. But on 7 minutes Charlie Kille and George Ball combined down the left channel and played in James Hammond whose left foot shot flew across the keeper and into the top corner of the net. On 14 minutes George Ball dashed forward with great pace and played a one two with Kille who took the ball well and cut it back for Jordan Godfrey whose shot was just too high. Saints were enjoying themselves and James Watts played a great ball to Middleton on the overlap whose cross to the back post was dangerous but did not find a Saints head.

CTD took 17 minutes to create an opportunity and Max Lloyd should really have got a shot on target after Saints fell asleep when CDT won a free kick in centre field. But Saints were still on top and a positive and direct run by Stott led to a Knight shot on target which was straight at Sam Ayres. On 27 minutes Watts whipped in a free kick which Stott got a glancing header on but wide of the target. Against the run of play CTD pulled a goal back on 30 minutes, when Max Lloyd beat the offside trap and slotted neatly past Ali Worby. This gave CDT renewed optimism and Connor Hibbs came close on the half volley from a corner on 35 minutes. At the other end Knight had a couple of half chances, Watts hit a good shot and Hammond and Watts combined to release Knight whose well struck shot flashed across goal.

The second half started with Saints attacking and CDT conceding a couple of free kicks in and around their penalty area. From one Knight forced another good save from Ayres but not as good as the save that he made on 57 minutes when from another free kick Kille was on hand to volley goalward but Ayres reflex save was exceptional.

Defensively Saints looked solid, it was a question of whether they could find a way to break down the stubborn CDT rear-guard. Finally on 67 minutes Saints re-took the lead. Godfrey played a long ball into the box which was to long for Knight, but the defenders clearing header fell to Alex Stott whose first time half volley fizzed past Ayres into the bottom corner. Stott nearly followed this up a minute later with a right foot volley that was just too high. On 70 mins Curtis Green replaced Middleton. Saints sealed the game in the 77th minute when a great break down the left wing involving Brock, Stott and Ball ended with Kille committing the full back and pulling the ball back to the edge of the box where Hammond coolly side footed past the keeper. Although Worby was called upon to make regulation saves from long distance shots Saints played out the final 10 minutes comfortably.

Well played to CDT who contributed to a very entertaining game, and were very welcoming hosts.

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Binfield 3 Royal Wootton Bassett 2 (report by Arthur Strand)
The Moles were at home to Royal Wootton Bassett in the HPL on Saturday last. The start of the game was not too extreme but both teams were seeking some inspiration. Binfield took the ball and sent it into Bassett's half but the flag went up. Continuing, Bassett strove to dominate but the tackles were quite fierce and Moles gained a free kick. Eventually, Binfield were awarded a corner kick which came in high but cleared out of goal to a red shirt with a low shot, saved by Charlie McCready. next action was when Charlie Tuttle took a shot but McCready had no difficulty with the save. Carlo Santoro went on a long run up towards the corner flag and tried to claim a corner but the ball did a double rebound and so no corner. Regaining the ball, Moles moved up the flank and the ensuing cross was headed away only for a cross to come in from the opposite side. Strong battles for the ball continued for a while until Santoro managed to break through on the lateral, although Bassett defenders cleared the lines. A useful ball curled into the box by James Knight only for McCready to claim. Bassett broke through, looking ominous for the Moles and, with only Chris Grace to beat, he could only watch as the ball passed the post to his relief. Matt Bennett sent an aerial ball across the Binfield area and Rob Lincoln tried hard to head the ball towards goal but either, wasn't tall enough, or the ball was too high and did not make contact. After a yellow card was shown to Ian Davies, a good shot from James Knight was saved by McCready. Jemel Johnson sent in a shot from an angle keeping McCready busy. Johnson then sent Moore a right wing ball but Moore sent the ball on to nowhere. Johnson then slipped in with a cracking shot that McCready could do little about and Moles were 1 - 0 up in the 34th minute. Bassett made a break but that was foiled and Santoro made another long run only to be intercepted. and Bassett returned causing some concern in Moles' defence leaving Charlie Tuttle the task of sorting out the problem. Jemel Johnson made a long run and sent in an angled shot With 2 minutes of additional time Matt Bennett rounded Chris Grace to tap in an equaliser. All even at half time.

The second half began with players battling for the ball but Bassett gained a free kick which Gjo Wrona headed over the cross bar. Binfield started a move but the visitors regained the ball and the counter attack fizzled out. Moore was blocked by Bassett defending After two successive free kicks, Bassett lost possession enabling James Knight to take a shot which went direct to McCready. Ian Davies was fouled and Daniel Cole saw the yellow card. The free kick brought a fine save from McCready who finger-tipped the ball out for a corner, diving at full stretch. Making progress along the left wing, Binfield took a free kick and Gary Smith added a second goal in the 68th minute, giving Moles the edge. Binfield then made a substitution as Josh Howell replaced Santoro, Moore being replaced 2 minutes later by Lee. Collier, sub for the visitors, received a yellow card and James Knight took the free kick With the clock ticking Bassett tried harder and broke into the Binfield area but Chris Grace dealt with the incoming ball and Roger Herridge sent Danny Horscroft on to replace Jemel Johnson. Piling on the pressure the Moles pushed up until James Knight was in a position to add a 3rd goal in the 72nd minute giving Binfield that 2 goal cushion for the last quarter of an hour. This fired up the visitors who countered yet again quite determinedly. Wrona missed an effort but along came Terence Bohance, well known at Binfield, to slot a second for Wootton Bassett. within 10 minutes of the full 90. The game gave Horscroft the chance but that went over McCready's crossbar. 3 - 2 was a good result for a competitive game but Binfield have games in hand over several teams, two of which have played 18 to Binfield's 12. Next game. Friday 23rd v Flackwell Heath in the Hellenic League..
Binfield: Grace, ( GK), Thomson-Wheeler, Shaw, Knight,(c), Smith, Tuttle, Santoro, Withers, Davies, Moore, Johnson. Substitutes: Horscroft, Mitchell, Howell, Leonetti, Lee.

Fairford Town 3 Tuffley Rovers 0
Fairford Town returned to winning ways with a 3-0 home victory over Tuffley Rovers on Saturday afternoon. Ben Saunders scored twice to help the Reds seal the deal, whilst recent recruit Danny Gudger scored his first goal for the club with a second half penalty.

Defender Saunders opened the scoring with a quarter of an hour played before doubling the advantage seven minutes later. The score remained 2-0 going into the second half and was a penalty on the hour from Gudger which capped a fine afternoon for Jody Bevan’s men.

Fairford Town: Ellis; Hall (Hawkins ’73), Saunders, Thomas, Weaven (Snook ’63); Beardsell, James, D Bailey ©, Morris; Thomas (Thompson ’51), Gudger Substitutes not used: Reid, C Bailey

Fairford Town 3 Tuffley Rovers 0 (away view)
Tuffley Rovers produced arguably their worst performance of the season, as an in-form Fairford Town side showed excellent discipline to record a sixth victory in nine games, a run which has not only taken them above Mark Pritchett’s side, but into a position where they are nine points ahead in the Uhlsport Hellenic League table.

After a promising performance at home to Ascot United the previous weekend, Pritchett must have hoped renewed confidence would result in converting generally positive performances into league points against a side who were within touching distance if Rovers added three points to their total. Instead, by the end of the game, the gap had widened and Rovers can genuinely consider themselves in a relegation battle unless things change quickly.

The game started evenly and, if anything, Rovers marginally shaded the early stages, with Dom Kent’s space a notable threat to Fairford’s defence, but by the 18th minute Rovers were trailing, as Ben Saunders rose highest to head Jack Beardsall’s free-kick past Kane Winman, who was deputising for the injured Luke Merchant.

Just seven minutes later, Rovers vulnerability from set-pieces was further exposed and Winman beaten again, with Saunders netting a second as he headed home a cross from Joe Thomas, after a Beardsall free-kick had only been half-cleared.

With a mountain to climb and any confidence brought over from the previous weekend now in shortly supply, Rovers continued to work hard, with Jack Phillips particularly impressive, but they were unable to conjure any chances of note and the half-time interval arrived with the hosts comfortably holding onto their two goal lead.

Fourteen minutes into the second period, the game was over as a contest when Danny Gudger converted a penalty kick, after Pritchett had fouled the same player, and although Rovers pressed hard to recover a footing in the game, it was perhaps noteworthy that Ryan Dobbins’ effort, ballooned over from six yards, after he had produced an excellent run to meet Brett James’ cross, was the closest they came to calling Town’s keeper, Harrison Ellis, into serious action.

When the final whistle sounded, Rovers were left one place off the foot of the table, knowing that unless the quickly address an inability to create chances they will face a real challenge to maintain their Premier Division place.

Wantage Town 2 Ascot United 1 (away view)
Wantage Town came from behind to break Ascot’s hearts in a disappointing 2-1 defeat. Both sides came into the game chasing a much-need win. Wantage, off the back of three home defeats and Ascot, with just one win in six, had both stuttered in recent weeks. However, with 7th-placed Wantage boasting the best points-per-game record in the league, they would enter as favourites as they looked to claw back points from their huge number of games in hand.

In a well-contested first half, Jonny Denton’s early shot for Ascot was blocked and Chris Jackson headed onto the crossbar for Wantage, but Ascot took a 16th minute lead with the move of the half. Breaking down the right, Luqman Kassim and Dan Price fashioned a chance for George Lock to cross, and Nathan Minhas dragged the ball away from his marker to create the space for a shot into the bottom right.

Wantage improved as the half progressed and were rewarded when Chris Jackson’s header from Harvey Scholes’ corner squirmed its way into the net via Lee Allen and a post; 32 minutes played.

Two fine goal-line clearances from Dom Sullivan and Louis Bouwers respectively kept Ascot level at the break; the latter after Steve Robertson had wriggled into space and fired past Allen only to find the visitors’ captain well-placed in anticipation.

The second half was largely devoid of clear chances, before Dom Sullivan’s flick-header was well saved and Geoff Kibaki’s effort from outside the area whizzed just past the left post for Ascot with eleven minutes remaining.

However, Wantage delivered an 83rd minute sucker-punch when Robertson pounced to thump a shot past Allen, before Curtis Meare’s stoppage time save denied Minhas what would have been a deserved equaliser; Jean-Claude Etienne agonisingly scooping the loose ball wide of an open goal.

Ascot United: Allen, Lock, Haworth, Sullivan, Bouwers, F Etienne, Kassim (Kibaki), Denton, Minhas, Price (Laflin), JC Etienne. Subs unused: Boultwood, Hodges, Richardson.

One West

Newent Town 1 Clanfield 85 1 (Away View)
Clanfield made the long trip to the Forest of Dean on Saturday afternoon and came away with a well-deserved point in a game they largely dominated against a well organised Newent Town side. The visitors introduced new signing Tom Harvey from North Leigh United at left full back and on the whole the new defender made a solid start to his time at the club.

After a goalless first half which saw very few clear-cut chances created by either side and both defences in dominate form it was the hosts that broke the deadlock when a shot from the twenty yards out flew past Clanfield keeper Jamie Zoldan into the top righthand corner of his net. The Robins immediately went about finding an equaliser with the ever-dangerous Nathan Kimber unleashing a twenty-five-yard shot that beat the Newent goalkeeper Alex Goode only to see his shot come back of the left-hand upright and be cleared to safety by the home defence.

With time running out and the game deep into stoppage time Newent were reduced to ten men for a second yellow card offence, from the resulting free kick, Craig Connor delivered the perfect cross for captain Adam Pendall to head home his second league goal of the season at the far post to rescue a point.

On balance it was no more than the visitors deserved for their ninety minutes of effort and commitment, but they will have left the field believing it was an opportunity missed when three points were clearly on offer. On a final note, everyone at Clanfield 85 FC wishes Newent defender Carl Thorpe a speedy recovery after breaking his fibula during the second half, best wishes Carl.


Divisions Two

Chalvey Sports Reserves 2 Risborough Rangers Reserves 3 (away view)
We were forced into a few changes with Simmo (sick) Curtis (Away) Jack B and Norbert (recalled to 1st team) so we had Martyn Fox come in goal, Don Fundira gaining minutes, Chris Green, Liam Burnett and Justin Hockley returning to the squad.

As the heavens opened and both teams paying their respects with a minutes silence it was the home team who started the game well with the rain and wind in their favour they attacked our end repeatedly.  Chalvey moves the ball well in midfield and drove at us and deservedly took the lead in the 11th minute when a shot from fully 25 yards seemed to slip under Foxy and manage to cross the line.

This was soon added to when the home side went 2-0 up with another shot which should’ve been closed down earlier.  Rangers did start to work the ball and Dan Deakin proved to be the danger as he drove at the defence and the centre half took a booking for the team when being towed along for at least 15 yards the Referee made an easy decision to show a yellow card.  With the home first team not having a game and returning from watching Maidenhead in the FA Cup earlier causing a lot of noise in the far corner it was us that it spurned on.  Then just before the half the ball ended up with Don out on the left and he found time and space to hit a swerving shot over the keeper to pull a goal back and then with the last kick of the half Dan Deakin beat his marker again and put in a low cross which looked certain to be a goal but Matt blazed high.  We went in at half time at 1-2 and could have easily been 2-4 so still in the game.

Once again after a good evaluation at half time and demand for an instant response we came out determined to get a result. We started sharply enough to create another early chance but the keeper saved well.  Come the changes on came Liam Burnett for Rob to partner Matt up front switching to a 3-5-2 and Justin Hockley replacing Rhys Merriman in the holding roll and this had an instant impact with the experience of Justin taking control both defensively and creativity in the middle bringing in the wide men.  On 60 minutes and Alex Hockley replaces Nick in midfield to sit next to older brother Justin and it paid off when Justin won the ball took it down played it to Ben who found Matt who shot home into the corner for the equaliser.

Now we were starting to create more and more and looked to go on and win the game and with 10 minutes to go Justin once again won the ball passed to Alex who’s first time long pass went out to Don who crossed low to the onrushing Ben Lewis to fire high into the net for Rangers to take the lead.  Then straight after the ever willing closing down of Liam who managed to rob the defender and shoot from a tight angle only for the keeper to save well.  Credit to the home side they nearly got an equaliser late on when a shot from outside the area was tipped onto the bar by Foxy and Ben Jenkins cleared far.  We defended so well in the 2nd half whilst pushing forward and on that performance deserved a win for not giving up.


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