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11 November

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Emirates FA CupBuildbase FA Vase - Second Round Proper

Bracknell Town 8 Cricklewood Wanderers 0
Bracknell Town took their goal tally to a remarkable 22 in just eight days by crushing Cricklewood Wanderers 8-0 in their FA Vase second-round tie at Larges Lane on Saturday. It was the biggest winning margin of all the 64 ties played at the weekend although they were extremely fortunate to have kept a clean sheet against the lowest ranked team left in the competition. The Middlesex League side, who had lost 3-1 to Cray Valley in the previous round before gaining a reprieve as their opponents fielded an ineligible player, play two levels below Town and this was never a game they were going to win.

However, they showed in the early stages of the game that, while they could not match Bracknell's teamwork, they possessed a couple of classy individuals. Anthony Emeh certainly had the beating of the Bracknell defence and was incredibly unlucky not to have scored, hitting the post twice in the opening 15 minutes with keeper Chris Grace beaten. Yet by this time, the Robins were already two goals ahead, with Khalid Senussi heading in the far post from Seb Bowerman's accurate left-wing cross after six minutes and TJ Bohane finishing off a move involving Ryan Parsons and Bowerman on 12 minutes.

Both times Cricklewood's lack of height at the back was badly exposed. Emeh, tall and pacey, looked certain to get the goal he deserved in the 23rd minute, only having to poke the ball home from close range, but Carl Davies managed to clear off the line. Grace was far from happy with the way his defence were allowing Wanderers scoring chances and he had to rescue his side with a flying save to deny Ashley Flanore. But Nathan Dyos was the busiest of the two goalies and, after managing to block Bohane's header without knowing much about it, he was beaten for a third time in the 31st minute by a Senussi shot that took a wicked deflection off a defender on its way. Dyos then kept out efforts by Bohane, Bowerman, Cornell and George Short in quick succession before Cornell made it 4-0 with a minute of the half remaining.

t was the third time in eight days Town had scored four times in the first half as they followed up 7-0 Hellenic League wins over Burnham and Highmoor Ibis. There was a switch at half-time with Joe Gater replacing Adam Kirby at the heart of the defence. Within two minutes of the resumption, Bohane nodded in another excellent cross from Bowerman, who soon afterwards went close to netting himself on a day when he was unstoppable. Jamie McClurg, who dominated the midfield, smashed home a superb free-kick from wide out on the left after 62 minutes and substitute Jon Bennett linked up with Bohane to score in the 78th minute, six minutes after replacing Cornell. Two minutes later Davies completed the scoring, firing low inside the right-hand post from outside the area. While McClurg had claims for the best goal of the afternoon, skipper Davies certainly produced the best celebration.

The Robins earned £900 from the Vase prize fund to add to the £825 they picked up in the previous round with a further £1,125 awaiting the winners at the next stage.

Erith Town 1 Windsor 2 (away view)
Windsor have reached the third round proper of the FA Vase this season after a 2-1 win away at Erith Town on Sunday.

The second round tie brought together two in-form sides but for Windsor it is a ninth consecutive win in all competitions, their second best run under manager Mick Woodham. The first half at Oakwood ended goal less but there were chances at both ends. Nadir Shafi forced Erith keeper Adam Molloy to save with his legs, before Windsor stopper Hugo Sobte got a strong hand to a Steadman Callender volley to push the ball over the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken six minutes after the break by Windsor wide man Shafi. Former professional striker Barry Hayles had a shot deflected and Shafi, a product of the Cox Green Academy, reacted first to nip in ahead of Molloy and turn the ball into the net with his body.

However, their lead did not last long as the Southern Counties East League Premier Division club drew level just four minutes later. Full-back Dan Palfrey was left un-marked at a corner and he headed down by Sobte from inside six yards. Windsor boss Mick Woodham said his team would travel without fear and his team continued to press, restoring their lead after 70 minutes. Player-coach Ashley Smith crossed into the box where Hayles chested the ball down for Jack Denton to fire a right-foot volley low past keeper Molloy from 10-yards.

The second round tie became scrappy in the closing stages and Windsor had to defend for five minutes of time added on but the Hellenic Premier Division club held on for the win and can now look forward to the third round draw (1pm). The third round of the Vase is due to be played on Saturday, December 3. Windsor return to action in the league when Abingdon United are the visitors to Stag Meadow on Tuesday, November 21 (7.45pm).

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Ardley United 5 Sandhurst Town 2
This was a cracking cup tie that had everything and probably the most entertaining match of the season so far at Ardley. Sandhurst Town visited Ardley with a good reputation for being a strong side capable of beating anyone on their day, however, it was Ardley who came out firing on all cylinders.

The opening 20 minutes saw Ardley playing the best football they have played all season and that’s saying something when you consider how well they have been playing.  The opening goal came after just 4 minutes, when Greg Hackett finished well, following a good move; then just 2 minutes later another good move saw Ardley take a 2 nil lead when Troy Bryan slotted home from 6 yards out. On 20 minutes the game looked to be over, after a great 20 yard free kick by Tom Moore hit the crossbar and fell to Troy Bryan who anticipated well and made it 3 nil. Sandhurst were reeling at the way they had been taken apart in those opening 20 minutes and seemed to rally round to start a fight back. On 23 minutes Sandhurst striker Charlie Oakley got on the end of a long clearance to score and give a ray of hope to Sandhurst Town and you could see for the remainder of the first half that Sandhurst picked up their game.

On 55 minutes Sandhurst striker Charlie Oakley then scored a second and at 3-2 it was game on, especially with Ardley kicking up the slope and with Sandhurst tails up. Both sides sensing that the next goal would be crucial and the game started to get feisty. Then on 60 minutes a nasty challenge by a Sandhurst player was followed by both sides getting involved in some pushing and shoving and punches being thrown by a couple of players. The officials dealt with this and a player from each team was sent off, but crucially for Ardley, it was Captain and Centre Half Daniel Leggett that received his marching orders and striker Troy Bryan filled in at Centre Half. Now Ardley were really up against it, but the young team came of age and dug in and battled to produce a fantastic finale to the game. Lewis Gabbidon was time and again on the receiving end of late tackles and bad challenges, but just kept soldiering on to his credit. Crucially Liam Palfreeman came off the bench and scored the all-important ‘next goal’ on 83 minutes with a great finish with his left foot from just inside the area. Then in the last minute, Greg Hacket scored a well-deserved 2nd for him to make it 5-2 at Ardley for the full time result.

Bishops’ Cleeve Development 1 Ascot United 0 (away view)
Nine-man Bishops’ Cleeve Development inflicted a humiliating defeat on Ascot United on Saturday afternoon as they scored late to win 1-0 in the League Cup.

 The Yellamen’s previous visit to Kayte Lane come with FA Cup heartbreak, although on that occasion they were the underdogs against Cleeve’s senior side. This edition, the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup, saw the visitors enter as favourites against a Development side plying their trade two divisions lower. Ascot created the first chance when Samir Regragui’s seventh minute effort from 20 yards narrowly missed – wide of the left hand post – and Regragui saw another chance go begging on the half hour following good interplay between Louie Gilpen and George Lock.

Ross Seldon then side-footed just wide of the left-hand post nine minutes before the break, before going close once again with half time imminent. Striker Josh Dillon wasted good chances either side of the interval as Ascot created all the best chances – the latter cleared off the line after rounding ‘keeper Elliott Seddon, but it would prove to be a less convincing second half for the visitors.

And, when the home side saw red in the 80th and 88th minutes it should have opened the door for an Ascot winner – although sadly for them the hosts’ Drew Humphries converted a left-wing cross in the last minute to stun Neil Richards’ side.

Virginia Water 3 AFC Aldermaston 0
In front of a large crowd, Waters safely progressed to Round 3, but only after overcoming a nervy start, where the visitors had a few early chances saved by Matt in goal.

On a slick surface at Stag Meadow, the home side got into their stride, with Adam Mills and Josh Hill combining well down the right, to set up a few chances of our own. From a number of set pieces, Adam McNamara volleyed in one of Finn Evered’s long throws, on 27 minutes, to settle the nerves. From that moment on, it was mostly one way traffic, with Steve Williams and Joe McBride (MoM) dominating the centre of the park, and show casing some great passing. Lorenzo Di Felice, Adam, Millsy and Josh all went close to adding to our lead before the break.

We needed a brisk start to the second half, and although we had to wait a while for the second goal, we were rarely troubled at the back, with Louis, Finn, Mark and Millsy ensuring we kept a clean sheet. Our second and third came from the same source, when on 69 minutes Adam crossed low, for the predatory Richard Bond to side foot home. This was repeated on 80 minutes when Bondy got his second, from a Millsy cross. Further goals could have followed, but not to be, and credit to Aldermaston who never gave up, and almost forced a late consolation. A safe passage into the third round and continues a marvellous seven match winning streak – long may it continue.

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Burnham 1 Fairford Town 3 (away view)
Fairford Town secured their first away win of the season as they beat fellow strugglers Burnham on Saturday.

Recent recruit Dan Bailey struck either side of half-time to put the visitors on their way before defender Aaron Dainton found the back of the net to seal the win. Bailey hit the opener with 25 minutes on the clock to put Fairford in front and they took the lead into half-time.

Burnham got back on level terms just after the hour before Dainton struck a beauty two minutes later to restore the visitors’ advantage. Ben Saunders then missed the chance to extend the lead as he hit a penalty over the bar, before Bailey made sure of the win with a 78th minute effort.

Speaking after the game, manager Jody Bevan was delighted to see his side move off the bottom of the table with a valuable victory. “It was a must win game for us and I am delighted we came through,” he said. “It wasn’t a great performance and I felt we had played better in the previous two fixtures against Royal Wootton Bassett and Wantage Town. However, when you are in the position that we are in, it is results that matter and Saturday was certainly a good three points to take away and build on.”

Highworth Town 1 Brackley Town Saints 0 (away view)
This was the second meeting of the season for Highworth Town and Brackley Town Saints and this game proved to be a carbon-copy of the first one played at St James Park back in August with Highworth Town again winning thanks to a Callum Mcghee-Parsons first half goal. 

After two rather disappointing first half performances against Binfield and Highmoor Ibis Saints manager Gordon Kille restored attacking midfielder Matt Johnson and striker Josh Bowden to his starting line-up. Also back for Saints was influential skipper Lewis Baldwin albeit playing in a deeper role at centre back due to players missing with injuries and other commitments.  From the first whistle to the last the 95 hardy souls who turned out to support the 2 teams were treated to a highly entertaining game with both sides taking an attacking approach. 

As early as the 4th minute Highworth went close as a low cross from the left flashed across Saints keeper Ali Worby's six-yard box just out of reach of the on-rushing strikers.  Moments later, on the Saints right, Matt Johnson outpaced the home sides left back to deliver a cross that in-form striker Josh Bowden couldn't quite get to and then in the 6th minute it was Johnson who came closest to scoring for Saints when he cut inside and curled a left footed shot against the crossbar with Highworth's keeper beaten all ends up.  On 24 minutes Highworth Town were presented with a glorious chance when a fortunate bounce dropped behind the Saints defence but the home teams striker's poke towards goal drifted just the wrong side of the post however, a minute later Parsons showed his finishing quality, striking home from inside the penalty area, to open the scoring, 1 – 0 Highworth Town.

The second half proved equally as entertaining as the first with both teams slugging it out like 2 boxers desperate for the knockout blow.  For Saints Chris Jordan went close on a couple of occasions and Josh Bowden proved to be a constant problem for the home defence but Highworth Town showed all their experience to keep the visitors at bay.  With Saints throwing caution to the wind in search of the equalizer the home side were always a threat on the counter-attack but keeper Ali Worby and defenders Dan Middleton and Lewis Baldwin kept the visitors in the game superbly.  

As the game drew to a close Saints midfielder James Hammond became more and more influential driving forward powerfully against tiring opponents but, unfortunately for the Brackley youngsters, the referee called time with Highworth Town claiming the points and extending their lead at the top of the league. 

Although they will be disappointed by the defeat Saints should take positives from a strong performance against the league's current leaders. With a run of home games coming up on a pitch that suits their playing style this is a period where they will be looking to test themselves against teams at the top end of the table starting with the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup tie against Wantage Town on Wednesday evening, 7.45 pm kick-off. 

Tuffley Rovers 2 Highmoor Ibis 1
Tuffley Rovers’ excellent run of form continued on Saturday, as they extended their unbeaten run in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division to five games, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at home to Highmoor Ibis. Rovers’ boss, Mark Pritchett, was able to stick with the same eleven who had started against Oxford City Nomads, eight days previously, so Eric Edge continued in goal, whilst Liam Wright and Joel White retained the defensive roles they have filled so capably in recent weeks.

The visitors arrived at Glevum Park late – only forty minutes before kick-off – but started brightly and after an early spell of pressure Edge had to produce an excellent one-handed save to turn Anthony Alleyne’s shot over the bar. Shayne Bradley has been pivotal to Rovers improved form of late, scoring winning goals against Woodley United and Oxford City Nomads, and he was once again at the forefront of their goalscoring exploits, on 16 minutes, as he met Sam Hill’s excellent cross with a well-placed header that left Ibis’ Aaron Watkins rooted to the spot and unable to prevent the ball looping into the net.

The game was entertaining, with both sides showing attacking intent, although chances were few and far between in the fifteen minutes after the opening goal was scored. Rovers looked increasingly in control as the half progressed and it was not a surprise when they extended their lead, after 32 minutes. A swift, counter-attacking move ended with Bradley firing goalwards, only to see his shot well blocked by Jamie Porter, but the ball then spun out to Kieran Alder, who produced a low, driven shot that was well-placed so that it curved around another defensive challenge and into the bottom corner of Watkins’ net. After a period when they looked second best, Ibis then came to life again and after Alleyne had fired narrowly over Edge’s goal, the Rovers keeper was called into action, on 37 minutes, when he tipped Dwayne Coultress’ shot over the bar. That save proved enough to keep Rovers in front and the half-time interval arrived with the hosts 2-0 ahead.

If Pritchett had any concerns about any complacency appearing in his side’s performance, after a bright first period, he would have been heartened by their opening forays, with Alder going close to adding his second goal, as he held off several challenges, before producing a nicely struck shot that drifted narrowly wide of Watkins’ goal.

Despite a long period of Rovers supremacy, the game started to turn in favour of the visitors, who began testing the hosts’ back four with a series of well constructed moves, with Ibis passing the ball quickly and crisply around the Glevum Park pitch. Thirteen minutes into the second period, they got their reward for the renewed endeavour, as they found themselves back in the game, with Dwayne Coultress collecting the ball and firing low, into the bottom corner, with Edge unable to keep the ball out.

With their lead reduced to a single goal, Rovers were briefly stung into life and immediately applied pressure on the visiting defence, going close on several occasions in a five minute spell that might ordinarily have yielded the goals that would have assured a comfortable victory. First, Alder produced another stunning piece of individual skill, leaving defenders trailing in his wake, producing a shot which Porter blocked, before Bradley’s effort when following up went wide of the goal, when he might have scored. A poor goal kick then prevented Rovers with another chance and the ball eventually fell to Courtney Hamilton, who beat Watkins, only to see the ball cannon back off the post. With the ball half-cleared, Rovers came again and Brett James had the next chance, only to head wide when well-placed. Alder was pivotal to Rovers attacking fortunes and he laid on the next chance, but Ash Bird couldn’t direct his header sufficiently well and the lead remained as slender as it had been since Coultress’ goal five minutes earlier.

Ibis were to benefit from a brief respite, lasting at least two minutes, before Rovers went close again. James turned provided, producing an excellently directed header into the path of Alder, who once again turned a defender inside and out, before firing narrowly wide. That was to prove a last significant effort for Pritchett’s men and the spirited Ibis team then went on the front foot, pressing the hosts back for much of the game, without creating any clear chances, until Wright, who had been excellent at left-back, was called into action to produce a fantastic block as Coultress looked set to level the scores in the dying moments. The victory was sealed moments later, when the final whistle sounded, leaving Rovers to celebrate a third consecutive league win – and fifth game unbeaten – that takes them up to eleventh in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, Premier Division table.

Woodley United 1 Lydney Town 1
United brought their three match league losing streak to an end with the share off the points but will look back on what may have been given a high tempo second half that put pressure on the visitors defence that saw an upright hit, a corner cleared of the line and a shot form short distance blazed over the cross bar.

The opening twenty minutes saw United awarded a number of free kicks but in terms of goal mouth action Town’s Ross Gabriel headed wide after nine minutes while Toby Briggs had United’s first worthwhile effort on nineteen minutes.  This was followed five minutes later by Jaydyn Englefield breaking clear of the defence before squaring the ball to Briggs in the penalty area. Briggs effort was blocked by ‘keeper Rich Thomas with Briggs first to the loose and passing to Englefield whose goal bound shot was kicked clear by Thomas. Greg Beckett saw his attempted chip of Thomas caught by the visitor’s number one while Gabriel rounded Alex Reed but in doing so took the ball out of play over the goal line for a goal kick. The half-finished with good passing play involving Jake Nicholls and Danny Horscroft that saw the lively Englefield beaten to the ball in a one on one by Thomas.

The injured Beckett was replaced by James Tennant at half time and straight from the restart Woodley put pressure on the visitors which resulted in left back Dan Morgan passing to Thomas. The ‘keeper took his eye of the ball which ran to the advancing Horscroft and Tennant and it was the former who steered it into the net from twelve yards in the forty seventh minute.

This was immediately followed by good play involving Tennant, Jordan Goddard and Nichols with the latter being denied for a corner kick. Horscroft set up Englefield to see the ball smothered by Thomas just before the hour mark in what had been an excellent passage of play for the hosts.  

Lydney levels on sixty seven minutes when quick first time passing down their right flank saw the ball crossed low to Naill Halford who unmarked calmly stroked the ball into the right hand corner of Reed’s net from eighteen yards. A repeat move two minutes later nearly saw Town extend the lead but United held their nerve before seeing Tennent hit the upright and reacting first to the loose ball to pass to Englefield who hurried his shot over the cross bar with ten minutes to play. United had to survive a last minute scare when a Lydney free kick was headed wide before sealing the point.

One East

Didcot Town Reserves 0 Penn & Tylers Green 1

Prior to the kick off Didcot Town laid a poppy wreath on the centre spot, and both teams, officials and spectators observed a period of silence, as a mark of respect on Armistice Day. (image courtesy of Roger Neal DTFC)

Penn edged a close league encounter between two well matched teams and although clear chances were few and far between there was enough to hold the interest for long spells of the game. 

Didcot had some early chances firstly Keiren Collins skipping through the defence but shooting harmlessly wide. in the 13th minute Jack Hollister shrugged off the defender but his shot was scooped over the bar. Ross MacDonald just chipped over the bar from distance before Penn's first chance saw Casey Bocarno head wide from a promising position. In the 21st minute a lovely Taylor Janes through ball found Jack Hollister and as he rounded the keeper he was brought down in the box and a penalty given. Rather strangely the away keeper was not even booked and to add insult Kieran Collins put his shot tamely past the post from the spot. 

Bocarno shot weakly past the post in a Penn attack before a Collins pass found Alex Marshall whose shot was wide. 

The second half opened with Ross MacDonald chipping just over the bar and then Chris a Murphy for the home team had a strong low drive well saved by away keeper Matthew Cannings. A few minutes later Alex Marshall had a fine volley from outside of the box heading to the corner of the net when Cannigs brought out a fine save for a corner. Taylor Janes then had a low shot saved by Cannings. Didcot made some substitutions but this coincided with Penn gaining the upper hand and first Josh Fox had a rasping shot just the wrong side of the post. With nine minutes remaining substitute Danny Blatchford ran across the penalty area and whipped in a low shot in to the Didcot net for the winner. 

Didcot had two further chances when first MacDonald beat a defender but his shot was deflected over the crossbar and then in an admirable move Ross Tanner and Ross MacDonald combined to,put in Jack Hollister but the ball somehow squirmed over the bye line to safety for Penn. The closing moments found Penn trying to keep the ball in the corners and they were delighted to hear the final whistle and claim the points. 

Didcot Town Reserves 0 Penn & Tylers Green 1 (away view)
This was a character performance by the first team after their first league defeat last Saturday at Bicester Town. The large contingent of away supporters realised quite quickly after 3:00 pm that the boys from French School Meadow were in a game today.  The Railwaymen Reserves certainly contributed to a cracking game of football this afternoon, which was a positive advert for football at this level. The hosts are the most improved side I have witnessed in this division of Uhlsport Hellenic League football.

Penn & Tylers Green FC tried to make amends for last Saturday by trying to establish their passing game. The Railwaymen had other ideas and kept pressing very high up the pitch making it difficult for the visiting team. In actual fact both sides were cancelling each other out with very few chances at either end. Whenever Penn & Tylers Green thought they won the ball well enough to create an opening there was always a red shirt putting in a challenge to win the ball back and trying to outwit us on the counter attack.

It was one of those situations which provided the hosts with their opportunity to take the lead. The through ball ended up between a slightly hesitant defender and our keeper. When Matt Cannings tried to get the ball, he caught the Didcot forward; penalty. We got away with that one because the execution of the spot kick was a poor attempt with the ball ending up wide of the left upright. Our chance of the first half came shortly after that when a good move down the right gave Adam Harman the opportunity to slot the ball home but the Railwaymen keeper Ben Little made a very good save to keep the ball out. After an intense first half with few openings but fiercely competitive football the players certainly earned their half time brew.

The second half started where the first half finished; same intensity and competitiveness. Again, not many chances were created, not because of poor football but quite the opposite, i.e. good midfield and defensive work. The challenges were tough and fierce but there were also some good patterns of play. Due to some of the challenges players on both sides needed treatment resulting in a number of substitutions and nine minutes of added time at the end. There was a 15-minute spell in the second half where the hosts just had the upper hand creating two excellent opportunities but keeper Matt Cannings had an excellent afternoon. Bradley Holland at the centre of the defence is improving game by game, he was immense this afternoon.

Injuries required changes of personnel and the gaffer was spot on this afternoon. George Weller came on and had an immediate impact. Anton Bradley played his part, too, but the when Danny Blatchford came on the game changed. There was a ten-minute spell where the boys in blue and white were rampant and played some excellent football creating a number of openings. It was in this spell when a very good move involving a number of players gave Danny the opportunity to score from the edge of the box with ten minutes to go. The opportunity was taken excellently and the “celebration heap” of all the players told you what it meant to everyone.  All we needed to do was to sit out the remaining time and nine minutes of injury time (easier said than done). We did just that. The quality and experience just came through there. This was a win which showed lots of character against a very good side. That was very pleasing. Now let us dust down, overcome the knocks and go again on Tuesday evening at Thame. (header image courtesy of Andreas Latta PTGFC)

henley town chalfont wasps 11 nov 17Henley Town 0 Chalfont Wasps 7 (away view)
Wasps fully deserved this impressive away victory; they were strong at the back, worked hard in midfield and were clinical up top.

Wasps signalled their intent early on with Chris Hurst having a couple of chances. Henley had a short spell of pressure but it was 0-1 come the 13th minute – Hurst latched on to a Brad Holt long ball, and finished neatly on the angle. It was 0-2 four minutes later - Josh Urquhart’s firm header from a Tom Fifield corner giving the home keeper no chance. Then Ryan Welsh and Micky Benning both went close after receiving precision through balls. To their credit Henley stuck to their guns, but Wasps rear guard stood firm, notably Michael Green making a number of key blocks. Henley’s keeper then made a great save to deny Welsh, a Hurst strike was easier to handle, and the linesman’s flag bought a few other Wasps attacks to a premature end. Dan Little in the Wasps goal made a fine save to keep Wasps 2 up at half time.

The lights came on for the second half on this autumnal afternoon. Wasps continued to drive forward with menace. Fifield and Welsh combined well, Hurst’s cross shot clipped the upright. Jack Pearce won a good ball in midfield, Welsh squared to Hurst, just wide. Benning’s long ranger was saved at full stretch. Then Green made it 0-3 from a Fifield corner, and the competition was effectively over. Benning’s deflected shot made it 0-4 after 60 minutes. Mason Wright, Ryan Sweales and Gary Simpson all came on. Hurst made it 0-5. Welsh bagged Wasps 6th with eight minutes to go, and Wright finished off a great afternoon for the Stingers, making it 0-7 in injury time. Wasps moved up two places to 7th in the League table.

One West

Headington Amateurs 2 Clanfield 85 1
Headington recorded their third league win in a row, but this was a close affair, both sides missing chances in an end to end first half, with the second period much tighter & scrappier by comparison.

Clanfield’s Jozef Fullerton twice had chances early on, his first effort blazed over from ten yards & his second struck well from six yards out only to see Harry Jenkins pull off a reflex save with his legs. Both opportunities had been created by pacey winger Roger James who was a thorn in Headington’s side throughout. Headington’s first real chance came after fifteen minutes, Luke Cuff & Shaun Jacob working a one two down the left flank before Cuff cut inside & struck a fine right foot shot that was saved at full stretch by Jamie Zoldan. Encouraged by this Headington began to put some good moves together, Jay Hill saw a shot charged down & Aaron Williams volleyed wide from an Ollie Zaja corner kick. Liam Morbey then glanced a header straight at Zoldan from Jacob’s free kick. Clanfield’s James then twice outpaced the home defence but shot across the face of goal on each occasion. Cuff headed wide from a Zaja cross before Kyle Harris-Steele & Nkwanyuo combined down Headington’s right flank, Morbey seeing his shot blocked from the latter’s cross. Back came Clanfield with James again the danger down their right wing but his cross eluding all. Headington centre back Sam Gordon headed down & over from a corner kick before Clanfield swept upfield, a Steve Olphert effort from the edge of the box too high to trouble Jenkins. The deadlock was finally broken after thirty six minutes. Nkwanyuo’s fine turn & low cross drilled home at the far post by Cuff.

Nkwanyuo doubled the lead almost from the re-start, racing on to Jacob’s through ball & placing wide of Zoldan with Clanfield making strong appeals for an offside decision. After this clear cut chances began to dry up at either end, with attacks petering out or defences coping well. Clanfield got themselves right back into it with a goal just over twenty minutes from the end. Headington could not clear a cross from the right wing & substitute Joe Hiscock drilled home from eight yards at the far post. With seven minutes of extra added to the ninety the home side faced some nervous moments in the last quarter of the match but Clanfield could not find a way through for an equaliser.

Headington Amateurs 2 Clanfield 85 1 (away view)
Clanfield 85 renewed their acquaintance with Oxfordshire rivals Headington Amateurs at Horspath Road and it was the home side who took all three points with a 2-1 victory in a well contested encounter. Clanfield introduced two new signings in former player Roger James on dual registration with Southern League Kidlington and Craig Connor from Abingdon United and it was James who created a number of chances for Jozef Fullerton, Conor Tinsley and Steve Olphert whilst at the other end visiting goalkeeper Jamie Zoldan pulled off a brilliant save to keep the scoreline blank.

Indeed it was a surprise to both camps that there were no goals until the 36th minute when Luke Cuff converted a cross from the right to give Amateurs a halftime lead.

This was doubled almost immediately on the restart when Yannick Nkanwy broke clear and beat Zoldan with the Visitors defence claiming offside. Injuries to Jack Payne and Steve Olphert forced Clanfield to reshuffle but it was they who got the next goal in the 67th minute when Ryan Moore’s low cross found the net with substitute Joe Hiscock claiming to have got the last touch. Both sides had chances but there were no additions to the scoreline leaving the Robins to reflect on a points return of just two from their last eight league matches with their next two matches away to league leaders Ardley United and highflying Kidlington Reserves next Saturday and Monday respectively.

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