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7 October

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Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup - Round One

Binfield 1Woodley United 0 (away view)
Woodley's bad run in cup competitions this season continued on Friday evening as they exited the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup at the first hurdle. A Binfield goal in extra time meant the hosts progressed to round two; however the result didn't represent the balance of play, especially the first ninety minutes, as United dominated, playing some really good football and creating numerous chances. 

The game started with both sides trading shots. James Knight had a shot from the edge of the box hit a Woodley body taking all the power out of the effort before a Carl Prestidge touch to Jake Nicholls saw the latter miss to the left for the away side. However, United had a let off on fifteen minutes when Binfield skipper Knight hit the inside of the left post with a crisp shot from twenty yards. 

Midway through the half saw a really nice move by Woodley, the first of many over the course of the match. Receiving the ball on the right, Greg Beckett rolled in Jaydyn Englefield: after a mazy run the winger teed up Prestidge who fired over.  Englefield was at the heart of the next attack when he received a pass from Joe Barley. Racing through, he was eventually forced wide allowing Binfield to regain possession. 

More chances for United; Beckett combined with Danny Horscroft, resulting in the former putting a good opportunity over the bar and it was Horscroft who had the game's first chance after the restart when he tested Henry Craven in the home goal with a low effort. 

Binfield then had their best spell of the match thus far. A brilliant left wing cross by Tuttle found Will Shaw unmarked at the back post; three yards from goal he somehow put the ball wide. Another dangerous cross from the left was then punched clear by United keeper Alex Reed.  Two quick fire chances fell Beckett's way on the hour. First he had an effort blocked then had a shot saved by Craven. At the other end Ian Davies headed a Knight cross wide.  Despite playing some great football, Woodley were struggling with the final pass or straying offside. However on seventy minutes things clicked when Nicholls found Prestidge; cutting in from the left his low shot into the near corner was superbly kept out by Craven. 

United then got even closer to opening the scoring when Prestidge and Beckett combined to set up Owen Davies; from eight yards out the substitute had his shot brilliantly blocked by a Charley Tuttle on the goal line.  With fifteen minutes left, a fantastic run by centre back Idris Kamara ended with his cross being cut out. Picking up the ball on the half way line, the Woodley captain shrugged off a challenge got to the byline only to see his low pass to Davies intercepted. 

The final chances in normal time went Woodley's way. A deep free kick was headed back across goal by Michael Porter to Horscroft who couldn't generate much power in his header allowing a routine save. Porter then had a header saved following a Nicholls free kick. If Woodley were the better team in ninety minutes, it was Binfield who had the better of extra time. A left wing cross for the hosts found Ian Davies with his back to goal; turning on the ball his shot was blocked for a corner.  Binfield took the lead minutes later when ex-United captain Gary Smith turned in a left wing cross from close range. 

The only shot on target in the final fifteen minutes went to Binfield; Jeff Brown saw his shot saved in the right corner by Reed before White saw his cross from the right flash across the Binfield goal. 
Despite defeat, United can take a lot of positives from the game.

Clanfield 85 0 Royal Wootton Bassett Town 1
 Clanfield 85 suffered a stoppage time heartbreak in their Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup First Round clash when a goal by substitute Sam Collier in the 93rd minute gave the Premier Division side a passage through to the Second Round where they will meet Fairford Town.The visitors had the better of the early exchanges when both Rory Sproule and Aaron Maximan shot over after well worked moves.

Clanfield suffered an early blow when skipper Adam Pendell suffered a cut eye and despite treatment was forced off after 25 minutes to eventually seek hospital treatment where he received five stitches.The home side should have gone ahead after 30 minutes when a good through ball set Joe Hiscock clear but his effort was saved by the Bassett keeper.The remainder of the first half was evenly balanced to leave the halftime score goal-less.

The visitors had the better of the early second half exchanges.Substitute Zac Oliver began to cause problems for the Bassett defence and narrowly missed twice whilst a low cross from Jack Payne just eluded the onrushing Callum Miller.The visitors claimed loudly for a penalty when home goalkeeper Mike Bawn saved bravely at the feet of a Bassett forward.Collier took his team into the next round with a late strike on the far post whilst the Robins were denied a late penalty after Karl Roberts appeared to be fouled as he lined up a header which would have taken the tie into Extra Time.

Didcot Town Reserves 4 Wokingham & Emmbrook 2
The crowd were well entertained by this Challenge Cup 1st Round match at Loop Meadow Stadium. A backdrop of threatening dark clouds failed to dampen this match which rarely let up and was played admirably by both sides giving it all from the off. 

Didcot had a less familiar look to the defence and they were rattled early on when as early as the 4th minte Luke Scope slipped the ball past home keeper Ashley Stevens after being put clear. Just a minute later and Kieran Collins header from a corner was cleared off the line and his follow up shot blocked. In the 7th minute Didcot equalised when Collins turned in a Jack Kitchener cross with away keeper Steven Fairchild's low dive failing to keep the ball out. Almost straight from kick off Scope nearly scored again but Railwaymen Keeper Stevens had a fine save from close in. A full minute passed without another chance until Taylor Janes had a fine run brought to a crashing end and the resulting free kick for Didcot just crept the wrong side of the post with Fairchild rooted to 
the line. Straight up the other end and Sam Lawrence for the visitors was next to have a shot at goal well blocked and then Tom Hoskin shot wildly past when some composure might have brought about a better outcome for Didcot. Didcot failed to clear a corner and it was Tom Williams turn to fail the composure test and fire over for the Sumas. 

Incredibly only 15 minutes had passed at this juncture however for a few minutes at least the game slightly calmed down and the next chance came when Tom Stone put Hoskin through but his slightly heavy touch allowed Fairchild to gather. Didcot went ahead in the 27th minute when a lovely through ball found Collins in front of the keeper and with the deftest despairing defender on the line. 

Didcot gathered momentum at this stage and ultimately had a spell of play that was to prove decisive to the result, a dangerous Matheus Madeiros cross was well blocked and a through ball saw a Ross MacDonald shot smothered and go for a corner. A defensive mix up had Madeiros shoot over the bar and the both Kitchener and Tom Stone shot over from promising positions. Ross MacDonald appeared to be tripped and when the ball broke towards Tom Hoskin he was adjudged to have fouled a defender and was booked. A minute before half time though and the hard working MacDonald intercepted a clearance and as he bore in on goal he unselfishly squared the ball for Hoskin to tap in to an empty net and put Didcot two goals clear at half time. 

The Sumas initially started well again and Joe Parish was booked when bringing down a dangerous attacker on the edge of the Didcot box. The free kick was cleared up to the other end of the pitch and as the Sumas tried to bring the ball up the pitch MacDonald worked hard and harried the defenders eventually winning the ball and burrowing in to the box past defenders and slipping the ball under Fairchild to give Didcot a three goal lead. 

On the hour Alex Marshall replaced MacDonald and immediately crossed for Tom Hoskin to head on to the crossbar and Akinlosi then replaced Kitchener. Taylor Janes deep free kick reached Stone but he just failed to connect when close to goal. With 20 minutes remaining Scope fed Josh Pearson for the Sumas and he ran around Stevens in the Didcot goal and tapped home a second goal for the away team. 

Some chances were created for both teams as first Madeiros shooting over the bar and then Akinlosi headed over for Didcot. Substitute Filipowicz almost caught out the away keeper with a chip from distance and the last real chance of the game was thwarted by a flying Joe Parish header. So the Ressies are through in a second cup match in four days and await the draw for the second round. 

Fairford Town 2 Kidlington Reserves 1
Fairford Town produced a second half turnaround as they came from behind to progress to the second round of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup.

Division One West visitors Kidlington started the game brightly and were awarded a penalty in first half injury-time to take the lead.

The home side switched to a 4-3-3 formation in the second half and the tactical switch paid dividends as the Reds got back on level terms. With striker Shane Bumphrey forced off injured, defender George Thrussell came off the bench as an emergency frontman and slotted home the equaliser, following up a shot that had been parried.

And the turnaround was completed when man of the match Liam Gale carved his way through before powering a right foot shot into the top corner.

Highmoor Ibis 0 Windsor 2 (away view)
It may well have been a home match for Windsor with the travelling support outnumbering the home support. Windsor opened the scoring on 68' when Joash Nembhard converted a free kick from 25 yards. The second goal came on 89' when some excellent individualism from Keiran Knight saw him cut in and score from a narrow angle. The match was spoilt by a rash of red and yellow cards throughout that included 2 reds for the hosts and one for Windsor.

Highworth Town 4 Tytherington Rocks 1
Jeff Roberts rested numerous first team regulars after a week of two big league away wins at Flackwell Heath and Thatcham Town with several players from the reserves making their first team debuts.

In a first half bereft of much quality the home side could have opened the scoring as both Ross Adams and Tom Cole had close range chances blocked but it was the visitors who took the lead on 41 minutes when a shot from the right hand side of the penalty box by Tatanda Kweke, nestled in the back of Garry Aulsberry's net.

The lead lasted only three minutes however as Jake Kitchen beat the visiting keeper, Ben Goode, on his near post with a shot on the angle from 8 yards out.

Highworth in particular improved after half time and goals from Jon Davoile (53 mins) and Josh Jones (69 and 74) saw the home side through to the Second Round and a big local derby at Shrivenham. All in all job done.

Highworth Town 4 Tytherington Rocks 1 (away view)
The Rocks faced Premier side Highworth Town who so far this season are unbeaten in twelve games and top the league by several points.

Playing together for the second time under new manager Twanda (Jay) Kujeke Rocks gave the home side a hard game , after five minutes Rocks lost Callum Haughton who pulled a ham string and was replaced by manager Jay, this being a blow to the team so early in the game. With both sides attacking from the start Rocks more than held there own and created as many chances as the home side, with one clear chance being spurned by Rocks winger Ashley Henry from close in when he fired high over the bar.

In the 36th minute Rocks took the lead when Jay collected the ball wide on the right and cut in to hammer from an angle left footed into the net, Highworth got the equalizer in the last minute of the half when Jake Kitchen scored low from the left with another angled shot.

The second half started with Rocks putting the home side under early pressure and once again created a great chance when interplay with Trae Ademeyi whose final pass to Ashley Henry inside the penalty box on the right who took the ball forward with only the keeper to beat fired his shot high over the bar. Highworth then came more into the game putting Rocks defence under pressure and scored in the 53rd minute with Jon Davoile scoring from close in followed by a further two goals in the 69th and 74th minute of the game both scored by Josh Jones who had an outstanding game on the left wing with quality crosses all afternoon.

Letcombe 1 Bourton Rovers 2
Despite their lower league status, Bourton Rovers more than matched their Division One opponents.

The first chance of the match fell to Letcombe's Russell Benham, but his long range effort flew narrowly wide. At the other end, Callum Trott also missed the target after a good run. Bourton always looked dangerous from corners and long throws, but the Letcombe defence dealt well with this aerial threat. Russell Benham was unlucky to see a goal bound shot deflect off the legs of visiting keeper Andrew Herbert and go behind for a corner. Bourton took the lead in the last minute of the half, Jake Oakey cutting in from the right and firing the ball low into the far bottom corner.

Oakey shot wide when well placed early in the second half, and Tinashe Gwavava had to clear off the line to stop Bourton extending their lead. Letcombe gradually took control of the game, and were unlucky not to equalise with ten minutes remaining. A good run and cross from the left by Harry Monger found Adam Bruce, whose shot from twenty yards came back off the upright. Bruce was not to be denied however, and he finished clinically with three minutes remaining to take the game into extra time.

Tinashe Gravava was injured with Letcombe having used all three substitutes, so they had to play the last twenty minutes with ten men.   The shortage of numbers eventually told with just nine minutes remaining. Letcombe were penalised for hand ball on the corner of the penalty area, and an excellent in-swinging free kick was headed home from six yards by Connor Teague.

Longlevens 2 Tuffley Rovers 1
Longlevens faced up to local rivals Tuffley Rovers in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup, for what was the first of a week double header for the two sides, facing up again on Tuesday night in the Hellenic Premier. Longlevens welcomed Donald Soloman into the squad for the first time since his signing from Tytherington Rocks. He went straight into the side at Centre Half. Nick Bradley and Jack Byard were handed starts and a chance to impress by boss Mark Moore. Jonty Welch returned to the starting line up after missing the last 4 weeks through injury.

The first half was an even affair, Rovers Shayne Bradley causing Soloman and Kavanagh some issues, showing his high calibre of experience flicking the ball on at will for James and Williams. It wasn't until the last 20 minutes however when the game came to life. Tuffley went ahead when Longlevens failed to clear a Sam Hill cross and substitute Chris Manners pocked the ball home at the front post. 

Longlevens then went onto the front foot, Brad Vanstone beating his full back at will. Forward Nick Bradley and winger Jack Byard both had chances to equalise and will be disappointed not to have worked Dave Evans in the Tuffley goal. Vanstone got his reward on 70 minutes, when he found space in the box and flicked the ball home to level the scores at 1-1.

Levens had the luxury of making three second half substitutes bringing on; Brad Martin, Dave Merrick and Shaun O'Connor and the three combined to give Longlevens the lead. Merricks ball into the box found Martin whose turn and shot was parried by Evans, only into the path of O'Connor who had a simple tap in to give Longlevens the lead and eventual win into the next round of the cup.  They will now face Thatcham Town in the next round

Longlevens 2 Tuffley Rovers 1 (away view)
In the first of two meetings in four days, Longlevens recovered from falling a goal behind to win their local derby against Tuffley Rovers, as they progressed in the Hellenic League’s Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup, courtesy of a 2-1 victory at Saw Mills on Saturday. Both sides made a number of changes to their line-ups for the cup tie at Saw Mills and Rovers’ boss Mark Pritchett handed recalls to Macaulay Herbert, Shayne Bradley and Brett James, whilst there was a place on the bench for fit again Player/Assistant Manager, Shayne Anson. Levens started without regular first team players Brad Martin, Shaun O’Connor and Dave Merrick, as Ollie Long, Brad Vanstone, Donald Solomon and Jack Byard were all handed starting berths.

Rovers started brightly and almost fashioned a chance, as early as the sixth minute, as Luke Kavanagh struggled to deal with an excellent cross from Rovers’ Bradley, but Levens’ keeper Ash Wintle managed to gather the ball at the feet of Cam Williams, as the youngster looked to attack the loose ball. Former Southampton man Bradley was next to try his luck, ten minutes later, but his fizzing shot bounced past Wintle but wide of the post, from 20 yards. The game was end-to-end, both sides frequently trading possession, and the visitors had to be grateful to full-back Sam Hill, as he made a well-timed intervention to turn away Vanstone’s cross, with Levens’ Nick Bradley ready to pounce at the back post.

James had been lively in patches for Pritchett’s side and he too came close to opening the scoring, on 34 minutes, as he smashed a shot goalwards from 25 yards, only to see it go inches over the frame of Wintle’s goal. Vanstone and Bradley were energetic in the Levens attack offering the hosts a continued threat on the counter-attack, without creating clear chances, as the Rovers back four worked hard to keep them at bay. With neither keeper greatly troubled, both sides managed to arrive at the half-time interval with a clean sheet intact.

The second period started in a similar vein to the first, with Rovers initially on the front-foot but Longlevens offering a undeniable threat on the break, typified by two chances that arrived in the 50th minute. First, Cam Williams struck a shot from 20 yards that spun away from Wintle’s goal, before Byard wasted an excellent opportunity for the hosts, heading Ryan Dunn’s excellent cross over Dave Evans’ goal. James had another half-chance for Rovers, before Pritchett made a first substitution, introducing Liam Wright for Jamie Goodwin. Levens’ Jonty Welch then had an effort on goal, before Rovers’ Wright almost made an immediate impact, only to see Ellis Sausman produce an excellent block to see off a shot that followed an excellent surging run from the Rovers’ replacement.

Rovers’ keeper Evans then had to make a smart, low save to beat away Vanstone’s shot, before Sausman wasted the best opportunity of the game, heading wide of the goal from close range on 67 minutes. Williams was then withdrawn, making way for Chris Manners, as Pritchett made his second substitution, and within three minutes the substitute opened the scoring, turning home the ball from 8 yards, after Hill’s cross eventually found its way back to him via a scramble in front of the hosts’ goal.

Byard wasted another opportunity, heading Brad Martin’s cross wide, when well placed, but just moments later Vanstone levelled the scores, as he latched onto a long through ball to fire the ball under Evans and into the bottom corner of the net. After a game of relatively few chances, the game had now burst into life and it took a decisive turn in Longlevens’ favour on 78 minutes, as a Rovers player miscued a clearance and the ball spun into the path of substitute O’Connor, who produced a controlled finish to stroke the ball past Evans and put his side in front.

Danny Wallington had one last, half chance for Rovers, but he was unable to trouble Wintle, after good work by Manners, and the game ended with Longlevens progressing to the next round of this season’s Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup. Rovers won’t have to wait long for their opportunity to recover from their cup exit, as Longlevens will be the visitors to Glevum Park, on Tuesday evening, as the two sides meet in the Hellenic League, Premier Division, in a 7:45pm kick-off.

Sandhurst Town 2 Bicester Town 0
The first round of the Challenge Cup brought visitors from Bicester to the Bottom Meadow on Saturday last. With Bicester now 3rd and Sandhurst 6th in the Div. 1 East table, it seemed quite likely to be a close result.Stuart Bridges made a first tentative approach to the Fizzers goal aiming at the far post unsuccessfully, before Sandhurst gained a free kick for a foul on Captain, Adam Barnard. Charlie Oakley then took a rushed shot which went high and wide of Joe White's framework. Bicester then countered going wide of goal. Sandhurst made ground and Kylo Atkinson took aim then observed the ball rebound from the foot of the post. Sam Green headed the ball out of defence as Bicester tried to attack again but Cameron McPherson won back the ball only to aim wide of the mark. Charlie Oakley was the first to latch on to the ball from Sam Green, missing the goal with a wild shot. His next attempt just missed the far post. A rapid breakaway by Bicester produced another miss. Skipper Barnard started a move by sending over hte ball to Sean Delfosse but the pass failed to reach Freddie Barron. The next phase saw Charlie Oakley going nowhere up in the front line and next came a free kick from Bicester which Watson collected. Adam Beckett drooped out with a knee problem and was replaced by Frank Harrison. Sandhurst were then forced to stave off a sustained attack and a free kick by the visitors sailed the distance but was headed neatly for Watson to deal with. Charlie Oakley.did not pile on enough power to beat White, in the Bicester goal and then Kylo Atkinson gave to much to do for Charlie Oakley to reach the ball.then the former played a nice one-two with RobertThe first half drew to nil - nil at the whistle after raids had been unsuccessful by both teams, Zarius Giroud having made a shot well wide of Watson's framework.

Bicester gained a corner early in the second half but Sandhurst cleared the ball as a following phase saw Watson having to save from Elliott Powell.A foul brought Sandhurst a free kick, the, after regaining the ball following a free kick to Bicester. Charlie Oakley threaded his way through defenders but shot at the far post with no outcome. Winning the ball after 55 minutes had passed, Oakley struck it into the back of the net giving Sandhurst the lead.that they had strived for since the start. Atkinson was on the flank and pushed the ball in front of the back line of Bicester for Charlie Oakley but the latter ran into traffic on the edge of the penalty area. Atkinson hit the ball over the top soon afterwards.From a Sandhurst corner kick Joe White saved again as play swung to the opposite goal Substitutes replaced tired players and fresh legs got it moving for Sandhurst when disaster struck. Atkinson was in agony on the turf. Play was stopped for over 5 minutes, he had sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon. The leg is now in a cast for a month. Bicester picked up a bit and Wayne Blossom hit over the bar, and there were two more failed attempts to equalise. Oakley was caught offside about 5 times until he headed wide of goal but eventually broke through when White went up to the Fizzers penalty area in a corner kick situation and the clearance by Sandhurst provided Oakley to chase the ball having been inhis own half and not offside and of course he had an undefended open goal in front of him.Goal and 2 - 0 to the hosts. Sandhurst go to Plymouth for the 1st Round Proper of the F.A. Vase.

Shrivenham 2 Brackley Town Saints 1
The first round of this season's Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup saw Shrivenham entertaining premier division Brackley and with the visitors in mid table the home side knew that a difficult encounter would be the order of the day and only a top performance would give them the chance of progressing. In that regard they were not helped by the absence of regulars Lincoln and Milhench with Sheppard and Bright deputising with Hale, Wray and Barton on the bench.

Shrivenham started brightly playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs and caused the visitors defence some early problems albeit Green in the Brackley goal dealt comfortably with efforts from Sheppard and Prictor. But in the 9th minute he was beaten by Bright who reacted quickest as Prictor chipped a half clearance back into the area and the midfielder calmly shot past the exposed 'keeper to give Shrivenham the early fillip they were looking for. Brackley were struggling to find any rhythm in the opening exchanges and Shrivenham almost increased their lead as Green scuffed his clearance and it fell to Prictor who despite being tackled by Bridges managed to get his shot on target only for Ward to hack it away as it was rolling goalwards. As a result of the heavy challenge Prictor was unable to continue and Hale replaced him with just 20 minutes played. As the half wore on Brackley's neat build up play produced several opportunities for Jordan and Watts but they were denied by the excellent handling of Johns in the home goal. As the visitors grew in confidence Shrivenham had Johns to thank for retaining their advantage as he saved bravely at the feet of Stott and then punched away successive in-swinging corners from Knight. As the half drew to a close Fowler whistled a shot narrowly over so that at the break Shrivenham held a slender lead.

The second period saw the visitors quickly into their stride and Shrivenham's defence had to be at its best as Jordan, Watts and Knight threatened an equaliser. Carson and Little were marshalling the home defence well and with Johns in fine form, whilst the visitors were enjoying a lot of territorial advantage, clear cut chances were limited and Shrivenham looked comfortable in maintaining the one goal advantage, but equally were looking unlikely to add to the score line as Brackley dominated. However the home side's cause was aided in the 55th minute when a high tackle by Knight saw him receive a second yellow card and dismissal. From the resulting free kick Brown found Rivers unmarked on the edge of the area and his cross was met by Carson but his powerful header was brilliantly saved by Green. And minutes later Brackley equalised as a good passing movement saw Jordan cut inside two defenders and fire home from 20 yards giving Johns no chance - an excellent finish. Despite being down to ten men Brackley looked the more likely to score but the home defence remained resolute and with ten minutes remaining Shrivenham regained the lead as they broke quickly out of defence and Sheppard's first time ball saw Hale burst through and pass the ball past the onrushing Green with the defenders vainly appealing for offside. The remaining ten minutes saw the visitors in all out attack and Jordan wasted a good opportunity as he broke clear only to fire high and wide, and that proved to be the visitors final chance of drawing level, and at the final whistle Shrivenham's narrow victory ensured progress to round two.

A hard fought victory against higher league opponents and probably the most pleasing aspect for manager Davies was how his defence coped and how well the team hung in, particularly in the second half when Brackley were on top.

Shrivenham 2 Brackley Town Saints 1(away view)
For the fourth time this season Saints were knocked out of a cup competition in their first game.  Missing influential skipper Lewis Baldwin, keeper Ali Worby, experienced attacking midfielder Matt Johnson, and the Hellenic Premier league's top scorer Josh Bowden, Saints manager Gordon Kille would still have hoped that his young side would have too much for their Division 1 opponents. 

Playing up the slope Saints forced a couple of early corners but, from their first real attack, Shrivenham caught the Saints defence flat-footed and Adam Bright finished comfortably to give the hosts the lead after just 9 minutes, 1 – 0.  Saints worked hard to get back into the game with chances created for Chris Jordan, Alex Stott, and James Watts, but on each occasion Shrivenham keeper Connor Johns was able to save comfortably.  At the other end Saints keeper James Green misplaced a clearance giving an opportunity to the home side but centre-back Joe Ward was able to intervene and clear the danger. 

Midway through the half midfielder James Watts, playing in a more attacking role than normal, brought a good save from Johns in the Shrivenham goal and a few minutes later Watts again caused problems for the hosts as he drove into the box and pulled the ball back across the goal, but, unfortunately his pass was just out of reach of the on-rushing Alex Stott. Just before half time Shrivenham almost got a second when a short free kick caught the

Saints started the second half playing at a much higher tempo and an early shot from James Hammond went just wide before James Watts tested the home side keeper with another shot from the edge of the area. 
Unfortunately for the away side they were reduced to 10 men when attacker Ryan Knight was shown a second yellow card following a tackle.  Despite the setback the Brackley youngsters continued to take the initiative with the home side reduced to clearing the ball as high and far as possible. Finally the away teams pressure paid off when a good passing move found Chris Jordan on the edge of the Shrivenham area and the Saints striker cut back inside and smashed his shot into the bottom corner of the net, 1 – 1. 

The effort put in by the away sides 10 men to get back into the game started to take its toll as time passed and their tempo dropped a little allowing the home team to get back into it. Then, with just 10 minutes of the 90 left, and Saints defenders stopped waiting for the offside flag, Shrivenham substitute Danny Hale put the home side back in front, 2 – 1.   Again the Saints went on the attack in search of another equaliser but this time they were unable to take any of the chances created and find themselves out of the cup. 

Wallingford Town 0 Ascot United 2 (away view)
They huffed and they puffed and they finally blew Wallingford’s house down; Ascot United eventually capitalised on a host of chances to beat Wallingford Town in the Bluefin Sport Cup on Saturday afternoon.And, it was a fine debut for young Development ‘keeper Rhys Forster, who can boast being part of Ascot’s fourth clean sheet in sixteen matches this season having been called up for the injured Lee Allen.

In truth, the visitors should have been out of sight before a late double sealed their progress, with Mo Davies seeing an early effort chalked off for offside before striking a post in the early stages. Simon Matthews in the hosts’ goal saved from both James Goodey and Davies, before Samir Regragui struck the crossbar after good work from Conor Henry. Regragui probed again twice before half time – seeing a shot and free kick both saved – but it remained goalless at the interval.

The second half began with Davies shooting wide, but Wallingford would soon threaten when Euan Aitchison headed narrowly wide from Will Clements’ cross. Davies, Goodey and Regragui would threaten again for Ascot, although Forster was in action with an easy save from Aitchison as the hour mark passed. Goodey might have given Ascot the lead after 69 minutes only for his shot to drift inches wide of a post after good work from Davies, although Wallingford saw penalty appeals waved away at the other end when Ross Butler went down in the area.Forster made another easy save from Butler as Wallingford threatened again, but the lively Davies saw two efforts blocked in quick succession as Ascot sought victory in normal time.

And, so they did.  Firstly, Goodey found the top right hand corner of the net after picking up the ball on the right and cutting inside the defence and firing home – 87 minutes played – before Ben Hodges and Regragui linked up well for Davies to calmly slot home a deserved goal in injury time and wrap the tie up.

Ascot will look to build at Burnham on Tuesday when three points to boost their league campaign is something of a necessity. But for now, they will reflect on the positives in Oxfordshire where Louis Bouwers had an excellent 45 minutes on his return from injury, whilst Davies and Regragui both enjoyed fine performances and Goodey was a stand-out performer once again.


uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Brimscombe & Thrupp 2 Oxford city Nomads 0
Brimscombe & Thrupp celebrated Non League Day with a pay what you want for their game versus Oxford City Nomads at the Meadow.

Nomads started the better with numerous chances on goal but the Brimscombe defence was on top of their game and goalkeeper Ashley Gale was called upon. The hosts at times looked outpaced by Oxford who were displaying a young side. The first goal came on the half an hour mark when Edd Major pulled the ball back to Lee Bowles who was waiting just inside the box to hammer it top corner for his first goal of the season.

In the second half the Lilywhites started the stronger. Ollie Pitt curled a free kick on to the post before making amends by finding teammate Ash Caldwell in the box from a free kick, Caldwell headed the ball down into the bottom corner, away from the outstretched reach of the Nomads goalkeeper. Gale was tested towards the end again but kept denying the visitors a goal and meaning the new shot stopper keeps yet another clean sheet.

One East

Holyport 0 Penn & Tylers Green 2 (away view)
Penn & Tylers Green made the short trip to Holyport on Saturday and It was a happy one as they came away with all three points in a match which was hard on the eye at times but two goals from Holyport old boy Jamie West secured the victory for Penn which also ensured they moved back to the top of the league.

The game was only five minutes old when Penn had their first chance of the game when from a corner a scramble ensued and the chance went begging from 6 yards out. Further chances followed, but Penn’s finishing was out of sorts and so instead of being two goals to the good after 15 minutes the score remained at 0-0.   As is the case in these scenarios that inspired Holyport to get back into the game carve out some half chances themselves but the Penn defence, which has only let in 3 goals all season, held firm. Tripp had a good shot on 20 minutes for Penn which hit the side netting with the goalkeeper well beaten. With the match looking like a 0-0 half time score line, the breakthrough came for Penn when after a good in swinging corner from Casey Bocarro, the ball fell kindly for Jamie West who turned and smashed the ball home from six yards to give Penn a deserved lead at half time based on the balance of play. 

The second half never really took off as Penn, although in control, never really carved out any decent chances and although territorially having the upper hand the Holyport goalkeeper was rarely tested. However, Holyport were no “shrinking violet’s” and spurred on by the fact that 1-0 is always a precarious lead to defend, did have some good spells and a couple of half decent chances.  

On 75 minutes Nile O’Meally-Newell, who has returned to the club came on for George Weller to make his debut. With the game looking like it was to be a 1-0 win for Penn, In the 89th minute Josh Fox, as only he can do, produced one of the passes of the season when he volleyed the ball from one side of the pitch to the other into the path of the “handful” that is Jamie West and he was too strong for his marker and he fired his shot from the corner of the Holyport penalty area past the despairing dive of the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net via the post.  

What a fitting way to finish a game and now there was no way back for Holyport and the referee concluded proceedings soon after.   A good well earned three points for Penn and one of those “win ugly” performances which hall good sides have to endure along the road to success

One West

Ardley United 3 New College 0
This was another game where Ardley found this return match much tougher than when the sides first met a few weeks back. Although Ardley had greater possession, they found it hard to breakdown a resolute New College defence. It was in the 38th minute that Ardley finally broke the deadlock, with a well taken goal from Captain, Deon Gallacher, who passed the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.

Early in the 2nd half Ardley went further ahead with an absolute screamer of a goal by the in form tom Moore. Moore was bossing the midfield and when the ball rolled out to him 35 yards out he struck it perfectly and it flew straight into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance. In the 55th minute, Troy Bryan made his return debut and he made an instant impact with his strength and hold up play. In the 62nd minute, Bryan made it 3-0 with a great piece of forward play. He held the ball up and held off a defender and turned and struck an stoppable shot into the bottom corner.

Ardley were able to see the game out without really being troubled and complete their 8th league win of the season and keep up the 100% record. Credit must go to New College though, as their young team showed great spirit and kept battling until the end. Also, great credit to referee Ryan Dix and his assistants, Mark Walker and Shane Comb, for officiating the game to a very high standard.

Bucks & Berks Intermediate Cup

Chalfont Wasps Reserves 3-0 Aston Clinton Reserves
A dominant performance saw Wasps Reserves through to the next round of the Bucks & Berks Intermediate Cup at home to Aston Clinton Reserves.

Wasps enjoyed the lion share of the possession all afternoon and created the better chances. Their first strike coming from Mickey Benning after 4 minutes. The visitors forced a couple of corners after 10 mins but Wasps continued to press. Josh George found Josh Sabatini, his shot was just off the mark; and a second effort has well saved by the Aston keeper. The breakthrough came after 35 mins - skipper Joe Drummond netting on the angle. 1-0 at Half time.

The second period started on an even keel before Wasps picked up the pace and offered a greater threat. Sabatini bagged Wasps second, forcing home from close range. A series of corners and free kicks followed. Later, Benning went close a few times before getting Wasps third in the 91st minutes.

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