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uhlsport football kit16/18 October

Premier Division

Abingdon United 0 Windsor 4 (away view)
Windsor put in a dominant performance as they warmed up for the weekends FA Vase tie at Flackwell Heath with a comfortable 4-0 win at Abingdon United. Chances came early for the visitors with Keiran Knight and Riccardo Cannon going close. On 16 minutes Cannon gave Windsor the lead. A couple of very good shouts for penalties were waved away when Cannon and Barry Hayles looked to have been upended. The visitors lead was doubled on 45 minutes when Jack Denton raced down the lefy and his effort came off of home defender James Organ and beat keeper Eddie Cavanagh.

Windsor continued after the break as they finished the first period and on 65 minutes Knight was left unmarked and he rose to head home an Ashley Smith corner. The best goal of the evening came 8 minutes later when Denton weaved past a couple of defenders and placed his shot well wide of Cavanagh. The could have been more goals with a further shout for a spot kick ignored when substitute Keaton August looked to be fouled by Cavanagh as the clock ran down.

Flackwell Heath 1 Ascot United 0 (away view)
A scrappy solitary second half goal from James Harding was the difference as Flackwell Heath overcame plucky Ascot United on Tuesday evening. The Yellamen were good value in defeat, although a failure to muster a shot on target in the second half was ultimately their undoing. Both sides needed wins for different reasons – 2nd-placed Flackwell to keep pace at the top having lost ground on those around them last weekend – and 18th-placed Ascot to boost their prospects of escaping the bottom four. 

The game was played at a frantic pace at times, much to the credit of both sides on a greasy surface, and the home side would show first courtesy of Joel Jacobs’ effort which was deflected wide by covering defender Jonny Denton after just five minutes. Tom Willment’s free header from a corner whistled narrowly high and wide after 12 minutes as Flackwell threatened again, but Ascot responded with Rob Lazarczuk’s off-target lob and Ben Hodges’ long range shot, which flew well over.

Lee Allen’s fine save with his feet denied Usman Lalustani for Flackwell and George Lock’s excellent challenge would deny Dan Rapley after he had ran onto Harding’s pass, but the home side couldn’t force a breakthrough before half time. Indeed, a marginal offside decision against Cameron Gyeabour denied Ascot a goal in the closing stages; the striker had rifled into the roof of the net after racing onto James Goodey’s pass shortly before the interval, but the celebrations were short-lived.

Ascot replaced Callum Carlisle with Ross Seldon at half time, although injuries to Samir Regragui on 48 minutes and Louis Boultwood on 70 minutes would leave them exposed – and resembling the walking wounded by the end of the game. In between those substitutions, Heathens’ substitute Jamie Essex slotted narrowly wide after latching onto Rapley’s slide-rule pass in the 63rd minute before Harding stabbed home in a 66th minute following a scrambled finale to a corner kick – and as Ascot visibly tired in the final fifteen minutes, Essex drilled another long range effort wide.

Ascot wilted as time ran away and were unable to rouse a grandstand finale, although their small band of travelling supporters were appreciative of their efforts at the end as the visitors had been largely well-organised in defence even if a little wasteful pushing forwards. The bruised troops now have 11 days to recuperate ahead of their next match at Brimscombe and Thrupp. Sometimes, you just need a little bit of luck. And, the Yellamen are long-overdue a visit from the Lady herself.

Woodley United 2 Brackley Town Saints 1
Woodley picked up their third win of the season on Monday, coming from behind to bag three points for the first time at this level. 

The away side started well, creating a couple of chances in the opening two minutes. A shot from the left whistled past the right post before a curling shot from Alex Stott found the top right corner.  With the wind getting stronger, the following fifteen minutes were devoid of any chances, both teams playing some decent football but neither goalie tested. 

Midway through the half the scores were level when Greg Beckett got on the end of a lofted ball over the Brackley defence. With just Dan Farrell in the Brackley goal to beat, the United forward blasted an unstoppable drive into the top right corner.  Woodley were then denied by Farrell twice in quick succession. A Beckett pass to Jaydyn Englefield on the right, saw the winger cut inside, the ball ricocheted to Carl Prestidge who was denied by the Brackley keeper's legs. The home side's final chance of the half fell to Englefield who had a shot from the right tipped over whilst Saints only meaningful shot on target since the goal came courtesy of a swift counter from a United corner. Picking up the ball on the left flank, Stott cut inside before firing off a powerful shot from the right that Alex Reed saved. 

Woodley took the lead just after the hour when a deep free kick on the right was turned in at close range by Danny Horscroft after Michael Porter headed the initial set piece goalwards.  Brackley hit the woodwork immediately from kick off when Matt Johnson clipped the top of Reed's bar.  Midway through the half, United made a change when Owen Davies replaced Prestidge who had picked up a knock. 

A further change was made with fifteen minutes to go when Englefield made way for Marvin Hinds.  With the game in its final ten minutes, Brackley should have been level when a red shirt cut to the byline; pulling the ball back to a team mate eight yards out, the player badly sliced his kick.  Woodley made their final change with six minutes left. Callum Samuel-Harmen came on for Beckett.  Brackley had the game's last chance. Reed denied James Watts with a comfortable save diving to his right.

GFA Challenge Trophy

Brimscombe & Thrupp 3 Cribbs 2
Brimscombe qualified for the next round of the GFA Challenge Trophy after beating Cribbs FC at the Meadow on Tuesday night.

Nathan Legge opened the scoring for the visitors before Karl Nash levelled things up. Brimscombe were hungry for a second and nearly got it when Ash Caldwell’s dipped shot from far out was tipped on to the crossbar by the Cribbs goalkeeper. The visitors then took the ball up the other end and forced Lewis Skyers in to a fantastic save just before half time.

After the break the Lilywhites were given the lead through Ash Caldwell on the 49 minute mark. Nash found himself on goal again forcing the Cribbs goalkeeper to pull off two great saves before Nash slotted home the rebound. With 5 minutes of injury time on the clock, Cribbs pulled another back, sending a low shot into the bottom corner away from Skyers.

Fairford Town 1 Lebeq United 3
Fairford Town made an early exit from the GFA Challenge Trophy with a 3-1 home defeat to Lebeq United on Wednesday night.

There was little action of note in a poor first half, before the visitors opened the scoring with Twaine Plummer firing home the opener on 69 minutes.

Ben Saunders then headed home an equaliser for the hosts before Rick Davis restored the visitors’ advantage three minutes later. With Fairford searching for a late leveller, Plummer broke clear to slide home his second of the night to seal a second round place for the Bristol side.

Tuffley Rovers 0 Hallen 4
After a performance which Rovers’ manager, Mark Pritchett, described as the worst during his time in charge of the Glevum Park club, Tuffley Rovers were ceremoniously dumped out of this year’s GFA Challenge Trophy, as Western League Premier Division side Hallen returned to Bristol with a 4-0 victory.

With nine defeats in their last twelve fixtures, and only one victory during that time, Rovers had looked short of confidence coming into the cup tie and although they had secured a very welomce league point at Abingdon United on Saturday, a worrying trend is emerging, with few chances created, despite a decent share of possession.

Pritchett was without a number of players for the visit of Hallen, including keeper Dave Evans who is a long-term absentee, and with usual deputy Kane Winman unable to play due to work commitments, in addition to Buster Davies’ registration not being completed on time, the Rovers boss handed a competitive first team debut to third team keeper Robin Stamps. After exiting the competition at this stage 12 months earlier, Pritchett had indicated his desire to make progress and enjoy a cup run in 2017/18, but he still made several changes to his line-up, as Sam Hill, Shayne Bradley, Chris Manners and fit again Tristan Haswell all returned to the starting line-up to face Hallen. Warren Mann, Danny Wallington and another regular starter, Marcus Foxwell, were all on the bench. Despite the numerous changes to their line-up, Rovers started the tie on the front-foot and looked anything but a side whose confidence has ebbed after a run of poor results. Although they didn’t seriously test Hallen’s keeper, Jake Hanham, in the opening quarter of an hour, they looked in control and unlikely to be greatly troubled by the visiting team.

Kieran Alder, recently signed from Bishops Cleeve, went close to opening his scoring account for the club, on sixteen minutes, when he latched onto a pass from Bradley and found himself beyond the Hallen defensive line, but his delicate chip over the onrushing Hanham drifted narrowly wide of the far post. Seconds later, Manners managed to turn goalwards, but his shot from 12 yards lacked power and was comfortably saved. Despite having their tails up, Rovers inability to convert territorial advantage seemed to affect their defensive stability and they were fortunate not to fall behind, on 30 minutes, when Aaron Anglin completely missed his kick, with the goal at his mercy and Luke Mills then blasted the loose ball over the bar, from just seven yards out.

Pritchett might have hoped that near escape would spur his side on, but the fragility it appeared to expose took root and when the ball fell to Jack Mills, he fired the ball viciously back across the goal and into the net, before Stamps had a chance to react, to give Hallen a one-goal lead, on 36 minutes. An almost immediate opportunity to level the scores was spurned, less than two minutes later, as Joel White’s cross was met by Brett James, but the Rovers wide-man could only head the ball wide, as he looked set to score.

The half-time interval didn’t appear to interrupt Rovers’ flow and Shayne Anson had an effort cleared off the line, from an Alder cross, almost straight after the restart, before Scott Cousins went down the other end and rattled the frame of Stamps’ goal with a strike from 25 yards. That close call didn’t act as a sufficient warning for Pritchett’s men and they fell further behind on 51 minutes, as Cousins rose to head home Jack Mills’ cross.

Wallington and then Mann were then introduced to the action, replacing James and Manners, respectively, but the addition of two regular starters wasn’t enough to save Rovers, as Hallen took a huge step toward securing a place in the 3rd round of the competition, when Santiago Escliano struck a shot that took a huge deflection off Shayne Anson, leaving Stamps helpless as the ball spun into the opposite side of his goal, to make it 3-0. Stamps had been given little opportunity to keep Hallen at bay, but when he was called upon, after 71 minutes, he produced a good diving save to beat away Liam Henderson’s shot.

When Anson saw a straight red card for the hosts, for a crude, mistimed challenge on Jack Mills, the game looked over, although both Mann and White managed to get shots on goal, before Wright’s effort cannoned back off the Hallen bar, only for substitute Kye Mountford to net a late effort and make it 4-0 to Hallen, securing a place in the next round of the competition and leaving Pritchett with plenty to reflect upon, after his side’s ninth defeat in their last thirteen games.

Tytherington Rocks 1 Stonehouse Town 3
Stonehouse Town were the visitors to the Hardwicke Field for the second round of the GFA Challenge Trophy on Tuesday evening, under floodlights. The County League side, undaunted to be facing Hellenic League opponents, started by attacking confidently, whilst Tytherington missed the best of their opening chances, when a free kick just outside the Stonehouse penalty area sailed high over the bar. On 13 min Stonehouse took advantage of an innocuous challenge by a Rocks defender inside the penalty area, and Adam Ireland slotted home the spot kick to the left of the Tytherington keeper.

The visitors continued to enjoy the majority of possession due, not only to their style of play, but also partly due to some wayward distribution by the home team. Shortly before half-time Stonehouse increased their lead
when Barney Jones drove home their second goal.

The second half saw Tytherington take the initiative with several goal opportunities, including a couple of point blank saves by ex Rocks keeper Adam Clark. However it was this keeper who, on 52 mins allowed his former team a glimpse of a fightback, when he allowed a shot from Connor Burns to squirm through his hands to close the gap to 1:2.

Tytherington began to create more opportunities in front of the Stonehouse goal but shots on goal were more speculative than determined, and the home team paid the price for their failure to score again, when Adam Ireland took advantage of slack defensive work to claim his second goal of the game.

A free-kick for Rocks, following a high tackle just outside the Stonehouse penalty area, was scrambled away, and another couple of goal opportunities were missed, leaving the home side reflecting on what might have been, had all their chances been taken.

Despite another narrow defeat, this time by 3 goals to 1, Rocks maintain the determination to convert endeavour into positive results.


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