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3 September

Emirates FA Cup

Emirates FA Cup Round 1 Qualifying

Ascot United 2 Tonbridge Angels 2
Ascot United produced a memorable performance to hold mighty Tonbridge Angels to a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon. In front of a season’s best crowd of 430, the home side led, battled back from a goal down, and ultimately missed an injury time penalty that would have created the shock of the round. The result was also good news to absent manager Jeff Lamb. Attending the christening of his daughter, the Ascot manager was also revelling in the birth of an even newer crop of heroes, in yellow and blue.

This tie was the epitome of the early rounds of the Emirates FA Cup. Tiny Ascot United, who had already won two matches simply to extend their run into September, hosted a side from two steps higher in the football pyramid and whose travelling support alone more than matched the Uhlsport Hellenic League’s average attendance. And, Ascot would face a monumental challenge to break down the Ryman Premier League’s second place side; the Angels having conceded just two goals in six league outings on their way to 16 points from a possible 18.

But, it was Ascot who threatened first; eight minutes in and Charlie Samuels stung the palms of Anthony Di Bernardo with a snap-shot following hesitant defending from the visitors. If that was hesitant, the next attempted clearance was disastrous for Tonbridge. This time, Di Bernardo lost the flight of Theo Jones' cross, got underneath the ball, and Samuels gleefully stabbed home with 17 minutes played.

Nathan Elder's half-hearted headed effort then sailed over for a lacklustre-looking Tonbridge, but their equaliser came after 26 minutes. However, it took a set piece to bring them level; Elder planted Nick Wheeler's corner into the bottom right and the sizeable travelling support subsequently found their voice.

Samuels then fizzed a cross-shot in front of Di Bernardo as the Yellamen sought an immediate response, although it was Wheeler who brought the best out of home 'keeper Carl Dennison on 35 minutes - a diving save to tip his stinging long-range effort over the crossbar. This teed up a succession of corners and two goal-line clearances to deny the Kent side, firstly and most precariously from Jack Smillie, but the hosts held on.

Indeed, they had a good chance to regain the league following a 41st minute free kick. Play was brought back for a foul on Paul Coyne, Jack Smillie swung over the cross, and Jesse Wilson met the ball with a powerful diving header which was sadly straight at Di Bernardo

Wheeler then curled a free-kick over for Tonbridge as first half injury time approached, although it took Steven Deverall's goal-line clearance from Tommy Whitnell's lob to maintain parity at the break, a just reward for all of Ascot’s resolve.

Ascot survived an almighty scare less than a minute after the restart. Tonbridge, immediately on the attack, swung the ball across, and after Dennison had missed his punch the visitors hit the bar and then shot wide. An injury signalled the end of Jake Parsons' afternoon on 52 minutes - Remi Meyers the Ascot replacement - and the Yellamen continued to probe forwards even if their final touch lacked accuracy. But in Nick Wheeler, Tonbridge possess pace and skill in abundance, and after he had tormented the home defence again on 60 minutes his cross led to a penalty. This time, the ball was headed down to Elder, and although backing-in to the defence he was adjudged to have been impeded, and Luke Allen confidently buried the spot kick into the right hand corner.

Elder then headed straight at Dennison from another Wheeler cross - 65 minutes on the clock - but the Yellamen struck back in dramatic fashion with 16 minutes remaining. Samuels produced a moment of brilliance to wriggle through four challenges, picked out Ben Knight, and Knight's exquisite drag-back to Samuels ended with his deflected effort that left Di Bernardo scrambling in vein.

A now-tasty tie saw both sides pumped up for the final ten minutes, although Elder could only head onto the roof of the net for Tonbridge with five of them remaining. Then, it was Ascot's chance. Samuels again did well, and he turned provider for Knight who headed agonisingly onto the crossbar with Di Bernardo beaten.

But that was not the end of the drama. Deep into added time, Luke Wilson was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty area, and with one kick standing in the way of a huge cup shock, Coyne struck the spot kick at a decent height for Di Bernardo, who palmed the ball away. And, that was that. A tumultuous cup tie came to an end, and both sides will do it all again in Kent on Tuesday evening.

Brimscombe & Thrupp 3 Peacehaven & Telscombe 0
It was a joyous mood at The Meadow this afternoon when Brimscombe and Thrupp beat Peacehaven and Telscombe 3-0 courtesy of a Jack Smith brace and a penalty conversion from Ollie Pitt.

The opening minutes saw some great play from the Lilywhites, Ben Deakin started with a great run down the left hand wing breaking a challenge from his marker before his cross was turned out for a corner. It only took until the 7th minute for the ball to hit the net when Jack Smith met a fantastic corner and slotted it away to make it 1-0 to the home team. A long stoppage in play occurred when the Peacehaven goalkeeper Alieu Secka went over on his knee bringing on the first change of the afternoon. Brimscombe still pressed with captain Chris Greenhough narrowly heading the ball over the goal. The visitors had some fantastic link up play through the midfield before a searching through ball found the solid Lilywhites back four, with nothing coming of it, both teams went into the break 1-0.

The second half carried on much the same as the first half with Brimscombe piling on the pressure, Ollie Pitt found his free kick lift over the bar before he was given a chance to redeem himself with a free kick in a similar position but could only find the outside of the post. It wasn’t to stop there though, as Jordan Yeo, whose late goal saw Brimscombe reach this round, squared it over to Ben Deakin on the opposite wing who found his shot parried away by the goalkeeper. In the 65th minute manger Sam Prior brought off Yeo for David Woodfield. As the rain got heavier, the shots still came with Ollie Pitt and Jack Smith finding their shots go narrow of the Peacehaven goal. In the 71st minute Smith scored his second of the afternoon after shooting from just inside the area. Peacehaven pressed and tried to find a goal for themselves but nothing came of it. Ollie Pitt found himself on the end of a through ball but was taken down by the sub goalkeeper and awarded the penalty which he converted away from the outstretched ‘keeper. The last substitution of the afternoon for Brimscombe was Dan Hill coming on for Jamie Bish at right back.

Eastbourne United 0 Highworth Town 3 (away view)
In front of a bumper crowd of 200+ spectators (officially 139!), an evenly contested first half saw the more clinical Worthians go into the break with a two-goal cushion, but the second half saw the Worthians dominate for long periods and only resolute defending kept the scoreline down. This was a magnificent display by the boys in blue who now go into the draw for the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in 11 years.

Having seen off Newhaven and Tunbridge Wells in previous rounds, the Southern Combination Premier Division high-flyers would have come into this game full of confidence and indeed they started well, putting the Worthians under a lot of pressure with their quick passing and movement, but the back line held firm, repelling all that was thrown at them.

Liam Baitup might have done better with a header after just six minutes of play and a Zac Dove drive from the edge of the box shot over the bar. The Worthians too had a couple of efforts early doors when Keiron Gleed carried the ball into the box but shot wide of an upright and then an Aysa Corrick screamer whizzed past a post. However, Bailo Camara ought to have given Eastbourne the lead after his mazy run saw him drift past three defenders but despite having the goal at his mercy, the Eastbourne frontman struck the ball tamely into the arms of Max Scholefield.

The breakthrough came after 32 minutes when the imperious Luke Cousins carried the ball out of defence and slipped it into Paul Alder on the left flank. A quick tap into Ryan Stanners was followed by a superbly weighted defence-splitting pass for Aysa Corrick to run onto and the enigmatic striker carried the ball forward and finished from ten yards out.

Six minutes later and Aysa was on the scoresheet once again when Ryan Stanners fed the ball into Steve May and this time it was the tenacious midfielder's turn to supply a clever pass through the Eastbourne back line for Aysa to guide home from five yards out.

The second period saw the Worthians dominate proceedings and Eastbourne seemed to have no answers to the wave after wave of attacks. Despite getting into the box on several occasions, the Worthians could not get the goal that would kill off the tie. Eastbourne defended well and this was epitomised by Scott Chamberlain's last ditch tackle on Aysa Corrick with the Highworth frontman bearing down on goal and a superb save by Phil Hawkins after a brilliant run and shot from Luke Cousins.

However, any chance of a late comeback for Eastbourne was stifled when after 80 minutes, Steve May collected the ball just past the half-way line and released Aysa Corrick to round the keeper and slot home from a tight angle to claim his first hat-trick for the club.

The Sussex boys had a couple of chances to register a score late on when a diagonal ball out to the left saw Steve Dalloway fire off a crisp drive but the diligent Max Scholefield was well placed to collect comfortably and then Max Hollobone forced the Worthian stopper to scoop the ball out from under the bar with his curling effort from wide out on the right.

This was a magnificent performance against a very handy side and Jeff, Drew and Ant must be buzzing with what they saw. The boys are finally beginning to gel and the target now has to be to reproduce their cup winning performances in the bread-and-butter league programme. Looking forward to Monday's draw and see who comes out of the hat for the next round tie on Saturday 17 September.

 

bluefin sport insurance
Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup
- Round One

Abingdon United 1 Ardley United 3 (away view)
Ardley United progressed into the second round of the Bluefin Sports Hellenic Challenge Cup after a much needed win at Abingdon United on Saturday. On an afternoon of driving rain the visitors struggled to get going in the first half, but three excellent second half goals saw the Premier Division side safely through the tie, and hopefully give the side some confidence ahead of a league game on Tuesday and FA Vase duties next week-end.

The home side had the first chance of the game on four minutes when Ash Barroso got in behind the Ardley defence down the right channel, and from just inside the area fired his effort across Lee Farrow but well wide of the Ardley keeper’s right hand post. It wasn’t until the quarter of an hour mark before the guests had their first effort of note, when Reece Bayliss unleashed a left foot rocket from outside the box that looped over the Abingdon keeper Jack Griffiths but cleared the crossbar. A right wing cross then found Sam Wharton for the home side in front of goal but he could only head into the arms of Farrow. Siyanda Gila then chased down a loose ball from an Ardley clearance and tried to curl one into the top corner but again Farrow had it covered all the way. Barroso was then denied with a fine sliding block from Bradley Cox inside the area, and from the resulting corner Cox’s fellow centre half Chris Jackson got ahead of Ross Tabor to head clear. Bayliss then forced Griffiths to his knees as he zipped in a low effort before Wharton pierced the away defence but could only fire into the side netting from close range. Wharton then tested Farrow on the wet greasy surface by firing a low shot that had the Ardley custodian pushing the fast moving ball away for a corner. From the corner the ball was played out to Gila who had time to compose before angling one over the top corner of the far post. Abingdon were forced into a goal keeping change two minutes before the break when Griffiths was taken off injured.

Just fifty seconds into the second half a deep cross from the Abingdon right saw the ball cushioned down to Gila but he could again only fire straight at Farrow. Then on fifty four minutes Ardley broke the deadlock when a free kick was awarded out on their left, as the mass of tall bodies collected in the penalty area a deft pass to the edge of the area was met smartly on the turn by Elias Katsoloudi who fired home inside the near post. Ten minutes later Matt Cruse doubled the advantage when a through ball down the left channel saw him excel away and from the edge of the box he smashed the ball into the back of the net. Within two minutes of the restart the game was put to bed when Katsoloudi chased down a loose ball down on the right touchline, cutting inside he then curled one from twenty five yards into the far top corner of the Abingdon goal, which had most inside the stadium applauding.

With fifteen minutes remaining the hosts grabbed a lifeline when substitute Teamere Brewster shot from outside the area and forced Farrow into a fine save down to his right, but quickest to react to the loose ball was Wharton who smashed home. A minute later saw Cruse almost smash his second of the afternoon after a sublime cross field pass found the striker in space to shoot and just as it seemed the ball would nestle inside the near post the keeper did well to get down and palm away. A throw in on the right then found Katsoloudi inside the area and he was allowed time to turn and curl an effort around the far post. Then a treble attempt at a fourth goal saw some dogged defending from Abingdon, Bayliss burst through from midfield evading a number of tackles along the way before forcing his way into the penalty area, as he looked odds on to smash home in came a great block from Cameron Hawtin, Cruse then lashed at the ball only to see it canon back off Aaron Hall, and a third attempt again from Cruse was then eventually headed clear by Cain McCormack. Bayliss then fired across the face of goal from the left and Katsoloudi sliding in at the far post was just inches away from poking in his third but the wet surface took the ball agonisingly past him.

Bourton Rovers 2 Letcombe 0 (away view)
With Danny Joyce, Andy Goodchild, Tom Rowe, Sean Webb, Tom Broad, Jack Hamblin, Josh Cottrell, Tom Eatwell, Jack Howes, Richard Claydon and Richard Guy all unavailable, Letcombe brought in former players Adam Claydon and Marc Merritt from local football, with Steve Vaux again deputising in goal.

With an inexperienced defence and two teenage central defenders, Letcombe were always going to be susceptible in the air, and Bourton Rovers took the lead after 6 minutes, Connor Teague getting ahead of his marker from a corner to score at the near post. Steve Vaux saved well before Ben Hummel shot narrowly over the bar. David Gainford headed against the bar for Bourton, and Vaux had to race from his line to win the ball, when one mistake would have resulted in a red card. Adam Claydon`s long shot went just wide, but the hosts deserved their interval lead.

Letcombe started the second half well, and Luke Faircloth`s low cross was cleared before Jordan Davies had a shot saved and another effort went narrowly wide. Bourton made the game safe 10 minutes from time, the unmarked Chris Mills heading home a corner at the far post.

Some people may view the result as a surprise with Bourton playing in a lower league, but Letcombe were always likely to struggle with so many players missing. The most pleasing aspect for Letcombe was the performance of young defender James Wright, although he goes back to university in a few weeks. Credit should also be given to Ben Hummel who worked tirelessly in midfield. Our thanks to Bourton Rovers who have some excellent facilities and made us very welcome.

Chalfont Wasps 3 Wantage Town Reserves 1 AET (home view)
In a game that Wasps were expected to win comfortably, they showed few signs of the team that had maintained an unbeaten start to the season.

The game began as it meant to go on, numerous untidy passes from both teams, a very flat and unimpressive start, in stark contrast to the previous two games, where the intent had been clear from the start. Wasps had a number of chances but couldn’t hit the target, Williams had a header bounce back off the post, but with the score-line remaining at 0-0 after 25 minutes despite the opportunities, it didn’t look like it would be a goal fest.  It wasn’t.
 
On 30 minutes Cumber delivered a decent ball into the Wantage box from a corner on the nearside of the pitch, despite the wasps effort they couldn’t capitalise and hit the back of the net, luckily they had the assistance of the Wantage Town striker, who perhaps forgot which end he was and stuck the ball past his own keeper to give Wasps the advantage. This seemed to reinvigorate the Wasps who began to show character and desire. Until a minute later, Wantage had a quick break away, and their winger delivered a lovely ball into the box which was met head on, literally, by the onrushing striker, who headed past the helpless Matheus Sweeney in the sticks. Disappointing, but probably a fair reflection of how the game had played over the first half an hour. 
The game continued to un-inspire the 40 man strong crowd at the Nest and despite the tirade of instructions emanating from the fans, from all corners of the pitch, they had little else to shout about.
 
T. Williams suffered a knock on the leg jumping to win a long ball, he was unable to continue and was replaced by the veteran Keiran Webb. The introduction of Webb did see more pivoting, twisting and head down runs, and in fairness a couple nearly mounted some serious pressure on the Wantage goal, nothing however materialised into the all-important second.
 
In attempt to change the game, Urquhart was introduced in the place of Forbes who had again run his socks off and worked as doggedly as anyone all day. Scott Marshall was switch to the flank and Urquhart took up the role just behind Webb. As this happened Webb, pulled up with a calf injury and was substituted. Phil Clarke was brought on for his first team debut with 10 minutes to go in place of Webb. Clarke managed a couple of nice touches before the game petered out for extra time.
 
Wasps having now used all of their allotted substitutions were determined to finish the game and progress to the next round of the Cup.
 
Five minutes into extra time, Marshall picked the ball up just inside his own half rode the first challenge expertly and then appeared to catch his foot in the ground, he went spiralling over and remained motionless on the floor, it was obvious that he was badly hurt. An ambulance was called and players and fans offered up their jackets to keep the player warm on the floor. Marshall was eventually stretchered off the field to await the arrival of the ambulance. 

The game restarted and immediately the introduction of Clarke looked to be a master stroke as he proceeded to whip a fierce ball into the box, the on rushing Urquhart gambled on the ball and met it confidently with his head to fire Wasps in to the ascendancy. 2-1 Wasps. 2 in 2 for Urquhart, who is showing signs of the attacking flair that the management team know he is capable of. HT in extra time and the Wasps hold a 2-1 lead with 10 men. The second half performance was difficult to assess but there was certainly a huge amount of desire, commitment and determination, if not the fluid football that the players their selves would want to play. With a few minutes remaining Cumber floated in an excellent cross which Alex Cairns met with a perfectly timed header back across goal and into the bottom corner of the stranded Wantage keeper’s net. Two in two for Cairns now, the boys on fire. Wasps deserved the goal for their sheer dogged grit and drive.
 
The game finished 3-1. Huge credit must go to Ceri Williams, the referee, who handled everything during the game without fuss or concern whilst the decision making was excellent.
 
Scott Marshall initial assessment conducted by the paramedics suggested that the ankle wasn’t broken, he was not detained in hospita

Clanfield 85 2 New College Swindon 3
Oh dear, maybe New College Swindon will wonder how they came back and won this game. The key incidents were packed into the last five frantic minutes with the previous match time a mere precursor. A flat uninspiring first half hour only featured a NCS goal ruled out for handball and Clanfield firing over the bar when well placed. Chris Blakely changed things when he scored for the home team when he forced home from a corner but the visitors soon equalised when Antonio Gerrish scored directly from a distant free kick. The second half opened with NCS pushing Clanfield back hitting the post before Chris Montgomery in the home goal saved well after initially dropping the ball. NCS brought on three subs to try and contain a Clanfield front line who seemed to lack finishing power despite some good approach work. It was NCS who came closest to breaking the deadlock when a header hit the bar but eventually Clanfield retook the lead with only ten minutes left with a proper captain's goal from Adam Pendell following a corner. Maybe thought to be the winning goal ?

Criticising officials is easy but yet again we saw poor officiating. The crowd saw it, the home management saw it, maybe the visiting management saw it but the man with the flag did not. Result with five minutes left was an equalising goal scored by a well off side player and the dismissal of the home manager for stating the obvious. A Clanfield player was soon booked for a foul perhaps born of frustration. NCS had time to net the ball twice in the dying minutes - first one ruled out for a shove but the second a winner that left the visitors happy and the home team defeated and demoralised at the manner of their exit from the cup competition. Both of the late NCS goals were credited to Ben Lodge. Sadly little credit to a man with a flag.

Some wise words after the match from the Clanfield management "We learn from our mistakes and wish for better luck from the officials. We go again on Wednesday". Any comments regarding officials, are the view of the match reporter only.

Faringdon Town 0 Thame United 4 (away view)
Thame United progressed to the Second Round of the Challenge Cup on Saturday with a relatively comfortable win at Faringdon Town.

Manager Mark West made a number of changes to the side that beat Oxford City Nomads on Bank Holiday Monday with David Lynn, Aiden Bailey, Nick Harrison and Kingsley Sibanda all coming in to the back four, with Ollie Lynch and Melvy Nsomi drafted in to Midfield and Ken Feyi given a start partnering Andy Gledhill.

The game opened in treacherous conditions, with United playing up the slight slope, and in to the rain and a strong wind. The opening exchanges lacked fluidity as both sides looked to adapt to the conditions. The first opportunity fell to United on 8 minutes with Gledhill heading just wide from a Lynn cross, before the home side put in a number of dangerous crosses in to the United box without troubling Craven in the Thame goal.

The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when Gledhill was upended in the box. He then picked himself up to put the spot kick wide of the dive from Justin Yates. Opportunities came for United to extend the lead with Harrison heading wide on 26 minutes, Feyi placing an effort wide of the near post on 33 minutes, and Gledhill having an effort cleared off the line (35 minutes). The second goal did, however, arrive just before half-time when Feyi flicked on a corner in to the path of Harrison who finished confidently from close range.

The second half was relatively subdued with United content to stifle their opponents, and with opportunities limited. The lead was, however, further extended on 79 minutes when Gledhill followed-in a long-range effort that the keeper spilled in to his path and he headed home from 3 yards. Five minutes later and Lynn scored the goal of the game, striking a free kick from 25 yards in to the top corner and giving the keeper no chance.

Headington Amateurs 2 Finchampstead 1
For the third Saturday running rain & windswept conditions had to be overcome. To their credit both sides made every effort to play football with both faring better when playing into the prevailing weather.

Facing the worst of the weather in a first half almost devoid of goalmouth action Headington struck twice in the last seven minutes. First Sean Hurcombe swept home for his seventh goal in four games after a fine run & cross from Yannick Nkwanyuo. And on the stroke of half time young centre back Callum Bloomfield, making his full debut, headed his first for the club after Ben Green had flicked on Hurcombe's corner kick.

Finchamstead showed their fighting qualities in the second half although Headington might have increased their lead after seventy minutes, substitute Tom Parker's superb left foot drive cannoning back off the cross bar. Matt Lambert pulled a goal back with thirteen minutes left leaving Headington an anxious last few minutes of defending.

Highmoor Ibis 1 Penn & Tylers Green 1 (away view) Highmoor won 5:4 on penalties
This is the worst way to lose a cup tie, on penalties. In today’s encounter at Premier Division highfliers Highmoor Ibis in the Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup, the boys from French School Meadows gave a terrific performance and put in a real shift. I think it is fair to say that last year’s Division One (East) league champions matched the opposition and with a bit of luck could have sneaked a win in normal time as well as in extra time.

In the first half it was hard work against the strong wind at Scours Lane but the boys playing in red & black today worked very hard and made it difficult for the oppostion. Highmoor Ibis did not create many chances and in fact Adam Harman’s curling shot was saved superbly by Nathan Silver when he pushed the shot against the top of the upright.

With about 10 minutes or so to go until half time the home side worked the ball well down the right hand side. This was followed by a good cross for the forward to slot in from close range. It was a bit against the run of play but that what happens when you play against opposition from a higher level, they do take their chances. It was good to see character in the Penn & Tylers Green FC team making sure it stayed 0:1 until half time.

The boys were keen because they came back out onto the pitch five minutes before the oppostion. And keen they were indeed. Again a good move down the right flank gave us a throw which Lee Thompson controlled well, selling the defender a dummy and slotting the ball home underneath the Highmoor Ibis FC keeper Nathan Silver. That was quality and well deserved.

Yes, Josh Cockerill made a couple of superb saves but Penn & Tylers Green FC also created chances and nearly sneaked a winner when after a good move Chris Hurst’s cross was cleared by a Highmoor Ibis FC defender with a desperate lunge.

So extra time it was. The first half belonged to Highmoor Ibis FC with Dean Munday measuring his last gasp tackle well by deliberately clearing the ball via the crossbar. The ball could have gone anywhere but the clearance had to be made. The second half belonged to the boys from the top of the Chilterns with Jack Harding and Dean Munday coming close with two headers. The final whistle went to the dreaded penalties it went. Even this was a close encounter with both keepers making a good save each. In the end it went to “sudden death” and the hosts had the luck on their side winning the shoot-out 5:4.

Giovanni Sepede, James Pritchard and John Grimsdell can be very proud of the performance of their team; as were the large contingent of away supporters including the secretary. With the injuries and suspensions everyone who played today was superb.

Longlevens 10 Stokenchurch 2
Coming from near High Wycombe in deepest rural Buckinghamshire the Hellenic East Division 2 side Stokenchurch FC known as the “The Lambs” on arrival at fortress Saw Mills, ”,(again similar to Ascot United last Saturday) were also struggling to raise a side. “The Lambs” eventually lined up onto the pitch to start the match on time, with just 11 players including the manager and coach and no substitutes.
From early doors to the 90th minute Levens just simply cut up Stokenchurch’s token and all over the place defence to chalk up a massive 10 goals to 2 goals win in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup.
Goal 1 – 15 minutes - BRAD VANSTONE slotted in from a Brad Martin threaded through pass
Goal 2 – 20 minutes – BRAD MARTIN tucked away as Dave Merrick slipped a short pass in
Goal 3 – 40 minutes – BRAD MARTIN with an easy shot to net after great run and pull back by Dunn
HALF TIME 3-0 Shaun O’Connor on for Ryan McDonalds
Goal 4 – 47 minutes SHAUN O’CONNOR finishes well beating after a mazy run past several defenders by Brad Martin opens up the Lambs thus roasting their leggy defence.
Goal 5 – 49 minutes BRAD VANSTONE converts after a great run down the left by O’Connor with pull back to Brad Martin who manages to divert for Brad Vanstone to slot home
Stokenchurch keep trying and Ally Jackson misses unbelievably just feet from Levens goal!
Goal 6 – 61 minutes SHAUN O’CONNOR places into the goal after a lovely 1-2 pass combination with Brad Martin
Stokenchurch pull a goal back when with virtually all but one Levens defender is up for a corner Levens are caught out when the Lambs break away with a long pass from the corner with six Lamb players charging forward and the low cross skids across and was side footed in by Ally Jackson to make up for his earlier miss. A commendable counter attacking goal by the visitors. But now 6-1 to Levens.
Goal 7 – 75 minutes BRAD MARTIN soon put paid to Lambs awakening when he blasted in the top corner with his right boot from the edge of the box. Best Levens goal of the day a net buster!
80-82 minutes Byard on for Brad Martin; Bernard on for Merrick
At this point and game time Stokenchurch kept trying and the “Lambs” pulled another goal back by Steve Park 7-2. One could say and blame sloppy Levens defending but actually Stokenchurch kept trying and both their goals were indeed well worked. However, almost at will, when they wanted to Levens restored the game with:-
Goal 8 – 85 minutes - ED SMYLLIE - Byard ignores calls for “a short one” then curved in a left footer corner from the right flag and Ed Smyllie unmarked with a simple downward header.
Goal 9 – 87 minutes SHAUN O’CONNOR with a solo run shrugging of 2-3 defenders and nearly falling blasted in off a post for his well-deserved hat trick as a sub
Goal 10 – 90 + minutes BRAD VANSTONE latching onto a long ball over the top, down the centre and roasting the Lambs’ defence rounds the keeper to stroke into empty net for his deserved hat trick too.
Levens players’ right up to the 90 minutes end all desired to score, as they easily moved into the next round of the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup by a large margin of goals. Today’s game produced no fresh injuries and the score line maybe goes in the record books for Levens at this level? Other than that, the game had the look and feel of nice friendly routine practice game, with time and space to settle on the ball.
Credit to Stokenchurch for keeping going. No moaning, and no wild challenges when play was going very wrong for them. However, the greening pitch with the rain coming down probably gained more benefit from the afternoon event than the teams turning up for this fixture.
But another type of football on another planet faces the Levens boys at Thatcham Town away next Tuesday night in the Premier League. All the squad members….… starters and bench will have to be at their very best mentally and physically as last year’s near champions won’t be very generous. Expect a high octane game under a great floodlights atmosphere.

Milton Keynes 1 Binfield 3 (away view)
A long trip up to Milton Keynes for a match played mostly in driving rain looked like a frustrating afternoon for the Moles when the MK Academy side took the lead on 20 minutes, with their good passing play frustrating the Moles in the early exchanges.

But the Moles settled by the half hour mark, with Sean Moore and Liam Ferdinand both starting to find some space. And after Ferdinand had hit the post with a fine turn and shot on the half hour mark, shortly afterwards he lit up the contest with a brilliant overhead kick that flew into the net for the Binfield striker's 9th goal of the season.

Five minutes later, Sean Moore cut in from the left and found the bottom corner from 20 yards, before Ferdinand had his second of the day with just two more minutes played, calmly slotting home across the keeper after a neat exchange with Luke Scope.

The second half was largely uneventful, although the Moles created several more good chances to score, especially when 17 year old Luke Hayden joined the action on the hour, as the Moles youth player showed pace and a neat touch on the ball, with his best moment a superb volleyed flick with the outside of his boot that set Moore free to shoot, but well saved.

At the other end of the pitch, 16 year old Quinn McCallion made his debut in the Binfield goal in a positive performance, including a good full stretch save to his right midway through the second half that will have given the young keeper some confidence.

After a slow start, this was a good performance from Binfield to comfortably progress in the Bluefin Hellenic Challenge Cup, while the hosts young side played neat passing football and caused some problems for their more experienced opponents.

Moreton Rangers 3 Tytherington Rocks
With a host of first team players back and available, even picking a squad of 14 was hard for manager Nick Timms, let alone a first 11. The team he did go for however was largely disappointing first half giving too much respect to the team in the league above and lacked drive and ambition when in possession of the ball. It's took a rocket at half time with the score 0-1 to get Rangers to play to their potential.

Matt Goss was forced off early in the second half with a tight hamstring and this brought Paul Whitehouse on to the pitch. Moments later Wyatt was also brought into the game and then the game changed. Tythington took the spine of their midfield off which hampered them hugely. That change played into Rangers' hands, Almost instantly Watts found Brooks and the game was level. Rangers created many chances in the second half, the home defence switched off and Meredith was there to make a great save one on one, to avoid Rangers going further behind. It was however after good work from Wyatt down the right, who won a free kick for Tyack to swing in and Jack Robson was there to score his first goal for 2 years with a header at the back post. The last 20 minutes were dominated by the claret and blues. Martin Tomes was excellent down the left, creating chance after chance and hitting the bar with a curling effort. The third goal did come from the left, Whitehouse found Tomes who beat three players, squared it for brooks to round off a tremendous second half display and the hope of a Hellenic Premier team in the next round.

Manager Nick Timms was quoted yesterday ' this shows we can compete at the level above. The squad we had yesterday was the strongest of the season. I was disappointed in the first half because I know they can play better, but taking what was said at half time on board. The lads were fantastic in the second half. Martin Tomes particularly was outstanding and fingers crossed he can stay injury free because you've always got a chance with him in your team. We look forward to the draw for the next round and hope for a team in the league above or even the Prem as I know we can compete with these teams it gives us the drive to get the ground done and get up'.

Moreton Rangers 3 Tytherington Rocks 1(away view)
Rocks came away from Moreton Rangers with a disappointing result in the Blufin Sport Challenge Cup but one that they threw away in the last 25 mins of the game with several players showing a lack of fitness.

The first half was mainly dominated by The Rocks and after having a goal disallowed Luke Whittam put them ahead in the 40th minute collecting a cross from the right by Daryl Hubert-Smith on the left of the penalty to stroke his shot low and hard past home keeper Jake Meredith to put them one up at HT.

Within ten minutes of the second half Rocks had a great chance to go two up when Hubert-Smith was put through one on one with the home keeper only to shoot straight at him who saved easily.

Moreton then started to test the Rocks defence and in the 65th minute equalized when Lee Brooks scored with a well taken goal, this was quickly followed by a goal from Jack Robson in the 70th minute and Lee Brooks completed the scoring with five minutes of the game remaining.

Premier Divisionuhlsport football kit

Henley Town 2 Lydney Town 1
Most of the early part of the game was in the middle of the pitch without any goalkeeper having to do anything as both teams played in the midfield. The first action in the game came in the 30th minute when Dan Davies looped the ball over the Lydney midfield from Henley's half into Grant Kemp’s path who then travelled with the ball into the right of central position outside the penalty box hitting a looping shot over Richard Thomas the Lydney goalkeeper only to hit the post which was then cleared by a defender, The first half was a tight drab affair.

The Henley Town Fans hoped for more in the second half the only change was the weather heavy rain and it was the Henley keeper Matt Hill who was tested first in the 5 minutes making a fine save down low to left post & conceded a corner.

A quick counter attack which Dan Davies started by laying the ball into Nile O'Meally who still had quite a bit to do after receiving the ball he attacked from the right hand side entering the penalty box twisting & turning the defender, O'Meally then let rip with a low crisp shot that beat the defender & goalkeeper to hit the back of net well worth waiting for ONE NIL to The Red Kites. Within a minute of the Goal Henley's midfielder Jack Thomson-Wheeler had to come off after pulling up with an injury, On came Tommy Elmore to replace him in the midfield which saw Grant Kemp switch into a central role while Elmore played wide right.

The second half was becoming a much brighter affair and in the 61st minute Henley's central defender Tom Hogan conceded a free kick outside the box to Lydney Town who set up to take a set piece. MattHill Henley's Goalkeeper set out his wall, free kick taken just wide by Lydney as they pressed for a goal back. Their pressure told in the 73rd minute when a misplaced cross field pass from Grant Kemp as he looked for Ben Blackwell, Lydney's right winger gained possession and travelled down the wing unopposed with only Andrew Nunn tracking him, and his cross came into Liam Sheppard who rose up at the back post to head it back towards the near post which the ball then hit the post and rolled slowly over the line to level the scores,

In the 80th minute Richard Bennett had a ball passed though the centre with the defender the wrong side of him Bennett was in on Goal but he was brought down just outside the box by the Lydney defender, a big decision for the referee Yellow or Red card, Some Henley Fans wanted Red but it was only a Yellow card shown.

In the 82nd min Ben Blackwell was replaced by Patrick Gardner who slotted up front while Nile O'Meally went to play wide left taking Blackwell's position this was a great change as Richard Bennett played a pass out wide to O'Meally who attacked down the line to cross the ball into Patrick Gardner's path who coolly tucked it away past Thomas within 3minutes of coming on. Henley Town kept their heads keeping the ball in Lydney's half and corners without any pressure from Lydney with the Win looking secure the ref played 4minutes injury time then blew his whistle. Cheers from Henley's supporters.

 

Division One West

Shrivenham 4 Cirencester Development 2
Shrivenham welcomed Cirencester Development to Barrington Park on an afternoon more akin to winter rather than the early days of Autumn with the majority of the game played in driving rain,but for all that it was an entertaining encounter.

The visitors were the first to threaten as Gudger forced a good save from Head in the opening minutes but in their first meaningful attack Pedder,on debut, opened the scoring for Shrivenham, initially being thwarted by Clatwothy in the Cirencester goal and then by a defender but the ball dropped to Lewis whose shot was deflected to Pedder who drove home with an angled shot. And six minutes later the home side doubled their lead as Collin fed Cox who held off his marker to fire past the advancing Clatworthy. Despite the early setbacks Cirencester were playing some controlled football and Head denied Walsh and Buse in quick succession before an in swinging corner saw Walsh reduce the arrears.Cirencester continued to play the more measured football and at the break would have considered themselves unfortunate to be behind.

The second period saw Shrivenham much sharper all round and as a result they disrupted the visitors first half rhythm and Cox, Collin and Lewis all went close to extending the lead but in the 60th minute they did go further ahead as Bowden played in Collin whose shot hit Farrington and looped over Clatworthy for a slightly fortuitous goal. To their credit Cirencester continued to play some good football but were denied by some resolute defending and when Walsh did have an opportunity to reduce the arrears he was denied by Head's diving save.But with ten minutes remaining they did grab a second as Gudger took advantage of a defensive error to shoot powerfully past Head. A hectic ten minutes followed with both sides going close,Carson's header for Shrivenham and Walsh for the visitors but in the 85th Lewis scored the decisive fourth goal as Wilkinson played him in and he coolly slotted past Clatworthy.

So an entertaining encounter in difficult conditions and the only puzzle was how the referee could brandish seven yellow cards when there wasn't a nasty tackle in a game played in an excellent spirit!

 

 
 
 
 
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