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4uhlsport football kit-6 September

Premier Division

Binfield 3 Ascot United 1 (away view)
Ten-man Ascot United endured a torrid second half as Binfield came from a goal behind to win 3-1 on Monday evening. The visitors were in charge for 44 minutes of this entertaining affair, but after conceding an equaliser just before the break, their half time mood – and second half – were completely different affairs.

Both sides needed points after their indifferent starts to the season had yielded just one win each. Added to that, matches between the sides have traditionally been close affairs, with the teams trading narrow victories last season.

Ascot were in the ascendancy for much of the first half and should have been further ahead before being pegged back. It took just seven seconds for Rory Knibbs to fashion an early effort that sailed over, although his shot was followed by Callum Carlisle’s rasping effort saved by Matt Hill on 11 minutes, James Goodey’s lob just wide after 13 minutes, and the same player’s shot over the bar from Knibbs’ drag-back.

The impressive Goodey’s shot was easily saved by Hill just after the half hour mark and Knibbs then saw strong appeals for a penalty waved away three minutes before the interval, but his side were awarded a spot-kick – confidently despatched by Rob Lazarczuk – when Bouwers was pushed in the box. Sadly for Ascot, the 42nd minute lead lasted barely 120 seconds until Brad Pagliaroli waltzed across the field and angled an accurate show low into the bottom left hand corner to level the scores.

The second half was a totally different story. After Binfield had served an early earning when the impressive Danny Langford’s cross somehow failed to be converted, Langford saw a header of his own strike the crossbar. Then, just after Ascot had weathered a dangerous corner, Jeff Brown was on hand in the ensuing play to drag a left footed effort into the bottom right hand corner and put the home side 2-1 ahead.

Langford then rattled the crossbar from long range before Bouwers received a second yellow card – one of many awarded on the evening – and once Brown had flicked home his second and Binfield’s third with 15 minutes remaining, the night was as good as over for Neil Richards’ side.

Highmoor Ibis 2 Bracknell Town 2 (away view)
It's not often that Bracknell Town are outplayed, but that was certainly the case at Rivermoor Stadium on Monday. Fortunately, it was only for the first 20 minutes and they recovered from going 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with Highmoor Ibis.

Their usually-reliable defence were badly caught out, with Mitchell Parker running onto Trevor Mutero's neat back heel to bury the ball low in the net after just two minutes. And in the 14th minute they could only look on as Mutero raced clear to double his side's lead. In the next six minutes it needed two excellent saves by keeper Chris Grace to prevent the hosts moving even further ahead. So Bracknell must have been relieved when the dangerous Parker was forced off with an ankle injury in the 21st minute. The Highmoor attack was blunted and the Robins started to come a lot more into the game. They finished the half strongly with Adam Cornell, Rob Gerrard and Liam Ferdinand all forcing home keeper Aaron Watkins into making excellent saves.

And they were straight back onto the attack after the break with Carl Davies heading against the top of the crossbar and Ferdinand seeing his effort blocked on the line. With new signing Philip John and George Short coming off the bench to add fresh legs, it was now virtually one-way traffic towards the home goal. Joe Grant and Short were denied by Watkins in quick succession before John saw his shot deflected for a corner.

The pressure eventually paid off on 75 minutes when Short headed home Dave Hancock's cross. And the right-back also helped set up the 83rd-minute equaliser for Ferdinand. However, with the Robins in full flow, the lights went out, forcing the game to be held up for 10 minutes.

When play resumed, Bracknell continued to pepper the Highmoor goal, but were unable to grab the winner, so dropping their first points of the season. This Saturday, the Robins are home to Flackwell Heath, who boast a similar  record of five wins and a draw from six league games.

Burnham 1 Woodley United 1 (away view)
Woodley made two changes from the side that beat Binfield on Saturday as the games continue to come thick and fast. Josh Drew came into the side on the wing whilst James McKimm made his first appearance of the season in goal. 

The home side just about shaded the opening ten minutes; a clipped ball found Keiron Noel inside the box however he couldn't properly control the ball allowing McKimm to gather. A deep free kick was then headed goalwards; lacking power McKimm made a routine save diving to his right.  Fifteen minutes in and United were growing into the game. A nice move saw Ian Davies find Danny Horscroft on the edge of the box. Turning onto his right foot the Woodley midfielder forced Sam Bunting in the Burnham goal to tip over before Drew shot well wide. 

The game, played at a very fast tempo was end to end. McKimm beat out a well hit Aaron Morgan shot before pulling off the save of the match. Nice link up play between Morgan and George Dawson-Clark ended with the latter firing a low shot that McKimm did incredibly well to get down to and save.  On the half hour Woodley winger Nathanael Robinson hit the inside of the right post however the flag had gone up for offside. 

Two minutes before the break United took the lead when Jake Nicholls got his first of the season tapping home after Bunting could only parry a Horscroft effort. Breaking up the play in the middle of the park Nicholls started the move exchanging passes with Drew before finding Horscroft in space on the left. 

Both sides traded shots as the second half got underway in horrible conditions as the rain and wind got stronger.  Drew had a fierce shot from twenty five yards saved by Bunting whilst McKimm was once again called into action keeping out a Dawson-Clark free kick. 

Woodley had a let off moments later when the home side headed against the bar however the scores were level on fifty three minutes when Morgan netted from the left side of the box.  Burnham now had United on the backfoot. Dawson-Clark hit the right post from twenty yards as the pace of the game remained frantic. 

It wasn't all one way traffic as it was then Woodley's turn to strike the woodwork. Cutting in from the left flank Robinson had his shot from eighteen yards saved; falling to Drew he hit the right post from a tight angle inside the box. 

United had their best spell of the game half way through the half. Drew had a well hit strike beaten out at the near post before Horscroft saw his cross from the byline clip off a Burnham defender loop over Bunting and roll across the goal line. After scoring a brace on his debut Davies had a golden chance to get his third in four days when Ashley Ledger found the Woodley forward twelve yards out. Striking the ball well it narrowly missed to the right.  With six minutes left United made a change. Marvin Hinds replaced Drew. 

An entertaining game wound down with the home sides Mason Yorke heading wide a right wing corner whilst the nearest Woodley got to a late winner was when Jason Pinnock did well to win possession from Hinds inside the box after the substitute linked up with Davies.

Fairford Town 1 Lydney Town 2
Fairford to Southend and back is quite a hike for a Tuesday night game of football, so at least the long journey was worth it for groundhopper Peter Miles. Lydney had a somewhat shorter trip and edged a tense yet entertaining Cinder Lane encounter that saw two penalties and three goals as the points went the way of the visitors.

Fairford started brightly but went behind with a sublime finish from youngster Keelan Hamblett, who capitalised on a defensive slip to advance and lift the ball over advancing ‘keeper Ben Mitchell with 22 minutes played. The Reds’ response was swift and they should have been level 11 minutes later. Former Gloucester City striker Lee Smith was tripped inside the box but his subsequent spot-kick was well saved by visiting stopper Max Harris down to his left.

And typical of Fairford’s start to the season, the visitors went up the other end and doubled their advantage after a goalmouth melee. The home side were unable to clear their lines and Dan Barnard stabbed home from close range for a 2-0 half-time lead.

Fairford produced a spirited second half effort and dominated possession, but were unable to turn that stat into all-important goals in front of a supportive home crowd. Left-back and Ben Saunders reduced the arrears with a well-taken penalty just after the hour, whilst Lydney defended resolutely throughout a late onslaught – well-marshalled by the aforementioned ‘keeper Harris.

Ben Mitchell made a superb late save to deny the visitors a third on the break late on, but the home side were left frustrated – left pointless after what had been another determined showing. The improvement is there to see – and unlike Fairford and Southend – the first win of the campaign doesn’t seem to be miles away.

Oxford City Nomads 1 Thatcham Town 2
Thatcham Town put Nomads under pressure in the first 20 minutes, before the home side stabilised.

But a Shane Cooper-Clarke free header in the six yard box on 40 minutes gave the Kingfishers a half time lead.

Nomads came out strong in the second half equalising on 58 minutes through Jordi Mulvany. Only then to switch off allowing Lamin Sankoh to score the winning goal on 79 minutes.

Royal Wootton Bassett 1 Brackley Town Saints 0 (away view)
After an excellent, if somewhat physically draining, win at Fairford Town on Saturday, Saints manager Gordon Kille chose to shuffle his squad around again for the visit to Royal Wootton Bassett Town on Tuesday evening. Ali Worby returned in goal, Sam Bridges and Sam Hartley were replaced in the defence by Dean March and Charlie Kille, Joeb Evans came back in to play alongside James Hammond in midfield, Matt Johnson moved into the number 10 role for the first time this season and Ryan Knight started on the left of the attack. 

From the outset it was clear that this was a game between 2 teams with contrasting styles of play but with both fully committed to trying to achieve the win.  Saints in form striker Josh Bowden was first to get a strike at goal after just 2 minutes but it came to nothing and then Ali Worby was called into action to save a header from an early Wootton Bassett corner.  With just 14 minutes played Wootton Bassett's Sam Packer opened the scoring with a superb shot from the edge of the Saints area giving keeper Worby no chance, 1 – 0 to the hosts.  The remainder of the first half was played at a high tempo with Saints perhaps having more of the ball and chances but the hosts also had opportunities to stretch their lead, however there were no more goals before the break. 

In contrast to the end to end first half the second proved to be one-way traffic with Saints attackers Josh Bowden, Greg Kaziboni, Matt Johnson, and Ryan Knight creating spaces and chances almost at will, ably supported by Joeb Evans and Matt Hammond from the midfield, and attacking full backs Dan Middleton and Charlie Kille. When Wootton Bassett did manage to get forward the danger was averted quickly by the Saints central defenders Dean March and the excellent Joe Ward. 

The hosts to their credit defended magnificently at times, used their physical advantage when necessary, had huge slices of luck such as those when corners are flying untouched across their six-yard box, and somehow survived when Saints were odds on to score.  Visiting players, officials, and fans were astonished when a clear handball in the Wootton Bassett penalty area was completely missed by the referee and his assistant before a particularly wild challenge on Greg Kaziboni led to another Saints free kick which was driven into the hosts defensive wall. 

Saints manager Gordon Kille made changes bringing on Alex Stott, Chris Jordan, and Sam Hartley for Ryan Knight, Joeb Evans, and Dan Middleton but, if anything pushing more bodies forward seemed to close down the spaces that were being exposed previously and, unfortunately for Saints the game ended with Wootton Bassett picking up their 1st victory of the season. 

One East

Bicester Town 5 Chalfont Wasps 1 (away view)
Goals, and also critical decisions, change games – this was the case in this encounter and the unfortunate Wasps suffered accordingly.

Bicester started the brighter and were certainly worthy of their two goal lead after 21 minutes. But the Stingers improved greatly and Chris Hurst made it 2-1 after a sustained period of pressure with 5 minutes of the first half remaining.

Then, as the Wasps were again causing Bicester some problems at the start of second period, including having a goal ruled out for off-side, a couple of game changing events took place. First, Josh Urquhart was shown a straight red, which even surprised the neutrals in the crowd; then, to make matters worse, Bicester scored a third moments later, again seen as controversial to the neutrals watching - the offside flag was raised, players understandably paused, the flag was lowered, and the goal was allowed to stand. With the score at 3-1 and Wasps down to 10 the entire complexion of the game changed. Wasps battled away valiantly but Bicester netter twice more.

Kidlington Reserves 1 Woodstock Town 0
Kidlington enjoyed there second successive 1-0 win, this time against a resolute Woodstock Town. Anton Mundy smashed in the winner on 69 minutes. New signing Will Leach then hit the bar for the "Greens". 

The home side were also indebted to two fantastic saves from newly signed goalkeeper Nick lacey.


One West

Cirencester Town Dev 1 Ardley United 3 (away view)
This was Ardley's 3rd away fixture in a row and we knew it would be a tough task to keep up the 100% winning run against a strong Cirencester team.

Ardley started the game the stronger and played at a high tempo, but resolute defending from Cirencester kept chances to a minimum in the opening period. It was in the 16th minute that the opening came, when a good bicycle kick from the corner of the box by Daniel West went over the defence and Alex Feaver timed his run perfectly to get behind and convert from close range.

Ardley kept going by playing good high temp passing football on an excellent 3G surface and were rewarded again in the 30th minute. Billy Gillett collected the ball from a throw in out on the left wing and turned brilliant to run into the penalty area and as he went past the defender he was brought down to earn a penalty. Gillett then stepped up and duly converted to give him his 6th goal in 4 games.

The latter stages of the 2nd half saw Cirencester attack Ardley more, but the Ardley defence held firm to keep the score 2-0 at half time. The second half was a lively affair and a more even contest with end to end football. Mikey McKirnan was having an excellent game in the Ardley defence, but there was nothing he or anyone could do about the Cirencester goal to make it 2-1 in the 84th minute, with a well taken free kick from 25 yards out, on the right of the box into the far corner.

This goal provoked an almost immediate response from Ardley who were determined to keep the winning run going and in the 87th minute Greg Hackett burst through the defence and found himself one on one with the Cirencester keeper and he comfortably put the ball past him to make it 3-1. Unfortunately in the last minute a scuffle broke out between Daniel Leggett and a Cirencester player, which resulted in a straight red for Leggett. This was the only downside for what had been a great evening for Ardley, who now look forward to taking on Premier Division Longlevens FC in the FA Vase at home on Saturday.


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