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8 September

Emirates FA Cup

Emirates FA Cup Round 1 Qualifying

Binfield 3 Buckland Athletic 0
An early double salvo saw the Moles safely dispatch of Buckland Athletic to match their best ever FA Cup run and potentially set up a glamour tie with a Step 2 club in the next round.

The game was all but over as a contest within the first five minutes as Binfield came flying out of the blocks. They were 1-0 up after only 90 seconds, when a shot rebounded out to the right hand side of the box who floated a ball deep across the box where Eddie Lee was on hand to tap it home past the sprawling goalkeeper. Two minutes later the Moles doubled their lead when Sean Moore collected the ball on the right hand side, cut inside onto his left foot and curled a shot, which deflected and flew past the Buckland 'keeper to make it 2-0 without five minutes even having elapsed.

After this early madness, the game settled into a routine of end to end football, without either side really having any chances of note. Buckland could have pulled one back after 19 minutes when Jamie Richards floated a ball over to the fast post and Les Afful did really well to keep the ball alive and float a cross to Ryan Bush who headed just over the bar.

Binfield settled into a nice rhythm, attempting to play passing football against a rather physical Buckland side and could have extended their lead in the 37th minute when Eddie Lee was played in behind the Buck's defence on the right wing and he rounded the onrushing keeper, but his pull back to Sean Moore came a little too late and he was crowded out before he could get a meaningful shot away.

The second half continued in the same pattern as the first, however it was only ever Binfield who looked like scoring. Firstly, Eddie Lee was sent through and found himself 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, who produced a fantastic reach and stop as Eddie tried to round him. After a period of Binfield pressure, with Buckland looking to counter, Jamie McClurg robbed the breaking Buckland defender and played a perfectly weighted ball to Sean Moore, who took a touch and then curled just wide from the edge of the box. Sean will probably tell you it was the perfect sighter for him, as just three minutes later, he received the ball in a similar position and this time rolled the ball through the defence and past the diving goalkeeper to make it 3-0 and seal the game for the Moles.

The game had already been beginning to get a bit stop-start before the goal, as tackles started flying in and the referee was making no friends with either bench or players. In the 72nd minute he then made the big decision to send off Jeff Brown as he caught a Buckland player on his follow through having won the ball initially. The match then petered out, with Binfield putting in a fantastic 20 minutes of defensive football and not offering Buckland a chance, despite their possession and pressure to ensure that we will be in the hat for the draw on Monday lunchtime.

Binfield 3 Buckland Athletic 0 (report by Arthur Strand)
The visitors from Devon, near Newton Abbot, are step 5 grade as are the hosts. Straight after kick off, since Buckland had moved into the Binfield half, Moles' men moved forward and gained a free kick. An early stunner, as Eddie Lee slotted the ball giving the Moles an unpredictable lead so soon after kick off. As if that could be unpredictable, before either side could settle down, Sean Moore had added a second! Buckland then moved into the Binfield half, stung by 2 quick goals and Craig Duff with Ryan Bush tested Chris Gace who claimed the ball as Buckland collected making a break but Duff was beaten off by an attentive Moles defender. Having escaped, they lost possession as Buckland forced a corner but Duff's shot went over he cross bar. An injury to Jack Thomson-Wheeler meant Roger Herridge had to make a first half substitution, bringing on Charlie Tuttle as a replacement. Continuing to attack, Kenny Griffiths, visiting keeper, won a race for the ball in his area. Buckland took a free kick into Chris Grace's area but the header went over his crossbar. A further free kick sent the Moles into and out of defence and the half-hour was imminent. Moes keeper, Chris Grace has a clearance kick capable of reaching the other penalty area and this occurred at least twice during the game. An end to end in seconds came about after Les Afful took a long shot which veered wide of goal. A brief spell of quality controlled passing in the Buckland area put Binfield in a promising position having gained a corner kick and Jemel Johnson headed over the crossbar much to the relief of keeper Griffiths. Johnson went down to turf and Moles took a free kick and Afful went on to create a corner kick for Buckland. After an injury stoppage, the referee took a drop ball which Buckland man steered back to Chris Grace as half time arrived.

Binfield moved out of defence after the re-start and soon had a corner kick. One of Buckland received a yellow card as Afful created some excellent play. However, Binfield remained in charge as Sean Moore beat the defence but his shot went straight to keeper, Griffiths. Chris Grace made a great save, claiming at the far post then Buckland took a free kick followed by an effort from Bush that Grace saved and cleared. Matt Roberts was next to have a shot saved by Grace. Returning to Buckland area Sean Moore went wide, giving the visitors possession and the next phase put Buckland through although Grace was quick to collect the incoming ball. Eventually, plugging away at the visitor's defence paid off when Sean Moore added the third, loe to the bottom left hand corner well out of reach of Griffiths, with a quarter of an hour left. Buckland never gave hope and strived to reduce the deficit, although that would have meant scoring 4 goals in 15 minutes and each time a goal is cored it eats up time. Grace made another save, less crucial by then. Jeff Brown, clashed with a Buckland player and was sent off, direct red card (72') which gave Binfield the rest of the game to complete with ten men. Substitutions were made, first by Moles, Lewis Leonetti for Eddie Lee then Jordan Ewing for Ryan Bush, as Buckland required fresh legs. Leonetti made his presence felt immediately but then Jemel Johnson received a talking to by the ref as Buckland took a free kick and a corner. As play swung back to the other end with good football by Binfield to the wing, the incoming cross brought out the best in Keeper Griffiths who stretched to finger tip the ball out for a corner. After that, the ball took up time and place in the vicinity of the corner flag. Although Buckland escaped eventually it was too late and the final whistle announced that the game was finished. .
Binfield: Grace (GK), Thomson-Wheeler, Hancock, Knight,(c), Smith, Brown, Johnson, J.McClurg, Lee, Moore, Santoro. Substiutes: Leonetti, Downes, Gavin, Senussi, Shaw, Horscroft, Tuttle.

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Brimscombe & Thrupp 2 Brackley Town Saints 3
There were a few noticeable absentees in the Brimscombe line up for their game against Brackley Town Saints.

The Lilywhites had chance to go ahead early in the game when Ash Caldwell’s header forced Ali Worby in to a great save. It was the visitors who drew the first blood when Dean March headed in from the corner, the visitors quickly doubled their lead when Ryan Knight left Ashley Gale rooted to the spot. Chris Pates nearly reduced the deficit when his header from a Harrison Reeves free kick rattled the crossbar. It finally happened on the stroke of half-time when Reeves’ cross found John Evans who found a way past Worby.

The second half saw plenty of chances for both teams but it was Saints who found themselves further ahead, Chris Jordan slid the ball through for Ryan Knight who netted the ball for his second. Brimscombe had to settle for a last minute consolation goal when Ed Major knocked it past Worby in the last minute.

Longlevens 1 Ascot United 0 (away view)
Longlevens scored an 85th minute winner to deny Ascot United the chance to go top of the league on Saturday afternoon. The Yellamen had started well in Gloucester, but Ascot went on to lose once again after Nathan Minhas had hit the woodwork – the third such occurrence this season. Despite Ascot knowing that a win would take them top of the table, Longlevens would be no walkover having won their last two home matches against the Yellamen whilst also being keen to put bounce back from their midweek derby defeat against lowly city rivals Tuffley Rovers.

Longlevens served an early warning when Shaun O’ Conner’s close-range shot was smothered by Sam Gray in the visitors’ goal, but Minhas would soon rattle the hosts’ woodwork in the fifth minute with a deflected effort that Ash Wintle tipped onto the crossbar at full stretch. Ascot then took control of the game and Callum Carlisle’s right-wing forays would cause problems for Longlevens. Firstly, his whipped cross was inches away from Minhas’ boot – 13 minutes played – before another cross paved the way for a Jean-Claude Etienne effort that was twice deflected before Wintle gathered.

As the half progressed, Longlevens posed more of a threat and O’ Connor almost converted a Harry Emmett corner before Gray’s full-stretch save denied Jonty Welch, who almost found a gap at the near post following a needlessly conceded corner. In between those efforts Minhas did well to keep the ball in for Jean-Claude Etienne to see another shot deflected for Ascot, but parity at the break was a fair reflection of play.

Both sides exchanged chances in a fairly even second half, although the home side would ultimately create the better opportunities. Keiran Squires’ early free kick over the wall brought and easy save from Gray, before Jean-Claude Etienne’s header from Minhas cross was easily saved by Wintle at the other end. O’ Connor’s half-volley then rose marginally over the bar as Longlevens got closer and closer, but Minhas would go up the other end and sting Wintle’s palms with a shot from a tight angle. Emmett drove forwards and shot just wide of Gray’s right hand upright before Etienne’s next chance went begging following Dan Price’s shot, but it was the fourth of a succession of corners that proved to be Ascot’s undoing as time ran away.

Gray had somehow managed to turn Ed Smillie’s crashing effort over from one of them, but he was powerless to deny substitute James Campbell, who ghosted into the far post to score after Emmett had picked him out after cutting onto his left and picking him out. Campbell’s even later dipping volley brought a fine save from Gray to prevent a second, and although Ascot forced a couple of late corners of their own, their final touch just lacked a cutting edge.

Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Haworth, Carlisle, Bouwers, F Etienne, Denton (Hodges), Sullivan (Laflin), Minhas, Price, JC Etienne (Richardson). Sub unused: Boultwood

Tuffley Rovers 3 Windsor 6
Boosted by their midweek win at Longlevens, Tuffley Rovers took to the field hoping to end a depressing home run of four defeats in league and cup from the start of the season. Visitors Windsor, sitting comfortably in the top half of the table, were looking to improve an away record which had seen them win at Shrivenham but lose at both Brimscombe & Thrupp and Royal Wootton Bassett Town. Ashley Bird in for the injured Warren Mann was the only change from the Rovers team which had started at Longlevens three days earlier, whilst Windsor named their vastly-experienced player-coach, 46-year old Barry Hayles, as one of their substitutes.

Rovers kicked off playing towards the open end but it was Windsor who had the first serious attack with a break down their left, although it came to nothing. Bird played Jake Rhodes through for a shot which was saved by Poole and Keiron Alder had another shot saved shortly afterwards, but the opening goal came at the other end not long after Windsor centre-back Victor Ocansey had come up for a corner and lashed a shot just over the Tuffley crossbar. Windsor broke with speed and in numbers and the move ended with Daniel Roberts, cutting in from the right and firing a shot which Kane Winman saved at full stretch, only to leave Malachi Thomas with a simple tap-in from close range.

Before Rovers could re-group they were two down, as Roberts cut in from the left to skip past a defender and fire a fierce shot away from Winman’s left side and rising into the corner of the net. Rovers almost responded quickly when Sam Hill’s cross from the left was headed narrowly wide by Kieran Alder. But the hosts got their reward when a sumptuous pass by Paul Carter saw Jake Rhodes net with a composed finish. As the first half drew to a close Windsor nearly restored their two-goal lead, as a Tuffley handball in a central position 25 yards out resulted in a free-kick which Windsor full-back Di Guiseppe chipped over the defensive wall and away from Winman only to see the ball hit a post and bounce away to safety.

Ryan Dobbins came on for Ashley Bird as the second half commenced but within minutes Windsor had scored again, Thomas jinking past a defender and hitting a shot across Winman from the edge of the penalty-area. It would soon get worse for the hosts. Roberts sent Lazarczuk through and the Windsor No. 10 skipped past Winman before curling a delightful shot into the far corner.

Despite trailing 4-1, Rovers wouldn’t lie down and came back strongly. A Rhodes free-kick from 25 yards out was blocked but led to another free-kick being awarded slightly closer to goal. Alder stepped up and his perfectly-directed shot nestled neatly in the left-hand side of Henry Poole’s net. Rhodes then had a shot blocked for a corner on the right and after it had to be taken twice, the referee spotted an infringement on the second occasion and awarded a penalty to the home team. With normal penalty-taker Warren Mann out, player-manager Mark Pritchett stepped up and drove the ball straight down the middle while goalkeeper Poole dived to his left. If Alder’s header from Carter’s free-kick had gone in off a post instead of bouncing away Rovers might even have been level, but the visitors would have the last word. Twice. Roberts drove in his second goal after the ball had pinged around Rovers’ penalty-area; then the goalscorer broke away on the left and his accurate cross was rifled home at the back post by substitute Jack Hall.

If you score three times you would normally expect to take something from a game, but not if you concede six at the other end. Rovers can only hope that a change in competition (they face Frampton United in the G.F.A. Challenge Trophy at Glevum Park in midweek) will lead to a change in this dreadful run of home defeats. Rovers now only have Fairford below them in the League table while Windor’s win sees them climb into fifth place.


One East

Thame Rangers 2 Didcot Town Development 1 (away view)
Didcot arrived at Thame for their third away league match in a row and despite winning the first two were just edged out of this match by an unbeaten Thame side. The first half was fairly even and opened with Ross MacDonald beating his man and fizzing in a hard cross which home keeper Nathan Lang beat out but onrushing forward Jake Keeble could not reach. Thame’s first foray found a cross across goal missed by forwards. Siji Akinlosi for Didcot found MacDonald whose cross was beaten away for a corner. James Tanner manoevered himself for two Didcot shots well blocked as Didcot upped the pace but the opening goal was only delayed by a minute when a good through ball by Keiran Collins saw MacDonald striding on to the ball in the box but was brought down from behind for a clear penalty. Collins shot home the penalty to put the Railwaymen one up. 

Not long after Thame had a header well over the bar and midway through the half Tye Budziszewski became the second Thame player booked in the match for bringing down the advancing MacDonald. On the half hour mark 
came an incident which defined the match with Didcot defender Alex Marshall being booked when a Thame forward clipped Alex’s heels and went down on the edge of the box. The referee saw things differently and awarded the free kick which Dan Hatton swept home off the post for the equaliser. Patrick Batson broke away for the home team shortly after but impressive Didcot keeper Sam Baldock beat away the forwards firece drive. Didcot pressure won a free kick which nearly resulted in a goal when a home defender cleared just wide of the goal for a fruitless corner. Joel Thompson was booked for bringing down Batson however the referee failed to book the Thame forward for repeated fouls in the first half. 

The half finished with a chance each Baldock making another fine save and Akinlosi shooting just wide of the post. Unfortunately the second half was more fractured with each team breaking up play although MacDonald was put through but too wide and his fierce shot was well saved by Lang in the Thame goal. Hatton shot over the bar and was booked shortly after and as then as the half wore on the bookings continued with Morgan for the away team. Didcot made three substitutions to attempt to wrest the match their way but Findlay scored what proved to be the winner from a header for Thame. 

Both teams had a chance each with Batson’s shot well saved by Baldock and a Didcot free kick causing a home scramble in their box before being eventually cleared. Didcot substitute Jack Hollister received his second yellow card near the end which competed a tetchy second half shorn of the first half’s quality. 

Penn & Tylers Green 2 Holyport 1
Penn & Tylers Green gained another valuable three points on Saturday with a 2-1 win against opponents Holyport at Spratleys Meadow. This was a thoroughly deserved win for the young Penn side against a good experienced Holyport team which featured Penn old boy Jonny Feaver in their ranks.

It was Holyport who had the first chance when an excellent powerful shot from 20 yards was tipped over by Penn goalkeeper Mohammed Mustafa, with a free header from the resulting corner going just wide of the post. Penn responded well and quickly took the game to Holyport and on 12 minutes a dangerous low cross from Rashid Hamid was cleared for a corner, before the onrushing forward could strike. The in-swinging corner was cleared for another corner but nothing came from the second corner either. Penn continued to cause Holyport many problems with their pace down both flanks and putting in dangerous crosses from both sides.

One such surging run from Etafia Kingsley resulted in him being unceremoniously brought down on the edge of the Holyport penalty area. Up stepped Tom Staples to curl a beauty onto the crossbar and over to safety. Penn had other opportunities to score and on 32 minutes Rashid Hamid raced clear of the Holyport defence and his shot was blocked by some good defending from Holyport. The visitors, however, were dangerous on the break and the centre half pairing of Sean Cahill and Charlie Lane had to be alert on more than one occasion to avert the dangerous and quick Holyport forwards. Matt Clarke in midfield for Penn was proving a solid barrier and he broke up many Holyport attacks with some timely tackles and brave blocks. Moments later Tom Staples burst through but shot straight at the advancing goalkeeper who made a good save. On 40 minutes the inevitable breakthrough came when after a ball into the box caused some confusion the ball broke conveniently to Rashid Hamid who, with their goalkeeper on the floor, calmly side stepped his man and slotted home from eight yards to put Penn 1-0 up which is how it stayed until half time.

Holyport came out for the second half and attacked the Penn defence but they held firm although a few dangerous free kicks were given away during the first 15 minutes of the second half as a result of some last ditch and sometimes mistimed tackles but the Penn goalkeeper was not seriously tested from the resulting kicks. Penn gradually played their way back into the game and Rashid Hamed had a header go just wide. On 65 minutes Dominic Brown found himself through on goal but he shot wide of the goal.

For the next 15 minutes Holyport sensed Penn were tiring and began to impose themselves and they had a few corners and efforts go narrowly wide. In the 80th minute Penn scored the defining goal when a Jack Pearce header forward was flicked on by Etafia Kingsley which released Rashid Hamid with a free run on goal. He still had 25 yards to reach the goal but from just inside the penalty he finished expertly by blasting the ball to the left of the advancing goalkeeper and into the corner of the net to give Penn that vital two goal lead. Penn then injected much needed fresh legs when Dom Sharp came on for Numan Khan, Michael Moore for Sean Cahill and Jordan Bains for Raju Pritpal. Holyport were not out of the game as they once again were enjoying a period of pressure o the Penn goal and a fierce 25yd effort whistled just over the Penn crossbar.

Holyport gained their reward in the 86th minute, when after two corners, they scored with a good strong header at the far post to reduce the arrears and give Penn some work to do to keep all three points in the bag for the five minutes that remained. This they did but not before a couple of efforts by Holyport had Penn hearts in their mouths until the final whistle finally released the tension for the Penn management, players and supporters. This was a good team effort today to gain the three points and there are signs that this young Penn side are coming together and bonding into a useful team and hopefully that will continue into the season.

One West

Pewsey Vale 0 Easington Sports 5 (away view)
george coombes easington sports scored four timesEasington youngster George Coombes showed a clinical side to his game scoring a hatrick in the first 14 minutes of the match. A further goal in the second half took Coombes’ tally to four whilst there was a further masterclass in finishing from Henry Rose to keep Sports’ 100% record in the Hellenic Division 1 West intact.

Mindful of backlash from Pewsey Vale after a four nil drubbing of their hosts on the opening game of the season, Sports got off to a great start to settle the game down quickly putting the visitors in firm control. George Coombes opened the scoring from the first corner of the match. He was the first to react to a ball headed back across goal and he volleyed the ball home after just 5 minutes.

Coombes continued to be the star of the show completing his hatrick shortly after. With confidence sky high, the young striker played a neat one to with Callum Convey on the edge of the box. He continued his run and the clipped pass from Convey left the Pewsey defence flat footed leaving Coombes to volley past the keeper into the bottom corner of the net. Sports were out of sight a minute later again showing Pewsey’s frailties at the back. After pressing high up the pitch, Easington won the ball back high up the pitch and sprang into attack. Coombes timed his run well to race onto a through pass before showing great composure to slot past the Pewsey keeper. After the turbo charged start to the half, Pewsey did manage to get back into the game and created some half chances of their own. That said, Adam Rimmer was rarely tested and so the half ended 0-3.

Opportunities were more evenly spread between the two sides in the second half but defences remained largely on top. It took until the 69th minute for Easington to break the deadlock in the half. Henry Rose scored the goal of the game picking the ball up on the left hand touch line. He then cut in towards goal and from the edge of the box curled a shot with his right foot into the top corner of the net. Sports remained disciplined in the second half as the home side became more frustrated with the scoreline and the lack of clear cut chances. George Coombes finished the scoring off for Sports in the 82nd minute. Again, Coombes showed some clinical finishing after a quiet half for the striker. He ran onto a clearance from Adam Rimmer and outpaced 3 defenders before again smashing his shot into the side netting.

Overall, Sports ended the half in control and this allowed manager Ben Milner time to bring on 17 year old Elliot Gunther and former Hook Norton Player David Buckwell to get some much needed minutes. Easington maintain their 100% record in the league and currently sit top of the table after 4 games in the league. Sports have scored freely and have tightened up at the back in another away game and that bodes well for Milner’s men going forward.

Thornbury Town 3 Clanfield 85 2
A stoppage time goal from Brandon Benjamin secured Thornbury Town’s second win in the Hellenic League but visitors Clanfield made it very hard work for Thorns and will rue a number of missed chances that would have secured at least a point for their efforts.

The visitors took the lead in the 2nd minute when Josh Gibbens rose above the Thorns defence to head home Oliver’s corner. This shock stung Thorns into action and Marcus Wormwell’s effort 5 minutes later was desperately cleared for a corner by Robinson. However a break by Tom Webb down the left after 12 minutes brought Town an equaliser. His cross found Matt Davis who set up Brandon Benjamin to steer the ball into the corner of the net.

The goal didn’t settle Town and Clanfield always looked dangerous on the break with keeper Kurtis Parkin saving well from Fullerton and Gibbens to keep the score level. The visitors should have taken the lead again after 25 minutes when Nathan Kimber put Fullerton clear, but with just Parkin to beat he blasted the ball over the bar. This let off seemed to raise Town’s game and they enjoyed the majority of possession in the last 15 minutes of the half and whilst Zoldan in the Clanfield goal wasn’t seriously troubled, Thorns had a couple of what looked good shouts for a penalty turned down by the officials.

Thorns started the second half a little more brightly with Wormwell being denied by a desperate challenge from Knapton and Nathan Sage’s shot from the edge of the area just too high. Clanfield were still a threat on the break and Mark Viner did well to head clear a dangerous looking corner. However the visitors retook the lead they probably deserved when Gibbens scored his second, heading home a freekick. Moments later Fullerton could have put the game beyond Thorns but Kurtis Parkin again saved well at his feet.  

The introduction of Harry Brock 20 minutes from time changed Towns fortunes and minutes after his introduction he latched on to a superb through ball from Toby Bennett, outpaced his marker and crossed for Marcus Wormwell to net at the far post. Moments later Zoldan saved bravely at Brock’s feet. Town stepped up the pressure and Luke Franklin’s shot was pushed away for a corner and then had a shot deflected after Harry Brock’s shot had been blocked by Zoldan. However in the 2nd minute of stoppage time Harry Brock was again put clear and although Zoldan saved at the youngster’s feet the ball broke free and Brandon Benjamin was quickest to react, firing home with the keeper stranded.

Despite the referee adding another 5 minutes on to the game neither goal was seriously threatened although Clanfield did press hard to try to rescue a point. A valuable 3 points for Town who are without a game this Saturday. They are back in action next Wednesday 19th September when they make the short journey to Tytherington for a Subsidiary Cup fixture, kick off 7:45pm.

Thornbury Town 3 Clanfield 85 2 (away view)
A goal in the second minute of stoppage time from central midfielder Brandon Benjamin condemned Jamie Butt’s Clanfield side to a first defeat of the season at Thornbury’s Mundy Fields on a blustery day on Saturday afternoon. The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow having twice lead through two brilliant headers from set piece free kicks from central defender Josh Gibbens as early as the second minute and during the second period on sixty-five.

In truth the Robins should at the very least have hung on for a point in a match that for long periods they controlled and looked likely to take all three points, several turning points in the game contributed to their downfall, firstly right back Jack Robinson had to leave the field early in the first half with a hamstring injury and was replaced by join player manager Chris Blakley, a similar injury to the solid Matt Knapton during the second half and thirdly, Zac Oliver found himself running through one on one with home keeper Tom Sheppard with the score line at 2-1 in Clanfield’s favour, only to be denied, a third goal at this stage of the game would surely have taken the points back to Oxfordshire on what turned out to be a thoroughly frustrating afternoon.

Although sharper in the attack and with the impressive Connor Tinsley making his first appearance of the season, the Robins somehow contrived to lack the quality required with the final pass when in front of goal, this together with a strong home side seemly always picking up the second ball in midfield, leaving the visitors struggling to get a foothold on the game, to be fair to Clanfield, Thornbury are a decent side and not too many teams will leave Mundy Fields with all three points this season and it has to be said that both on and off the pitch, the Bristol based club are a big asset and a more than welcome addition to the Hellenic League.

Clanfield now move on to Tuesday evening and the visit of New College Swindon for a game in the newly formed Hellenic Division One Subsidary Cup, this will be followed by the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round tie with Buckingham Athletic at Radcot Road on Saturday, both fixtures giving the Robins a great opportunity of putting Saturday’s league disappointment behind them.

Tytherington Rocks 4 New College Swindon 1
Spectators at the Hardwicke Field were witness to a long-awaited victory on Saturday when Tytherington Rocks 1st team overcame a spirited New College squad to record a 4:1 victory in their first home game of the season.

The first chance of a goal fell to the Rocks after 10 mins when a ball from the left wing was slipped invitingly across the visitor's 6yd box but no-one was there to capitalise on the opportunity. Swindon counter-attacked, and a strong drive sailed over the home cross-bar. Both teams continued to create half chances in the first quarter of the
game. The deadlock was broken on 33 mins when Joe Mills evaded 2 tackles to drive home the opening goal for the home team. Immediately, at the opposite end a real goal opportunity ended with a scuffed shot by the luckless Swindon forward.

Just before the interval, a long speculative shot from the left by Will Theobold sailed over the Swindon keeper into the right hand side of the goal, giving Tytherington a 2:0 lead at the interval. Possession throughout the first half had been evenly shared, with Rocks taking the half time honours.

Within 5 mins of the restart an unnecessary push in the home penalty area by a Rocks defender gave Swindon's Kane Howcutt a chance to reduce the arrears. His decisive penalty brought his team back into the game. Undaunted by the setback,Rocks quickly regained the attacking spirit that has been missing from the Hardwicke Field for some time, and within another 5 mins regained their 2 goal advantage. Some skilful interchange of passes in the opposition penalty area gave Adam Porter the opportunity to finish off the move by slotting home goal no.3 for the home team (55 mins).

Rocks had several chance to increase their lead further as the game moved into the final quarter. However the key chance came on 60 mins when a Swindon player fell victim to a "ball to hand" incident in his own Penalty area. Rocks skipper Nathan Groot hammered home the ball into the roof of the goal, loosening the net in the process.

Brandon Banks saw his delicate header rebound back off the Swindon crossbar for Tytherington's last chance in the game, It was the Academy who had the final attempt of the game when the Rocks keeper was adjudged to have handled the ball outside his area. The Tytherington defence stood firm to claim the 4:1 victory.

"One swallow does not make a Summer" may well be appropriate in this case but with a newfound and justifiable enthusiasm, Tytherington Rocks have registered their first points of the season.

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