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15 September


Clanfield 85 FC 2 Buckingham Athletic 5
Clanfield crashed out of the Buildbase FA Vase in perfect early Autumn playing conditions at Radcot Road on Saturday. After a disastrous opening five minutes the hosts found themselves two down and a mountain to climb against a strong and physical Buckingham side.

The hosts missing the influential Jozef Fullerton and Connor Tinsley through injury, the later could be out for six weeks were left in the starting blocks as early as ninety seconds as the visitors raced into the lead when Jordan Appleton scored from close range, just three minutes later Buckingham doubled their lead through the same player, Clanfield were left in rage after they felt the ball had gone out of play from the cross that lead to the headed goal, however assistant referee Gary Collier had other ideas and Robins keeper Jamie Zolden was booked for his remonstration at the goal being allowed. To their credit the home side set off in pursuit of a way back into the contest and were rewarded on thirty-five minutes when striker Michael Duerden received the ball on the edge of the box and curled a delightful effort high and wide of visiting goalkeeper Jack Taylor.

The second half began in similar vein and Clanfield had three efforts on goal with Taylor keeping his side ahead with decent saves.

On sixty-five minutes Buckingham restored their two-goal advantage though Drew Mitten but again Clanfield responded in positive fashion when centre back Josh Gibbens lashed home from inside the six-yard box following a corner. However, the tie was finally put to bed when the visitors added two further goals late on through a second effort from Mitten and in the final minute, Ashley Farmer to seal the tie and end Clanfield’s Vase run for another season.

Easington Sports 1 Brimscombe & Thrupp 2
With the game heading for extra time, Sports conceded in the 92nd minute of the match which meant they were knocked out of the FA Vase. This is the second time this season after suffering a similar fate in the FA Cup. An early goal from Josh Rose was not enough as Harrison Reeves scored the all important goal to take Brimscombe and Thrupp into the next round.

After a good result in the week, Easington started the game well and for the first 30 minutes they were the better side. Josh Rose scored in the 8th minute to settle the home side down. Andrew Stidder was played in down the right hand side by Tom Smith but was brought down. From the resultant free kick, Callum Convey curled a delightful low ball around the defenders and Rose was the quickest to get across his man to redirect the ball back across the goal and into the empty net (see picture). Easington had the chance to double their lead after 20 minutes. George Coombes managed to get across his man to hook a right foot volley across the keeper but Gale pulled off a fine save to tip the goalbound shot round the post.

Sports were unlikely to keep the visitors quiet for the whole game and the Hellenic Premier side finished the half strongly. Harrison Reeves was a lively outlet down the left hand side and he became more influential as Brimscombe began to control the midfield. Easington showed good organisation at the back and were able to keep things to shots from distance. Unfortunately on the stroke of half time, Brimscombe finally drew level. They were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Jack Smith connected with another quality ball in to head into the top corner of the net giving Rimmer no chance. There was no time for Sports to reply with the referee blowing up for half time as soon as the kick off was taken.

Sports started the second half in positive fashion. There seemed to be better movement and more desire to press the opponents and this allowed Easington to be on the front foot and posing more of a threat. Sports continued to attack well down the right hand side and Tom Smith and Andrew Stidder worked the ball into wide areas with better quality but could not get a clear chance to cross into the box. In truth the whole game was a tight affair and neither keeper was really tested in the second half. Then the curse of the FA Cup seemed to strike and with the last real attack of the game Brimscombe took the lead. Harrison Reeves was played in down the left hand side and he showed good pace to get onto the pass and then slotted the ball under Rimmer as he rushed out to narrow the angle. 1-2 final score.

Easington have a two week break from home fixtures and will return to Hellenic league action next week with a crucial game against Almondsbury Town in Bristol.

Easington Sports 1 Brimscombe & Thrupp 2 (away view)
Brimscombe & Thrupp made it through to the Buildbase FA Vase first round at Easington Sports with goals right on the stroke of half time and full time.

Brimscombe started slowly and after a mistake in defence Easington's Josh Rose slotted the ball home in the 8th minute. Brimscombe missed a few chances but right on half time were awarded a free kick of which Jack Smith rose and headed in to go in level at half time.

In the second half with few chances it looked like the game going into extra time but from a corner in injury time Harrison Reeves put the ball in the back of the net to send Brimscombe into Monday’s Draw.

Holyport 2 Fleet Spurs 1
This was a match that both sides would have fancied their chances, both step 6 clubs, and both doing in well in their respective Cup competitions this season. Holyport made a few changes to their Monday night Berks and Bucks Cup win with Ovens making way for Hedges and Drake making way for Deverall who passed a fitness test before the game. It was a almost the perfect start for Holyport as during the opening minutes Holyport were getting in behind Fleet for fun but on each occasion the ball just seemed to evade Ports final touch.

After this Fleet started to grow into the game, Quelch tipped over an in swinging corner but no real chances were being created at this point by either side. As the game flowed end to end on 35 minutes Charlie Evans was dismissed for a dangerous tackle, the frustrating thing is was that he was actually pulling out of the tackle for the bouncing ball when he caught the player. The resulting free kick from Fleet put over.

Going down to 10 men seemed to make the game easier for Port, seating back and hitting Fleet on the counter attack. A goal came immediately as Fabian Driffill ghosted past three Fleet players and whilst surrounded by Fleet players he cooly passed the ball into the bottom right hand corner to give Port a 1-0 lead. Almost straight away Port should have made it two, Deverall latched onto a ball over the top and toe poking it past the keeper the keeper managed to get the faintest of touches to see it go wide.

Fleet Spurs came out after the break with renewed enthusiasm, but this was dampened within two minutes when a dreadful mix-up in the area left Driffill in yards of space ten yards from goal and he passed the ball into the empty net to double the Port's lead. Alan Akerman would also see a curling effort go inches wide with the Fleet keeper beaten. Drake would also see two efforts go agonisingly wide in the closing stages.

Fleet huffed and puffed with numerous efforts from the edge of the box but Quelch was hardly called into action.

In the 90th minute Spurs almost reduced the deficit Mudonhi scored, with a turn and volley which seemed to take an age to hit the back of the net. This was little too late for Fleet, credit to Holyport who maintained their shape when going down to 10 men and deserved their place in Mondays draw.

Longlevens 0 Tuffley Rovers 0 (away view)
After 120 minutes of absorbing, if not high quality, football action at Sawmills End on Friday evening, Tuffley Rovers and Longlevens will go again on Tuesday evening, as their 0-0 draw in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase resulted in a first ever competition replay for each side. In what was the third competitive meeting of the season, with each side recording a victory apiece in the two previous encounters, Rovers will come away with the sense that they might have missed a chance to secure progress, after they played an hour against ten men and the final ten minutes against nine men, as Longlevens saw Dave Rich and Luke Kavanagh both dismissed.

Both sides made changes from the sides fielded in the last meeting, just nine days previous, with Mark Pritchett handing debuts to Ben Prictor and Samuel Dodoo, whilst Jack Phillips made a first appearance for several seasons and Luke Merchant returned in goal after a prolonged absence through injury. Levens handed starts to Myron Turner and Ed Smyllie, who had not featured in the last meeting, whilst young hope Harry Emmett was included.

The opening stages of the game were played out in the middle of the park, with neither Merchant or Ash Wintle, the goalkeepers, called into serious action. Turner was the first to see a sight of goal, as he chased Craig Martin’s through ball, but Merchant came quickly from his line and saved well, to keep it at 0-0. Dodoo had a half-chance that was comfortably saved by Wintle, 16 minutes into the game, as neither side was able to create a further, clear chance on goal.

Rovers’ keeper was marginally busier, without being called into serious action, as the half progressed and when the referee sounded his whistle for the interval, it was perhaps no surprise that the game remained goalless. Martin, who had been impressive in a centre-midfield role, was forced out of action at the break, after pulling his hamstring in the closing moments of the first half, and replaced by Dave Rich, in a straight swap.

Dodoo had another half chance early in the second period, only to lift it high over Wintle’s goal, and the game then exploded into life, on 55 minutes, when the referee showed a first red card of the evening. Rich, who had barely entered the action, was adjudged to have caught Phillips with a high boot and was dismissed from the field of play, in an early second-half twist that could conceivably have handed Rovers a significant advantage. Mark Moore took the opportunity to make two substitutions, altering the shape of his side, as he introduced Mason Lewis and James Barnett for Kieran Squires and Ryan Dunn. Chances remained few and far between as the half continued, although Pritchett saw a bicycle kick strike the post, in the nearest either side came to scoring, and the game moved into the thirty-minute extra-time period.

The arrival of extra-time, with players on both sides visibly tiring, heralded a period where the game began to open, with James Campbell and Emmett going close for the hosts, whilst Paul Carter went incredibly close with a long range effort that dipped narrowly over Wintle’s goal. The game was now there for the taking, with both sides looking to win the game, but it took another dramatic twist, five minutes in the second half of extra-time, as Longlevens were reduced to nine men.

As Rovers broke, substitute Dominik Kent looked to mount a counter-attack and as he looked to break, the ball appeared to run slightly away from him and Kavanagh’s lunging challenge, albeit one that he appeared to pull out of, was adjudged to be dangerous and he was instantly dismissed from the field of play. Rovers now sensed their chance to progress and another substitute, Ash Bird, looked set to score, until Smyllie made a stunning tackle near the edge of the box, and then Turner cleared Joel White’s header off the line.

Although Rovers held the numerical advantage, they were unable to break the deadlock and when the clock finally reached 120 minutes, the final whistle closed the door on this third meeting and battle lines will be re-drawn when the two sides meet at Glevum Park on Tuesday evening.

AFC Stoneham 3 Binfield 1 (away view)
Two late goals from set pieces sent Binfield crashing out of this season’s FA Vase in the second qualifying round down in Hampshire. The early stages struggled for rhythm as both sides tried to assert their authority but came across a whistle-happy referee leading to a disjointed opening ten minutes.

The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when a clumsy challenge from behind from Gary Smith in the box on Sergio Caballero resulted in a spot kick. Caballero dusted himself off, stepped up and sent Grace the wrong way to make it 1-0 to AFC Stoneham.

This opened the game up and it became a real end to end encounter. First James Knight curled a free kick deep into the box. Sean Moore jumped highest and his header was headed for the top corner but was palmed over well by Williams in the Stoneham goal. Almost immediately, Stoneham worked the ball to the right of the box where only a great block from Charlie Tuttle on a fierce Josh Clark shot prevented it from becoming 2-0.

Binfield came close to an equaliser with a moment of individual brilliance from Carlo Santoro, who won a header from a long ball which he flicked past the defender and onto himself. He battled past the defender then floated his shot just over onto the roof of the net. However, the equaliser did arrive in the 30th minute when Jamal Johnson won the ball in the middle of midfield and curled a pass with the outside of his foot through to Sean Moore who sprinted away from the defence and lofted past the keeper to make it 1-1, which is how the half ended.

The second half started slowly, with both sides doing solid defensive work preventing the attackers from gaining any advantage. It wasn’t until Sean Moore went close with a cross cum shot from the right wing that was dipping in before the keeper palmed it away in the 56th minute that either side looked like coming close to scoring.

Both keepers did well to keep their side in the game as well. First, Grace saved a stinging Caballero shot from a well worked free kick down low to his left, before Williams saved equally as well with his legs when Sean Moore was through 1 on 1.

It was eventually the Moles that broke the stalemate. Danny Horscroft won the the ball in midfield, and played a stunning through ball out to Carlo Santoro on the left wing who floated a ball over to the far post. Sean Moore headed down, which was saved by the keeper but the ball broke into the middle of the box where James Knight beat the defender with a slide to poke the ball home. 2-1 to Binfield.

From there in however, it was almost all Stoneham. Only an incredible diving save from Chris Grace prevented Jack Brady from equalising from 20 yards. But there was nothing Grace could have done to prevent the equaliser. Danny Horscroft hauled back a Stoneham midfielder 25 yards out and Sergio Caballero fired home the free kick powerfully to equalise with only 2 minutes plus stoppage time to go.

Just as everyone was preparing themselves for a Monday night replay, Stoneham struck the killer blow. In the 93rd minute, a corner from the right was floated in, Matt Palmer flicked the ball across the face of the goal where Ben Clarke was on hand to bundle home from all of 4 yards.

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Fairford Town 1 Ascot United 4
Fairford Town went down to a 4-1 home defeat to table toppers Ascot United on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors scored a brace in each half, with a late penalty from John Thomas the Fairford reply against a dominant Ascot outfit. Ascot, who had won five of their opening nine league fixtures going into the game, took a tenth minute lead with Sam Boultwood driving home the first goal of the afternoon. It was 2-0 when Harry Laflin tapped home the second just before the half hour mark following a goalmouth scramble.

There was one change at the break for the home side, with Ben Saunders coming off he bench for his second Fairford debut – 24 hours after returning to the club from Shrivenham.

Harrison Ellis, who joined alongside Saunders from Shrivenham on Friday, made several superb saves in the second half as the Berkshire side threatened to extend their advantage. Chances came and went for the home side who did get into their stride midway through the second period with Thomas denied with a superb save from a header, with Robbie James and Mason Thompson seeing further chances spurned.

It was 3-0 on 86 minutes when Dan Price was allowed too much time and space on the edge of the area before dispatching the ball into the back of the net. A foul on Nathan Hawkins on the stroke of 90 minutes saw Thomas convert from the spot, but Ascot then hit a fourth through Samir Regragui to put the seal on a powerful performance.

Fairford Town 1 Ascot United 4 (away view)
Ascot United ground out a 4-1 win at Fairford Town on Saturday to retain their position as league leaders. With fellow pace-setters Wantage losing at Lydney, the Yellamen extended their lead to four points on a good day for the Racecourse outfit.

Going into the game, winless Fairford were bottom of the league, whereas Ascot were looking to build on their midweek win at Abingdon United that had earned an unprecedented place at the top of the table.

Commitment shines through
On a day when manager Jamie Tompkins had committed to attend a family wedding elsewhere, his squad’s commitment to re-arrange their plans to be part of this hastily-arranged fixture was truly laudable. And, their love affair with pole position was further cemented in a professional display. Jean-Claude Etienne might have scored as early as the second minute, but he failed to keep his volley down after Harry Laflin had looped a cross into the centre. However, the visitors would take an 11th minute lead when Jean-Claude Etienne’s long throw in wasn’t dealt with – Dom Sullivan making a menace of himself in the area – and Sam Boultwood ghosted into drive the ball home via a defender.

Nathan Minhas then ghosted onto Dan Price’s ball to the far post but could only drag his right footed effort across goal and wife of the left-hand post, and Minhas would later be tripped on the edge of the penalty area with loud shouts for a spot-kick denied in preference for a free kick.

The Yellamen then doubled their advantage on the half-hour in comical circumstances. Fairford gifted possession to Ascot on the half-way line, and after Callum Carlisle had threaded Minhas through, ‘keeper Harrison Ellis stood up well to deny the visitors’ top scorer. However, the ball looped into the air in the six-yard box, and Laflin would ultimately nod home with Ellis, Etienne and a couple of defenders all airborne in pursuit of the ball. Laflin almost capped the move of the half with a curling effort that Ellis easily saved, and it remained two-nil at the interval.

Home manager Jody Bevan laid into his side at half time and to their credit, they improved after the break and caused numerous problems for Ascot. Substitute Ben Saunders headed over early-on and defender John Watson went close after Sam Gray had clawed away a John Thomas effort with the Yellamen sleeping, but they weathered the early storm.

Steadman Masters win
At the other end, a decent move ended with Laflin’s shot blocked after the Etienne brothers had led a quick breakaway, before the deputy management duo of Aaron Steadman and Dan Masters rang the changes from the bench. Price went close with a direct free kick and Callum Carlisle brought a fine, sprawling save from Ellis after Jean-Claude Etienne and George Lock had set him up, but Fairford continued to threaten and Mason Thompson should have buried a flashing header from Callum Preece’s corner when completely unmarked.

Minhas would continue to cause problems for the home side and his layoff to Jean-Claude Etienne ended with Etienne forcing another fine save from Ellis, before Minhas himself stabbed into the side-netting.

The Price is Right
In between those chances, Dan Price drifted across the penalty area and cut the ball back into the bottom left to make it three-nil – although he subsequently landed on his arm and was replaced – before heading off to hospital with his arm in a sling.

Boult out of the yellow and blue
Just as it looked like Gray would earn himself another clean sheet, partly inspired by a man-of-the-match display in defence by Boultwood, the home side bagged a late consolation. Louis Bouwers was adjudged to have fouled in the penalty area, and Thomas rolled home the resultant spot kick in the first minute of injury time. But, there was still time for a perfect response from Ascot two minutes later when the tireless Minhas went past Ellis and cut back for substitute Samir Regragui to drill first time into the bottom left.

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

One East

Didcot Town Development 2 Wallingford Town 2
This was a tale of two halves at Loop Meadow for this League encounter which finished with honours even in this local derby. The visitors were in the ascendency for the first few minutes or so and in the fourth minute created a breakaway with Joe Webber’s shot well saved by home keeper Sam Baldock. Just 5 minutes later and Wallingford took the lead with a wonder strike from Charlie Silkstone who hit a shot high in to the net from distance as the ball came on to him. Didcot’s only early reply was a Keiran Collins stirke well over the bar. 

In 19 minutes Silkstone again scored this time as a harmless looking cross was missed by a defender losing his footing and the striker headed in at the far post to put the visitors two up. Both teams had a succession of corners but it was nearer the half hour mark before Ross MacDonald had a run in to the box with a cross smothered by a last ditch tackle. James Tanner was fouled out wide which brought the first Wallingford booking but the free kick came to naught. Didcot were beginning to find a rhythm and Keiran Davies fierce shot was saved by Liam Vaughan and as the ball spun in to the air it was controlled by MacDonald whose shot from an angle was again saved by Vaughan. James Tanner was realeased and ran half the length of the pitch but his chip was over the bar and the half finished with Wallingford two up. 

Didcot started the second half much brighter and Keiran Davies shot  narrowly wide. Eddie Chia headed just wide from a corner before Ross MacDonald tacked across the pitch with the ball and was brought down 25 yards out. Keiran Collins stepped up and sent a fine shot in to the top corner from the free kick to bring the Railwaymen back in to the game. Matt Taylor and Harry Beer entered the fray for the home team in the first of many second half substitutions. Play was being broken up by both teams and became fractured for a while as corners and free kicks came and went without a further breakthrough for either team. 

Lewis Wilcox broke up an away attack but the equaliser finally came about 15 minutes from the end as the ball bounced about in the box and MacDonald swept it high in to the net. Didcot piled on the pressure and Jake Keeble came on as they pushed more up front but Wallingford held out amid the late flurry and had an injury time breakaway but a poor cross denied a clear chance. 

Milton United 0 Penn & Tylers Green 2 (away view)
Penn gained a good deserved away win at Milton United with goals in the first and last minute of the game. The first half started brilliantly for Penn when, after some hesitation between the Milton goalkeeper and defender Fred Tripp nipped in between them and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to put Penn 1-0 ahead and give Penn a dream start. Penn completely dominated the first half without putting Milton to the sword as should have been the case with several chances going begging.

One memorable moment of the first half was when Penn’s young left back Dominic Brown advanced over the half way line and from fully 35 yards unleashed an “excocet” of a shot, and with the Milton goalkeeper rooted to the spot, the ball crashed against the angle of crossbar and post and bounced over to safety. Penn continued to create chances but went in only 1-0 to the good.

As is often the case in these scenarios Milton came out a different proposition and took the game to Penn and created some problems for the Penn defence but they held firm and were superbly marshalled by the impressive Charlie Lane and Michael Moore who made sure their defences were not breached. Milton did create some dangerous dead ball situations which Penn in the main dealt with comfortably. With the game progressing to the 94th minute and still hanging in the balance a through ball released the dangerous Tom Staples who raced through and finished superbly and slotted home past the Milton goalkeeper and in off the post to finally put the game out of Milton’s reach. The whistle went soon after to signal another good three points for Penn & Tylers Green

Woodley United 2 AFC Aldermaston 4
United’s difficult start to the season continued in front of a decent crowd on Saturday. Trailing by three goals ten minutes into the second half, Woodley pulled two back before a fine individual goal gave the visitors all three points.

Aldermaston started well, bossing the early stages. Tommy Elmore had the game’s first shot testing debutant Kavanagh Keadell in the home goal after wriggling free from a challenge. The visitors opened the scoring on thirteen minutes when David Appleton headed a deep free kick into the right corner.

United’s first opportunity fell to Alex Freeth who had a shot from twenty yards blocked. Midway through the half saw Keadell pull off a really good stop to keep out a Kalum Patrick shot from just inside the box before Anton Rodgers fired a free kick into the roof of the net on thirty minutes. A frustrating half ended with Freddie Barron and Toby Briggs shooting over for the hosts.

Woodley made a change at half time with Teddy Thomas replacing Freeth. The home side also moved several players to different positions. Jon Malone joined captain Ben Clark and Briggs in the centre of the park. Chace Jewell moved from the wing to left back with Pele Hagger playing alongside Luke Titcomb in the centre of defence whilst Freddie Barron was pushed wide with him and Thomas either side of Kai Parton-Edey. Five minutes into the half saw Keadell forced into another decent save, diving to his right to deny Elmore before Michael Porter got a third.

United got back into the game on fifty seven minutes when Kai Parton-Edey got his sixth of the season. Just past the hour saw a really good save by Aldermaston keeper Ashley East to keep out a low strike by Clark destined for the left corner. The visitors were looking to hit Woodley, who were throwing men forward, on the counter. Last man back Hagger did superbly to get a tackle in and stop a certain goal, whilst Elmore hit the right post from a half volley.

Woodley were creating more in the second half; a Jewell cross from the left was headed wide by Thomas before a fantastic goal by Parton-Edey set up a grand stand finish. Latching onto a perfectly weighted Barron through ball the United striker cut in from the left and fired a low shot into the right corner. Between the Thomas chance and Parton-Edey's second, United made another change when Malone was replaced by Jamie Smith. A final change was made on eighty minutes; Luke Axton-Hall made his first appearance for the club, coming on for Briggs.

The away side sealed the win on eighty two minutes with a goal of the season contender. Picking up the ball on the half way line, Appleton showed tremendous pace to outrun several United players out on the left wing. Cutting in, he lofted over Keadell into the far corner. With a couple of minutes left, East denied Parton-Edey a hat-trick when he kept out a well hit free kick

One West

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