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17-19 September

   

Replayed Game
Tuffley Rovers 0 Longlevens 1

A solitary goal, from Ryan Dunn, proved enough for Longlevens to advance in this season’s Buildbase FA Vase, as Mark Moore’s team saw off Tuffley Rovers by the narrowest of margins over 210 minutes of football.

After the regulation 90 minutes and a full period of extra-time failed to conjure a goal the previous Friday, the two teams reconvened at Glevum Park, knowing that the winners would face South West Peninsula side Tavistock AFC in the First Round Proper. Whilst Rovers’ boss Mark Pritchett chose to field an unchanged starting line-up, his counterpart, Moore, made three changes, with Dave Rich, James Campbell and Isaac Johns replaces Ed Smyllie, Craig Martin and Shaun O’Connor.

The game started in competitive fashion, with both sides looking to seize the initiative, although clear chances were few and far between, with a long-range effort from Campbell and a half-chance for Alder the only efforts of note in the opening stages. Later in the half, Campbell failed to capitalise on a poor clearance from Luke Merchant, before Brett James, Pritchett, Alder and Sam Hill all had efforts on Lee Martin’s goal, without testing the replacement keeper, who was standing in for the injured Ash Wintle.

If Rovers had the greater share of the game in the first half, it was Longlevens who looked to press early in the second period, although Merchant was largely untested in goal, as Rovers looked to recover their poise and look to seize the initiative.

What followed was a period of play that the hosts would live to regret, as they missed a series of chances to open the scoring against their local rivals. First, Brett James contrived to put the ball over the Longlevens bar, from close range, before Jake Rhodes capitalised on an error by Luke Kavanagh and rounded Martin, only to see Kieran Squires block his effort on the line.

Rovers would rue those chances, as Levens attacked and although Logan Roach’s cross bounced over Myron Turner, it fell perfectly for Dunn, who powered a header past Merchant, from close range, with an hour played. If there was a sense of injustice from the Rovers players, with their team arguably controlling the fixture until that moment, they were the authors of their own misfortune for the remainder of the tie, as Ash Bird and Kieran Alder both wasted excellent opportunities to level the scores.

In fact, Longlevens could have extended their lead, only for Merchant to deny substitute Blaine Waugh with a spectacular save, before the visitors survived late pressure from the hosts and secured their place in the next round of the competition.


uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Ascot United 1 Virginia Water 0
Ascot's captain Louis Bouwers’ header in the third minute of stoppage time was enough to see off the gritty resolve of Virginia Water on Tuesday. The visitors had defended resolutely throughout and looked to have escaped with a goal-less draw, until the hosts’ man-of-the match nodded home at the death. This inaugural “B383 derby” matched two sides separated by just six miles and a county boundary, as Berkshire’s table-toppers welcomed Surrey’s pyramid-climbers. And, as The Waters arrived with just two league defeats from eight compared with Ascot’s two losses in ten, the majority of the 122-strong crowd were expecting a closely-fought contest.

And, as it transpired, the first half was indeed short on chances, except for one gilt-edged moment which Ascot should have capitalized on. That effort fell to Jean-Claude Etienne who somehow side-footed wide of an open target after 15 minutes when Nathan Minhas’s precise right-wing cross had picked out his run to the far post. And, moments later, visiting ‘keeper Matt Jones’ blushes were spared when his fumble from Harry Laflin’s snap-shot drifted wide of an upright, but all the excitement of the half was confined to those sixty seconds.

Virginia Water’s best chances arrived when they successfully charged down a brace of Lee Allen clearances, but the hosts’ goalkeeper was equally spared of blushes by his covering defenders. Ben Hodges’ left-footed effort shortly before half time sailed well over for Ascot, and it was unsurprisingly goalless at the break.

The second half needed to improve – and it did – in part due to the managerial changes thaw saw three substitutes introduced by home supremo Jamie Tompkins before the hour mark. One of them – the fit-again Chris Ellis – would enter at the start of the second period and would cover ninety minutes’ worth of turf in that time, mainly by raking across each flank to boom in a plethora of trade-mark long throw-ins throughout the half.

The visitors, however, looked to have thwarted all of them. Bouwers himself almost converted from an Ellis throw-in just after the restart whilst defender Adam Mills was a tall and consistently defiant proposition at right back, but Ellis would get his reward later-on with one final roll of the die. Before all that, the hosts had probed and pushed and even pranged a post when Harry Laflin’s glancing header deflected onto an upright from Jonny Denton’s corner. That chance came and went after 72 minutes, and it looked increasingly likely that the Yellamen would gain nothing from what was an otherwise frustrating night.

The Waters, meanwhile, had set out to hit their hosts on the counter – and when they did it was Allen who produced his only meaningful save of the night – and crucial it was – when he stood up well to save from substitute Harry Brooks in the 77th minute. George Lock was also well placed to thwart another potential effort from the Surrey side who were otherwise devoid of clear opportunities, whereas the Yellamen looked increasingly lively as the game went on and James Haworth’s powerful effort brought another awkward save from Jones.

As time ticked away, the unfortunate Etienne saw another powerful shot deflected over the bar as Ascot were frustrated once again, but their late rally proved crucial. And, with 93 minutes approaching, Ellis took one, last, crucial arch over the side rails, stepped forwards to unleash another thunderous throw-in, and Bouwers epitomised his dominant display by rising highest in the penalty area to head past Mason and give his side the win.

Visiting manager Ceri Jones was dismissed for his ugly and elongated remonstrations following the goal, but it was the hosts who took the plaudits for their ability to win ugly, in what is of course the beautiful game. 

Ascot United: Allen, Lock, Haworth, Carlisle (Denton 60’), Bouwers, Boultwood (Ellis 46’), Laflin, Sullivan, Minhas, Hodges (Regragui 56’), JC Etienne. Sub unused: Willmott

Ascot United 1 Virginia Water 0 (away view)
The long awaited first derby between the nearest of neighbours ended in dramatic fashion, with the home side grabbing a 94th minute winner from one of many aerial bombardments, that left the visitors disappointed, when a point was deserved for their efforts.

On a very difficult pitch, it was not the best footballing match to watch, but did not lack in effort from both sides. Ascot had the more chances overall, with one clear miss from close range in the first half, and Matt turning a goal bound header on to the post in the second half. VW had their best chance in the second half, when Jake Baker beat both CBs to see his shot saved by Lee Allen in the Ascot goal.

The endeavour was clear to see in front of a good crowd, bolstered by a large away following even if goal mouth action was restricted to far too many set pieces – credit must be given to both defences who stood firm on the night. VW continue to learn in the top flight of the Hellenic, and played the better football in the opening exchanges, albeit a number of corners and long range shots the best we had to show for it. Ascot grew into the game and created some chances, not too plentiful by their previous high standards, and honours were duly even at the break.

The pattern continued in the second half, with the home side’s introduction of Chris Ellis causing the visitors some problems with his missile long throws, with a strong tail wind at his back.

As the half wore on, with a draw seeming inevitable, up popped Louis Bowers in the bewildering 4th minute of injury time, to head home from close range, ably assisted by the predictable long throw. Classless goal celebrations from the Home dugout saw tempers rise, culminating in Ceri being sent off. Subsequent home officials apologies for their behaviour fell on deaf with officials, but were welcomed nonetheless.

Credit to both sides, in a typically heated encounter, the visitors disappointed not to force the draw, but well done to Ascot also, who kept going and will take some stopping.

Wantage Town 6 Holmer Green 0
A totally different performance from Saturday saw Wantage Town rattle in six without reply against fourth placed Holmer Green.

After Steve Robertson put Wantage ahead on 15 minutes there was only one team in it. Aided by a couple of own-goals Wantage made it a round half-dozen through Kaylem Patterson, Jack Dunmall and Connor Mattimore.

Hellenic League Division One Subsidiary Cup

Abingdon Town 1 Didcot Town Development 0 (away view)
Abingdon’s much vaunted team in this division sneaked a win with a clinical first half finish in this well contested and always exciting Division One Subsidiary Cup Match. It says much for Didcot’s excellent play that the home team sought it necessary to concede six bookings to Didcot’s one to keep the visitors at bay.

Didcot’s effort and lead up play was superb to watch and although the home team also had chances Didcot had clearer ones with at least three clear first half efforts which could not be put away and a shot which hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper stranded. A further clear penalty was oddly ignored with an assistant referee you would have thought well placed to see it.

While the second half had fewer clear chances Didcot still pressed hard for a goal that would have been just reward for so much hard work. Both defences held firm though and one goal was enough on this occasion. Towards the end Ancalet Odihiambo received his second yellow and the home team finished with ten men.

Penn & Tylers Green 3 Chinnor 0
On Tuesday night Penn entertained Chinnor, who they had already beaten this season in the league 3-0, at home in the Supplementary Cup and in a very entertaining even game, which could have gone either way as the game flowed from end to end from start to finish. 

Penn eventually gained the breakthrough in the 80th minute when a through ball released Raju Pritpal, who burst into the penalty area and shot into the far corner across the dive of the Chinnor goalkeeper to keep Penn’s mini winning run intact. 

Tytherington Rocks 1 Thornbury Town 5 (away view)
It’s three years since Tytherington Rocks and Thornbury Town last met but Wednesday evening’s encounter had exactly the same outcome with Thorns enjoying a comfortable win. Town manager Andy Davies was able to give valuable game time to his squad and they got off to the perfect start when man of the match Matt Davis headed home a Jim Brock free kick in the 2nd minute. However this wasn’t to be the start of an avalanche of goals and Rocks response was almost immediate when, 4 minutes later, Joe Mills latched on to Nathan Sage’s underhit back pass to equalise, his shot on the run giving Kurtis Parkin no chance.

Whilst Thorns enjoyed the majority of possession, the home side worked hard to close down and often looked dangerous on the break. Matt Davis almost got his and Town’s second in the 10th minute but his cross cum shot was punched clear from under the bar by Rocks keeper Kieran Powell, the first of many fine saves. Mills speed up front was a threat and he set up Porter whose shot was comfortably saved by Parkin. 

Moments later it was Powell back in action pulling off a full length save from Luke Franklin. However Town went back in front on 27 minutes when Harry Brock’s run left defenders in his wake and he set up Matt Davis to fire home. Asher Budd almost extended the lead on the half hour mark but his header hit the bar with Powell beaten. However the home keeper then pulled off great saves from a Pete Fowler header and another shot from Franklin, before Fowler steered the ball home after a corner a couple of minutes before the break. The keeper then saved again on the stroke of half time, this time from Budd’s header.

The second period was slow to get started with neither side able to create any clear chances but with 20 minutes gone, Craig Lancastle, making his first appearance of the season, carved out some space for himself and his shot from the edge of the area beat Powell but cannoned back off the bar. However, with 15 minutes remaining Town sealed the victory when Matt Davis latched on to a through ball, outpaced his marker and slotted the ball past the keeper for his hat trick.

Thorns extended the lead 10 minutes later when Tom Webb burst down the left , laid the ball off to Harry Brock who set up brother Jim to fire home from the edge of the area. Substitute Scott McLoud had an opportunity moments later but drove his shot wide when well placed and then Matt Davis almost scored his fourth when he waltzed past the keeper and as he was about to net, appeared to be brought down from behind but the referee awarded a corner rather than a penalty. All in all a good night’s work for Town against an improving Rocks side who worked hard right to the end.

 
 
 
 
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