Faringdon Town 3 Clanfield (85) 2
Town were back in action on Tuesday evening, as the new management team and squad welcomed Clanfield (85) FC to Tucker Park in the opening round of the Faringdon Thursday Memorial Cup Competition.
Town had six new signings in the starting eleven, with Matt Morris, Sean Creeley, Josh Vaughan, Joe Hoskin, Luke Davenport and Andy Goodchild all making their competitive home debuts for the club. The visitors were a young outfit, who the management knew from their short spell at Clanfield three seasons ago, that they would try to get the ball down and play.
Town started quickly and closed down straight from kick off, which saw the visiting defender play the ball back too fiercely and the ball sailed over the stranded keeper and into the net for 1-0 Town lead after only 30 seconds!!!. This allowed Town to be on the front foot, with some nice intricate passing and Creeley on the right wing was looking especially dangerous for Town. With 15 minutes on the clock, Town created another opening as an Andy Lynham free kick just inside the Clanfield half found Goodchild who headed across goal for Davenport, who from six yards only managed to head into the grateful keepers hands. Clanfield were struggling to find any rhythm, but did rattle the Town crossbar with a great effort from 22 yards, with a rare period of play in the Town half. On 22 minutes it was nearly 2-0, a fine passing moving which started from the backline, found Matty Pill breaking into the visitors penalty area, lobbing the advancing keeper, only to see his effort land onto the crossbar before being cleared to safety. Town did make their continued possession pay though on 35 minutes, when great work on the right from Adam Sly, saw his cutback from the by-line find Creeley, who calmly side footed home to double the Town lead. For the remaining minutes of the half, Town were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal and Clanfield made Town pay, as we overplayed on the edge of our own penalty area, the ball was robbed and the number 10 rounded Town keeper Justin Yates and with the goal gapping, he managed to hit the crossbar, however his team-mate spared his blushes by finishing the rebound to bring Clanny back into the game on the stroke of half time.
At the break, Town knew they had let themselves down with the final ten minutes of the opening half and that the match was back in the balance. Morris made way for Christian Wills up top and the substitute impressed with his work rate and hold up play throughout the second period. Clanfield started the half by stopping Town’s passing play, closing down and squeezing play and this made the half fairly scrappy. Town had the first opening of the half though with Creeley putting the after burners on, leaving the full-back for dead, before shooting at a tight angle which saw the keeper parry the effort onto the post before being cleared. Clanfield then had their best period of play and controversially were awarded a penalty when Josh Forth was adjudged to have handled in his own area. The visitors calmly placed the resulting spot-kick into the opposite corner of Yates dive to bring the scores level. Town were having to hold on as Clanfield applied the pressure, but Yates was mostly untroubled. At the midway point of the second period and somewhat against the run of play, Town grabbed their third of the match and ultimately the winner as Sly bent a great effort past the outstretched reach of the Clanfield keeper and into the goal. Clanfield pushed forward, whilst Town were looking to hit them on the break. Yates did make an excellent one handed save to his left from the top corner to deny a guaranteed goal, whilst Clanfield had to clear a number of chances off the line or Town missed the target when well placed.
This was a good, hard fought cup tie, with Town mostly in the ascendancy and but for missed opportunities or excellent keeping the score-line could have been a greater gap between the two sides. However, Clanfield caused Town some issues and it was a worthwhile 90 minutes for the growth of the squad going into the new uhlsport Hellenic season.
Faringdon Town: J Yates, J Hoskin, A Lynham, L Davenport, J Forth(c), A Goodchild, J Vaughan, A Sly, M Morris, M Pill, S Creeley. Subs Used: C Wills, R Bradbury, H Platt Goalscorers: OG, S Creeley, A Sly
Town are back in friendly action on Saturday, with Lambourn Sports the visitors to Tucker Park (1.00pm ko), followed by a 2nd Round tie of the FTMCC taking place on Monday 12th August with a trip to Cricklade Town (6.30pm ko).