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Hellenic League Match Report

Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup - Round 1

Adderbury Park 5 Thornbury Town 4 (away view)

Saturday’s game at Adderbury was great entertainment for the neutral, with defensive errors contributing to a glut of goals. This was Town’s first ever trip to Adderbury and they almost went behind in the first minute but keeper Rob Davies pulled off a great save to keep out Buckingham’s header.

However last season’s leading scorer Craig Lancastle opened his account for the new season after 4 minutes when he picked up on a defensive mistake and shot past the home keeper, Goode. Five minutes later Town doubled their lead when a patient build up between Leighton Tuodolo and Harry Brock saw the ball again come to Lancastle who fired past Goode. At this point Thorns looked as if they would go on to win comfortably with Aaron Clark heading narrowly over from Scott McLoud’s corner and Toby Bennett’s goalbound shot was deflected into Goode’s hands.

Against the run of play Buckingham pulled a goal back when his shot from 20 yards out found the corner of the net. On the half hour mark Adderbury were level when a break down the left was finished off by Gibbins, and minutes later they went in front when Clynes header hit the post and Hamblett, following up, netted.

The second period saw Thorns start on the front foot but despite enjoying the majority of possession they struggled to create any clearcut chances. Buckingham shot wide when well placed for Adderbury and Rob Davies had to save at Gibbins feet. With 15 minutes left Park’s Northam was set up by Gibbins and he fired past Davies to give the hosts a 4-2 lead.

Town responded immediately with Craig Lancastle completing his hat trick and moments later Bennett’s shot was deflected for a corner. With 10 minutes left Harry Brock’s run took him past a static home defence and his cut back was steered home by Marcus Wormwell for the equaliser.

But within a minute Adderbury scored again when Northam’s cross cum shot found the far corner of Town’s net to give them the lead once more and one that this time they held on to until the final whistle.

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Brimscombe & Thrupp 0 Binfield 1

Missed chances rued the day for Brimscombe in the opening game of the 2019/20 Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Campaign.

The Lilywhites felt that they could have had two goals in as many minutes when Sam Blackie broke through the Binfield back line but he saw his shot go up and over from around 10 yards out. Jack Smith then latched onto a forward pass before he got into the box but fired his effort just wide of the post. It was a edgy start but the visitors settled down and nearly took the lead with their first chance with Eddie Lee. Lee intercepted a pass but he curled it round the post when trying to find the top corner. The host’s were more determined than ever to break the deadlock, Henry Birkett came close when he volleyed the ball from the edge of the box but he saw the effort rattle the post. Things were looking good for the Gloucestershire side and they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, Ollie Pitt stood over the ball and tried curling it towards the corner but he found the outside of the post and the ball trickled out for a goal-kick. Things took a turn though, Asa Povey took hold of the ball from the Brimscombe defence and cooly slipped away past Ash Gale to give the Moles the lead, just ten minutes before the break.

Brimscombe would have felt disappointed going in losing at the break after having a majority of the play in the first half. They came close again straight after the restart, Birkett played the ball into the box and found Sam Blackie at the back post but Blackie saw his goal ward effort hit the side-netting. Birkett looked to be struggling a little bit and Sam Prior replaced the midfielder with John Evans before bringing James Campbell on for Jack Smith and Edd Major on for Jonty Welch. Binfield held on to the lead and the game fizzled out.

Brimscombe & Thrupp 0 Binfield 1 (away view)

Binfield started their Hellenic League campaign on Saturday at one of the league promotion favourites Brimscombe and Thrupp. It was the hosts who started quickly creating two very good chances in two minutes ! First Blackie then Smith had very good chances to open the scoring but failed to convert.

The Moles slowly came into the game and Eddie Lee broke free in the 20th minutes but sliced his shot wide with Povey unmarked at the far post The end-to-end first half then saw the hosts hit the post twice. First Birkett volleyed against the post from a corner that fell to him at the edge of the box. Then Pitt’s free kick somehow hit the post with Lyons beaten.

Brimscombe dominated possession in the first half but went in 1-0 down at the break when Deakin was disposed and Asa Povey was put in one on one. Povey showed the composure that the home side lacked to close in on goal and shoot past Gale in the Brimscombe goal.

Blackie had a great chance to equalise early in the second half but found the side netting. Lyons was called into action on 65 minutes to make a fine point blank save after a scrabble in the Binfield area. It was the Moles who had the best chance of the half when Eddie Lee broke away from his marker but couldn't beat the home keeper.

With the game fading away Brimscombe should have had a penalty five minutes from the end when Kamara appeared to push Campbell in the area but the referee Neal Temply waved away the home sides appeals. Some good performances for the Moles with Davies, Knight Thomson-Wheeler and Shaw probably the standouts however plenty to work on for Herridge and Withers who will hope to welcome Jamie McClurg into Mondays squad for the game with Windsor ay Hill Farm Lane

On the plus side for both teams the dreaded SinBins never looked liked coming into play at all.

Binfield: Lyons, Thomson-Wheeler, Wheeler, Valentin, Kamara, Davies, Howell (Horscroft 58′), Knight, Lee, Povey (Wright 74′), Shaw Subs Not Used: Deadfield, Gavin, Chamberlain

Reading City 3 Shrivenham 1 (away view)

Shrivenham’s 2019-20 campaign got off to the perfect start – for 71-minutes at least, after the side ultimately fell to their second successive opening day defeat at the hands of Reading City. 

With our hosts getting off to a sluggish start, a Sam Ockwell free kick was only cleared as far as Antonio Gerrish who lashed home the opportunity to open the scoring with just 5-minutes on the clock to give the visitors a fantastic start to the game.  Ryan Stanners could have won a penalty just two minutes later after he was felled in the box, but referee Gifford Manyange, wasn’t convinced and neither was he again when Gerrish appeared to be bundled over 3-minutes later in another Shrivvy attack. Liam Edmondson could have opened his account on 11-minutes, but he saw his headed effort go just wide and an early Shrivenham onslaught began to peter out and our hosts finally began to get themselves back in to the game. On 23-minutes, confusion in the box saw Mike Alexander called to make his first great save down low to keep the scores level before the game levelled out in to a fairly even, entertaining encounter and the score remained the same going in to the interval with Shrivenham just about deserving their lead. 

The second half began in similar fashion and an Ockwell header bounced over from a corner with 55 gone, before Alexander was again called in to action with a genius point-blank save three minutes later before he was forced to tip another cracking shot over the bar on 68-minutes to deny Reading an equaliser they probably deserved. 

With the home side in the ascendancy, Edmondson had a good block on 70-minutes and moments later, the referee adjudged a tug in the box worthy of a spot kick and Devonn Reid finally opened his sides account from the resulting spot kick. Feeling the need for fresh legs, Tom Ballard made way for Jamie Prictor on 73-minutes and Lewis Petrie came on for Josh Morse moments later, however the home side had their tails up and on 84-minutes the highly skilful Khalid Simmo cut inside from the left and found the bottom corner of the Shrivenham net to turn the game around. Jerry Foumboua – who had come on as a substitute went narrowly over after breaking clean through with 5-minutes remaining and after Matt Horsell made way for Joe English on 90-minutes, the killer blow was delivered on 90 +2 when Mo Davies slammed the ball home following another devastating run by Simmo to complete the afternoon’s events. 

Reading City: Charlie York, Austin Best, Devonn Reid 1, Adam Cashin-Murray, Steve Lee, Josh Blackwood ©, Khalid Simmo 1, Dan Davies, Yashwa Romeo, Matt Stockill & Jehmiel McNeil. Subs (TBC): Mo Davies 1, Aaron De Rama, Nathan Shamuyarira, Jerry foumboua & Samuel Bell. 

Shrivenham: Mike Alexander, Luke Cordery, Matt Horsell (Joe English), Sam Ockwell ©, Aaron Dainton, Liam Edmondson, Nathan Blackford, Ryan Stanners, Josh Morse (Lewis Petrie), Antonio Gerrish 1 & Tom Ballard (Jamie Prictor). Subs: Rob Hendry & Alex Stanley

Virginia Water 2 Tuffley Rovers 2

A disappointing draw for Waters in their first league match of the season, conceding two late goals to a very plucky Tuffley side, who kept battling to the end.

VW dominated the game, but failed to come away with the deserved three points whilst cruising into a 2-0 lead at half time, thanks to a great header from Finn Evered on 24 minutes, and a well taken goal by Joe McBride on 38 minutes. There were some other opportunities, even if not many clear cut chances, with Waters playing some excellent football in the process.

At the other end Matt in goal was rarely troubled and the VW defence held firm throughout the first half.
In very warm conditions, the start of the second half saw VW continuing to dominate, with Jake Baker, Jack Hall, Josh Hill, Liam Whyte, all having efforts on the visitors goal.

Then in the 70th minute the match turned as a contest, when a flowing move saw their keeper parry a Jack Hall shot into the path of Louis Sanders, who tucked home the rebound. Both sides made their way back to half way, only for a very late flag to surprisingly rule out the goal for off side, when no one even appealed for such?

From the restart Tuffley went up the field, and from a hopeful deep cross that VW should have prevented and cleared, their CB headed home at the far post. This gave Tuffley some belief, although it was still VW who looked the likely victors.

Then a sucker punch in the 83rd minute when their substitute rounded one of our full backs, to smash home an equaliser that went in off the underside of the bar.

It was pleasing to see VW push for the winner, and from a Finn knock down, Adam Mills went agonisingly close to turn in the winner, but not to be. Honours even at the end of the day, but a couple of points dropped for VW in a match they should have won, especially given their territorial and possession advantage.

Virginia Water 2 Tuffley Rovers 2 (away view)

Twelve months after a newly assembled squad were put to the sword in Tuffley Rovers’ opening day Uhlsport Hellenic League fixture, by Royal Wootton Bassett Town, another much changed squad visited Stag Meadow, Windsor, and although for much of the game they looked to be on course for another comprehensive defeat, a brave performance and late rally enabled the Gloucester side to return home with a point.
With manager Mark Pritchett absent from the game, his assistant Rich Cox took charge of affairs and travelled with a squad containing up to six potential debutants, as well as a new captain in Macaulay Herbert. As it was, four of the new signings were selected for their first starts, including 17-year-old keeper Alex Avenell, who was joined by full-back Jai Maisey, centre-back Declan Earwaker and Jack Beardsell, who had moved from Fairford Town in the summer. The other two signings, Ellis Waugh and Martin Smith started on the bench.
There was nothing much to separate the sides in the opening ten minutes, although Herbert went close with a sixth minute header, from a Beardsell free-kick, that flew narrowly over Matt Jones’ goal.
The hosts were beginning to have an increasing share of the possession, but Rovers might have taken the lead had Jake Rhodes made a better connection with Earwaker’s long free-kick to the back post, but his header was poor and fell well wide of the Virginia Water goal.
By now Ceri Jones’ side were putting their visitors under constant pressure, with a series of long throw-ins and corner kicks challenging the Rovers defenders. Although Cox’s charges stood firm on several occasions, the pressure eventually told and it seemed somewhat inevitable that the first goal would come. Thirteen minutes in, Finn Evered rose highest to power home an unstoppable header from Josh Hill’s corner, with Avenell helpless to prevent the ball going into his goal.
With the score in their favour, the hosts looked to mount a series of attacks, punctuated by their use of Evered’s huge throw-ins designed to pepper Avenell’s goal, with Hill and Joe McBride both going close with shots from 20 yards, whilst Rovers had rather less convincing efforts from Sam Hill and Beardsell, with neither effort troubling Jones in the Water goal.
Defender Evered was at the heart of much of Virginia Water’s best moments and he very nearly scored with a spectacular overhead kick six minutes before the interval, although Rovers would have been grateful to see a clean connection fly well wide of their goal.
That let-off wasn’t sufficient warning for Rovers and within two minutes they were punished for some complacent defending, as a ball to the back post wasn’t dealt with and when Jake Baker set the ball back, McBridge was in acres of space and hammered a low shot beyond Avenell, to make it 2-0 as the sides headed into the interval.
The second period didn’t see an immediate improvement from Rovers and they were grateful to both Earwaker and Avenell for interventions that kept the hosts out. Such had been the disappointment of the Rovers performance that it wasn’t until the 58th minute that they registered their first shot on target, with an Adam Bloomfield shot comfortably saved.
Courtney Hamilton was introduced to the game, replacing Bloomfield, on 70 minutes and Rovers’ luck appeared to turn almost immediately, with two moments that would prove pivotal. First, the hosts appeared to have made it 3-0, as Louis Sanders put the ball away, after Jack Hall’s shot was saved, only for the goal to be ruled out with the scorer adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Rovers then went up the other end and after they had applied enough pressure to earn a corner, they finally created an opportunity to get themselves back in the game. Beardsell’s corner kick was too high for his team-mates attacking the ball, but when Warren Mann collected the ball, found a yard of space and swung over a delightful corner to the back post, Earwaker rose imperiously to head the ball powerfully down and beyond Jones’ attempts to keep the ball out of the net.
Both sides then traded blows, without further clear chances, and with 14 minutes remaining Cox made a second change, as Luke Troke replaced Dom Kent. Within 5 minutes, the change paid dividends, as Rhodes’ clever pass found Troke, who showed great footwork to create space, before hammering a shot high into the roof of the net, with Jones statuesque in the face of the shot.
There were tense moments for both sides in the closing moments, but the game ended with Rovers looking more likely to score, but leaving with a point that was arguably undeserved given the balance of play over ninety minutes.

Westfields 5 Windsor 0

Westfields’ opening uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division fixture got off to a flying start when they recorded a 5-0 home win over visiting Windsor at allpay.park on Saturday.

Westfields paraded new signings Ryan Green and Richard Greaves along with Billy Murphy and the Westfields side got off to a flying start and recorded a resounding victory over the visiting Royals.

Westfields opened up a 2-0 lead with a goal from Billy Murphy who fired home from the edge of the box after good work by Sam Gwynne and then Aidan Thomas got on the end of another cross to put Westfields 2-0 into the lead at the break.

After the interval Keanu Cooper added a third when he tucked away a close-range effort and then substitute Ben Hayes scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-0 after he’d been brought down in the Windsor box.

Late in the game Sam Rawlings scored the 5th goal with a fine shot into the far corner of the net past the visitors’ keeper Sonny Wheeler who had been outstanding all afternoon.

Westfields now look forward to Tuesday night’s home match v Gloucester-based side Longlevens, kick-off 7.45pm at allpay.park, and next Saturday Westfields travel to Congleton Town in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

Next Tuesday Westfields travel to Gloucester to play Tuffley Rovers in an Hellenic League Premier Division game, kick-off 7.45pm at Tuffley.

Westfields 5 Windsor 0 (away view)

Windsor suffered an opening day defeat at the hands of Westfields going down 5-0 in the opening Hellenic League Premier Division fixture. This was to be Windsor’s longest away day with it being three and a half hours out and three hours back home. Windsor travelled with a young side due to eight of the normal first team either on holiday or injured.

Windsor goalkeeper Sonny Wheeler made some excellent saves throughout with Luke Appleton and Ben Smyth working very hard in the middle of defence and young 17 year old Sonny Woods working tirelessly in midfield on his debut.
Windsor held out until just before the half hour when Billy Murphy put the hosts ahead.

Aiden Thomas doubled the lead shortly before halftime as Windsor tried to keep themselves in the game. Just before the hour Keanu Cooper added a third before substitute Ben Hayes scored from the spot in the 85th minute, a penalty that also saw Ben Okon unluckily pick up his second yellow of the game on debut.

Windsor tried to press but in the sixth minute of time added on Sam Rawlings added a fifth with the final kick of the game.

One East

Risborough Rangers 2 Abingdon United 1

Risborough Rangers collected all three points in their first ever game in the uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East, beating Abingdon United 2-1 on Saturday at the newly named BEP Stadium, with new signing Brian Haule scoring both the Rangers goals. Abingdon, who were relegated from the Hellenic Premier Division last season started brightly with some crisp passing and movement but it was Rangers that had the first chance when Gary Rymer shot wide from just inside the area. United hit back with a quick break and shot that fizzed past the far post. On 12 minutes Rangers thought they had taken the lead with Josh Urquart's looping header, but the goal was disallowed with Brian Haule adjudged to be offside. Rangers began to take a foothold in the game as midfielder Ben Hammond started to see more of the ball, although United remained a real threat on the break with their pace. Rangers took the lead on 16 minutes when the tricky Sam Pekun robbed his marker and went on a great run into the box before being unceremoniously brought down. A penalty was awarded and Brian Haule coolly stroked it home. Minutes later Haule went close with a header from Pekun's cross as Rangers took control. Abingdon went close following a free kick with Jack Brooker saving well. Half hour gone and Rangers extended their lead when Joel Read's cross found Pekun. Again Pekun beat his man to feed the ball to Haule who's quick feet evaded a couple of challenges before he slotted the ball home. United hit back with a corner that was cleared by Urquart, followed by a free kick in the Rangers 'D' that was blocked by their wall. A couple of minutes before the break Pekun went on another great run before being upended in the United area but Rangers' appeals for a penalty were waved away and the home side had to be content to go in two up at half time.

If Rangers had the better of the first half then United certainly had the better of the second as Brooker made several good saves to keep them at bay. After ten minutes he saved low down after a good move, turning the ball away for a corner. Two minutes later Hammonds free kick found Pekun who's effort was blocked on the line. Brooker then made two good saves in quick succession, firstly from a free header just six yards out and moments later he saved low down following a good dribble and shot by the United forward. At the other end Rymer's shot was turned away for a corner. The resultant kick flashed across the face of the United goal-mouth with nobody able to get a touch. Rangers appeared to lose their shape and with it their discipline as they went through a period of sloppy play and Abingdon capitalized when they were awarded a penalty after some shirt pulling at a corner kick; United's Crooks sending the ball just beyond Brooker's grasp. Three minutes later Hammond's free kick curled around the United wall only to see the visiting keeper dive full length to tip it away. Abingdon came back and Brooker again saved well, low to his left. Brooker saved his best to last when three minutes from the end he tipped over a dipping shot following another good move from United. Rangers almost scored a third in the 90th minute after some great wing play from Pekun who found Laurence Clark in the area. Clark squared to Haule who smashed goal-ward from six yards. It looked a certain goal before the United custodian somehow dived across his goal to pull off a save that outdid any of Brookers on this opening afternoon.

A very entertaining game for the opening day crowd of 83 with both sides having chances. Manager Mark Eaton will be pleased with the three points and no doubt will look to build on that as they travel to Milton United next Saturday for their second league fixture.

Rangers Man of the Match (As Chosen by BEP Contracting Ltd.): Brian Haule. A well executed penalty and superbly taken second goal set Rangers on their way. His experience and quality gives Rangers a new dimension. Held the ball up well, linked nicely with the impressive Sam Pekun and strong in the air, in defence as well as attack.

One West

Cheltenham Saracens 4 Tytherington Rocks 1 (Match Report by Jemma & Jerry Maeve)

Today’s match against Tytherington Rocks was set to be a challenge following whispers of the Rocks making some great signings this summer.

And things started well for them when, after only 5 minutes, Gael Basana put them 1-0 up after beating Mack Sadler and firing the ball into the back of an empty net. But their lead didn’t last long when, in the 10th minute, Harlie Price set up Adam Loveridge who scored from an absolutely superb overhead kick.

Just 7 minutes later, Loveridge started his season with a brace after outpacing the Tytherington defence and beating their Keeper Jordan Dunning with a bottom corner goal. 2-1.

The next quarter of an hour passed without event. We saw some great efforts on goal from Josh Watts, and a brilliant defence from Jordan Bryan, who was just returning from injury. In the 33rd minute, a meaty Tytherington challenge bought Harlie Price down in the box. The Ref wasted no time in awarding a penalty, which Kai Mahon duly converted to put us 3-1 up.

The last 10 minutes of the half were pretty even, although our Mack Sadler performed a blinding save to prevent the Rocks’ goal scorer Basana a second goal in the dying minutes.

The second half started brightly for us when a Sam Mason free kick found its way to Harlie Price in the box. Price, who always finds the right space at the right time, converted it into a fourth goal for the Sarries. 4-1.
We thought Loveridge had scored his hat trick in the 61st minute, but it was ruled offside.

Tytherington weren’t giving up though, with shots from Jon Barlow and sub Reece Evans both forcing saves. But it was too little, too late for the Rocks. They were much improved from the side who lost 10+ nil during the last two seasons, but we just had the edge and the quality needed today. A great start to the season for our lads, the first 3 points secure on our quest for promotion.

Shortwood United 4 Hereford Lads Club  4  Report by Harry Ash

Shortwood came within a whisker of winning their first league game of the season in an eight goal thriller against Hereford Lads at Meadowbank. With defeat looking likely with ten minutes to play, a draw should be seen as a good result, but the circumstances of the closing stages made it difficult to be too positive in the immediate aftermath. Having said that, Shortwood are now on the same points tally as they were last season after a Boxing Day draw with Chipping Sodbury, so things are looking comparatively promising. 

Hereford pounced on early Shortwood sloppiness to take the lead after just six minutes. Kalum Wildig picked the ball up in front of a disorganised Wood defence and slipped a pass into James Hancocks, who, amid calls for offside, held his nerve to find the bottom left-hand corner. Five minutes later, an impressive run from inside his own half by Wood’s Joe Wilton resulted in him firing wide of the near post from a narrow angle. Hereford consistently threatened Shortwood with through balls in behind the defence, which resulted in numerous offsides, but also some golden chances. One such chance fell to Hancocks once again with twenty-five minutes played, but his attempted chipped finish over Steve Sparrow was well saved. 

With ten minutes of the half to play, Shortwood found an equaliser. Penalty appeals for hand ball were waved away, before the ball was cleared as far as Fin Byrnes, whose shot was spilled by Steven Bell and pounced upon by Wilton, who guided the ball into the roof of the net. Just a minute later, Wilton was presented with another big chance, as he was found by Lee Bowles on the left-hand side of the box, but, having cut inside, his low shot was comfortably saved. Three minutes before the break, Shortwood were again caught in transition after Joey Tustain lost the ball to Ashley Lear, and Chris Gwynne fed Adam Hockey who finished with the outside of his right foot. A minute later, Wilton had yet another chance after a fine switch of play by Byrnes, but this time his shot was deflected wide. 

Shortwood perhaps felt hard done by to be in a losing position at half time, but, after a slow initial five minutes after the restart, got the equaliser in the fifty-third minute. Bowles’ wide free kick was met by Jacob Nowell, who powered a header into the bottom right-hand corner. A quiet fifteen minutes or so followed, punctuated by Tom Black’s magnificent run down the right, culminating in Ben Fuller’s clearance just about clearing his own crossbar. With twenty minutes to play, Jamie Cuthbertson’s long ball found Hockey in behind the Wood defence, and having cut in on his right foot, he seemed certain to score, but blasted his shot over the bar from about seven yards. 

Hockey made up for this miss five minutes later, as he found space on the left before shooting powerfully past Sparrow to make it 2-3 with fifteen minutes to play. With the clock ticking, Luke Soule found an equaliser from nothing. Bowles’ corner was met by Byrnes, whose shot was blocked, only to fall to Soule, who smashed the ball into the top corner from close range. 

The following five minutes or so saw Shortwood retreat, seemingly happy to take a point. But in the first minute of stoppage time, Soule’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked and fell at the feet of substitute Jake Lowe, whose low effort rolled agonisingly onto the inside of the post. Surely Shortwood’s chance of a winner had gone. But Soule and Lowe were not deterred, and just a minute or so after Lowe had hit the post, some great work by Soule set him up again, and this time he poked his finish past Bell at the near post to make it 4-3 in the second minute of stoppage time. All Shortwood had to do was hold out for a minute longer, but they were unable to. A high ball was poorly cleared, allowing Hancocks to whip the ball into the path of Tom Bendall, who had a tap-in at the far post to level the game with almost the last kick. 

Shortwood: Steve Sparrow, Dan Parry, Jacob Nowell, Joey Tustain (C) (Fin Blythe 71’), Josh Kerr, Tom Black (yellow card 65’), Joe Wilton (Josh Blunt 77’), Fin Byrnes, Luke Soule, Lee Bowles, Levi Mathews (Jake Lowe 80’) 

Hereford Lads:  Steven Bell (C), Ben Fuller, Harry Saunders, Chris Gwynne (Danny Moon 46’), Liam Jones, Jamie Cuthbertson, Ashley Lear (Tom Bendall 57’), Adam Newbury, Adam Hockey, Kalum Wildig, James Hancocks  
Attendance: 76