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Hellenic League Match Report

uhlsport football kit5 October

Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Lydney Town 0 Virginia Water 0 (away view)

Virginia Water returned from a six hour round trip with a share of the spoils, where had it not been for two amazing late saves by the home keeper, all three points would have been ours.

Matt was forced into a great save of his own in the first minute, as Lydney were quick out of the blocks, and created a one on one, which was well blocked. From memory that proved to be his only meaningful save, as VW’s defence dealt admirably with the direct threat of the home team. At the other end Joel Drew almost put Waters ahead tree times in the first half, and further chances came our way, but we failed to convert. Stalemate at half time, with maybe Lydney shading it.

In the second half it was VW who tried to play the football, and got in behind their defence a few times, only for our final ball to let us down. Lydney clipped the top of the bar midway through the second half, with set pieces the only other threat, but VW held firm. As the game edged towards the final quarter, Paul Burrows forced their keeper into two great saves, which prevented Waters from recording a good win on the road.

Possibly a fair result on the day, and a clean sheet into the bargain, which we will take, although the lads for all their hard work and effort, are a little disappointed not to have taken all three points. Good luck to Lydney for the rest of the season

Tuffley Rovers 4 Binfield 1

Binfield has long been known as one of the most friendly and hospitable clubs in the Hellenic League, but the Berkshire club’s first team is also one of the most difficult to prise league points away from. After finishing the 2018-19 season comfortably in 9th position, the Moles made a strong start to a new season by winning their first four matches without conceding a goal and, by the time of this trip to Tuffley, dropping points only to League-leaders Westfields and Reading City, another team that has shown a big improvement this season.

Tuffley Rovers did win, narrowly, the last time the two teams met in Gloucester at the end of March but also had the memory of a 4-2 reverse at Stubbs Lane earlier in the same month. With Rovers still looking for a first home league win of the season, this visit from the club in third place in the table was certainly not one to be taken lightly by the hosts.

A strong opening ten minutes was the platform from which Rovers secured their first home league win of the season. Although visitors Binfield showed plenty of attacking intent, they were unable to find a similar period of superiority which had the same end product. The catalyst for this victory was the returning Kieran Alder, Rovers’ Player of the Season in 2018-19. He was again as influential as he had been in claret and blue before his move to Cinderford Town in the close season and stamped his mark on this game with barely three minutes on the clock. Harri John’s pass down the right led to a shot by Ross Langworthy which Joe Williams could only parry to leave Alder with a simple tap-in. A minute later saw Langworthy glance wide Jack Beardsell’s cross from the right. Unsurprisingly, it was Alder’s pass which had given Beardsell the opportunity to swing the ball over into the danger-area.

Only five minutes later Rovers’ lead was doubled. Langworthy was fouled on the left near Binfield’s penalty-area and when Alder floated the free-kick in Macaulay Herbert’s delicate header found its way into the bottom corner of the net past Williams’ left-hand side. Binfield responded when Samir Regragui found captain Sean Moore but his shot only resulted in a corner. Luke Merchant punched the flag-kick to safety and moments later Binfield defender Phil Veal received a yellow card for fouling Langworthy. Moore had a shot blocked and then won a corner on the left before both Josh Howell and Asa Povey had shots which went wide; the pressure was mounting on the hosts. When Isaac Lawrence conceded a free-kick almost by the corner-flag on the right, Jamie McClurg’s cross was headed firmly into the net by the unmarked Moore. However, Rovers restored their two-goal lead almost immediately. Adam Bloomfield sent Langworthy through on the left and he carefully shot left-footed into the same corner of the net which Herbert had found earlier. As half-time approached Dominik Kent was cautioned for a foul as Binfield tried to mount an attack on the left. Before the free-kick could be taken, there was a skirmish on the edge of Rovers’ box which led to referee David Evans speaking sternly to both captains. Mr Evans then consulted one of his assistants before awarding a free-kick to Binfield and a yellow card to Tyreece Briscoe, who had allegedly pushed a Binfield player in an off the ball incident. Almost on the interval Rovers won a corner on the right and that led to a second corner on the same side. Both were taken by Alder and the second was headed narrowly wide by Langworthy.

Rovers had been behind in all three of their previous league matches at Glevum Park this season. Now, as the second half commenced, they had to protect a lead or, better still, add to it. Mark Pritchett nearly did the latter when he connected with Alder’s free-kick but his header went wide. Considering that they had only named three substitutes it was perhaps a surprise that Binfield waited until over an hour had been played before using one of them; Kennie Chamberlain coming on for Veal. But the change made little difference because Rovers continued to gain ground and make chances. Beardsell’s right-wing cross was headed towards goal by Langworthy but Williams, after initially fumbling the ball, was able to clear it to safety. Kent then fed Beardsell on the right and this cross was headed over by Langworthy. Briscoe then won the ball in midfield and two quick passes later Alder had a shot which went wide. Then Kent and Langworthy exchanged passes but although Alder and Bloomfield were both waiting in the middle Kent’s cross was safely grabbed by Williams.

The pressure eventually told in the hosts’ favour, with fourteen minutes remaining, as Bloomfield produced a delightful pass that set Kent away and he produced a composed finished that went beyond Williams and into the bottom corner of the net, to make it 4-1. Rovers then brought on Niall Priday for Bloomfield before chances came for Alder, Priday and then Langworthy, who netted but the goal was disallowed for offside. At the other end Mark Pritchett slipped giving Povey a run on goal but although he cut inside he was crowded out and couldn’t get a meaningful shot away. To help the clock run down Tuffley brought on Lewis Bainbridge for the outstanding Alder then Jeremiah Idowu for Beardsell. Idowu had no sooner come on when he was brutally and unnecessarily scythed down near the touchline by Josh Howell, an assault which earned the Binfield defender a yellow card. It was the last meaningful action of the game.

Rovers have moved up to 12th place in the table, joining three other clubs on ten points. After eight matches a year ago they had only accumulated four points. So beating Binfield was a big step in the right direction. As for Binfield, they shouldn’t be too concerned at losing in the League for only the second time this season. They showed enough in Gloucester to suggest that they will win more times than they lose. They were gallant but gracious losers at Glevum Park, where the relief of the home players on the final whistle was clear for all to see and hear.

Westfields 2  Brackley Town Saints 1 

Westfields maintained their 4 point lead at the top of the Hellenic Premier Division with a 2-1 win over visiting Brackley Town Saints who made their first ever visit to allpay.park on Saturday.  The visitors, in a mid-table position, gave a spirited performance and kept Westfields battling to the end to secure the 3 points. 

Westfields took an early lead through Richard Greaves which gave them a 1-0 lead at the break but Brackley defended well and often on the break they caught the eye and twice Ryan Green got in timely tackles to secure Westfields’ 1-0 interval lead. 

However, after the break Westfields doubled their lead when Aidan Thomas seized on a hesitant visitors defence and broke through to score with a fine left-foot shot to put Westfields 2-0 ahead and then Richard Greaves had a great chance to add to that lead before the visitors began to get back into the game. 

In an end-to-end game Brackley Town Saints came back into the game with a goal from Ryan Knight which set up a tense final 15 minutes in which time substitute Cameron Peters missed a great opportunity to put Westfields 3-1 ahead before late in the game a ball flashed across the Westfields goal-mouth for anybody available from Brackley to hit home an equaliser. Westfields worked hard for their 3 points on Saturday against a good Brackley Town Saints side. 

Westfields now have 4 cup games in a row when on Tuesday night they go to Ledbury in the First Round of the HFA County Senior Challenge Cup, next Saturday they travel to Devon to play Newton Abbot in the First Round of the FA Vase, the following Tuesday they go to Bishops Cleeve to play Bishops Cleeve in the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup and then the following Saturday, 19th October, travel to Wellington for a local derby in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup Third Round. 

Westfields 2  Brackley Town Saints 1  (away view)

Brackley Town Saints were beaten on Saturday at Westfields, a goal either side of the break put the Hereford based side two up, Saints then lost Matt Hammond who had to leave the field on a stretcher but a late Ryan Knight strike gave the Saints hope for the final ten minutes but the league leaders held on to stay four points clear at the summit of the Hellenic Football League Premier Division.

Westfields took the lead five minutes before the break through Richard Greaves, the same number of minutes after the interval Aiden Thomas doubled the hosts advantage, injury to Hammond meant the visitor’s had to reshuffle but they were given hope on eighty minutes through Knight but they could not find an equaliser. Saints are back in FA Vase action next week-end as they host West Bridgford.

Division One East 

Wokingham & Emmbrook 3 Marlow 0 (Arthur Strand Independent Report)

Wokingham & Emmbrook returned to League football at Lowther Road when they met newcomers to the uhlsport Hellenic League, Marlow United. The visitors made the first move towards the Sumas' penalty area which amounted to nothing until they conceded a free kick. Alex Partridge, goal-keeper for Marlow Utd., was beaten by a lob over his head but that lob never entered the net. Will Day took a long run to catch up with the ball but the attack broke down. Soon after, Qwarm Thomas working hard up front for Marlow Utd. had a shot blocked which took the ball to the other end and back again with Thomas shooting the ball over the bar. From a free kick, Elliott Rushforth took a shot but Partridge made a useful save. When Marlow Utd. worked the way up to Sumas' penalty area, Thomas tried hard to approach along the goal-line but Woodward took the ball off him and the next approach as Marlow Utd. forwards ran through was foiled when the defence stopped the cross into the penalty area.and the ball traced from end to end again. Felix Prudden took a free kick for Marlow but no forwards could link up with the ball. The next time, Jack Woodbridge headed the ball just past the outside of Woodward's upright. Woodward made a save again before the ball reached the opposite end and Partridge made a commendable finger-tip save over his crossbar as Sumas gained a corner kick. Regaining possession, Marlow then switched the ball from one wing to the other and a deflection provided Marlow with a corner kick. This was followed by another and Alfie Lucas showed up. James Hardie failed to score with his shot then Elliott Rushforth won the ball back for Sumas in midfield but nobody could follow up. Woodward was forced to make a crucial save and then Marlow took a free kick not long after. The ever industrious Luke Scope chased the ball which was way beyond his reach. Woodward propelled a free kick towards Jake White who pushed the ball upfield to Scope but Marlow had a free kick, taken by Partridge. With half-time closing in, Hurst packed in a shot which went over the Sumas' bar and later, there was a very good tackle by a Marlow man. Marlow were active in the Sumas' area as the whistle blew for half-time with no score.

It did not take Sumas very long to break the mould because, after the restart, Nick Bateman turned the ball over his head for Luke Scope to trot onto in acres of space and merely guide the ball into the net. 1 - 0 after 49 minutes. Marlow took a free kick quickly to no avail as the ball went across the face of goal out of play. In the 56th minute, Sumas found the net for a second time courtesy of Luke Scope for his second goal. The next highlight was a good shot by Rushforth, and a good save by Partridge. Scope tried with an effort that missed then Thomas busied himself around the Sumas area. but substitutes were introduced. O'Connell - on : and Will Day - off : for Sumas. Marlow replaced Woodbridge with Connor Shingleston.. Jake White passed the ball to Rushforth, missing the far post. 77 minutes were on the clock and Marlow having had a shot sail over the top of Woodward's goal, conceded another at the other end when Jake White added the third to the tally. Substitutions took place, Rushforth by Byrne, for Sumas and the legendary Vin Cuva at 40years old replaced Jean-Claude Etienne! Hurst placed the ball over the top of Sumas' cross bar just at the point of that substitution and Prudden took a shot direct to Woodward then Sumas managed to work the ball to the opposite end and Scope took the ball along the goal-line after which a double deflection forced a corner kick However, a good, competitive game ended on a sour note when Marlow United captain, Hurst, was deemed to have head-butted a Wokingham & Emmbrook player, Josh Harris, as time was drawing to the final whistle and the referee had to sort out the tangle by the corner flag, eventually dismissing Chris Hurst, captain for the assault. Play got underway for the few moments left. 3 points to Wokingham & Emmbrook. Next week: away to Langley @ Summerlease (Holyport's home ground, North Maidenhead.)

Wokingham & Emmbrook: Woodward, [GK], Carter,[c] W. Day, C. Eagle, Cummuskey, Edwards, Harris, N. Bateman, Scope, White, Rushforth. Substitutes: C.Day, O'Connell, Byrne, [ Broadhurst, Dean, not used]  

Woodley United 1 Risborough Rangers  2 

Woodley started October hosting league leaders Risborough Rangers. This was the first time the sides had met since United won a penalty shootout in February 2017 to advance to the BBFA Intermediate Cup final; a competition they ultimately ended up winning. 

After a Rangers goal was ruled out for offside inside the first two minutes Woodley came within inches of taking an early lead when a Ben Anderson free kick came back off the right post. Anderson had the game’s next chance when he got on the end of a fantastic cross field pass from Teddy Thomas. Cutting in from the left Anderson’s low shot was blocked. Fifteen minutes in the hosts took the lead. After clearing a deep Risborough free kick, United’s counter attack saw a good ball find Anderson who slid Max Laschok in on goal. Showing good composure and a tidy finish he beat Jack Brooker with a low shot into the right corner from the left of the box. 

The away side were a very big team with balls in the air proving difficult for Woodley to deal with. A decent delivery from the left found Brian Haule whose glancing header was off target. Moments later Adam Thomson in the United goal pulled off an excellent double save to keep the score 1-0. Half an hour on the clock saw Sam Wood clattered in the process of shooting whilst an Anderson free kick went into the wall. It was one apiece nine minutes before the break courtesy of an excellent strike from Sam Pekun. Cutting in from the left and skipping past a challenge the Rangers player fired an unstoppable strike into the top right corner. The remainder of the half saw Woodley struggling to get out of their half. Despite bossing possession the nearest Risborough came to going ahead was when a clipped ball over the top by Davis Haule found Brian Haule, who showed good strength to shrug off a challenge and force another save from Thomson. 

United were defending well and looking to hit their opponents on the break. An isolated Laschok did really well to gain the ball, hold off a challenge and get a shot away from twenty yards that was blocked. Ten minutes into the second half saw a curling Ben Hammonds shot go wide of Thomson’s left post before the keeper showed a safe pair of hands to hold a shot from the right. Woodley made a change on sixty two minutes when Freddie Barron took over from Conor Clarke at right back. After a Laschok shot on the turn was saved, Rangers defender Alex Sethi got up well to head clear a lofted Anderson pass that would have seen Laschok one on one with Brooker. 

Nineteen minutes left saw the visitors go ahead and once again it was a very well taken goal. A nice pass on the right found Bertie Squire-Adams who struck his half volley sweetly with the ball flying past Thomson and in off the bar. A second United change was made on seventy four minutes when Thomas made way for Bailey Hill. This saw Pele Hagger move to a more advanced role and Hill slot in at left back As the match entered the final ten minutes Squire-Adams was denied a second by a Thomson save in the left corner. Woodley ended the game well with two superb Hagger deliveries from the left. The first saw Risborough captain Joel Read, who was positioned between Laschok and Anderson, head clear. The second and final chance of the match saw a deep cross nearly find Anderson whose run from deep would have paid off if he could have got any contact on the ball. 

Despite defeat positives can be taken from today’s performance as United cut out many of the errors that has cost them in recent matches. Whilst chances were few and far between Woodley defended very well with centre backs Jon Malone and Max Swift having excellent games. 

Division One West 

Bourton Rovers 0 Malvern Town 6 (away view) 

Malvern Town ran out convincing 6-0 winners at Bourton Rovers.

Starting the game with real purpose as James Febery headed just off target from a free-kick within the opening minute. Then a positive break from Harry Clark saw him break into the area only for a timely challenge to deny him as he looked to make something happen.With 13 minutes on the clock, Clark linked up well with Ben Miller whose low effort crept just inches wide before Clark was denied in the next raid by a block from the ‘keeper.

The home side were defending resolutely as Matt Fusco tried his luck from outside the area and as the ball took a wicked deflection, Flower in the home goal did well to tip over. Sam Hunt was causing problems with his deliveries from the left as the home side were forced to scramble clear on a number of occasions.

As half-time approached, Fusco rattled the woodwork and then Febery put another powerful header wide from a dangerous Clark corner. Town were having to be patient as Clark saw the ‘keeper block his effort before the deadlock was finally broken on 41 minutes when Febery turned home a corner. Town almost snatched another goal on the stroke of half-time when Miller went close as we went in at the break having dominated possession but with just one goal to show for our efforts.

That advantage was doubled within five minutes of the restart when Phil Harris’ initial strike was well saved but Matt Turner was on hand to force the rebound home despite the best efforts of the ‘keeper and defender on the line. There was another goalmouth melee which the home side survived before Clark made it 3-0 as he curled home with much aplomb on the hour-mark.

It wasn’t long before Malvern added a fourth when Turner’s deft header crept home. Turner could have had his hat-trick shortly afterwards but somehow both he and Ethan Moran couldn’t force the ball home with the ‘keeper floundering after Moran had skilfully broke into the area.

With 15 minutes to go, co-manager, Lee Hooper, was unleashed from the substitutes’ bench. The home side went close when a strike hit Curtis Smith and went narrowly wide of the target but normal service was soon resumed when we added a fifth goal as Hooper was able to turn the ball home from close range following good work from Clark in the build-up. Moments later it was 6-0 when Clark curled the ball home as Hooper made sure on the line under pressure from a home defender to complete a commanding success.

Malvern Town: Weaver, Hayes (Smith 60), Hunt, Wickett, J. Sauntson, Febery, Fusco (Moran 60), Harris, Turner (Hooper 75), Miller, Clark. Sub not used: Whitcombe.

GOAL(S): Febery, Turner (2), Clark (2), Hooper.


Wellington 1 Shortwood United 3 (away view)

Wood may still be depleted but they turned in a good performance to win at previously unbeaten Wellington and there are signs of players returning. Fin Byrnes played for 80 minutes and Joe Wilton came on for the last 15 minutes. In the meantime Mat Blythe played the full 90 in midfield but was pipped for the man of the match by Ben Langworthy who had a fine game. Wellington are to be congratulated on their excellent pitch and are a friendly and welcoming club.

This was a hugely entertaining game and both sides played attacking football throughout but Wood’s margin of victory should have been greater. After 10 minutes Wood missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. Ellis Harper raced through keeper Apperley blocked his shot, Soule completely missed his header and Black’s shot was blocked on the line. Wellington played some good stuff as well and Clarke had to be alert to deal with a dangerous low cross. Wood took the lead after 21 minutes. Fin Byrnes let fly from 25 yards and his shot was far too powerful for Apperley who couldn’t keep it out. The lead only lasted 5 minutes. Wellington constructed a good move, Clark saved Thomas’s effort but Williams swept home the rebound. Wood continued to pour forward and deserved their second goal after 35 minutes. Wood attacked down the flank and Soule bundled home Harper’s low cross from close range. Wellington came back and Nowell did well to head a shot from Thomas off the line. Mills shot wide after a good run and keeper Apperley saved at point blank range to deny Soule.

Wood attacked from the start in the second period. Mills and Blythe set up Black who was denied by a fine last ditch tackle and twice Black fired good chances just over. Black was again denied by a fine save by Apperley while at the other end Clark also saved well from Thomas. Wood’s shooting aim was off but finally got the third goal they deserved after 76 minutes. Black stripped his marker and shot, Apperley parried and Soule was on hand to head home the rebound. In the dying minutes Wood survived a goal mouth scramble and Thomas shot wide from close range before Wood went off to savour the result and the excellent hospitality of the hosts.

Shortwood United: Clark, Langworthy, Nowell, Hoskins, Tryner, Mat Blythe, Harper, Byrnes (Churchley 80), Soule, Black, Mills (Wilton 73)

Division Two 
Milton United 1 Buckingham Athletic Development 4 (away view)

Buckingham Athletic Development chalked up their first win of the season as they triumphed 1-4 at Milton United Development on Saturday, their first success since joining the Hellenic League this summer.

A tough opening set of fixtures for the squad had seen five successive defeats in league & cup but that was all forgotten with this convincing win which sees them climb up to eight position in the Division Two North table.

Athletic were off to a flier with two first half goals from Charlie Wright (pictured) however their hosts pulled a goal back before the interval through Jordan Goddard. After the break Wright completed his hatrick before going onto grab his & Buckingham’s fourth to complete the win. - Image credit sportsshots

Letcombe 1 Wantage Town Development 6

Wantage fielded a strong side in this local derby, and with nine of the Wantage squad having played for Letcombe in the past, they were determined to put in a good performance against their former club.

Letcombe had the first opportunity when a flick from Josh Fowler left Luke Polding clear, but his first touch let him down and the ball ran away for a goal kick. Wantage took the lead after 12 minutes, Jack Badger cutting in from the right to place a low shot into the far corner. They added a second five minutes later, Frankie Merola scoring from the spot after Christy Whelehan had tripped Jack Badger. Owen Shaw ran through the middle, evading three challenges, to flick home number three, and the visitors added a fourth as half time approached. A good run and low cross from Badger found Frankie Merola, who shot deflected off James Wright leaving keeper Ben Beasley helpless.

Letcombe made two changes at the interval, Luke Mulvey and Boyan Thorpe replacing Jason Brizell and Christy Whelehan. The hosts started the half well, and a good cross from the left found Jordan Smith, whose shot hit the base of the post. Play swung from end to end with no clear opportunities for either side, but Letcombe reduced the arrears after 73 minutes. Josh Fowler cut in from the right, and his long range shot took a deflection off a defender’s boot and flew into the far top corner of the net. Wantage responded within two minutes, Calum Pryce scoring following a short corner, and they added a sixth with five minutes remaining. A cross from the left found Luke Stone beyond the far post, and his header back across goal left Jack Badger with a simple finish from three yards.

A disappointing display by Letcombe who were well beaten on the day. Credit must be given to all the Letcombe players who continued to give 100%, with James Wright and Michael Annetts winning numerous challenges at the back. Chris Rivers and Sam Mulvey again worked tirelessly in midfield, and top scorer Josh Fowler tried his best to make an influence on the game with limited service.

Letcombe entertain Shrivenham Development next Saturday, 12th October, kick off 3.00pm, and have another home game on 19th against Wallingford Town Reserves in the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup.