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Hellenic League Match Report

11-13 November

Round Two

Malvern Town 5 Loughborough University 4 (aet)

Malvern Town’s return to home action was filled with drama as we beat Loughborough University 5-4 after extra-time to make Buildbase FA Vase progress in front of a crowd of almost 400 at the HDANYWHERE Community Stadium.

Malvern made the perfect start when our first raid in the second minute ended with Matt Turner powering into the area before guiding the ball home. The visitors went close with a low strike before Turner again caused problems as his effort was cleared off the line by Townrow and then the loose ball was scrambled clear as the opposition goalkeeper picked up an injury that forced him to leave the field.

Both sides were showing plenty of endeavour and James Febery went close with an effort that dipped just over from the edge of the area before the visitors levelled matters on 24 minutes when Daws fired home. A neat passage of play ended with the ball fed into Dave Reynolds who tried his luck but his low strike was saved by Hilton.

Malvern regained the lead on 32 minutes when we worked hard to win the ball back from the visitors’ back-line and Dave Reynolds fired home from in front of goal. There was a great save from Charlie Weaver as he touched Smith’s stinging strike onto the post in the 38th minute as the rebound was fired low and wide.

It wasn’t long before the home side extended their lead when Harry Clark’s cross was seized upon by the in-form Turner who made no mistake to make it 3-1. Right on the stroke of half-time the Loughborough won a free-kick in a promising position but the defensive wall did its job to thwart Daws as we ended the half with a two-goal advantage.

Malvern started the second period with purpose as a teasing cross was met with a deft effort from Clark that went just wide.The Loughborough pulled a goal back on 51 minutes when a strike from Daws deflected high up into the air and Braithwaite was on hand to force home from close range. Then just moments later Collins was brought down inside the area and Smith stepped up to level the scores from the spot.

The vistors went in front when a cross from the right by Ferrinho found its way over to Daws who was able to turn the ball beyond the reach of Weaver. Looking to hit back, Clark’s cross just evaded Reynolds and then Matt Fusco was off target. A foul on Clark gave the home team a free-kick out wide which saw Bryan Craven try his luck but whilst the strike was on target, the ‘keeper was behind it all the way. Moments after being introduced into the action, Kyonn Evans did well to find Loader whose powerful drive flew just over.

With the clock ticking down we looked to up the pressure as Reynolds and Clark combined well only for the latter to be denied by a timely block and then Ethan Moran forced a corner which came to nothing. We were rewarded with nine minutes to go when James Febery’s low effort found its way beyond the ‘keeper to make it 4-4.

More drama followed within a minute when Weaver made a superb double save to frustrate the visitors, whilst at the other end, Reynolds was fouled on the edge of the area and the resulting free-kick was curled goalwards by Loader as the ‘keeper saved well to claw the ball away. The closing stages saw the visitors head just over as Reynolds went close at the other as both sides pushed for a winner. Deep into stoppage time a corner was cleared by the visitors who broke away with pace and Weaver did well to save with his feet. It was to prove the last action of normal time.

With 30 minutes of extra time Loughborough went close straight from the kick-off as Smith failed to direct his header goalwards from a good position. Town regained the lead on 99 minutes when some swashbuckling play saw Moran feed Clark whose probing low cross found Turner and he turned the ball home from close range to make it 5-4. Shortly afterwards Evans did well to find Tom Emblem who lifted the ball just over.

To add to the drama, the floodlights went out for a couple of minutes as the rain lashed down. Once power was restored, Moran showed electrifying pace to close in on goal and fire inches wide. Leading 5-4 going into the second period of extra-time, there was a let-off as Loughborough were denied a penalty but they did get a free-kick on the edge of the area which was deflected onto the roof of the net. A low drive was well watched by Weaver then there was a heart in the mouth moment right at the death with the last kick but we held on to claim a magnificent victory – what a way for Malvern to return home!


THE HILLSIDERS: Weaver, Hayes, Wickett, Harris, J. Febery (Emblem 96), Loader, Fusco (Moran 67), Craven (Evans 74), Turner, Reynolds (A. Sauntson 109), Clark. Subs not used: B Febery, Griffiths, Saunders.

Leicester Nirvana 1 Westfields 2 (away view)

Westfields hit back in style away in the FA Vase last night at Leicester Nirvana when, having made the 210 mile round trip, they secured a place in the third round with a home tie against Lutterworth Town on Saturday 30th November at allpay.park, kick-off 3pm.

Westfields had to come from a goal behind at the break after a 25th minute goal by the home side with a long speculative shot into the top corner of the net caught Harvey Rivers off his line to give the home side the lead.

However, in the second half Westfields produced a hard-working performance on a heavy pitch and equalised on the hour when Aidan Thomas rifled home a left foot shot from the end of the penalty area to set up an exciting finish.

Westfields then twice caught the home side on the break with a shot which cannoned off the cross bar and then a shot from Aidan Thomas that fizzed just wide.

However, in the 80th minute Westfields got their deserved winner when Craig Jones put Ben Hayes free on the right and Hayes’ accurate cross found Richard Greaves who slotted home from 6yds to give Westfields a fantastic 2-1 lead. In the dying minutes Leicester Nirvana threw everything at the Westfields side but the defence stood well firm with Paul Hurrell and Kane Kahaki outstanding at the heart of the defence.

Westfields now face another long trip on Saturday when they go to Reading City, kick-off 3pm, in the Hellenic League Premier Division and then next Tuesday they are at home to Tuffley Rovers, kick-off 7.45pm, at allpay.park.

berks and bucks fa logoBerks & Bucks Senior Cup

Flackwell Heath 0 Didcot Town 3

Flackwell Heath were humbled in their own back yard by a well-disciplined Didcot Town side in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup on Tuesday night. The game went ahead despite the torrid conditions in the days prior and many games falling victim to the weather. The ground staff had done an excellent job and the pitch looked in great condition. The Heathens made two changes from the side who beat Tuffley at the weekend. Jack Taylor & Simeon Weekes stepping into the side with Marcos Ushiro-Lumb & Brandon Eaton making way.

The opening period of the game was a quiet affair. Both sides lacking quality on the ball. A couple of half-chances fell to each side but nothing that was ever going to test Watkins & Bedwell in either goal. Didcot warmed themselves into the game and began enjoying more of the ball than their opponents. Then with 9 minutes to play in the first half the deadlock was broken. A poor clearance from the usually reliable Mo Ceesay saw Flackwell in a two v two situation. Didcot wideman George Reid cut in from the right and scuffed his shot which wrong-footed Watkins and found its way into the bottom right corner. At half time it was FHFC 0 v 1 DTFC, perhaps a little harsh on the Heathens.

The start of the second half brought an early change for the Heathens. Josh Edwards forced off with a reccuring ankle injury he was replaced by club captain, Dan Bailey, who’d been suspended for 3 matches following his controversial sending off against Virginia Water last month. The second half started much better than the first. Both sides now used to the conditions were having a go at one another. With 53 minutes played Flackwell number 9, Dean Morgan eyed up a free-kick. Instead of going for glory he rolled the ball down the side of the Didcot defence to Simmo who struck a cross which looked as though it was handled but the referee waved the shouts away. Didcot hurtled down the right-hand side and had a chance themselves which was well saved by Watkins. Flackwell made a second substitution as Weekes departed for Sinclair. The latter almost made an instant impact. Immediately clicking with fellow frontman Dean Morgan. The move saw Baines strike into Morgan's feet, who released Sinclair. Baines followed and was rewarded as he played a one-two with Sinclair who eventually hit a left-footed strike whistling past the post.

With 15 minutes to play Didcot looped a corner kick deep into the Heathens penalty area. On the end of it was their giant captain Luke Carnell who headed cleanly into the top corner from 9 yards. At this point, the Heathens rallied and threw the dice a final time. This time Ushiro-Lumb replaced the more defensive-minded midfielder James Burrell. The result was confirmed 13 minutes from time as Jack Dark went on a mazy run through the Heathens defence and found himself staring Watkins down. Dark cooly lifted the ball over the advancing Flackwell ‘keeper and put his side 3 nil up.

Flackwell continued working hard and had a number of chances in the final 5 minutes. Goal-line blocks and resolute defending the order of the day for Didcot who stood firm. As the clock ticked over into stoppage time the Heathens were awarded a penalty. Khalid Simmo jinking and dancing in the Didcot box eventually saw him hacked down and there could be no complaints that the spot-kick was awarded. Simmo immediately grabbed the ball and placed it on the spot. His spot-kick was poor and he dragged the ball wide of the target. A moment that really told the tale of the night for Flackwell.

The final whistle went and Didcot were good for the win. A proper performance from the BetVictor Southern League side.

The Heathens are back in action again on Saturday afternoon as they host Shirvenham in a big game that the Reds must bounce back from a disappointing night.

Flackwell Heath: Watkins, Gray, Vicos, Burrell (69’ Ushiro-Lumb), Ceesay, Edwards (46’ Bailey),
Baines (c), Taylor, Morgan, Weekes (63’ Sinclair), Simmo.


Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy

Bracknell Town Reserves 0 Wokingham & Emmbrook 4 Report By Arthur Strand

Sumas' visited Bracknell on Monday evening for a County Cup fixture with the hosts' second string. Although Sumas' began with a couple of approaches to the Bracknell area, one shot deflected and Elliott Rushforth broke through the defence, they were thwarted by the last defender intercepting the move. Bracknell Reserves, who compete in the Suburban League, then pushed players up into the Sumas' half gaining a corner and a shot from Lewis Bebb was blocked. When a curler hit the post, Bracknell took another corner that produced a long shot saved by Sean Woodward. One more corner to Bracknell produced nothing and Wokingham took a free kick after a foul but that reversed with Bracknell taking a free kick and gaining a corner. Ben Broadhurst was fouled and the free kick was headed out and the ball was cleared allowing Bracknell to take a fresh attack which halted when Sumas' were awarded a free kick. After Sumas' hit the side net and the next useful cross saw Sumas' with a free kick with a low shot that produced a corner kick with no joy. In the 22nd minute Adam Edwards put Sumas' ahead with a fine shot and after the restart, Adam Edwards had an effort saved by Vinney Subal, followed soon by Rushforth having a shot double deflected. However, that disappointment was replaced by one of elation when, on 30 minutes, Rushforth was rewarded when the ball reached his feet from a cluster of players in the 6 yard box and he turned it in for a second effort, beyond Subal. Subal then had to make a save from Ellis Day. On the counter, Bracknell made strides and the ball returned to be blasted at Woodward who made another commendable save. Fraser took a Bracknell free kick, then next thing the ball rattled off the upright. Edwards made ground and took a shot that was wild. Bracknell returned to Wokingham's area and Woodward made another great save. Bracknell's next attempt produced a corner and the half concluded with Wokingham 2 goals clear.

The second set began with Day taking a shot and it was not too long before Kylo Atkinson was introduced to the game, replacing Byrne. Bracknell took an uneventful corner kick which gave Sumas' the opportunity to attack at the opposite end but the lob which beat Subal landed on top of the net. Ben Poulton replaced Alex Didoume and Kylo Atkinson fed the ball to Day but the finishing touch put the ball over the crossbar. Will Good came on as substitute for Adam Edwards as Atkinson supplied Josh Harris with a chance that sailed over the top. Kylo Atkinson was then felled by David Smith in the penalty area and Jake White succeeded in making it 3 - 0 from the spot. Sumas' were once more rewarded with a free kick but nothing came of it. Subal had work to do but his defence kept Atkinson at bay. Free kicks were traded and Bracknell forwards were pressing until Mark O'Connell.cleared the ball away from the penalty area. in the 87th minute, Will Good lashed in the 4th goal for the Sumas'. After play resumed, Bracknell missed again so no consolation goal and the Sean Woodward made another commendable save. As the whistle blew, the Sumas' knew that they were on the way to the next Round.
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Woodward,[GK], O'Connell, Broadhurst, Byrne, Guest, Cummuskey,[c], Edwards, N. Bateman, E.Day, White, Rushforth. Substitutes: Harris, Carter, Atkinson, Good, Best.
Bracknell Reserves: Subal,[GK], Brooks, Ikpo, Rullett, Arundell, Bebb, Didoume, Wright, Muttitt, Fraser, Nelom.
Substitutes: Smith, Bernodel, Evans, Poulton, George.

Wokingham & Emmbrook: Woodward,[GK], O'Connell, Broadhurst, Byrne, Guest, Cummuskey,[c], Edwards, N. Bateman, E.Day, White, Rushforth. Substitutes: Harris, Carter, Atkinson, Good, Best

Bracknell Reserves: Subal,[GK], Brooks, Ikpo, Rullett, Arundell, Bebb, Didoume, Wright, Muttitt, Fraser, Nelom. Substitutes: Smith, Bernodel, Evans, Poulton, George.