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14 October 2020

BluefinSport Challenge Cup

Binfield 5 AFC Aldermaston 0 (report by Dave Wright)
Binfield eased through their Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup second-round tie on Tuesday, defeating AFC Aldermaston 5-0 at Hill Farm Lane. The Moles totally dominated the game as one would largely expect when a top Premier Division side takes on one from the lower reaches of Division 1 East and could so easily have won by a wider margin. There were a few changes to the starting line-up with the managers Jamie McClurg and Carl Withers giving certain players valuable minutes on the pitch and they all fitted in well to their roles - proof that the whole squad are one unit when it comes to training and match preparation.

Jack Broome got the ball rolling with a well-taken goal in the 11th minute, but it was nearly half-an-hour before they doubled their lead via Adam Cornell, who was quick to seize on a rebound. It was a much-needed confidence booster for the striker, who earlier had seen his header come back off the post. In the first half, the visitors had defended well whilst also launching a few which kept the Moles defence on their toes although it was never sustained pressure. Aldermaston were led by former Binfield defender Gary Smith, who played on despite suffering a facial injury early in the game.

The second half saw Moles enjoy even more possession than they had in the first and it was inevitable they would add to their tally even though Iain McCulley was performing well in the Aldermaston goal. But he was caught well out of position in the 76th minute and paid the price as Sean Moore found the net from a very tight angle to make it 3-0. In the 4-4 draw with Windsor, the Moles skipper scored twice in a little over four minutes, but he didn't need as long on this occasion, as two minutes later he crashed the ball into the net from around 30 yards. So two excellent goals from Sean, who is in the form of his life at the moment, and it takes his season's tally to nine so far, six coming in the last three games.

Substitute Jemel Johnson, who had replaced Cornell after 69 minutes, sealed a good night's work for his team by netting their fifth goal four minutes from time. Aldermaston, who had Adam Price sent to the sin-bin in the 80th minute for dissent, deserve some credit for not giving up, but again they were made aware of the gap that exists between the divisions, having lost by the same margin at Premier Division side Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Buildbase FA Vase last Saturday. For the Moles, it is now nine goals scored in two successive home games, but they will undoubtedly find it much more difficult to break down a Fairford Town rearguard this Saturday - and it might mean a little bit of Moore magic from captain Sean if Binfield are to maintain their unbeaten run in league games.

Holyport 2 Risborough Rangers 4 (away view)
Risborough Rangers produced a stunning first half performance to eliminate second in the table Holyport in the Hellenic League Challenge Trophy in Maidenhead on Tuesday night. Manager Mark Eaton made five changes from his winning FA Vase starting line up at Raunds Town the previous weekend. You wouldn't have known it though, such is the strength in depth of this squad, as Rangers romped to victory by four goals to two. In came Gary Rymer, Martin Griggs, Lawrence Clark, Sam Pekun and Justin Gordon to replace Josh Urquart, Ben Hammond, Davis and Brian Haule and Adam Morris, who were all rested. 

Rangers started brightly and early on Clark found Pekun, who crossed for Griggs to volley just wide. Soon after and a good move by Rangers saw Asher Yearwood burst into the box and shoots against the foot of the post with the rebound falling to Pekun who shot wide. Aquarter of an hour in and Yearwood's shot was parried for Griggs to slam home the rebound only to be disallowed for a debatable offside. A superb pass from Gordon sets away Pekun again and he crosses to the far post where Marcus Wyllie tee'd up Griggs. His shot was well saved and the ball hacked clear. It was all one way traffic and Rangers mount attack after attack. Finally in the 21st minute Rangers take the lead with an excellent goal. After a stunning move with some great one touch passing, Gordon fed the ball into Griggs who laid off to Bertie Squire-Adams to hit an unstoppable rising shot from 15 yards. Shortly after and Griggs sets up Wyllie whose shot was well blocked. A minute later and Joel Read headed wide from Squire-Adams' cross. More good play from Griggs and Pekun's challenge send the ball spinning back to Griggs who fizzed a shot just over from the angle. Next, keeper Jack Brooker sent a long drop kick to Pekun and his shot was saved at the near post. At the half hour mark Gordon's long throw into the Holyport area was layed back by Wyllie for Clark to shoot. Appeals for handball came to nothing however. With 10 minutes to the break Pekuns run wins a corner and Wyllie heads the kick over. A clever flick from Griggs sets Pekun away again and he shoots over when he looked to be impeded. 38 minutes and the home side registered their first shot on target, which was easily held by Brooker. In the same minute Rangers doubled their lead when Alex Sethie's over-hit through ball for Pekun caught the Holyport keeper off his line and sailed into the unguarded net. It may have had a touch of luck but it was no more than the visitors deserved for their dominance of the half. Griggs was again in the action with an audacious pass in the area to Wyllie who won a corner. The kick was only half cleared and Sethie this time hit a superb shot, bringing a brilliant save out of the Holyport keeper. From the corner the ball was recycled to Griggs, whose shot was well saved by the overworked home custodian. He could do nothing about Rangers' third however. A neat one, two between Griggs and Clark led to the ball reaching Gordon. His cross was laid back by Yearwood to Clark for the classy midfielder to slam home from 14 yards. It was the perfect end to a perfect display from the visitors with the home side looking shell shocked as they trudged off. 

It was always going to be difficult for Rangers to maintain the level of performance seen in the first half and sure enough, the second half never quite matched the first. Ris' still had plenty of chances however and with a bit more composure in front of goal they could have scored four or five more. As it turned out they had to be content with only the one with the most mystifying question being, how did Holyport score two? They were so much second best on the night yet somehow Rangers contrived to spoil a great performance with some, frankly, rank defending! The visitors started well though with Squire-Adams' swerving shot just wide. Pekun and Yearwood combined to set up Griggs, who also shot wide. Pekun was again in the action , setting up Wyllie, whose effort produced a good save. The home keeper then pulled off two excellent saves to deny, first Wyllie, then Pekun as Rangers pile on the pressure. With just over quarter hour of the second half played Holyport pulled one back when Rangers failed to clear the danger. Brooker saved the first effort before the rebound was slammed home. The home side barely deserved it but Rangers must look at themselves for some sloppy work. Rangers hit back with Griggs heading straight at the keeper. 65 minutes in and Wyllie heads wastefully wide when well placed. A few minutes later and he makes up for it in typical fashion. Picking the ball up on the left wing he ghosts past several defenders, cutting into the box before sliding the ball past the oncoming keeper with ease. It was the coolest of goals for his 11th of the season. Soon after a good move started by Rymer saw Yearwood volley over from close in. With ten minutes remaining Brooker pulled off a good save, tipping over a smart shot as Holyport tried to rally. Six minutes from time and Holyport score another consolation as an attacker bundled through an unusually passive Rangers defence to score. Rangers came back with some half hearted counters as the game fizzled out to its conclusion. The scoreline looks more respectable than the events of the match but Rangers won't lose any sleep over that having totally dominating what could have been a difficult fixture. 

Rangers Man of the Match: Asher Yearwood. Just superb. Involved in nearly everything. His fitness levels are amazing and looked as fresh at the end as he was at the start. 

Slimbridge Reserves 2 Westfields 1 (away view)
Premier Dividion Westfields were beaten surprisingly 2-1 away by Division Two West Slimbridge Reserves last night in a Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup First Round tie when the young Slimbridge side scored two late goals to go through to the next round. 

Westfields found it difficult to break down a young enthusiastic Slimbridge side who gave a resolute display throughout the game and were unlucky to find themselves 1-0 down at the break after hitting the crossbar and the post with good efforts and Steve Sarkodie in the Westfields goal twice bringing off good saves. 

However, just before the break Westfields took the lead when Brad Williams was bundled over in the Slimbridge penalty area and Richard Greaves put Westfields ahead from the penalty spot. 

However, after the break Slimbridge came more into the game and created a couple of really useful chances, again hitting the crossbar, and Sarkodie twice going full-length to make saves to keep Westfields in the game. However, midway through the half Slimbridge Reserves drew level when Ethan Dunbar tapped home a right-wing cross and then late in the game and deep into injury time Slimbridge Reserves substitute Ellis Rutherford headed home the winner. 

A disappointing result and display by Westfields; they will now look forward to a home league game on Saturday when they meet Longlevens in a Premier Division fixture, kick-off 3pm at allpay.park. 

Virginia Water 1 Yateley United 0
A terrific match, in front of a big crowd at Stag Meadow, saw Virginia Water edge out Yateley, who gave a performance that was certainly way above their current league status – credit to them.

VW should have gone ahead within 5 minutes, when Jake Baker crossed for Enow ‘Smiles’ Ojong to hit the bar from 6 yards. Smiles then had two other chances soon after, as did Casey Bocarro, Josh Dillon, and some threats from our trademark set piece play. At the other end Yateley were more than a threat, but found Matt in good form in goal, and a defence that fought all the way to keep a clean sheet. The half ended 0-0, somewhat surprisingly, with the visitors the better side.

After the break, VW grew into the game, and the introduction of Paul Burrows and Jack Simmons turned the tide, with possession, territory and chances all in our favour. The goal when it came, was a little fortunate, when on 67 minutes, Paul’s goal bound shot, was deflected beyond their excellent keeper.

VW could have extended the lead and made the game safe, with Casey, Jake, Paul, the excellent Ryan Blake and Finn Evered all going close.
Yateley also had some chances, but Matt made a great save to tip over their best effort, whilst safely seeing out some other shots from distance.
It was certainly a real battle out there, with the result an important one.

VW go into the next round – just! We wish Yateley the best of luck for the season, and expect to see them progress to Step 6 very soon.

Wokingham & Emmbrook 3 Chinnor 0 (Report by Arthur Strand)
Chinnor were the visitors to Lowther Road, drawn away to Suma's in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup. The hosts went straight into the attack but gained a free kick after which the ball finished in the net but the goal was disallowed. Chinnor countered strongly testing Sean Woodward in goal and a tricky aerial chip was saved by Woodward. Next up Woodward made a crucial save but the next approach ended off-side. A free kick later on to Chinnor rebounded off the Suma's defence to see Suma's take advantage and gain ground with James Clark missing the target over the crossbar. A free kick to Suma's turned into a corner kick and the ensuing play in the 6 yard box with the forwards trying hard to score but doing everything else but score. On the half hour, Suma's gained a penalty and this time James Clark scored from the spot. Within minutes the score tally went up one when the ball arrived in the box and was hooked in by skipper, Liam Eagle.

Sean Woodward made another useful save as Chinnor started the second half with a sense of purpose then Luke Davis sent the ball sailing over the Suma's crossbar from an acute angle near the corner flag. It was Joe Hitchins who cleared up the ball going around the area close to goal. He was also required to make another save from a Suma's’ corner soon after. Suma's made a substitution as Mark O’Connell made an appearance and Richard Kell was one in a double substitution with Joe Drabble for the Suma's. Luke Scope scored the 3rd goal which was the only goal in the second half since Chinnor had their moments but fell short of scoring. Suma's returned to the opposite end and gained a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Liam Eagle got his head to the ball but it went out of play. Suma's were by now dominant although Scott Bryson was a very industrial player working his way along the left flank sporadically when he received the ball. Chinnor made a last ditch attempt at pulling the game their way and gained a corner from which Scott Bryson headed out.

Wokingham & Emmbrook: Woodward,(GK), Carter, Day, C. Eagle, L.Eagle (c), Cummuskey, Rushforth, Badshah, Scope, Clark, N.Bateman.
Substitutes: O’Connell, Drabble, Kell, Winship, M. Eggleston.