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Hellenic League Match Report

uhlsport Hellenic League - 17 August

 

Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup Round One

Easington Sports 0 Virginia Water 1(away view)

The visitors won an entertaining match at the impressive facilities of Easington, where the result and scoreline should have been more comfortable than it appears.

Playing into a strong wind in the first half, the possession and passing of VW was excellent, even if we did squander some great chances. Paul burrows went close with a few early efforts, as did Joel Drew and Liam Whyte. At the other end, apart from one slight confusion in our defence, which forced Matt into a good save, we were fairy untroubled.

In the second half, we deservedly got our breakthrough, when Adam McNamara rifled in a brilliant goal from a tight angle on 57 minutes. He could have added another couple of his own, and had a goal disallowed. Scott Jackson and Jack Simmons also went close in the latter stages. We were made to battle hard in the final quarter after losing Paul Burrows to a straight red card, but not only did we hold out well, but as above, could have added to our solitary goal.

Faringdon Town 1 Brimscombe & Thrupp 7

Town’s first competitive uhlsport Hellenic League fixture of the season, saw Premier Division side Brimscombe & Thrupp the visitors to Tucker Park in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Brimscombe lost out on the Premier Division championship and promotion by one point last season and Town knew they would have a mountain to climb to spring a surprise, two leagues lower. The squad was hampered by unavailability, which meant a senior debut for 20 year old Frankie Goodwin between the sticks, Matt Woods made his debut for the club at sweeper and without a recognised centre forward, Andy Goodchild wore the number nine instead of his normal centre half position.

The visitors kicked up the Tucker Park slope towards the Folly View Road End and immediately made their intentions known when a move down the right, saw the ball crossed and finished at the near post to make Town’s chances of gaining a results even harder. To be fair to Town over the next 20 minutes they grew into the match and neither side created a clear cut chance, however Town were winning 4-0 on corners!! Then with our 5th corner our first chances materialised as panic set into the away back line who failed to clear and but for some last ditch defending and the foot of the post, Town could have drawn level. Brimscombe were always in command and Town were playing a very defensive formation to try and frustrate. With the half coming to a close, Goodwin pulled off a fantastic fingertip save on 42 minutes, however shortly after he was helpless as the half came to close as an in-swinging cross from the left was put home from 6 yards and Town went into the break 2-0 down.

Town knew they would have to work doubly harder in the second period and with Brimscombe three games into their competitive season, their fitness would be at a higher peak than our own. Town’s chances were hampered further on 48 minutes as new signing Woods rolled his ankle and had to be assisted from the field, with Goodchild reverting back to centre half and Jason Evans going up top. Town were withstanding waves of pressure and on one rare journey into the visitors half, Town managed to grab a goal back. Ryan Bradbury chased down a visiting defender, stole the ball and managed to place the ball home on the angle under the advancing keeper for 2-1. The visitors were majorly upset and felt their number 10 had been fouled by Bradbury, but the goal stood and Town were back in the game on 56 minutes. However, our hopes were dashed in a five minute spell on the hour where they scored three goals to put the game to bed. Town didn’t help their chances by making what the management thought were simple mistakes and when playing Premier sides you will get punished. Town’s mood had now sunk and the healthy B&T following were in good voice as the goals went in. Two further goals were scored as the visitors introduced players from their bench and the 7-1 final score line was hard for the Town squad to take.

Much credit must go to the B&T players, management and supporters who showed us massive respect throughout their time with us, including staying in the bar until after 7.00pm and leaving their technical areas and changing rooms spotlessly clean.

Town will hope to take the good points from the match into the local derby on Friday nights as we travel to Shrivenham Development for a 7.45pm kick off. Town hope a large number of ‘The Don’ supporters who came to Tucker Park on Saturday will continue to support the lads, with admission at Barrington Park by £3.00 and 1.00 for concessions.

Town Team: F Goodwin, A Lynham (67 M Morris), A Sly, J Vaughan, J Forth(c), L Davenport, M Pill, M Woods (48 J Evans)C Wills (67 K Muhid), R Bradbury, A Goodchild: Suns Not Used, W Brigido, O Baker

Faringdon Town 1 Brimscombe & Thrupp 7 (away view)

Brimscombe ran out as convincing winners on Saturday when they kicked off in the Bluefin Challenge Cup. Sam Prior and his side headed to Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 2 West outfit Faringdon Town and quickly made their mark on the game. It took just three minutes for the visitors to find the net, Edd Major crossed in the ball from the right hand side straight to James Campbell at the front post who just tapped it past the Faringdon goalkeeper. The game slowed a little bit and both teams had a few chances with neither side capitalising on them. The Lilywhites came close to doubling their lead when James Campbell ran through and headed the ball towards the bottom left corner but Frankie Godwin was equal to it and got down well to his left to turn it around the post for a corner. With half time looming Brimscombe got what they wanted when Elliot Green’s ball in from the left found Kyle Pitts who knocked it away. The Lilywhites would have felt that they should have been 3-0 up when Eli Simpson’s header found Jonty Welch whose shot looked destined for the bottom corner but Godwin was again down to his side to swiftly deal with it.
Faringdon got us underway in the second half and straight away were troubled by injury with one of their players going down early into the second half. It was the host’s that netted next however, Josh Swales was pushed off of the ball in the Brimscombe box and the Don’s forward had no problem putting it away past Joe Wright. With just the one goal between the two teams things got a little bit scary for Brimscombe but Elliot Green erased all worries when he headed over Godwin. Seemingly Green’s goal opened the floodgates, just two minutes after James Campbell’s 25 yard rocketed effort rippled the net before John Evans headed it past Godwin just a couple of minutes after that to make it 5-1. Josh Swales was unlucky not to score in the afternoon but things went from bad to worse when he went down with an injury, he was replaced by Jack Smith and Ollie Pitt came on for Elliot Green. Both of the new additions on to the pitch made their mark when Ollie Pitt played a through ball to Jack Smith who beat the defenders to the ball and lifted it up and over. The final substitution was made when Sam Blackie came on for Jonty Welch. There was less than 10 minutes to go at Tucker Park, Ollie Pitt curled in a corner from the right hand side and directly found the top corner a goal that no one could quite believe. At 7-1 the Lilywhites didn’t rest and came agonisingly close to making it eight when Edd Major shot at goal past the Faringdon goalkeeper but he saw his effort flash across the goalmouth and out of play just inches away from the post.

Flackwell Heath 2 Marlow United 1 (away view)

Defensive frailties once again plagued United as they conceded two poor goals in a cup tie in which both teams took the field with weakened teams, Flackwell manager Marcus Richardson naming himself at centre forward with United only able to name three subs including coach and acting manager on the day Adam Dickens.

United started brightly with Chris Hurst having two early efforts but on six minutes they found themselves goal behind as Richardson found himself all alone in the 6 yard box and justified his selection by heading home from close range following a cross from the Marlow right. The game swung back and forth with both teams creating a number of opportunities, Marlow seeing a goal from Qwam Thomas ruled offside on 15 minutes the player heading home from a Lucas cross. Thomas found himself with a clear run on goal but poor control let him down as he was about to shoot, Hurst then seeing his effort from the loose ball blocked.

Flackwell were stretching the Marlow defence with keeper Alex Partridge being called into action on several occasions ensuring United kept the deficit to one goal. Despite this the visitors were looking dangerous themselves the best chance falling to Etienne, his control letting him down as he looked to be clear in the area. Flackwell had the last word of the half hitting the crossbar and finishing the 45 with a corner putting United under pressure.

Any thoughts off a Marlow come back were shattered after three minutes off the restart as those defensive frailties raised there head again with a cross from the right eventually arriving at the feet of a delighted Richardson who promptly despatched the ball into the net from close range. At this stage Marlow looked a little shell shocked and the hosts hit the post with an effort and Woodward cleared the ball off the goal line from a corner.as they threatened to run away with the tie.

United brought on Woodbridge and Bushay for Etienne and Harman, moving Hardie into midfield as they settled back into the game and Hurst saw an effort fly wide from a Lucas cross. The game was very open by this stage with Bushay looking dangerous for the visitors as he ran at the Heath defence but in truth keeper Watkins was rarely troubled as the game moved into the later stages.

Adam Dickens bought himself on for Shingleston, hoping perhaps to emulate Heaths Richardson scoring heroics, and he did bring some urgency to the front line. Watkins was forced into a save on 70 minutes clutching a Hardie header from under the bar but with the game petering out it was Dickens who bought it back to life with a snap shot that Watkins could only parry into the air allowing Woodbridge to follow up and bundle the ball over the line.
The referee allowed six minutes of added on time but United were unable to take advantage as Flackwell saw out the game without further scares to advance into the second round of the competition.

As for Marlow they are left to reflect on what may have been and how to achieve that elusive clean sheet. They have an opportunity to put that right that this Tuesday evening as they entertain high flying Didcot Town Development, KO 7:45 when they hope to have a stronger squad to choose from with players and management returning from holidays and injuries.

Marlow : A Partridge, R Sutherland, M Woodward, A Mckie, A Hardie, Q Thomas, A Harman, C Shingleston, A Lucas, C Hurst, JC Etienne. Subs. L BHushay, J Woodward, A Dickens

Letcombe 1 Tuffley Rovers 3

It was unfortunate that Letcombe’s first game on their return to the uhlsport Hellenic League was a cup match against a Premier Division team rather than a league match, but even though they had a number of players not available, Letcombe will be pleased that they matched their opponents for large parts of the game.

The first clear chance came after 10 minutes when a through ball left Lewis Bainbridge with a clear run on goal for the visitors, but home keeper Danny Jorce came quickly off his line to block the shot. Letcombe immediately broke upfield, and an excellent cross from the right by Callum Little was headed firmly into the net at the far post by Fabio Pinto to give Letcombe the lead. Play flowed from end to end, but Tuffley equalised after 27 minutes when Bainbridge raced clear with Letcombe expecting an offside flag, and he rounded Joyce before scoring from a narrow angle. Pinto was causing the Tuffley defence all sorts of problems on the left, and a great run and cut back allowed Luke Mulvey to fire a shot on target from 15 yards, but an outstretched boot deflected the ball round the post. Tuffley took the lead after 35 minutes with the home defence again looking for an offside flag, Ellis Waugh converting a right wing cross from close range.

Letcombe pressed forward early in the second half, and a Luke Mulvey corner ran across the face of the goal without anybody getting a touch. Shortly afterwards Fabio Pinto cut inside his full back and unleashed a great drive which came back off the bar. A poor defensive pass gave Tuffley a good chance to increase their lead, but Joyce saved well. Letcombe changed their formation to 3-4-3 with ten minutes remaining which left more space at the back, and Jake Rhodes took advantage to score after 82 minutes.

There were many pleasing performances from Letcombe players which should give them confidence when they return to league action. Captain Chris Rivers set a fine example in midfield, and Pinto was a constant threat on the left. There will be competition for places when missing players return from holidays.

Letcombe 1 Tuffley Rovers 3 (away view)

After the disappointment of an FA Cup exit at the first hurdle during midweek, Tuffley Rovers made progress in another cup competition, The Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup, as they overcame stubborn opposition, in the form of Division Two (West) side Letcombe to advance, recording a first competitive victory of the season. Rovers were without their longest serving player, Warren Mann, whilst they were also missing the injured Luke Merchant, as well numerous other players - including Ryan Caddock, Adam Sam Hill, Courtney Hamilton and the suspended Jai Maisey for the visit to the Letcombe Regis Recreation Ground. The hosts also found themselves without a number of players, on their first Hellenic League fixture since returning from a season in the North Berkshire League.

With so many of his squad absent, Rovers manager Mark Pritchett was forced into a defensive reshuffle, as he moved to left-back, accommodating Dec Earwaker in a more familiar centre-half. Ash Bird – normally a striker – started at right-back, with no other obvious options to fill the vacancy. There was also a first start for Lewis Bainbridge and a place on the bench for two potential debutants, Harri John and sixteen-year-old Joshua Bird.

Within sixty-seconds of the kick-off, Bainbridge had a first shot on target after exchanging passes with Dom Kent, before beating a man but his shot was underhit and comfortably saved by Danny Joyce in the hosts’ goal. Bainbridge was involved in much of Rovers attacking action and had another effort saved by Joyce on 10 minutes, as he raced onto Brett James’ header, following a long punt downfield by Alex Avenell.

The next Rovers attack involved James, again, but when it broke down the ball was quickly switched upfield and a superb cross from Callum Little found Fabio Pinto at the back stick and his towering header was powerfully headed down and beyond Avenell, as the Rovers keeper scrambled to keep it out of the net, giving Letcombe the lead with 12 minutes gone.
Once again, Rovers launched a wave of attacks, with Bainbridge firing high over the bar from the edge of the box, before Pritchett inexplicably headed over Jack Beardsell’s corner from just three yards.

It wasn’t all Rovers game and they survived a penalty appeal, after 18 minutes, as Kian Bonner-Shea went down under a challenge from Avenell, as both players chased down a ball over the top. The match official waved away the appeals, and Rovers survived the scare.

Bainbridge had yet another effort, once again firing narrowly over the Letcombe bar, before Chris Whelehan almost gifted Rovers an equaliser, only narrowly avoiding heading the ball into his own net from a Jack Phillips cross. Finally, after 28 minutes, Bainbridge and Rovers got some reward for their endeavours, finally equalising Pinto’s early goal. Phillips played a ball over the top of the Letcombe defence and Bainbridge ran through, rounded Joyce and rolled the ball home, into the unguarded net to make it 1-1. James was coming into the game, too, and he almost set-up Waugh, but his whipped cross was just beyond the forward’s stretch, as it flashed across the goal and out of play, before teeing up the same player to score his first competitive goal for the club, with the ball played back to the edge of the six-yard box, and a simple finish applied beyond Joyce, with 35 minutes gone. Once again, Bainbridge looked the most likely to score, as Joyce twice denied him, but there was no further score and the sides went into the interval with the score 2-1 in the visitors’ favour.

The second period started in a similar fashion to the first, although Kent was the first to have a shot on the Letcombe goal, before Pinto was involved for the hosts, producing a powerfully struck effort that went beyond Avenell, although this time the frame of the goal ensured Rovers stayed in front. Possession was very much in Rovers’ favour, but they were struggling to conjure any clear chances, and the next notable moment came after 71 minutes, when Pritchett was on the wrong end of a robust aerial challenge from Letcombe’s Chris Rivers, resulting in him being replaced by the first debutant of the afternoon, John, as goalscorer Waugh made way for Jake Rhodes.

Kent, who had been playing in an attacking midfield role, had to be alert to make a recovering challenge, after Earwaker had misjudged a through ball, to ensure Rovers stayed in front after 83 minutes, but moments later he was involved in the attacking move which ultimately decided the tie. When Phillips played a ball over the top, the diminutive attacker looked set to bear down on goal but as he drew the attention of James Wright, he intelligently slipped the ball back into the path of Rhodes, who fired the ball under the diving Joyce from 15 yards out.

There was time for the slight frame of youngster Bird to make an appearance from the bench, with the second debutant of the afternoon given one opportunity to test the Letcombe defence, with his cross turned away from goal, before the referee drew a close to the proceedings, with Rovers securing a win that they will be hoping kick-starts their 2019/20 season.

Longlevens AFC 2 Malvern Town 6 (away view)

The Hillsiders made progress in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup with a convincing 6-2 victory over higher level, Longlevens AFC.

We were hit on the counter-attack within the opening couple of minutes when a raid broke down and Emmett almost capitalised for the home side but his effort curled just wide. A marauding run from Matt Turner caused concern for our hosts as we look to take the initiative early on but it was an end-to-end start. James Febery saw a towering header from a corner saved before straight away at the other end, Emery went close as he was denied by a combination of Charlie Weaver and the base of the post.

We broke the deadlock in the tenth minute when Louis Loader curled home from a sweetly-taken free-kick. Moments later the purposeful Turner was thwarted by the ‘keeper from a tight angle as we started to build some momentum. The second goal duly arrived just past the quarter-hour mark when a slick move down the left ended with Turner getting the goal that his early efforts deserved. Some good link-up play between Clark and Kyonn Evans saw the latter force a corner which was not properly cleared and Turner almost profited.

The home side pulled a goal back on the half-hour when Adam Sauntson initially defended well but as the ball stayed alive, they were able to force home from close range. We refused to let our heads drop and soon afterwards Ben Miller saw an attempt well tipped over by the ‘keeper before we made it 3-1 when Clark fed Evans who showed good strength to hold off his marker and fire home.

We were playing with plenty of confidence at this stage and another goal followed on 39 minutes when some hesitation in the home defence was seized upon by Turner who rounded the ‘keeper and slotted home. The home side were still a threat on the counter and Weaver had to be alert to save as half-time approached. A delicious move down the right ended with our fifth goal just before the interval when Turner’s nice touch set Curtis Smith away on the overlap and his inviting cross into the danger zone was finished by Clark.

Leading 5-1 at the interval, we started the second period in much the same vein and Clark was denied from close range with a header before Turner set up Miller who fired over from a good position. It wasn’t the home side’s day as Martin missed from the penalty spot and then moments later we added a sixth goal when Evans hit a thunderous strike from distance that flew into the top corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance whatsoever.

After Turner headed inches wide, Weaver did well to rescue his side after some sloppy defensive play. With the clock ticking down, George Hayes was unlucky when his powerful drive was pushed over before Emery was denied at the other end by Weaver. The home side managed to pull a goal back late on when Emmett headed home from a high cross to the far post but it ended in a convincing 6-2 victory for us.

Malvern Town: Weaver, Smith (Harris 46), Hunt, A. Sauntson, J. Sauntson, Febery, Turner (Craven 70), Loader, Miller (Hayes 70), Evans, Clark. Sub not used: Whitcombe. 

Risborough Rangers 3 Heyford Athletic 0

Rangers eased through to the third round of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup with a comfortable win over division two side Heyford Athletic. Athletic, who like Rangers, are making their first appearance in the Hellenic League following an impressive spell in the Oxfordshire Senior League, arrived at the BEP Stadium having been Champions and Runners up in the last two season and Rangers manager Mark Eaton was quick to warn his players that there was no room for complacency. Eaton did however, rest several players, giving much needed minutes to members of his squad. He needn't have worried however as the home side eased into an early two goal lead. The first chance fell to Rangers when the lively Sam Pekun pounced on a loose ball in the second minute, his shot going just over the bar. Six minutes later and Rangers took the lead following some determined play from Gary Rymer. Laurence Clark slipped a clever ball through and Brian Haule coolly lobbed the keeper with a deft touch. Within four minutes Risborough doubled their lead following some excellent play from the home side, with Justin Gordon's raking cross-field pass finding opposite full back Jason Castello. The impressive Castello sent in the perfect cross for Haule who rose above the away defence to head powerfully home. The visitors looked shell-shocked. Soon after, a clever pass from Bertie Squire-Adams found Pekun who's shot was just wide of the post. On 35 minutes Heyford registered their first shot which sailed well over. With a minute to go before half time Rangers got a third following Squire-Adam's free kick. The ball went through a crowd of players before rebounding off a post and there was centre-half Josh Urquhart to nod home from close range. From the restart Heyford almost hit back when their left winger drove into the box and his low shot was saved by Jack Brooker in the Rangers goal. At the other end Dan Delderfield went close for Rangers just before the referee blew for the break.

Heyford had a good spell of possession just after the break but with Alex Sethi and Urquhart in commanding form at the heart of the Rangers rearguard, they never really threatened Brooker's goal. Ten minutes into the half Rangers first chance of the period came when Delderfield's shot was deflected for a corner after a good ball from Clark . With the home side looking to see the game out, the second half saw long periods of the match being played in the middle of the pitch, with few chances created by either side. Nearing the seventieth minute Heyford did create what looked a good chance from eight yards out but the ball was scooped over the bar. It was all academic however, with the linesman holding his flag up for offside anyway. A few minutes later and Rangers failedto clear and Brooker dealt with a weak shot. Eaton introduced his substitutes and the home side finished strongly; firstly Clark's free kick dipping over the wall to be well held by the visiting keeper. Rangers' lively substitute, Tijeanne Bartley then raced through before seeing his goal-bound shot blocked well. In the final minute Bartley thought he had scored when he headed home Squire-Adams' cross only for the flag to go up. It was marginal, unlike Rangers' win, that never looked anything but comfortable after their great start.

A fourth win from their first four games. Eaton should be pleased with the way his team managed the game even if they did ease off second half. He will be even more pleased that the squad came through without any injuries as they prepare for Tuesday nights important league fixture away at Long Crendon. Rangers have a busy period after Tuesday, with Saturday's home game against Langley and the Bank Holiday Monday trip to Chalvey Sports. He will need all his squad to be fit for what is a testing time, although influential midfielder Ben Hammond, who missed Saturday's game with a calf injury will be unlikely for Tuesday's game.

Rangers Man of the Match: Brian Haule. Two class finishes to set Rangers on the way. A clever target man who is a real handful for any defence.

Shortwood United 6 Bourton Rovers  0 

In spite of their wastefulness, Shortwood still managed to score six unanswered goals against Bourton Rovers in the first round of the League Cup. That puts Wood’s goal tally up to 27 goals in their four competitive fixtures to date. 

Shortwood’s dominance and subsequent inefficiency was underlined by Tom Black failing to convert four one-on-one, or near enough, chances in the first half alone, of varying degrees of difficulty it must be said, with Bourton stopper Simon Flower doing well to make the target as small as possible each time. 

Within these four chances were also two penalty shouts, the first with Black being taken out after his shot had floated over the bar (the ball was adjudged to have been out of play by the time the foul took place), and the second coming two minutes later, when Black surged into the box, appeared to be caught by a desperate sliding challenge, but he stayed on his feet and Flower saved his effort. Despite his lack of end product in the first half, Black’s sheer pace made him a constant threat throughout, illustrated by the numerous occasions on which he bared down on Flower’s goal. 

Amidst the Shortwood pressure, Bourton created a few good chances of their own. With eight minutes played, Keegan Bowes’ cross from the left was met by the unmarked Steven Nurse at the far post, but he was unable to connect properly and his header bounced wide. Ten minutes later, Josh Fielding picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Shortwood box and drew a fine, if unorthodox, save from the legs of Adam Clark. 

It seemed to be turning into one of those days for Shortwood, before Joe Wilton finally beat Flower thanks to a generous helping of luck. Jake Forster was unable to clear a pass down the side of the penalty area, and the second ball was picked up by Wilton, who drove inside, had his first shot saved by Flower, but got the ball back and, with the help of a deflection, the ball squirmed into the net at the near post. Wilton’s goal came in between two golden chances for Wood’s Paul Holmes. Finn Blythe’s pinpoint cross was headed straight at Flower from point blank range, before Holmes was played in behind by Wilton, but his attempted lob over Flower was comfortably caught. 

The utter domination of the first half almost counted for nothing going into the break. Bowes broke away from Tom Hoskins on the left, before pulling the ball back to Fielding, who seemed to be brought down by a recovering Shortwood defender, but penalty appeals were waved away and a few moments later the half was brought to a close. 

Black, clearly undeterred by his inability to finish chances in the first half, was denied once again less than a minute after the restart. He latched onto Blythe’s pass down the channel and for once put the ball beyond Flower, but a remarkable recovery from Bourton captain Philip Colmer prevented it from crossing the line. For the next twenty minutes or so, Shortwood struggled to find the rhythm that had characterised their first half performance. A one goal lead looked a dangerous one if Shortwood relaxed too much, but thankfully the margin was doubled by Josh Kerr in the sixty-fifth minute. A cleared corner was worked back out wide to Lee Bowles, whose inviting cross was headed powerfully into the bottom corner by the centre-back. 

Five minutes later, a one-two between Bowes and Harry Larner released the former, who forced Clark into an excellent reflex save with the ball heading for the top corner. In hindsight a save which potentially had a big impact on the outcome of the match, or, at least, the comfort with which the home side finished. 

In an unexpected turn of events, Shortwood suddenly found form in front of goal in the closing stages, rattling in four in a little under ten minutes. A long hopeful ball downfield from substitute Joe Tryner was latched onto by the ever-sharp Wilton, who put Callum Trott on the floor before rounding Flower and tapping into an empty net to make it 3-0. Three minutes later, a delightful lofted pass from Guy Halliday found Bowles in behind, who calmly guided his finish past the advancing Flower. The fourth was swiftly followed by the fifth, as Black finally scored with what was probably his hardest chance of the match, as he capitalised on some good work by Sergio Mills to arrow a left-footed shot in off the far post. Black then set up the sixth, laying off to Wilton who smashed a first-time finish into the bottom right-hand corner. 


Shortwood can now look forward to their trip to Dunstable on Sunday in the next qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup. 

Report*: by Harry Ash

Shortwood:  Adam Clark, Ben Langworthy (yellow card 54’) (Joe Tryner 73’), Finn Blythe, Tom Hoskins, Josh Kerr, Finn Byrnes (Josh Blunt 80’), Joe Wilton, Guy Halliday (C), Paul Holmes (Sergio Mills 64’), Tom Black, Lee Bowles 

Bourton Rovers: Simon Flower, Jake Forster (Richard Morse 81’), Chris Mills, Philip Colmer, Callum Trott, Chris Cooper, Keegan Bowes, Jack Robson (yellow card 69’) (Jake Oakey 75’), Steven Nurse, Josh Fielding (Ben McPhilimey 81’), Harry Larner 

Shrivenham 2 Moreton Rangers  3 

Shrivenham could be forgiven for thinking their luck against their visitors had changed when Lewis Petrie slid the day’s opening goal in to the back of their net with little over a minute on the clock, however a rare display of defensive dishevelment coupled with the red-hot Rangers goal threat put an end to Shrivenham’s participation in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup for a second successive season.

dougie wallace hellenic league footballGareth Davies' men maintained the lead for a little more than 8-minutes before being caught on the break and sharp finish from top scorer Dougie Wallace (pictured) levelled affairs. Captain Sam Ockwell basted high on 12-minutes and the visitors had Jason Beasley to thank moments later when he saved another opportunity from Petrie. 

Shrivvy were punished for more sloppy defending with 24-minutes gone, when Wallace made a simple finish following a nice moved by Moreton to give him his fifth goal in two games. Beasley saved a deflected effort from Ollie Rejek nine-minutes later with Jamie Prictor hitting the bar following a corner but with Moreton hitting their hosts on the break, it was Dan Lawrence who was called in to action to prevent the visitors going even further ahead. With half time looming, Shrivenham managed to force a scrappy ball over the line from a corner and although there was confusion as to who scored – it was eventually credited to Petrie – meaning he joined Tom Ballard at the top of the sides leading scoring chart – with two apiece. 

With the scores tied at the interval, Shrivenham had lots to do in the second period, and Nick Stanley began the second period with a decent chance that was equalled by Beasley before Ockwell saw another effort go begging as Beasley push the ball around the post but with Shrivenham finding opportunities limited, just seconds after Lawrence maintained the score-line with a good save on 67-minutes, there was nothing he could do when a fantastic long range shot from Matt Johnson sailed in to the top right corner – a goal worthy of winning the tie on it’s own. 

Josh Morse and Matt Horsell came on for Nathan Blackford and Rob Hendry respectively on 70-minutes, while Aaron Dainton was given a run out in place of Tom Ballard – likely made ahead of Tuesday’s tough trip to Bishops Cleeve, but it was the visitors who inflicted another comfortable defeat over their hosts – leaving Shrivenham to hope that it was a case of “Before the Lord Mayors Show” and Tuesday’s important uhlsport Hellenic game at Kayte Lane. 

Shrivenham: Dan Lawrence, Nathan Blackford (Josh Morse), Rob Hendry (Matt Horsell), Sam Ockwell ©, Liam Edmondson, Macauley Dodson, Jamie Prictor, Nick Stanley, Lewis Petrie 2, Ollie Rejek & Tom Ballard (Aaron Dainton). Sub: Antonio Gerrish & Mike Alexander (GK). 
Moreton Rangers: Jason Beasley, Hedley Smart, Adam White, Matt Johnson 1, Tom Ford, Adam Shipman ©, Zak Ellis, Nadir Fortes, Dougie Wallace 2, Lee Brooks & Jamie Wyatt. Sub (TBC): Orlando Giannini, Josh Burford & Tom Allcock

Westfields 8 Swindon Robins 0

Westfields Football Club warmed up for their very important Bank Holiday weekend next weekend when they trounced visiting Swindon Robins 8-0 in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup First Round tie at allpay.park on Saturday. Westfields’ management team made 8 changes from the team that went through in the FA Cup tie against Congleton Town and introduced a number of players to give them match time and the team responded with a polished display from start to finish.

Westfields were led to their 8 goal haul by a 4-0 half-time advantage with goals through Ben Hayes, Adam Wakley, Billy Murphy and Sam Rawlings before in the second half Joe Bates grabbed a second-half hat-trick and skipper Sam Gwynne slammed home a penalty to give Westfields a comfortable passage into the next round.

Westfields now look forward to their busy Bank Holiday weekend which includes an important FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against visiting Lutterworth Town from Leicestershire on Saturday at allpay.park, kick-off 3pm, and then on Bank Holiday Monday Westfields have a local derby in the Hellenic League Premier Division when Forest of Dean side Lydney Town visit allpay.park, kick-off 3pm. Lydney Town are managed by former Westfields striker Richard Kear and Lydney are currently enjoying a good start to the new season so this should be an excellent local derby on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Woodley United 2 Windsor 2 - Windsor win on penalties

Woodley United exited the Hellenic League Bluefin Sport Challenge cup in dramatic fashion that required eighteen penalties to decide who advanced to round three after four goals had been shared in the ninety minutes. Those ninety minutes also saw three penalties awarded all of which were initially saved only for one to be retaken as Woodley keeper Adam Thomson was adjudged to have been off his line the moment the ball was kicked.  

Windsor were pointless and goalless after their three opening games to the season, but after sixteen minutes Jake Sobalak gave the Royalists the lead with a strike from twenty five yards that would be contender for goal of the day in any competition. United nearly equalised within a minute of the restart when Toby Briggs showed good work before his goal bound shot was diverted of the goal line for a corner and then put wide from the resulting corner kick. 

The equaliser came on the half hour when good play by Sam Guze set up Ed Thomas who calmly slotted the ball past Windsor’s Sonny Wheeler when one on one. With the half time score looking to be level, Woodley defender Conor Clarke was penalised in the forty fourth minute for handball when he turned side wards, arm down to protect himself from a shot but as the ball brushed his arm a penalty was awarded. To make matter worse the defender was booked for deliberately moving his arm into the flight of the ball! Facing Windsor’s Andy Ingram, man of the match Thomson dived to his left to push the kick away and then reacted quickest to smoother the ball to keep the score one all. 

Woodley had an opportunity to take the lead on fifty nine minutes when Ben Okon fouled Thomas but Wheeler dived to his left to deny Guze from the penalty spot and Freddie Barron but the rebound over the cross bar. However, two minutes later Thomas did give the hosts the lead when he shot pass Wheeler following a good run and pass from Briggs. 

With seventeen minutes remaining Pele Hagger fouled Okon and received his second yellow card to leave the hosts to play the match out with ten men. A reorganisation of the defence saw Jon Malone drop into centre back and Bailey Hill move to Hagger’s left back position and while Windsor pushed forwarded United looked secure with ten players until the eighty sixth minute. Windsor thought they had levelled only for the goal to be disallowed as Malone was adjudged to have handled the ball which had deflected off his arm on the way into the net. Thomson dived to his left pushing Adam Kirby’s kick beyond the upright only to be penalised for not being on his goal line. Kirby made no mistake with the retake to level the score two all. 

With no further goals and no extra time the tie was to be decided by penalty kicks.  Windsor won the toss to kick first and both teams scored on their opening attempt. Thomson saved to his right to deny Windsor’s second with Wheeler doing likewise with United’s second kick. Both teams scored on their third and fourth kicks and with Windsor converting their five kick it was left to Dave Stevens to score and force sudden death, which he just did with the ball trickling over the line despite Kirby getting a hand to it. The penalty kick score was level at four all which became five all despite Thomson getting a leg to Windsor’s sixth kick but being unable to prevent the ball hitting the net. 

Thomson saved Windsor’s seventh kick to his left only to be cautioned for his celebration while United’s seventh rebounded of the upright to level the scores still level at five apiece. Both teams scored a sixth penalty resulting in a ninth kick being required. Windsor converted theirs with Wheeler saving to his right to give the visitors a seven – six win on penalty kicks. 

Woodley United 2 Windsor 2 - Windsor win on penalties (away view)

Windsor picked up their first win of the season after seeing off Woodley United in a penalty shoot-out in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup.  More new faces were introduced to the side with former captain Adam Kirby returning along with Charlie Macaskill and Adam Forder. 

Windsor started brightly and looked to be creating chances although their lack of luck infront of goal continued.That was until 16 minutes in when Luke Appleton's effort was blocked allowing Jake Sobalak to strike from outside the area to give the visitors the lead.  This seemed to kick start Woodley as they started to up the pressure and this was rewarded when a poor back pass by Ben Okon let Sam Gruze through to round Sonny Wheeler and roll the ball into the net.  The game went from end to end for the remainder of the half and with minutes left Conor Clark's hand ball earned Windsor a penalty.  Andrew Ingram stepped up but his spot kick was saved by Adam Thomson despite the keeper coming off his line, something that would be repeated throughout the game. 

Windsor continued to apply early pressure in the second half but it was the hosts that were given the chance to take the lead on the hour.  Charlie Macaskill brought down Edward Thomas and Sam Guze stepped up only for his spot kick to be saved with Wheeler also coming off his line. 

Only a couple of minutes later and Woodley did get themselves ahead when Toby Briggs turned in Thomas' low cross. 
The game turned in Windsor's favour on 73 minutes when Pele Hagger picked up his second booking reducing the hosts to 10 men.  The penalty saga raised its head again in the final minutes when Jonathan Malone blocked a shot with his arm and conceded a penalty.  Kirby stepped up and his initial effort was saved with Thomson once again coming off his line. 
This time the spot kick was ordered to be retaken and Kirby made no mistake second time round. 

With the scores level at 90 minutes the tie went straight to penalties. George Dawson-Clarke and Joseph Sissons made no mistakes with their sides opening kicks but Macaskill and Sam Wood both saw the next ones saved.  Sobalak, Guze, Kirby, Malone, Appleton, David Stevens, Jay O'Connell and Briggs all converted their efforts before Ingram saw another penalty saved and Miguel Camacho hit the post.  Forder, Bailey Hill and Robin Featherstone netted their efforts before Sonny Wheeler turned hero to save Freddie Barron's effort. Match Report from Malcolm Williams


 

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