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Hellenic League Match Report

18-19 October

Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup

Binfield 4 Burnham 2

Another day, another cup win for The Moles. Two wins and two hat tricks in four days after a 4-0 win on Tuesday night at Combined Counties Egham Town in the Buildbase FA Vase.

Tuesday's hero was Josh Howell with a Left foot,Right foot, header hat trick added to a Josh Helmore strike. Friday nights affair was a lot closer against a very youthful and talented Burnham side who had found form in recent games.  It was Burnham who settled quickly and took the lead after a  goalmouth melee in the 19th minute. They should have increased their lead a minute later but good work from Joe Williams ensured the score stayed at 0-1.  

The lead was not to last very long as in the 22nd minute a Jamie McClurg through ball found Sean Moore on the edge of the Burnham box. He twisted past two defenders and found the net to make it 1-1, . Calam Gallimore was the first Moles player to be sin binned this season in the 34th minute  HT 1-1. Burnham edging the half.

A very good second half performance  from the Moles saw an own goal give Binfield edge in the 69th minute then Moore scored the first of his two penalties on 73 and 86 minutes, competing his hat trick in the process.  Burnham lost two players to red cards in between the goals no doubt contributing to their downfall. Manager Roger Herridge rotated his squad again in readiness for our next match against Flackwell Heath (away) in the Floodlit Cup on Tuesday.

Congratulations to young Joe Williams (image ) for picking up the Binfield Supporters Player of the Month award for September.

Faringdon Town 0 Clanfield 85 3 

Division Two Faringdon Town welcomed their Division One neighbours Clanfield (85) FC who had travelled the 4 miles up the Radcot Road to Tucker Park, to see who would go through to the third round of the Challenge Cup. 

Town were hampered by last minute dropouts and only had one substitute and with Derren Harrington having a hamstring pull after only 15 minutes, the 11 lads on the pitch were in for a long afternoon against Division One side Clanfield. 

The away sides first chance came on 20 minutes when a header rattled the Town crossbar and then on 24 minutes the match was held up for 5 minutes as Town centre back Matt Wood had treatment for a twisted knee, which would hamper him for the remainder of his time on the pitch. Shortly after the restart and Town had their first sight of goal as a quick breakaway saw substitute Kameron Muhid hit a goal bound effort which was blocked by a number of Clanny flying bodies. The visitors had all of the ball, but their build up play was slow and ponderous and despite a couple of long range efforts which cleared the Town goal, the half went by with Town looking fairly comfortable. 

The Town management team made it clear that the work rate had to continue as the away side would be receiving a rocket from their bench following the first half efforts. Town keeper Connor Guinness-Smith then made a smart save on 48 minutes. Soon after and the outside of the goal was hit by a Clanfield freekick before Ryan Bradbury made the keeper work with a freekick of his own and force a corner, which came to nothing. On 61 minutes, hesitation between Guinness-Smith and Andy Goodchild, saw the Clanfield striker sneak in between them, however Guinness-Smith was equal to the goal bound effort pulling off a smart save to safety. Unfortunately, two minutes later and the visitors pressure paid off as Town lost the ball cheaply on the halfway line and a quick break saw the ball spread from right to left, where the Clanfield number 3 calmly slotted home for the opening goal.

Soon after and the Town left hand upright was hit with a fierce Clanfield shot before a controversial penalty decision by the match official, saw Clanfield awarded a penalty. Facing the Folly View Road end, the Clanfield number 10 hit his spot-kick high over the Town goal and the scoreline remained 1-0. Moments later, Clanfield felt they should have been awarded a second penalty, this one looked blatant to both benches, however the man in black waved play on. But on the next attack as the forward got down the side of the Town defence, another dubious penalty was awarded, which only the referee appeared to see. This time, the spot kick was taken by the Clanfield substitute striker and duly placed into the goal for 0-2. Town centre back Wood then made the decision he couldn't continue on 75 minutes after soldiering, leaving Town down to 10 players. This obviously saw Clanfield push for further goals and despite Guinness-Smith pulling off a great save on 77 minutes, shortly after an in-swinging cross was deflected past the Town number 1, by the leg of a Town defender for 0-3. Town continued to work hard and came off the field of play with their heads held high after putting in a very good team performance. 

Faringdon Town: C Guiness-Smith, D Harrington (sub 15min K Muhid), A Lynham, A Goodchild, M Wood, J Forth, R Bradbury, L Davenport, D Courtney, M Pill, A Sly. 

Flackwell Heath  2  Virginia Water 

Flackwell Heath overcame an early set back on Saturday to progress to the next round of the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup after they beat Virginia Water FC. 

Virginia Water found themselves in dreamland after just 2 minutes as Louis Sanders got himself on  the end of a good cross from Adam McNamara to put the visitors one up. VW were forced to make 2 early substitutions after Paul Burrows & Jo McBride were forced off due to illness & injury. 

The Reds then got themselves out of first gear and started causing Virginia Water problems. Ushiro-Lumb and Baines working hard to create chances. It was Marcos Ushiro-Lumb who sent the Virginia Water full-back sprawling all over the place on 17 minutes. Ushiro-Lumb then got the ball at his feet and put it in a lovely ball which found its way to midfielder James Burrell who made no mistake from close range and levelled for the Heathens. 

15 minutes later there were huge claims for a penalty. Ushiro-Lumb again causing problems, this time hitting an early cross which struck the arm of a sliding VW defender. Had the defender not handled the ball it would’ve found its way to Leuis Sinclair in a goal-scoring position. The referee gave a corner kick despite the valid protests from the Heathens. With 8 minutes to go to the half, the referee pointed to the spot. This time after Sinclair was shoved to the floor by a VW defender. In honesty, the decision was soft but a penalty nonetheless. Sinclair slotted the spot-kick away to give Flackwell the lead. The protests from the VW players were ongoing and Max Samyint found himself in the sin bin for 10 minutes. At the break, it was 2 v 1 to the reds. 

The second half was fairly uneventful. The VW ‘keeper kept the Heathens at bay and the game developed into a scrappy, direct affair. The Reds making a couple of substitutions as Gregory & Phillips replaced goalscorers Burrell & Sinclair. 

Having spent 10 minutes in the sin bin in the first half Max Samyint found himself taking an early shower as he received a second sin bin with 15 minutes to play. The new sin bin rule meant that Samyint would not be allowed back on the field of play for the remainder of the game. With 3 minutes to go there was a tussle in the VW penalty area which looked as though the centre half had his opposite number, Dan Bailey, round the neck. The linesman frantically waved his flag seemingly to inform the referee of the tussle. After a short deliberation, the referee produced a red card in the direction of Heathens captain Bailey. The game ending on a sour note. 

The Heathens progress to the next round of the Challenge Cup. Their next fixture sees them host Binfield FC on Tuesday night in the Banbury Litho Floodlit Cup. Virginia Water host Brackley Town Saints. 

Flackwell Heath: Watkins, Eaton, Vicos, Burrell (Phillips ‘85), Bailey (c), Ceesay, Ushiro-Lumb, Taylor, Sinclair (Gregory ‘79), Howell, Baines. 

Flackwell Heath 2 v Virginia Water 1 (away view)

Virginia Water bowed out after a narrow defeat at Flackwell Heath. The visitors started really well, and went ahead after 3 minutes, when Louis Sanders volleyed in a great cross from Adam McNamara.

VW didn’t build on this lead, and lost the services of influential Paul Burrows and Joe McBride within the first quarter, due to illness and injury. The lads that deputised worked tirelessly, with limited minutes leading into the match, but we failed to hold the lead.

Two defensive lapses, saw VW gift the home side the lead when we failed to clear a cross, and then conceded a soft penalty.

VW did have the better of the second half, with a number of close calls, whilst Matt kept the home side at bay, at the other end. On a pitch that made passing quite difficult, the match developed into a long ball/direct affair, and both sides could and should have scored, but not to be. The Heathens held out for the win – just!

Virginia Water: Jones, Burrows, Hennah, Hill, Lansdown, Lazarczuk, McNamara, McBride, Mills, Dillon, Sanders. 

Wellington 1 Westfields 1 (away view)
Wellington go through 7-6 on penalties.

Westfields travelled to near-neighbours Wellington for the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup on Saturday and were beaten 7-6 in an exciting penalty shoot-out which followed on from a 1-1 draw during 90 minutes. 

Both teams had opportunities to have won the game in normal time especially after Westfields had taken an early lead through Joe Bates and then had a great opportunity to have increased their lead but Ben Hayes fired wildly over the bar from close range. 

Westfields were then reduced to 10 men when central midfield man Billy Murphy was sent off for a tackle but the 10 man Westfields side still had enough opportunities to have increased their lead before, in the second half, Wellington drew level from the penalty spot when Luke Griffiths was adjudged to have been brought down and Matt Williams levelled the scores from the spot. 

Westfields then again had opportunities but Aidan Thomas twice blasted over the bar when well placed and Wellington too had opportunities when dangerous free kicks were floated into the penalty area but were not converted into goals.  

As the game entered into extra time Ian Havard saved the first Wellington penalty kick and the match could then have been won by Westfields on 2 occasions but Adam Wakeley and Sam Gwynne both failed to convert their penalties which would have taken the Westfields side through to the next round. 

It came down to the 2 goalkeepers having to take penalties and Wellington goalkeeper Apperley who had been in inspired form all afternoon converted his penalty off the underside of the bar and then became the Wellington hero when he saved Ian Havard’s penalty to put the Villagers through to the next round. 

Berks & Bucks FA Intermediate Cup

Letcombe 4 Wallingford Town Reserves 3

Letcombe progressed to the third round of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate cup, but they should have won the game much more easily. The hosts dominated the match for long periods, but credit must be given to the young Wallingford side who never gave up trying and always looked dangerous on the break.

Letcombe gifted Wallingford the lead in the second minute when Mikey Annetts missed a long ball as he tried to head it back to keeper Ben Beasley, and Oliver Chalk took advantage to lob the ball over the stranded keeper. Letcombe almost equalised soon afterwards when James Wright controlled a cross on his chest, but his subsequent volley came back off the post. The hosts created a number of chances but failed to take them, but the equaliser came after 24 minutes. A short corner on the right enabled Josh Fowler to cut inside and drive a left footed shot into the far top corner from the edge of the penalty area, but Wallingford regained the lead soon afterwards. They were awarded a disputed free kick 35 yards from goal, and although Ben Bneasley appeared to have Isaac Pearson`s shot covered, it bounced over him and into the net. They had the ball in the net again soon afterwards when a shot was parried by Beasley and the rebound was placed in the empty net, but the `scorer` was offside from the original shot.

A fast start to the second half saw Letcombe take control of the game. James Wright headed the equaliser from a Boyan Thorpe free kick four minutes into the half, and Wright won the ball again almost straight from the kick off, and he raced away to give Letcombe the lead. When Josh Fowler cut inside from the right and drove number four just inside the near post on the hour, the game appeared to be over, but Wallingford refused to accept defeat. A corner was only partially cleared with seven minutes remaining, and Jordan Wells sent a screamer into the far top corner from 25 yards to give Letcombe an anxious final few minutes.

Man of the match Sam Mulvey had an outstanding game in midfield, ably supported by brother Luke, while Kias Bonner-Shea and Boyan Thorpe were a constant threat with their close control and mazy runs. Jordan Smith, Fraser Little and Christy Whelehan all had good games at the back, although uncharacteristic individual errors in defence need to be sorted out.

Letcombe have their first away game of the season next Saturday when they travel to play Brimscombe & Thrupp reserves in a Hellenic Division Two West fixture.