uhlsport Hellenic League Division Two West
Shrivenham Development 1 Faringdon Town 6 (away view)
Faringdon Town's league campaign finally kicked on Friday night as the 'A420 Derby' with Shrivenham Development saw Town overcome a youthful home side in uhlsport Hellenic Division Two West.
The Town Management had their team talk written for them, following Shrivenham's match preview of the game picking out a number of alleged weak points, mainly the lack of pace in the back four! Cheers Hegg.....
Town started the game strongly and the opening 15 minutes saw long range efforts from Joe Hoskin & Sean Creely but neither tested the Shrivy keeper. The first real opening came on 11 minutes when a series of Town corners applied the pressure and from another great Ryan Bradbury delivery, Town Skipper Josh Forth headed towards goal, which forced the keeper to pull off a fantastic save to deny a opening goal.
The home side gradually grew into the game, with the home skipper stinging the palms of Town No. 1 Justin Yates. Then on the next attack the deadlock was broken, when a right wing cross was met by the home forward 8 yards out and his toe poke struck the inside of the far post before crossing the line, giving Yates no chance. Town were struggling to get to grips with the match and Shriv were having their best spell of the game and should have doubled their lead when a quick break from a Town corner, allowed the No. 10 to go through on goal but his effort hit the side netting as Yates closed him down.
35 minutes had gone and the Town faithful who had travelled in their numbers to Barrington Park were rewarded when Ryan Bradbury was fouled 25 yards from goal. Bradbury dusted himself down to strike a whipping free kick over the wall and past the home keeper into the left hand side of the goal for 1-1. Moments later it was 2-1 to Town as Bradbury on the right wing saw his cross sail over the Shirvy keeper to take the lead. With Shrivy now holding on, Town grabbed a crucial third as the impressive Creely stepped inside from the left wing, taking on three defenders before planting his shot inside the near post for a 3-1 half time lead.
From the restart, Town put the game to bed as Creely played a great decisive ball inside of the fullback for the returning Dan Courtney to get on the end of. DC held off his defender, turned and from a tight angle planted an unstoppable shot past the keeper at the clubhouse end for 4-1. On 50 minutes a great ping from Forth found Matt Pill breaking through the home back line, but his attempted lob had too much on it and went over. Shrivy kept pressing forward and Yates had to be on his guard as he tipped a strong effort onto the crossbar to deny any hopes of a comeback.
Ten minutes into the second period Town were awarded a penalty as Josh Vaughan got beyond his marker and was brought down. Andy Goodchild stepped forward and confidently stroked home to give Town a 5-1 lead. Couple of minutes later and Bradbury could have grabbed a hattrick but his effort was well saved and Pill couldn't quite get the decisive touch from a yard out on the rebound. However, on the hour Courtney did, as confusion between a home defender and keeper allowed Town's number 9 to head home into an empty net for a deserved 6-1 lead.
Town now took the opportunity to introduce their substitutes with Matt Morris, Christian Wills and 16 year old Oli Baker coming into the action. Both sides had further half chances but neither side could test the keepers and the final 20 minutes saw the game lose some of its earlier intensity, for obvious reasons.
The final whistle was blown, following a game which was played in a competitive but fair spirit and the crowd well in excessive of 100 saw those in red go home very happy, seeing Town start their campaign with a very positive performance and score line. Thank you to Shrivenham for their welcome and a great playing surface.
Faringdon Town: J Yates, J Hoskin, S Creely, J Vaughan, A Goodchild, J Forth(c), R Bradbury (68 O Baker), L Davenport, M Pill (60 C Wills), D Courtney (60 M Morris), A Sly; Subs Not Used: A Lynham, F Godwin