Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup
Risborough Rangers 2 Thame Rangers 0
In a repeat of Tuesday nights league fixture against Thame Rangers, Risborough Rangers took on their local rivals again on Saturday at the BEP Stadium in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup and again came out victors by a two nil scoreline. Saturdays game had many similarities too, with Risborough scoring two second half goals after a goalless first half. The biggest difference to Tuesdays game however was the atrocious weather, with driving rain drenching an already wet surface and turning the pitch into a bog. With both sides struggling with the conditions at was never going to be a classic and so it proved. Risborough paraded their new signing, the vastly experienced midfielder Adam Morris in a strong line up, but it was Thame that looked the liveliest in the opening minutes with a couple of early shots from distance that didn't trouble Jack Brooker in the Risborough goal. Borough's first real chance came from Ben Hammond's free kick that was brilliantly tipped over by the Thame keeper who followed up his heroics on Tuesday with another good game here. Two minutes later and Brian Haule got on the end of a cross only to see the keeper make a point blank save on his line. The ball was eventually hacked clear. Risborough had two more decent efforts before the break; first, Sam Pekun cut inside and blazed over from a good position before Brian Haule's had a header deflected wide by a defender on the line.
Risborough came out quickly in the second half and within a minute Pekun's cross found Morris' head in front of goal but somehow he could only head the ball down and it was cleared. A few minutes later Pekun himself was through on goal only to hit his shot straight at the keeper. Risborough continued to press with a great move finished with a good save off Morris' shot. The first goal arrived after another good move from the home side ended with Pekun's cross powerfully headed home by Brian Haule. Thame rallied a little with two shots from distance but it was Risborough that bossed the rest of the half, relentlessly mounting attack after attack. With Davis Haule relishing the muddy conditions, winning tackles, headers and urging on his team-mates on, the visitors struggled to get out of their half. At 75 minutes Bertie Squire-Adams set up Pekun who rounded the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line by a desperate defender. Squire-Adams then had a chance of his own with a smart turn and shot that crept just wide. With seven minutes remaining Risborough got their second when Hammond's clever free kick down the side of the unsuspecting Thame defence saw Brian Haule slide the ball past the onrushing keeper. The tall striker had two gilt edged opportunities for his hat-trick in the closing minutes but somehow the normally reliable finisher fluffed his lines!
Rangers win again with another clean sheet. It's all about momentum now and with a home Wycombe Senior Cup game against local league side Prestwood coming up Tuesday at the BEP (7.45ko) then, on this form they should rack up another victory.
Rangers Man of the Match: Davis Haule. Davis goes about his job in an unspectacular way but few can argue with the work the veteran puts in. The conditions were right up his street and he won so many second balls, headers and tackles that I lost count. When he gets the ball the simple pass is always good enough. Rarely put a foot wrong in difficult conditions and set an example to others.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town 0 Binfield 1 (Stuart Smedley)
Football can be a harsh game at time - and Royal Wootton Bassett Town were reminded of that fact when beaten 1-0 at home by Binfield.
Sam Collier's side performed very well, frustrating their high-flying visitors who enjoyed limited opportunities in front of goal and playing well in difficult conditions.
Altogether, Bassett deserved to take something from the game. In the end, however, they wound up empty-handed One defensive lapse in concentration proved costly. On the hour mark Carl Evans failed to deal with a long ball played in behind, and Binfield forward Sean Moore took advantage, racing onto the loose ball before beating Declan Lehmann.
Earlier Bassett had enjoyed the best chance of the first half. Excellent link up play between Jonny Davoile and Callum Parsons set up Gio Wrona, but the ball slid away from the midfielder just a little too much and he was unable to get his shot off when well placed. After going behind, Bassett pushed for an equaliser which didn't arrive. And to compound matters they were left feeling frustrated by a late claim for a penalty that was turned down after it appeared as though there had been a handball on the line.
The performance overall was promising enough to suggest that Bassett are turning the corner after a difficult start. It's hoped though that positive results will soon follow.
Division One East
Penn & Tylers Green 1 Wokingham & Embrook 2 (Arthur Strand Independent Report)
Suma's went to Beaconsfield Town's ground last Saturday in wet and windy conditions. Penn & Tylers Green are ground sharing until next year when the Penn ground is all ready for Step 6. The game started with Penn taking the initiative and gaining a free kick. However, Dean Munday headed wide of Sean Woodward's goalpost. Penn began to mount an attack on the visiting defence with Tom Fifield taking a long shot. Suma's then broke along the flank up to the corner flag and when the ball reached Jake White, his intended shot hit a defender. Penn worked back to the opposite end and took a free kick. After a timely interception by Suma's defenders, Penn then gained a penalty kick in the 10th minute which Dean Allen put into Woodward's net from the spot. Jake White managed to get his head to the ball at Penn's end of the pitch but the ball sailed harmlessly over the crossbar to James Britnall's relief. Elliott Rushforth then took a long shot which went high and wide. Josh Harris and Jake White were combining although the ball went into a cluster of Penn defenders who were tripping over each other's feet. Suma's next moved upfield and took a corner but blocked again. Then Ellis Day began to fit in comfortably as Liam Eagle beat off Pritpal Raju. Penn's Andy Viney took a free kick which was headed wide. It was then Elliott Rushforth who went forward that forced a corner kick but Penn cleared that and gained a free kick.The ensuing shot was low and Woodward reached it successfully. Britnall collected the ball at the opposite end but the ball returned and Suma's missed the goal altogether. Suma's took a free kick and Rushforth brought down the ball skilfully. Unluckily the ball went out of play. Liam Eagle took a free kick but the ball missed the target again afer the ball reached his forwards. Suma's kept up the pressure but Penn had a free kick, When Suma's regained possession Rushforth lived up to his name once more and went on a long chase with no outcome. Penn put some well executed passes together switching wings and the shot came in from the right flank, long and low which Woodward fumbled allowing a Penn forward to net the ball. Off side deemed no goal.
Chris Byrne was moving upfield but his pass was incomplete as Penn reclaimed the ball. After 3 minutes of the second half Jake White took a shot which looked like a miss kick but it certainly beat Britnall as it hit the back of the net. Suma's had levelled the score. The visitors took a free kick and almost immediately, Callum Eagle was unceremoniously upended by Mikey Moore thus a further free kick. White and Ellis Day took the ball away from defence as a deflection gave them a corner kick but the ball was blocked by the backs.; They tried again but the ball was swinging to the other end where Penn took a corner kick and from the clearance, Ellis Day saw the way through and went on a good run and the header that was flicked on was received by Britnall in goal. Suma's had a free kick which Harris took and Britnall made a crucial save. As Penn countered, Rashid Hamid deflected the ball out from a Callum Eagle effort. Then a well-worked approach was messed up when the ball ended up on the top of the club-house roof. During the last quarter, Woodward was worth his weight in gold with a number of excellent saves and after the second save, Jake White sprinted a good 50 yards along the wing and as he cut in towards the area, he let fly from distance, putting Suma's in front in the 70th minute. With substitutes on, Wokingham and Emmbrook had to shut down each and every attempt that the hosts made to breach the defence including near misses. Woodward made some very crucial saves and on one occasion was fouled in his own 6 yard box. Ben Broadhurst and Mark O'Connell both did their duties as the game drew to a close. 2 - 1 to Wokingham & Emmbrook plus 3 points. Wokingham & Emmbrook are away to Risborough Rangers next Saturday. 2/11/19 in the League.
Wokingham & Emmbrook:Woodward, [GK], Carter, Byrne, Commuskey, L.Eagle, (c), C. Eagle, Edwards, N.Bateman, Harris, White, Rushforth. Substitutes. E. Day, Broadhurst, O.Connell.
Division One West
Cirencester Town Development 2 Malvern Town 6
The Hillsider's ran out 6-3 winners at Cirencester Town Development in a game that we made harder work of than the scoreline maybe suggests.
In driving rain, we took the lead with our first raid as James Febery’s long ball was flicked on by Harry Clark into the path of Matt Turner who fired home. We managed to double our advantage on 13 minutes when a probing run from Clark saw him initially crowded out before he hit the base of the post with a strike and then crossed for Turner to head home from close range. The home side looked to hit back and their number 11 went close as he dragged a low strike inches wide.
An injury to Haydn Whitcombe forced him out of the action in the 20th minute as Charlie Weaver took his place between the posts. Quick feet by the home number 9 saw him make room for a strike which went close as we were pegged back. The home side were forcing us to sit deep, with the wind in their favour, and a free-kick in a promising position was fired into the defensive wall. A neat move as the clock ticked down at the end of the first half saw Turner cross invitingly for Moran who went close in front of goal.
After a positive break by Clark ended with him curling wide, the home side were able to pull a goal back when the number 3 broke out wide and his cross found the number 10 who was able to loop home. On the stroke of half-time, Moran and Fusco linked up well for the latter to see his effort well saved at the near post.
We made a positive start to the second period as Bryan Craven broke through before squaring the ball to Turner who had the simple task of competing his hat-trick with 48 minutes on the clock. A corner from the home side caused problems as Harry Wickett cleared off the line, then a ball in from the right saw number 11 go close.
We made it 4-1 on the hour-mark when a delicious back-heel from Fusco played in Clark who finished well.Two minutes later the home side reduced the arrears when their number 10 fired home from distance.We were able to regain our three-goal cushion on 68 minutes when Clark’s cross was guided home by Turner for his fourth goal of the game.
A strike from Craven had the sting taken out of it by a deflection before the home side pulled another goal back with a low strike on 83 minutes. Weaver did well to save after a free-kick was pumped dangerously into the area. We added a sixth goal on 88 minutes when Aaron Griffiths put the ball in and Clark was able to flick home as we secured a 6-3 win.
Malvern Town: Whitcombe (Weaver 20), Loader, Wickett (Griffiths 64), Febery, J. Sauntson, Harris, Moran (Smith 69), Craven, Turner, Fusco, Clark. Subs not used: Saunders, Evans. BOOKING(S): Smith GOAL(S): Turner (4), Clark (2)
Division Two West
Letcombe 6 Clanfield 85 Development 2
It is a great credit to the Letcombe pitch and groundsman Dennis Stock that this game went ahead with the pitch in excellent condition after heavy rain which continued to fall throughout the match. The pitch has proper drainage, and the fact that many other games were postponed shows just how important drainage is. Surely drainage is more important than floodlights!
Letcombe were missing four regular players, but still recorded a comfortable victory against a young Clanfield development side. Letcombe gave 16 year old Aidan Ormrod a start at the heart of the Letcombe defence, and he responded with a man-of-the-match performance, and gave Sam Connors his debut at right back with Jordan Smith suspended.
The hosts opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Luke Mulvey raced onto a through ball from midfield, and drove it past visiting keeper Luke Hayley. Letcombe increased their lead ten minutes later when leading scorer Josh Fowler tried a shot from 25 yards which skipped off the wet turf and deceived keeper Hayley. Luke Mulvey added a third on the half hour with a low shot which went just inside the near post, and they added a fourth on the stroke of half time. The best move of the match saw James Wright provide the pass for Boyan Thorpe to drive the ball into the far top corner.
James Wright moved into defence in the second half to replace the injured Michael Annetts, with Greg Nutley taking his place in attack, and Letcombe also changed keepers, Ben Beasley replacing Danny Joyce. Josh Fowler increased Letcombe`s lead early in the half, but it is to Clanfield`s credit that they continued to work hard, and Beasley had to come off his line to block shots on three occasions. Clanfield got the goal they deserved when good work on the right saw Frankie Cato create the opportunity for Michael Duerdan to head home. Fowler completed his hat trick when he raced clear with five minutes remaining to place the ball wide of keeper Hayley, but Clanfield responded immediately, and Finlay Heritage scored at the far post following a cross from the right.
A very impressive first half performance from Letcombe and a much more even second half. The game was played in an excellent spirit by both sides, and was well controlled by young referee Ali Toms, who remarked that he was amazed how good the pitch was in such awful conditions.