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26 February 2019

perpetua press newent

 

Ardley United 6 Thornbury Town 2 (away view)
Thornbury Town made a fruitless 160 mile round trip to Oxfordshire on Tuesday evening when they made their first ever visit to Premier Division side Ardley United. Playing down the slope in the first half the hosts made all the early running and Yusuf missed an easy chance after 5 minutes but after this Thorns gradually adapted to the pace of the game and started to create some problems for the home defence with Tom Webb and Harry Brock a constant threat. Craig Lancastle and Matt Davis both had chances but last ditch tackles prevented clear efforts on goal. 

Ardley took the lead midway through the half after Kurtis Parkin had saved well from Harris but George Smith was on hand to rifle home the rebound. Town responded well and Matt Davis’ weaving run past four defenders was ended when Woodall intercepted his pass to Lancastle. Home keeper Lawrence then punched away a dangerous looking Webb cross and at this stage Thorns were looking to go in at the break just the one goal behind. However just a couple of minutes before the half time whistle, the referee awarded Ardley a hotly disputed penalty that even their players had not appealed for when Connor Harris appeared to run into Nathan Sage as the defender went to head a cross clear. Harris himself made no mistake from the spot. 

The second half saw Thorns soon cut the deficit when good work from Craig Lancastle set up Matt Davis to net at the far post. However within a couple of minutes another controversial free kick decision for the hosts saw them regain their two goal advantage. The quickly taken kick saw Town a little slow to react and Dylan Woodall netted. 

With Thorns heads down Ardley took full advantage of the gaps that were appearing and some clinical finishing saw them net three more within 10 minutes with Smith completing his hat trick and Tom Moore netting number six.  The last 15 minutes saw Thorns regain their composure and a jinking Harry Brock run into the area was ended when he was brought down and Marcus Wormwell’s firmly struck spot kick gave Lawrence no chance. 5 minutes from time Luke Franklins pass found Wormwell whose goalbound shot from 15 yards out was superbly saved by Lawrence. The keeper then pulled off another good save from Matt Davis before Jim Brock curled a shot narrowly wide of the post.  A comprehensive win for the home side

uhlsport football kitPremier Division

Ascot United 2 Shrivenham 3
Shrivenham beat Ascot United 3-2 at the Racecourse to extend their winning league sequence to ten matches on a tense Tuesday evening.

Shrivy had come a long way since beginning the season amongst the relegation favourites. Seeking a to extend their run as they closed in on the top-five, they faced an Ascot side fast-emerging as the divisions’ draw specialists but who had proved hard to beat with only two defeats in seventeen. On paper, a draw was therefore a most likely outcome, but the West-Oxfordshire visitors would battle hard before stunning Ascot with two goals in as many minutes on the stroke of half time.

Earlier on, the visitors’ Antonio Gerrish almost punished Callum Carlisle’s slip when he thumped Macaulay Dodson’s cross over the bar, before Jonny Denton fired a right-footed shot over at the other end following a good move for Ascot. Carlisle’s intelligent scooped pass paved the way for the hard-working Sheridan Campbell to shoot from a tight angle after 27 minutes, but Shrivy’s sucker punch would drain the life out of Ascot as half time approached. First, Nathan Blackford headed a left-wing corner in from close range in the 45th minute, before converting a penalty in stoppage time to make it two-nil after Gerrish had been pushed.

Ascot were more lively after the break and both Luqman Kassim and Jonny Denton stung Michael Alexander’s palms in quick succession early-on. Shortly afterwards, Alexander pushed Dan Price’s teasing, well-placed effort away, before the loose ball was hacked clear off George Lock’s feet. Ascot’s triple substitution just before the hour mark brought added vigour to their play and one of them – Usman Lalustani – brought a fine save from Alexander who got down well to deny his fizzing effort.

The Yellamen continued to press and Shrivenham would ride their luck twice; firstly when Regragui’s corner was scrambled clear and secondly when the same player’s free-kick evaded everyone and missed the far post by inches. However, the game looked over when Josh Parsons converted Shrivy’s second spot kick with just over ten minutes remaining, only for Carlisle to plant two close range headers past Alexander for Ascot in the 82nd and 90th minutes, setting up a grandstand finale. Ascot sent ‘keeper Sam Gray up deep into stoppage time, but the Yellamen couldn’t force home an unlikely leveller and their search for a league win continues.

Ascot United: Gray, Lock, Haworth, Denton, Carlisle, Carey (Lalustani), Regragui, Sankoh (Walters), Campbell, Price, Kassim (Kibaki). Subs unused: Ellis, Laflin

Tuffley Rovers 4 Lydney Town 1
This fixture had been postponed on Boxing Day because of a waterlogged pitch. December was a disrupted time for both clubs because Lydney only managed to play two league games, and it was the same for Tuffley after three successive home league matches were postponed at Glevum Park during the final calendar month of 2018. Coming in to this re-arranged date Rovers’ survival hopes had been dented by consecutive away defeats, albeit to the top two clubs in the division; reverses which had ended a resilient unbeaten run of six league matches (2 wins and 4 draws).

Lydney Town arrived in Gloucester in the comfort of a mid-table position of 10th but their hosts had dropped to 18th and were now under severe pressure from city neighbours Longlevens who had won at Fairford and drawn at Virginia Water, while Rovers were losing at Brimscombe and Wantage. At kick-off Tuffley were only one-point clear of the bottom club and badly needed to make home advantage count; a not unrealistic prospect given that they had grittily collected their first point of the season at Lydney on the August Bank Holiday Monday a day short of six months earlier. Rovers eased any fears of relegation with a powerful and disciplined performance which saw them score four goals for the second successive home match. Most of the damage was done in the first half with Tuffley scoring early and late in the first period and also as the half-hour mark approached. Lydney’s inability to withstand Rovers’ pressure was so ineffective that they could have taken their transport back to the other side of the Severn at the interval. Although the visitors drew the second half 1-1, their indiscipline saw them receive a series of yellow cards which were followed in the last minute by a second yellow for one of the miscreants, Lewis Thompson.

Rovers made a fast start and were ahead before five minutes had been played. Unsurprisingly, it was the man-of-the-moment, Kieran Alder, scoring for the fourth successive league match. The diminutive Rovers midfielder took a short pass from Warren Mann then showed both confidence and skill as he side-stepped a couple of challenges before driving the ball carefully past Richard Thomas in the Lydney goal. It could have been two-nil shortly afterwards. Mann carried the ball thirty yards down the left before releasing Alder, whose cross into the middle was met by Luke Troke, making his full debut, whose shot was deflected just wide for a corner.

Lydney looked dangerous occasionally with Matty Board shooting over Luke Merchant’s crossbar before Lewis Thompson shot just wide of Merchant’s right-hand post and then over the goal from close range. Down at the other end Adam Bloomfield, who worked hard all evening and would eventually be rewarded with his first Rovers goal, fired over from a good position. Tuffley’s goalkeeper then made a brilliant double save on 27 minutes from first Lewis Halford then from Declan Morley-Lyne’s follow-up and this was a crucial moment because Rovers soon scored again just after Lydney had been forced to make their first change with Keelan Hamblett coming on for their injured skipper, Jordan Sheen.

The important breathing-space came courtesy of a rare Rovers goal for Shayne Anson. When Alder’s right-wing corner was played in low and fast the ball broke nicely for Tuffley’s right-back to drive into the net from 8 yards out. Lydney’s first-half forays into Rovers’ territory were still only sporadic but Joel White looked to have given them an opening when he badly sliced a clearance. Fortunately, Anson was around to carefully head the ball back to his goalkeeper. Right on half-time Tuffley extended their lead and Alder’s 2nd goal of the match and 11th of the season was one to savour. Receiving possession 25 yards from goal he turned and struck a fierce shot with his left foot which screamed into the top far corner before Thomas could blink. The only negative to Tuffley’s first half was seeing Macauley Herbert cautioned for a foul on Lydney’s potential danger man, Declan Morley-Lyne, who was shackled fairly comfortably by the home defence all evening.

The early stages of the second period saw Rovers continue to press forward. Thompson was spoken to by the referee after fouling Mann and when the free-kick came in Thomas spilled the ball and Mann regained possession of it but no team-mate could get on the end of his inviting cross from the left. From Rovers’ next attack came a fourth goal; after a good touch from Troke, Alder steered the ball forward for Adam Bloomfield who took control of it in style and raced forward to steer a careful right-foot shot past Thomas and into the far corner. It was nearly five a minute later as Anson moved forward to send a screamer inches over Thomas’s crossbar from 20 yards. Rovers sent on Ashley Bird for Mann, whose work-rate had again been massive as he strives to regain full fitness. The substitute was immediately involved but shot wide after Thomas had raced to the edge of his area to head the ball away from any immediate danger.

It was something of a surprise when the visitors pulled a goal back with 13 minutes left to play. A corner from the left was only half-cleared and it broke to Ross Lindsay, whose shot was deflected into the unguarded corner of Merchant’s goal. Paul Carter came on for Luke Troke and Dominik Kent replaced Bloomfield, as Rovers looked to see out time, but Lydney have one last attack and it ends with Board firing a fierce right-foot shot against the angle of post and crossbar.

When Thompson received his second yellow for a wild challenge near the touchline, Lydney Town were reduced to ten-men, but the final whistle sounded moments later, with Rovers worthy winners. A week can be a long time in football. Seven days earlier Rovers had unluckily lost at League-leaders Brimscombe. In trouncing Lydney they have moved above both Abingdon United and Reading City and, just as importantly, put four points between themselves and the bottom club and will be extremely happy that they attracted a bumper crowd of 132 to this re-arranged midweek fixture, a figure which has only been exceeded this season by the 173 who saw the home league derby against Longlevens way back in August.

Division One East

Didcot Town Development 4 Chinnor 0
Didcot deservedly took all three points in this league encounter at Loop Meadow Stadium with an assured all round top team display.

The home team immediately started on the front foot and George Reid was put through by Jack Hollister in the third minute but he took too long to shoot and the attempt was smothered. Hollister was brought down for a free kick on the edge of the box but the attempt was wasted. In the 8th minute Didcot took the lead through Hollister's cross met by MacDonald's shot which was blocked by the Chinnor keeper however Reid followed up to blast the opener home. Goal number two came from a Taylor Janes free kick which Ross MacDonald strode on to and hammered home from inside the box in the 21st minute.

Daryll Harris shot at the keeper and later after he won the ball in midfield he passed to Hollister whose through ball was just missed by Reid. Janes shot was well saved before Reid got his second when his shot could not be kept out by Chinnor keeper Ben Taunton to make the score 3-0 at half time.

Second half again Didcot opened well with a superb through ball from MacDonald finding Reid in space but a slight mis control robbed him of the chance. A fine Hollister through ball set Reid away on the wing and his cross ball was knocked home by the unmarked substitute Brett Gardner for goal number four. Another fine MacDonald ball to Reid saw him try the first time shot but on this occasion it didnt come off. Substitute Max Brown shot past in a rare Chinnor effort on goal before both Keiran Cooper and Jack Hollister had good unsuccessful shots on goal. Callum Tighe had the final home shot on goal saved.

A straight forward home win for the Railwaymen who controlled most of the game and moved further up the table.

 

 
 
 
 
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