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Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup Final - 31 July

Holyport 2 Flackwell Heath 0 (report and images credit Richard Tyrell)

holyport v flackwell heath hellenic final oxford cityHolyport and Flackwell contested the 2017/18 Bluefin SportSupplementary Cup Final at Oxford City FC on Tuesday evening.  The build up to the game was rather strange as players from 2017/18 could only be involved.  The game started with Flackwell on the front foot as they worked their way into the Holyport box on numerous ocassions.

It looked as though Quelch in Ports goal would be called into action early but with the ball sitting nicely to be volleyed at goal the Flackwell forward completely missed the ball and let Holyport off in the opening minutes.  As the game wore on Holyport started to grow into the game as the midfield three of Akerman, Evans and Whitfield started to find their feet and began to release the hardworking front three of Forisky, Deverall and Driffill.  It was again Flackwell who looked more dangerous going forward with their front line and Inman in midfield linking up well, but the back four of Ensby, Finlinson, Sharp and DeFranco done well to marshall away most of the trouble.

Driffill was released on 13 minutes by Akerman and his lob was tipped wide by Lyons in The Heathens goal, the resulting corner was cleared to safety.  Holyport pressed forward again and this time Deverall volleyed past Lyons and the ball bounced inches wide.  As Holyport came forward again Driffill went on a mazy run and with three Flackwell players around him he squared back to Deverall who stuck a sublime curling effort into the top corner to give Holyport a 1-0 lead on 25 minutes.

Holyport seemed to drop off their pressing game after the goal and it was Flackwell who came forward again, Quelch was called into a good save and then Flackwell had a goal disallowed for offside, the linesman had flagged before the forward had even made his strike at goal.

With half time approaching Holyport dug in and saw out the opening period.

The second half saw Flackwell have the majority of procession but Holyport defended superbly limiting Flackwell to three real chances in which they stuck the bar on 50 minutes, Charlie Samuels chipped over on 70 minutes and Matthew Ensby had to make a goal line clearance on 80 minutes to prevent the equaliser.  With Flackwell pressing forward and committing men Holyport were happy to hit them onthe counter attack with Forisky, Deverall and Driffill chasing down balls and causing problems for The Heathens each time they ventured forward.  At the back in and in midfield the side chased and harassed the Flackwell players not giving them a moments peace.

Driffill was a constant threat for Holyport and his mazy runs led to two good strikes which Lyons palmed away to safety.

On 70 minutes Akerman was replaced for Lowther and he made an immediate impact has he pressed down the right hand side and cut back for Forisky who dragged his effort wide from 12 yards out.  Flackwell continued to pressed forward and Qulech saved well with his legs and collected the loose ball.

 With time running out the Flackwell keeper moved forward to the half way line as they had a corner, Holyport cleared the corner which came back to Lyons, his attempted pass fell to Lowther who carried the ball forward to just inside the Flackwell half before driving the ball forward over the retreating GK and defence, the strike took one bounce and collected into the empty net.  With 2 minutes to go this sealed the win for Holyport in a well contested final.


31 July

Milton United 0 Didcot Town 2 (report by Ian East Didcot Town)

Evo-Stik Southern League Didcot Town extended their pre-season winning run to 4 last night with an extremely hard fought 2-0 victory over neighbours Milton United (Uhlsport Hellenic League 1 East) who themselves put in a very spirited display.

With Callum McNish, Morgan Williams and Michael Alexis away along with Luke Carnell still nursing his way back to fitness Didcot unsurprisingly made changes from Saturday’s win over Redditch Utd. Leigh Bedwell was back in goal and there were also starts for youngsters James Tanner and Brett Gardner while David Murphy had his first start of pre-season in attack in place of Felipe Barcelos.

The game took a while to settle down on a decent surface considering the recent hot weather and Didcot went close when a quick free kick enabled Murphy to get a snapshot off that was well turned over by the Milton goalkeeper Craig Griffiths.

Stuart Cattell had Didcot’s best chance of the half when he got to Matt Woodley’s corner but placed his header wide of the target. Didcot for all their possession were struggling to break down their stubborn hosts and only had a few pot shots from distance to show for their efforts which all in truth were more threat to the new housing development behind the goal than to Griffiths.

Half Time Milton 0-0 Didcot

The second half continued in much of the same vein as Didcot unsurprisingly dominated the ball but Milton were defending superbly well and were looking a threat on the break. In fact the hosts should have taken the lead when Sam Barder was caught in possession and with Didcot having pushed forward a long ball was seized on by the Milton striker but Leigh Bedwell was out brilliantly to save for Didcot.

Lance Williams who was having another good game in midfield for Didcot then struck a post from another Woodley corner and then it was Woodley himself who chanced his arm from 25 yards but his fizzing left foot shot went narrowly over.

David Murphy picked up a nasty looking knee injury as he was shooting towards goal and was replaced by Barcelos, Didcot rang the changes over the next few minutes with McNeill, Thomas, Humphries and Reid all introduced into the action. Humphries and Reid in particular gave Didcot more impetus and it was those 2 who combined from the corner which Didcot were to score the opening goal from.

On 84 minutes Humphries and Reid took a short corner on the left hand side and Reid’s cross was met at the back post by a stooping Adam Learoyd who scored from close range to give Didcot the lead.

Barcelos should have made it two when he got in behind the defenders and as he closed in on goal the outcome seemed inevitable but Griffiths saved well to his left from Barcelos prodded effort.

The victory was sealed in the dying moments when Reid again picked the ball up and ran with pace at the Milton backline, he evaded 2 challenges and as he was about to pull the trigger was caught by a tired desperate lunge from a Milton defender for a clear penalty. Felipe Barcelos took the responsibility and drilled it into the bottom corner to give Didcot the scoreline they more than deserved overall. Credit however must also go to Milton Utd who made life extremely difficult for Didcot and also made a few good chances of their own. We wish them well for the new season.

The full time whistle blew seconds later on another valuable 90 minutes for the Railwaymen who are next in action on Saturday as they travel to Highworth Town. 3pm kick off. 

Virginia Water 5 Spelthorne 4
VWFC completed their pre-season with a high scoring win over our near neighbours at Spelthorne.

The home side dominated for the first hour, and raced into a 4-0 lead with goals from Marc Lansdowne, Harvey Griffiths, Steve Williams and Scott ‘Lord’ Jackson.
Waters then made many changes, introducing some younger lads, and to the visitors credit, they hit back hard, with some good goals of their own.

Spelthorne reduced the deficit to 4-3, before Josh Hill smashed home a free kick to clinch the win – so we thought! But back came Spelly with a late goal to make it 5-4.

Despite Waters having a couple off the line and a few other chances narrowly wide, they did not close out the game like they should have.

A good pre-season comes to an end, and we now look forward to the daunting task of a visit to Flackwell Heath on the 7 August for our debut at Step 5.


28 July

Virgina Water 0 Fleet Town 0
Waters completed a hectic week with a good performance and deserved draw against Step 4 Fleet Town, who have undergone some recent turmoil – we wish them well!

Neither team did enough to win the match, and I think both sides will have pleased with the clean sheet, with defences on top. Josh Guichard hit a post with a header, and Finn Evered and Marc Lansdowne had efforts cleared off the line, with Michael Chambers and Adam McNamara going close late on.

At the other end, Matt made a couple of excellent saves in goal, and the visitors also hit the bar in the closing stages – so all in all honours even.

Both teams used a significant number of substitutes, as one would expect, but in very warm weather no one gave an inch and battled in a spirited way to the end. Marc (MoM) and the rest of the defence stood out, with Josh and Adam tirelessly driving us forward in attack.

Waters now have one more pre-season on Tuesday, when we welcome Spelthorne Sports to the Timbers, in what will be another tough ‘local’ derby.


24 July

Shrivenham 0 Didcot Town 5 (away view)
Didcot Town made it back to back convincing victories in pre-season with an eye catching display at Hellenic Premier League new boys Shrivenham on Tueday night thanks to 2 goals in the first half from Seth Humphries and Brett Gardner followed by 3 in the 2nd half from Felipe Barcelos, David Murphy and George Reid.

The Railwaymen arrived in SN6 with nigh on a full strength side to pick from, the only notable absentees were goalkeeper Leigh Bedwell who is on holiday and centre back Luke Carnell who is still nursing an injury to his leg following last week’s win at Abingdon Utd. This meant youngster Matt Crowther started in goal, Ryan Markham, Cameron McNeill Stuart Cattell and Adam Learoyd started in defense. Michael Alexis, Callum McNish and Seth Humphries playing in midfield with Felipe Barcelos in attack along with Ross MacDonald and Brett Gardner.

Didcot started the game brightly and took the lead in the 5th minute when Alexis played an excellent pass out to MacDonald in the wide right area and the young winger crossed to Seth Humphries who from 20 yards expertly curled the ball into the top corner to give the Railwaymen the perfect start. It was very nearly 2-0 shortly after when Alexis chanced his arm from range but his shot was deflected leaving the goalkeeper stranded but luckily for him the ball thudded into the cross bar and straight into his arms.

Matt Crowther then had to be alert at the other end as Shrivenham created their first real chance with a shot from distance but the goalkeeper did well low to his right turning the ball away before Didcot broke away and Barcelos found himself with space to find Gardner on the left hand side, the young winger struck towards goal but the effort was well saved, it fell to Barcelos but again the goalkeeper did well to save at the strikers feet before a bit of a scramble with the ball going wide.

Didcot extended their lead on 25minutes when a long ball by McNeill was missed in the Shrivenham backline allowing Gardner to pick it up and run into the box, he cut inside and shot low with his right foot and although the goalkeeper got a hand to it he couldn’t stop the ball finding the bottom corner.

Michael Alexis was standing out for Didcot with his range of passing in the central midfield area and it was he who was in the thick of the action next up as his pass found Barcelos in the box and the striker put in a perfect cross towards Gardner who struck the ball on the volley into the ground and onto the post with the keeper beaten. The ball stayed in play and went back to Alexis who then played another superb ball into MacDonald who fizzed a volley wide.

Half time. Shrivenham 0-2 Didcot

With a host of subs ready to come on it was slightly surprising that Didcot started the 2nd half with the same XI that started the game.

Felipe Barcelos was starting to cut a bit of a frustrated figure as the striker desperate for a goal of his own was denied again early on in the second half by another good save from the Shrivenham goalkeeper. He didn’t have to wait too much longer however when on 48 minutes the Didcot striker was sent clear again, this time he rounded the goalkeeper and slotted in with his left foot from a narrowing angle to make it 3-0.

The expected changes then started coming as McNeill, McNish, Humphries and Alexis were replaced by Thomas, Barder, Lance Williams and Matt Woodley.

Didcot were starting to strut their stuff at this point with some really slick passing and quick movement that the hosts were really struggling to deal with and Barcelos really should have added to his tally when he was sent clear again but his effort was brilliantly saved low to the keepers right. It was Barcelos last action of the night as he was replaced by David Murphy in attack.

It was Murphy who then added to the scoreline on the hour having not long been on as Shrivenham dallied in possession in defense, Brett Gardner stole in beating 2 players in the process he still had the composure to play the perfect cross to Murphy who was waiting to slot home the 4th goal of the evening.

More changes were then made as Markham, Gardner and MacDonald were replaced by Reid, Hayden and Morgan Williams.

The fifth goal arrived on 70 minutes when following a Shrivenham corner Didcot broke away at pace down the right hand side as Morgan Williams surged forward, he squared it to the onrushing George Reid and he tapped home from 6 yards.

Adam Learoyd nearly added to the score as he headed a Barder corner onto the cross bar and then Barder himself hit a post late on. Crowther had to be alert to save well with his legs at the other end to preserve his clean sheet as Didcot ran out comfortable winners with the whole squad having a very good and impressive run out.

We wish Shrivenham well on their new campaign in the Hellenic Premier Division and we now turn attentions to Saturday afternoon’s pre-season friendly at home to Southern Premier League side Redditch United. 3pm kick off

18 July
Carterton 3 Shrivenham 0 (away report)

carterton v shrivenham pre season 18 july 18Gareth Davies had the opportunity to see his side gain another 90-preseason minutes under their belts at Carterton on Wednesday evening [18.07.18] as his side faced a strong and confident Uhlsport Hellenic League 1 West opposition, in the form of Carterton.

Promoted to the division for the 2018-19 season, the hosts were in confident mood ahead of their opening pre-season game, however having been together for some time, they looked every inch a well prepped and oiled machine.

Taking control from the start, Shrivvy – who had looked rusty the previous weekend against Malmesbury Victoria, were slow to get out of the blocks and we often found chasing shadow and riding their luck against their boisterous hosts.

Despite their effort, the home side didn’t create too many serious chances until just before the half hour mark when the impressive Sean McKeon – who scored 16 times in 18 appearances for the side last season, opened the scoring.

Having picked up the ball, he charged forwards and what should have been a comfortable defensive move for the visitors who had three players and the keeper all in play, found themselves as spectators as McKeon waltzed to the edge of the penalty are on his own and force a low drive tight inside the left upright out of practicable nothing.

Moments later Tom Ballard saw his effort hit the back of the Shrivvy net after the home side took advantage of the unsettled visitors and it wasn’t until the second half that Shrivvy managed to look a better side.

Having made several changes at the break, the visitors managed to finally get a grip of the game and it began to develop in to a more competitive battle – that was until perhaps a little against the run of play at the time, McKeon struck another expert effort beyond the visitors to all but seal the win for his side.

17 July 2018
Virginia Water 3 Royal Holloway Old Boys 0

Water's returned to action after an all too short break, with a very hard fought win against a highly competitive RHOB side.

Whilst the result was of little importance, both sides played some entertaining football at times, with this match being the first for the home side in a hectic two week period.
What was reassuring after playing so many players, was the impressive debut performances of our summer signings Dominic Clarke, Luke Van Spall, Scott Jackson, Harvey Griffiths and Liam Whyte, all of whom slotted in seamlessly to the squad and set up at VWFC.

For the record, goals were all scored in the second half by Scott, Lorenzo Di Felice and Jake Baker (MoM), with Liam, Josh Guichard and Marc Lansdowne all hitting the woodwork.
Harvey, Adam McNamara, Louis Sanders and Harry Brooks (first team debut at aged 16) all went close.

At the other end, satisfying to see the defence started where they left off last year, with a strong effort and were awarded with a deserved clean sheet – Matt rarely troubled in goal. We wish RHOB well for the season ahead, as VWFC look forward to welcoming Banstead, Balham, Fleet and Spekthorne Sports to the Timbers, and a severe test away to Farnham this Saturday.


14 July 2018

Letcombe 5 Berinsfield 4

Letcombe staged a remarkable second half comeback to beat North Berks Cup holders Berinsfield in their first friendly of the season.   A new look Letcombe side took time to settle in blistering heat, and they conceded a poor goal after hesitancy in the home defence.   Brad Paglioroli twice shot narrowly wide and Kye Franklin also went close after good work on the left from Christy Whelehan and debutant Jamie Saulter, but another defensive error allowed the visitors to increase their lead.   Iggy Ilott had a great chance to reduce the arrears, but he shot over the bar from six yards with the goal at his mercy.   Berinsfield strikers Palmer and Murphy were causing problems to the home defence, and a flowing move saw the visitors add a third goal after 35 minutes.
Harsh word from manager Garry Cook during the interval produced an immediate response.   Brad Paglioroli scored two early second half goals, and with the Berisfield defence in confusion, the impressive Jamie Soulter made the score 3-3.   Back came the visitors to regain the lead, but Letcombe would not lie down.   Kye Franklin was now playing a little deeper and pulling the strings from midfield, but he still managed to break forward to score the equaliser.   Letcombe snatched the winner when captain Andy Goodchild headed home at the far post from a Paglioroli corner to give them a deserved victory after a shaky start.
This was a good work-out for Letcombe, who entertain New College Swindon in a friendly next Saturday, 21st July.

Shrivenham 2 Malmesbury Victoria 1

Shrivvy began preseason with a rusty performance, as they got back to action against a difficult Malmesbury Victoria side at Barrington Park.

Josh Morse and returnee Dan Drewett grabbed the Shrivvy goals to help seal a first exhibition game victory for the club on their return to the pitch ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

A boiling hot sunny day made conditions difficult for both sides as they took to the field at Barrington Park on Saturday afternoon [July 14, 2018], in what was ultimately a rusty performance from the home side.

While it was Shrivvy’s opening game of the preseason, the Vics had already taken to the field four days earlier, losing 4-3 at Bishops Cleeve which showed that they had plenty of fight and while both sides missed chances in a fairly even first half, it was ultimately some heavy legs and tiredness in the heat from the visitors, that led to their narrow defeat.

Shrivvy looked marginally the better side in the second period and on 50-minutes, Lewis Petrie managed to square the ball to find Josh Morse, who was able to tap home and open the score.

Just two-minutes later however, the visitors levelled the score after the Shrivvy defence – slow to react, conceded as easy header at the back stick after they found themselves lethargic in the brilliant sun.

The game continued to flow in much the same manner but it was the home side who found themselves ahead with twenty-minutes remaining, when the ball finally broke to the tireless Dan Drewett who managed to blast home from close range through a tenacious visiting defence.

While the result didn’t matter, it was perhaps a little unfair on the vising side, who remained rugged throughout and refused to make the game a walk in the park.


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