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22 July

Ardington 1 Letcombe 4
A strong Ardington side included many players with Hellenic league experience, five of whom have played for Letcombe.   The game was effectively won in the first fifteen minutes with Letcombe establishing a three goal lead.   A precise pass from Owen Shaw split open the home defence, allowing Russell Benham to round the keeper and score from a narrow angle.   An almost identical goal followed, but this time Conor Lynch was the scorer, and when Alexandre Fragata added a third soon afterwards, it looked as though Letcombe would win easily.    It is to Ardington`s credit that they kept fighting, and they reduced the arrears midway through the half.    Letcombe were guilty of missing numerous clear scoring opportunities in the next twenty minutes, and the game should have been over as a contest before half time.   The second half was more even, with both sides going close, and Letcombe were caught offside on a number of occasions before Conor Lynch raced clear to add a fourth with five minutes remaining.

Clanfield 85 2 Purton 0
Clanfield 85 progressed in to the Semi-final of their own Jim Newman Memorial Cup with a hard fought victory over former Division One West Purton at Radcot Road.In the absence of Manager Peter Osborne newly appointed Development Team Manager Conor Olphert took charge of the team assisted by Youth Team Managers Alan Heritage and Stuart Savin.

The first half was goal-less with Purton having one very good chance which was headed wide and the Robins creating a number of openings which lacked the finishing touch.The half time break invigorated the Robins and they began to dominate the play although Purton had one very good breakaway which they failed to convert 16 years old goalkeeper Luke Haley making a very good block.Clanfields pressure eventually paid off when former Purton player Craig Kents downward header from Mike Duerdens corner found the net in the 78th minute.A second goal was not long in coming.A good flowing move saw teenage substitute Zac Oliver skilfully evade two challenges before running in on goal to place the ball past the advancing keeper to ensure that a dogged and well prepared Purton had no way back.

The Robins now meet Division One East Didcot Town Reserves in the second semifinal on Thursday evening(7-30pm)

Sheerwater 1 Woodley United 3
On a wet afternoon Charlie Oakley's fourteen minute hat trick secured United's win at aptly named Sheerwater!

Oakley opened the scoring in the twenty sixth minute following a pass from Owen Davies and doubled the lead four minutes later with a strike from the edge of the home team's penalty area.

The third came six minutes from half time when Luke Blakebrough's header out of defence was picked up by Josh Drew who in turn found Oakley to score.

Sheerwater responded four minutes after the break when they caught the visitor's defence flatfooted allowing a forward to round the advancing Alex Reed and shot into an empty net. Despite the worsening conditions both teams attempted to play football without any further score.

VWFC 2 v Balham 0
Waters produced a terrific performance to win well against our Combined Counties Premier League opponents, and keep another clean sheet in the process. In a match played in driving rain at times, but thankfully on the 3G at Holloway University, the first half was impressively fast and furious, with both sides playing some great attacking football.

For the home side, Paul Burrows went close with two early shots on goal, and we could have opened the scoring sooner, with Steve Williams, Finn Evered and Martin Peters also going close. At the other end, our defence comfortably dealt with most of what Balham could throw at us, albeit Matt in goal had to make a smart save when their full back cut through on a one on one.

Finn and Marc Lansdowne (MoM) were dominant in the air, ably supported by Josh and Liam Hill and Adam Mills in the full back roles. At 0-0 at half time, we knew we were in a top match against our good friends at Balham.

With a number of lads absent from our last match it was pleasing to see some players make their mark from our Reserve Team. The opening goal deservedly came, when Josh Guichard broke clear, to square the ball to Sam to calmly slot home. Waters then kicked on and got our second following some battling by Paul, that allowed Martin to go through on their keeper, to side foot home into the bottom corner.

To their credit, Balham fought back hard, but were restricted to some long range shots, which did not trouble us too greatly. Michael went close to adding a third from a corner, but no further chances of note then followed.
We wish Balham well in the CC Premier League, and hope we can continue to build on this fine start to pre-season.

Other Results
Tring Athletic 4 Chalfont Wasps 1 
Stoke Poges Saints 1 Chalfont Wasps Reserves 2 

20 July

Moreton Rangers 1 Clanfield85 1
Injuries, holidays and other unavailabilities meant that it was a youthful Clanfield 85 that made the short trip to London Road for a pre-season friendly with Moreton Rangers and a late goal for the home side meant that honours were even in a 1-1 draw.

Both sides looked to play football on an excellent playing surface but for both sides the final touch was missing with neither goalkeeper being really troubled.An injury to the home keeper saw him replaced and the Visitors take the lead. An excellent pass from Zac Oliver saw Lee Toomey ensure that the substitutes first touch was to pick the ball out of the net.Both sides went close but Clanfield remained ahead at half-time.

Both sides made changes at the interval but the game continued to ebb and flow. The home keeper pulled off a fine save to prevent a second goal and with time running out Moreton equalised.A free kick on the edge of the penalty area was blasted home to leave the final score 1-1.

Royal Holloway Old Boys 0 Virginia Water 6
The Waters kicked off their pre-season in emphatic style, with a comfortable win against our close friends and neighbours.

Played on the stunning pitches at the University, the match was always keenly contested and fairly even after 30 minutes, until the deadlock was finally broken.

Up until then, Waters had gone close with Josh Guichard hitting the bar, and Paul Burrows, Finn Evered and Jake Baker all having a number of efforts on goal. Our first goal, duly arrived in the 32nd minute, when Dan Whatford ran on to a though ball, to calmly slot past their keeper.

Within minutes Ryan Curtis had added our second in similar style after being played in by Richard Bond.
Further goals came from Ryan, Tom Curran, Josh and Lorenzo Di Felice (Lennie to us!).

To the Old Boys credit, they kept working tirelessly, but with the Waters having a strong side available, and the Old Boys a few away, our strength in depth and fitness prevailed in the end.

Pleasing to note the clean sheet at the other side of the pitch, where apart from two good saves by Matt Jones in goal, the lads at the back looked solid enough, with some tough matches around the corner to test them. Our thanks to our hosts, and we wish them well on their first season in the Surrey Elite Intermediate League.
A good way to start the preparations off before our debut in Uhlsoprt Hellenic 1 East.

15 July

AFC Stoneham 3 Clanfield 85 0
Clanfield 85 travelled in to Hampshire to meet Wessex League Division One counterparts AFC Stoneham for their third pre-season friendly and in a well contested encounter suffered a three nil defeat. The Visitors had the better of the early exchanges but failed to capitalise on three good chances in the first twenty minutes.The match was disrupted for a while with an injury to the Match Referee and Stoneham went ahead on the half hour with a low shot to lead 1-0 at the interval.

Stoneham had the better of the exchanges in the second half and scored again from a set piece on 70 minutes before wrapping things up from the penalty spot in the 87th minute.

Manager Peter Osborne was not too downbeat after the match;”After our first two matches I have said that at this stage results are not important. We stepped up a level and the players got a few more miles in to their legs. We will look in to our performance at training on Tuesday and look to put matters right at Moreton Rangers on Thursday”

The Robins suffered a number of injuries in this encounter with teenage defender Callum Davies leaving the ground on crutches and Harvey Savin,Chris Blakely,Dean Mays,Frankie Cato, Jack Morton and Karl Roberts all requiring treatment. On the credit side 16 year olds Andy Hunt and Jack Smith made their First Team debuts and both acquitted themselves well.

Letcombe 3 Marlborough 0
Letcombe played their first pre-season friendly with a `double header` at home to Marlborough Town FC. In two mixed games, Letcombe looked very fit as their hard work in the last 4 weeks paid off. It was early on in the first game that former Kintbury forward Luke Conner opened the scoring with a well placed free kick and more chances came as the home side created lots of good openings with Conner Lynch and Ben Hummel working hard and the pairing of Dan Bailey and Chris Collin well in control of the midfield battle. Keeper Charlie Mccready did have to be on his toes as Marlborough got in behind the very solid looking back four of Luke Mulvey , Jake Rowe, Luke Stone and Chris Whelehan but he saved well. Letcombe took control as they then went 2-0 up with a neatly taken goal from Conner Lynch. The final goal again came from Lynch before he went off to play again in the 2nd game ! A goalless second half, but a good Letcombe performance. Final score 3-0 Man of Match Dan Bailey 

Letcombe 5 Marlborough 1
The second game also started brightly against a strong looking Marlborough Town side and it was the lively looking Lynch who opened the scoring with another neat finish. The visitors equalised early in the second half as a good turn from Nick Turner inside the box saw him beat Ollie Harrison, and moments later a penalty was awarded to Marlbrough, but Harrison wasn't to be beaten again as he pulled off a good save. Letcombe now began to get on top as Kallum Thomas and Alex Fragata linked up nicely down the left hand side. With Russell Benham looking at his best with his clever movement, the home side then began to get on top. Skipper Andy Goodchild was marshaling his defence, and it was Jack Heggie`s deep cross from a free kick that eluded the visiting goalie and put Letcombe 2-1 up. Fragata was now causing problems with his non stop attacking runs at the Marlborough defence, and he could have put his side further ahead only to be stopped with some good defending. More pressure resulted in an own goal in the 60th minute as Letcombe's fitness now shone through, and Fragata got his rewards when he cut in from the right and drilled home his first goal for the club to put Letcombe 4-1 up. There was still time for him to earn a penalty in the 84 th minute but he allowed Connor Lynch to step up and rifle home his 4th goal of the day and also pick up the man of the match award for the second match !! All in all a very pleasing opening two matches with 32 players getting run outs. 

Penn & Tylers Green 1 Flackwell Heath 2
This was yet another good pre-season workout against our neighbours from just across the valley. Our friends from Flackwell Heath FC brought a mixture of experience and youth to French School Meadow this afternoon for a 2:00 pm kick off. It was almost like a reunion with the number of ex Penn & Tylers Green FC players on display in the opposition side this afternoon.

The game was competitive and no one really had the upper hand in half one. Penn & Tylers Green FC took the lead with Adam Harman slotting home after an excellent defence splitting pass. Ex Penn & Tylers Green FC forward Danny Burnell showed his class with his equaliser from near the half way line, lobbing our keeper Josh Cockerill, who was struggling with a groin injury. Josh would have made the save otherwise. The class bit, however, was Danny’s attempt in the first place, credit where credit is due. One each was a fair result at the half time break. 

The boys from Wilks Park took the lead just after the break when our defence just switched off for a few seconds, which gave Flackwell Heath FC’s forward the chance to collect the ball from a good pass to slot the ball home; 2:1 to the visitors.

keith ryan wycombe wanderersThe pattern of the pre-season friendlies thus far was repeated; we had the chance to get something out of the games but we just did not convert the opportunities into something tangible, goals. Lee Thompson was very unlucky with his shot which hit the underside of the bar. In 1996 this would have been a goal. A few minutes later Adam Harman just could not squeeze the gaol home from an excellent cross.

After a few more changes due to injuries and trial purposes the game remained even. Experience was shown in abundance with Danny Jordan doing his good stuff for the boys in blue & white stripes and Wycombe Wanderers legend Keith Ryan doing the same for the visitors. All in all, another good pre-season workout.

Wycombe Wanderers legend Keith Ryan was happy to put his boots on for the visitors Flackwell Heath in the pre-season friendly at Penn & Tylers Green this afternoon. He was just as happy to have an expert exchange of experience with our management team after the game. Penn & Tylers Green joint Manager Giovanni Sepede and goal keeper coach Nigel Miller were happy to listen.

Other Results
Letcombe 5 Marlborough 1
Taplow United 4 Chalfont Wasps 5


14 July

Longlevens 2 Westfields

Longlevens welcomed West Midland League side Westfields to Saw Mills for the first time in what was the away sides first pre-season fixture. Leven’s were playing their third game in 7 days. A match where Longlevens played without possession for the majority of the game, Moore's side showed that they could remain compact with a makeshift back line of; Ryan Dunn, Adam Phillips, Luke Kavanagh and Craig Beaton and limited Westfield to only a small amount of chances throughout the game.

Levens started the game well with wide men Max Harper-Emerson and Joe Wilton continuing to impress as they had done during the previous two friendlies. Wilton could've opened the scoring himself but failed to get enough contact to sufficiently task the Westfield keeper. The remaining 35 minutes were controlled by the away side who dominated possession limiting Leven’s to only the counter attack.

The second period saw the match open up as the away side still had the larger share of possession. Leven’s attacked quickly and were able to open up the Westfield back line with some quick transitions when in possession of the ball.

Dave Merrick stung the hands of the Westfields keeper with a stunning volley from a Brad Martin corner however until that point that was the only real chance of note. It wasn't until the 75th minute where the game came to life. More good work from Wilton down the left hand side found its way into the box and after a small scramble the ball fell to Levens substitute Brad Vanstone who fired home.

Westfields pressed hard for the equaliser however Leven’s held firm in defence with goalkeeper Ash Wintle playing a key role as a makeshift sweeper as the away side tried to force the issue. With 5 minutes left on the clock Westfields were awarded a dubious penalty as a long ball was latched onto by the advancing forward and despite winning the ball defender Luke Kavanagh was adjudged to have brought him down. No red card given however. The resulting spot kick was dispatched.

Leven’s deservedly snatched the game with only a few minutes left on the clock. Shaun O’Connor was brought down on the edge of the box and he dusted himself off to expertly curl the ball into the bottom right corner from 20 yards out.

Moore reflected on his sides first pre season win by saying "We're slowly getting there, tonight we were forced to play without the ball for long periods and showed that we could cope with this. The substitutes proved to be key tonight and gave us legs at a vital point. Credit to all the lads who put in another great shift”.

 

11 July

Fleet Spurs 1 Woodley United 2
Woodley pick up their second pre-season victory as preparation for maiden Hellenic Premier season continues.

United fell behind on five minutes when Sam Knowles found the right corner from the penalty spot. The next fifteen minutes saw Woodley have plenty of the ball but struggle to link midfield and attack.

It took till the twentieth minute for United to create their first clear chance. Charlie Oakley and Greg Beckett combined with the latter forcing the Fleet goalie into a routine save. Sixty seconds later, Woodley were once again denied by the home keeper. 

The half ended with the sides trading shots; Knowles prodded a good chance wide before Oakley was denied by the Fleet keeper. The final chance of a half Woodley dominated from a possession point of view saw Toby Briggs shoot well wide from distance.

The second half got underway with Danny Greenwood picking out Oakley with a superb pass; going round the goalie the United forward hit the outside of the post from a tight angle. Woodley pressed on, a nice move started after a neat turn by Callum Samuel-Harmen ended with the home keeper once again thwarting United.

The scores were level with thirteen minutes left when Oakley turned home from close range after Michael Porter headed a right wing corner goalwards.

With the game in its final ten minutes, United hit the outside of the post for a second time. Good link up play between Marvin Hinds and Beckett ended with the former having his shot deflect off a Fleet defender and clip the woodwork. Woodley had a real let off with two minutes left when the hosts should have nicked a winner. A low cross from the right found a Fleet forward unmarked six yards out; mis-controlling the ball, it allowed Alex Reed time to close the angle and save before the ball was cleared.

The miss was to prove costly as United won it at the death when Oakley headed in a Nat Robinson corner.

Penn & Tylers Green 0 Windsor 1
Another pre-season game is out of the way. Last season’s Division One (East) Champions Penn & Tylers Green FC entertained Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division newcomers Windsor FC at French School Meadow. This was a very entertaining and competitive match. The boys in blue & white did very well in half one against a good Windsor team but the visitors, playing in their green, red and white kit shaded the first half. They took the lead after about 30 minutes with the only goal from short range after a goal mouth scramble and indecisive defending.

In half two, after the customary pre-season changes at half time, the home side upped their game and definitely had the upper hand in the second 45 minutes. There were chances galore for the home side but Adam Harman and Lee Thompson just could not find the net with two of the best opportunities of the evening. So, 0-1 to the visitors the score remained but this was another good pre-season workout for the home side. As stated before, for the neutral punter this was a good game despite the floods coming down from the dark grey clouds all evening.

Other results
Flackwell Heath  3   Chalfont Wasps   0

 

8 July

Hatherop 2 Clanfield 85 5
Clanfield 85 made another very pleasant trip in to beautiful surroundings in the Cotswolds to take on Hatherop FC in their second pre-season friendly and had another excellent workout.

In a game of three segments of thirty minutes each the Robins established a 2-0 lead with goals by Jack Morton and Joe Hiscock whilst the hosts missed a penalty before pulling a goal back to leave the first thirty minutes at 2-1 to the visitors.In the second segment Mike Duerden put the Robins 3-1 ahead before  Hatherop again reduced the arrears.The final segment saw Callum Miller and Dean Mays complete the scoring.

Manager Peter Osborne was again pleased with the afternoon activities;”The result of this match is not important.We have had six well attended and hardworking training sessions and this was all about putting what we have done there in to a game situation.Both teams worked very hard on a very warm afternoon and we extend our thanks to Hatherop for a keenly contested encounter.”

The visitors were even more impressed when whilst enjoying a drink and chat after the game the Hatherop Team Manager revealed that after the regular arrangements for pitch mowing had broken down he himself had prepared the excellent playing surface using a hand mower! His efforts did him great credit!

Longlevens 3 Cribbs 3
On a warm humid day at Saw Mills End Longlevens opened their pre-season campaign against regular pre-season opponents and Toolstation Premier division Cribbs FC. Included in the Longlevens squad were new signings; Ash Wintle, Myron Turner and Brad Martin, alongside two trialists Dan Parry and Joe Wilton. Jonty Welch and Dave Rich also returned to the squad after long term injuries.

The first half started at a good pace with both sides trying to play football, however it was the visitors who settled quicker, playing good football from the back as Longlevens struggled to get out high enough to press the two centre halves. Longlevens could of taken the lead when a cut back from full back Luke Kavanagh found Dave Merrick, however his shot went over the bar.

Midway through the half Cribbs were controlling possession and took the lead after intricate play down the left hand side, finishing with a well curled shot into the top right hand corner. Longlevens equalised after they managed to get out and win the ball in a high area. Merrick went through to finish when he was released through by Martin. 

The second period started with a carbon copy  goal to give Longlevens the lead. This time Welch pinched the ball high up the field and O'Connor went on to finish well beyond the keeper.

Cribbs then scored two quick goals to regain the lead, resulting from poor communication amongst the Longlevens back line. Longlevens drew level when Max Harper-Emerson cut in from the left and drove the ball into the bottom corner.

Cribbs could of stolen it late on from the spot however Wintle marked his debut with a safe from the spot. In the end an evenly contested game which both sides will benefit from the workout.

Penn & Tylers Green 1 Marlow 2
On a very hot summers day the new season has truly commenced. In the first game of the pre-season schedule for the First Team the boys from French School Meadow faced our near neighbours Marlow FC. A pre-season match it was but despite the heat a competitive game it turned out to be. Pleasing on the eye for the neutral punter as both teams put a shift in this afternoon and there were no shenanigans either; a perfect pre-season encounter. 

Penn & Tylers Green FC took the lead early in the game with Dany Blatchford making sure the ball hit the back of the net. Half way through the first half the visitors equalised with a thunderous effort from about 20 yards. The second half saw some customary changes for this sort of game and with only a few minutes into the game the boys from Oak Tee Road took the lead with a tap in from close range. That was the end of the scoring but the entertaining football kept going until the final whistle. This was a good work out with a decent performance by the home side. Joint Manager James Pritchard was happy with this afternoon’s proceedings.

Virginia Water Reserves 2 Ascot Development 0
Ahead of their first season in Hellenic Div 2 East, Virginia Water reserves kicked off their pre season with a home match against Ascot Development.

Played over 3 x 30mins Ascot had the best of the first 30 without really creating many clear cut chances, the VWFC defence being led by a confident Billy Cox worked well and the 17 year old Jack Debill growing ever confident in midfield kept the Ascot midfield on their toes.

The second and third 30's were dominated by VWFC and a bizarre own goal saw Waters take the lead and a second by Martin Peters were not matched by many shots on target by Ascot never troubling a competent Matt Hargreaves in goal

Good performances from both Tom Flowers and Sam Dennison made it a strong day for the newbies On a very hot day it was a tough climate for football with the game punctuated with many drinks breaks, just a shame none of the Ascot officials or players came in the clubhouse after the match for one.

1 July

AFC Bibury 1 Clanfield 85 7
 After four well attended training sessions Clanfield 85 got their season under way in very pleasant surroundings in the Cotswolds with a pre-season friendly with AFC Bibury.The Robins fielded a total of fifteen players including a number of new faces supplementing players from last season.

Three pin point set pieces by Frankie Cato saw Callum Miller(2) and Craig Kent give the visitors a 3-0 advantage in the first segment of 30 minutes.A fine cross from Dean Mays was touched in by Joe Hiscock in the second segment and further goals by Craig Mays(2) and Mike Duerden in the final 30 minutes made the score 7-0.Battling to the end the hosts scored a deserved goal in the final minutes.

Manager Peter Osborne was pleased with the day;”Pre-season is not really about results but about players getting game time to put into practice what we have done in our pre-season sessions and we did that quite well.It was a very warm afternoon and we stood up to that well.Our opponents were very nice people and all in all it was a good afternoon for everyone.Referee Ian Hamilton judged things just right and we have invited Bibury to come over to us for a midweek friendly under our lights later on in the season”

Woodley United 2 Marlow 3
In a friendly match against Southern Football League Division One members Marlow, Woodley competed well and showed good character to level before going down to a late goal.

The first half saw Joe Barley clear of his own goal line to deny Marlow an opening goal while Teddy Thomas suffered a clash of heads that saw him withdrawn around twenty minutes. 

Marlow opened the scoring on thirty four minutes when Barley's back header to Alex Reed was intercepted and the lead was extend two minutes later when Marlow kept a ball in play that was looking as if it was going out for a throw in and crossed into the United penalty area where the ball was headed home against a flat footed defence.

The second half saw United play with greater tempo and rewarded two minute after the restart when Josh Drew cut in from the right to score. The urgency was maintained with the post hit and Owen Davies and Toby Briggs being denied by Marlow's custodian before Briggs levelled with twelve minutes remaining via the goalkeeper's hand and inside far post.

Three minutes later Marlow were awarded penalty which Garry Aulsberry saved with his feet but the ball ran to the penalty taker to net what was to be the final goal of the game.

 

24 June 2017

Woodley United 5 AFC Aldermaston 0

A good team performance sees United to a win in their opening pre-season schedule.

As early as the third minutes United took the lead when an AFC Aldermaston helped Iddy Kamara's goal bound header from a Nathanael Robinson corner into his own net.

The first period of thirty minutes saw United keep good possession of the ball with little for keeper Alex Reed to do. Robinson's forward lob allowed Charlie Oakley to extend the lead with a header after twenty minutes with Oakley adding his second from close range on thirty minutes.

The second period saw AFC Aldermaston look more dangerous hitting Reid's cross bar while the keeper also parried a shot onto the post before a quickly taken free kick on fifty nine minutes found Oakley who shot across goal for Josh Drew to score.

The final period saw Drew complete the scoring after a good run on seventy one minutes. However, Robinson was twice denied by fine goalkeeping while Oakley was denied a hat trick when flagged offside.

 

 
 
 
 
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