Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Tucker nets brace as side move up to second place

Tucker nets brace as side move up to second place

HOME side WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW moved up to second place in the Premier Division following a comfortable 3-0 win against WOODLEY UNITED ROYALS last Saturday.

A well-drilled Woodley side set out intent on frustrating the hosts and this worked for the first half.

Ben Rusher was played through one-on-one after a clever ball from Jake Dillon, but a good save from the keeper kept the scores level. A series of good crosses from out wide on both flanks also eluded the Woodcote front line.

Woodcote had a lot more impetus and intent in the second half and went ahead on around the hour mark after Ed Gadd had his shot cannon off the bar, the rebound fell to Ben Rusher who played the ball neatly to Sam Tucker who volleyed home from 12 yards out.

The visitors almost levelled immediately as a lack of concentration in the home backline and a Woodcote defender failing to push up kept the Woodley striker onside who found himself one-on-one with keeper Kane Roberts. Roberts came out and made himself big and did enough as the Woodley striker saw his effort clip the post and go out for a goal kick.

On 70 minutes Woodcote went 2-0 up following good play down the right-hand side which saw a cross into the area headed home from six yards out by winger Ryan Corbett.

Woodcote kept pushing forward and with time running out player/manager Tucker picked the ball up 20 yards out, before skipping past two Woodley challenges before firing home.

In Division 1 ROTHERFIELD UNITED were held to a 1-1 draw against WESTWOOD UNITED RESERVES at Bishopswood.

The hosts controlled for long spells and created the majority of the goal-scoring opportunities but were caught cold by a Westwood side that pressed quickly to take the ascendancy early on. The visitors’ main threat came from their right winger who hit the post and had his follow-up saved before cutting in again moments later to find space and put his team 1-0 up.

Rotherfield responded by carving out some decent openings and dominated possession for the rest of the first half with Tom Candish instrumental in midfield.

Rotherfield’s best chance to pull one back came on the stroke of half-time when Karl Clark was clean through but sliced wide.

United made changes at the break and Clark made amends by squaring for strike partner Darren Scott, who turned and finished smartly to level the scores.

The momentum was with the home side as Dan Sporle came close with a free kick, returning captain Ben Cousins headed over from close range and Westwood put bodies on the line to deny Sumner then Gardner.

There was almost a sting in the tail as the visitors went close with their only notable chance of the second half. Rotherfield were largely untroubled with Sam Kelly awarded man-of-the-match for his dominant display at centre back.

Matt Turnbull netted twice to help WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW RESERVES maintain their 100 per cent record in Division 2 as the visitors triumphed 3-0 at HARCHESTER HAWKS.

HENLEY TOWN opened their Division 3 campaign with a 4-2 home defeat against BERKS COUNTY RESERVES.

The hosts won a penalty early in the first half when Nick Holzer was bundled over by two Berks County defenders. Holzer stepped up and fired the spot kick into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.

Shortly after that it was 1-1 when a Berks County defender was left unmarked in the box and headed home from close range. Soon after Berks County went ahead when they converted from the penalty spot after a Henley defender handled in the area.

On the half-hour mark Berks County made it 3-1 when they headed home from another corner. Matters got worse for Henley when Jack Naerger was sent off for a late tackle on a Berks County midfielder. However, despite being reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes Henley battled hard and reduced the arrears when the Berks County goalkeeper failed to collect a cross and Nico Cheesman pounced on the loose ball and fired home into the bottom left corner.

The visitors restored their two-goal advantage when they converted their second penalty of the match late on after a Berks County player was fouled in the area.

HAMBLEDEN lead the division after winning their opening game of the season 6-0 against MAIDENHEAD TOWN A at the Dene. Hambleden’s goals were scored by Michael Klingberg, Ben Rackshaw, Matthias Lee, Luke Logan and two by Nicholas Ellis.

Elsewhere in the division GORING UNITED RESERVES were held to a 1-1 draw at home to CINTRA PARK ROVERS. Tom Heslop was on target in the second half for the hosts.

HENLEY TOWN DEVELOPMENT side lost their first Division 4 match of the campaign 2-1 at PHOENIX OLD BOYS RESERVES.

This was a promising display from the visiting side who fielded a team made up mainly of U20 players. In large parts Henley dominated possession but it was the hosts who took the lead after 20 minutes.

Henley hit back when a four-man move led to Rowan Stacey firing low into the corner of the net for the equaliser.

The home side restored their lead on 80 minutes and, despite Henley creating several changes late on they were unable to a find an equalising goal.

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