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Tuesday, 12 November 2019
INJURY-HIT WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW battled their way to a decisive win in their penultimate match of the league season in the Thames Valley Premier at BURGHFIELD last Saturday.
After a hesitant start in which Burghfield spurned a gilt-edged chance, Woodcote gradually established supremacy over a committed home side.
The first goal came on 20 minutes with the very impressive Ryan Corbett getting on the scoresheet as he latched-on to Sam Tucker’s pinpoint lob over the defence to finish decisively.
Burghfield attempted to get on terms with attacks on the break, but they came up against a rock solid defence with centre-backs Donal Roughneen and Tyler Edwards totally dominant. Behind them Josh Scurr gave his defence great confidence with his immaculate handling.
The second goal came after 35 minutes. Ryan Corbett was giving his marker a torrid time with his pace down the right wing and his cross was handled by a defender, but the referee waited for an advantage and Johnny Adey rifled the ball into the net for 2-0.
Ryan Corbett was staking his claim for the man-of-the-match award as, two minutes later, he crossed from the right again. Jermaine Gumbs received the ball with his back to goal and his swivel and shot left his marker and the goalkeeper wrong-footed and the score at 3-0.
If the first half was the Corbett show, the second saw the action switch more to the left wing where Connor Mattimore matched the exploits of his team mate with incisive running and crossing.
Burghfield defended in numbers with the result that the fourth goal did not come until the 85th minute. It was fitting that the cross from the left should come from Mattimore and the looping header, which found the net, should come from the excellent Ben Rusher, whose accurate passing on a difficult pitch had been a feature throughout.
In Division 1 ROTHERFIELD UNITED picked up a point as they drew 0-0 away at FC IMAAN LIONS.
With both teams vying for a final league position that could mean elevation to the Premier Division next season, it was an entertaining end-to-end game at Sol Joel Park.
Starting only his third game this term, Aaron Attfield was a regular threat for Rotherfield in the first half as he beat his man to deliver dangerous crosses on a number of occasions.
Midfielders Mark Sumner and Scott Brown both found themselves in dangerous positions as United threw men forward and Ed Bickerton’s long range volley was blocked when it looked destined for the net. Man-of-the-match Karl Clark came close to breaking the deadlock twice, firing narrowly wide and forcing the Lions keeper into a flying save as Rotherfield cranked up the pressure.
Clark combined with Tom Candish in the best move of the game but couldn’t quite reach the cross. United keeper Grant Wildish was called into action at the other end, tipping over twice in the early stages, but was generally protected well by the impressive centre back pairing of Ryan Richardson and Guy Bickerton.
Chances were fewer and further between in the second half but Attfield continued to pose a threat and was thwarted by a last ditch block in the clearest opening of the second half.
A Carl Smith hat-trick saw third-placed WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW RESERVES eventually overcome lowly HARCHESTER HAWKS 6-4 in Division 2.
Woodcote/Stoke Row Reserves made a slow start going in at half-time 2-0 down. Within minutes of the restart the hosts levelled the scores, but then they fell behind again twice more as Harchester made it 3-2 and then 4-3.
Three more Woodcote goals then completed the win. In addition to Smith’s hat-trick, on target for Woodcote were Andy Taylor, Mike Higley and Nick Itta.
Elsewhere in the division basement side GORING UNITED crashed to a 4-2 defeat at MAIDENHEAD TOWN RESERVES.
Daniel Houseman put the visitors ahead after 10 minutes but the home side hit back with two goals late in the first half to go in at half-time 2-1 up. In the second half Maidenhead raced into a 4-1 lead before Edward Ardill pulled a goal back for the visitors on 80 minutes.
HENLEY TOWN secured promotion and possibly the Division 3 league title after winning their final match of the season 2-1 at TAPLOW UNITED A.
The win puts Henley top of the table having now played all of their matches. Their final game was due to be against Cintra Park Rovers who are withdrawing from the league.
Taplow started the match strongly and from the first corner of the game had the ball in the back of the Henley net but the effort was ruled out by the referee due to a home player using his hand to guide the ball into the goal.
Henley got more into the game and took the lead when a Nick Holzer corner was met by Alex Harris White who scored his third goal in as many matches.
The home side continued to look dangerous on the break but it was Henley who went closest to extending their lead when a Rowan Stacey first time shot went narrowly wide of the target before Dan Chalfont tested the United keeper when put through one-on-one.
Just before half-time the Taplow goalkeeper had to be substituted following a collision with Holzer.
The second half started evenly before Henley extended their lead when Chalfont, on the half-way line, beat two United players before firing past the home keeper.
Taplow continued to test the Henley defence with a number of long throws and corners before the visitors had an appeal for a penalty turned down when substitute Nico Cheesman appeared to be fouled in the area but the referee deemed the United player had touched the ball first.
With two minutes of the match remaining and the Henley midfield tiring Taplow broke away to make it 2-1.
Division 4 basement side HENLEY TOWN DEVELOPMENT went down to a 4-1 defeat at home to PHOENIX OLD BOYS RESERVES. Mathew Eggleton was on target for the hosts.
08 April 2019
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