Saturday, 20 October 2018

Knox’s header puts Woodcote/Stoke Row top of the table

WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW moved to the top of the Reading Saturday League John Dell Senior Division last Saturday.

WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW moved to the top of the Reading Saturday League John Dell Senior Division last Saturday.

In winning Woodcote, who have never won the title but have been runners-up for three consecutive seasons, extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches, made up of 12 wins and two draws.

Both Marlow and Reading YMCA have games in hand and both will pip Woodcote if they win their remaining matches. Saturday’s game, played in atrocious conditions, was far from a classic and Woodcote started badly. With the strong wind at their backs, they should have dominated, but it was Highmoor who had the better of the half forcing Woodcote on to the defensive for long periods, without threatening Mark Pearson’s goal.

The home side took the lead in the 44th minute with the only on-target effort in the first half. Frank Dillon’s free kick from wide on the left was met with a glancing header from Paul Knox which flew into the top corner.

Woodcote thought they had increased their lead in the first minute of the second half when Ryan Corbett put the ball in the net, but the winger was adjudged offside. Once again the half saw very few openings created with defences dominant and most of the battle taking place in midfield.

On 60 minutes Highmoor’s first goal-worthy effort brought a flying save from Pearson at his near post. Soon afterwards Ryan Corbett found himself in the clear after good work from Jake Dillon, but the young striker blasted over the bar.

That miss could have proved costly as, on 75 minutes, Highmoor were awarded a penalty after TJ Allison had upended a forward in the box. Fortunately for Woodcote, the penalty taker blasted the ball high over the bar.

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