Saturday, 21 May 2022

Painter’s 30-yard strike adds gloss to comfortable win

JIMI AUSTIN scored a penalty as Hambleden picked up a 3-2 friendly win over Phoenix Old Boys 3rds.

The East Berks league side took the lead on 30 mins when they were awarded a penalty following a foul in the box.

Austin stepped up to covert from the spot, coolly slotting it to the goalkeeper’s right, into the corner.

Five minutes later the score was level as Phoenix were awarded a penalty for a rash tackle and they made no mistake.

A flurry of changes in the second half stifled the flow of the match. But on the hour mark Hambleden retook the lead, courtesy of a headed own goal from a corner kick.

Ten minutes later, Hambleden’s James Spring burst into the corner of the box, beat a player and lashed the ball past the keeper into the far corner.

With five minutes left and a host of players going off injured, Phoenix fought back into the game, scoring a consolation goal from close range.

Goalkeeper Dan James initially made a great one-on-one save but could do nothing to stop the rebound.

Meanwhile, Hambleden’s Thames Valley League side also defeated a Phoenix Old Boys side, this time 4-1.

The hosts tried everything to find the net early on, hitting the post and having the ball cleared off the line.

Then, just before half-time, Dan Chalfont outpaced the defence to put Hambleden in front.

Into the second half, Phoenix began to look dangerous but Hambleden increased their lead.

A well-worked short corner enabled Gabriel Pinto to beat the first defender before scoring from 18 yards out.

Just when the hosts looked to have the game sewn up, they gave away a penalty after a hand ball in the box. But goalkeeper Lucas Romeo Jinks saved it, parrying it for a corner.

But Hambleden again failed to clear another long throw-in and it was flicked into the net on about 65 minutes.

With around 20 minutes remaining, 17-year-old Manuel Pinto was brought on in goal and distributed the ball well.

His brother Gabby then drove a cross across the Phoenix box, only to be turned in by Lewis Drake.

Liam Painter ended the tie with an effort from 30 yards to make it 4-1.

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