Witney & District Football Reports - Week 24

By Ant Barlow

Saturday 9th March - Written By David Evans

Charlbury charge into Junior Shield Final following extra time drama

Junior Shield
Charlbury Town ensured that the Witney and District will once again be represented in the John Fathers Junior Shield Final after they overcame Deddington Town in a thrilling semi-final on Wednesday night.
Playing under the lights at Banbury United FC, Charlbury were looking to maintain their pursuit of the most prestigious trophy available to the teams in the Witney and District.

Charlbury appeared to settle quickest into the game and managed to keep Deddington camped in their own half for much of the first fifteen minutes, although there were no shots on target to note in the opening period.
Charlbury grew in confidence as the half went on and Deddington had their keeper to thank halfway through the first half after he pulled off a crazy double save to keep things all square going into the final 15 minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken after 39 minutes after the same keeper then made a silly mistake. Charlbury’s Craig McCallum pumped a long free kick into the box and as it flew towards goal, the keeper let the ball slip through his hands and into the back of the Deddington net.

Despite there not being much action from Deddington in the half, the conceded goal only served to inspire them as they began to grow into the game themselves. They were rewarded on the stroke of half-time with a penalty which was safely put away with practically the last kick of the half. 1-1 at half-time.

Deddington used their new found confidence to start the second half well. They had two good chances early on in the second half, one of which required Charlbury keeper Shaun Akers to tip over the bar.

Charlbury found their feet again and the second half became a much more even contest. No major chances were created and the match rolled into extra time.

Into extra time and the battle continued. Both sides were cancelling each other out until Charlbury were awarded a penalty of their own inside the first half of extra time. Craig McCallum stepped up and calmly slotted the ball down the centre of the goal to give Charlbury the lead into half time of extra time.

Five minutes into the second half of extra time and Deddington once again showed their battling qualities as they hit back for the second time in the contest. Breaking from out of their own half, they caught Charlbury unawares and equalised with ten minutes to go.

Penalties loomed as both sides began to tire but with two minutes left on the clock Duncan Fitzgerald popped up with an absolute screamer to put Charlbury ahead for the third time in the contest.
Deddington tried with all their might to get back into the contest but their task was made more difficult when they were reduced to ten men following a late dismissal for dissent.

The final whistle blew after 120 minutes of pulsating action and following five goals, two penalties a red card, Charlbury Town made it into the Junior Shield final.

The final will take place on Saturday 27th April. Kick-off is at 7:00pm and the match will take place at Kidlington FC. Milton-Under Wychwood or Chasewell Park will face them in the final.
Senior Cup

The semi-final line up has been decided for the senior cup after the four quarter finals took place at the weekend.

The Premier Division's top two faced off against each other and top side FC Hollybush advanced to the penultimate round. Josh Grant, Jacob Hughes and Craig Mays all scored one each as Hollybush won 3-1. Josh Hunt scored Charlbury's consolation but the game proved one step too far following their midweek Junior Shield exploits.

Third placed Hailey also advanced following a close battle with Spartan Rangers. Travis O' Connor followed up from his double last week to score again, with Perry Runs on slotting home from twelve yards to double Hailey’s score. John Clarke replied for Spartan but Hailey are in the hat for the next round thanks to the 2-1 win.

Tower Hill were the most comfortable victors of the quarter finals as they thumped Aston 4-0 Their league positions may have indicated a much tighter battle would take place but Sam Britnell's double got Tower well on their way. Kieran Watts and Lewis Bartlett helped themselves to one each to finish off the scoring.

Kirtlington received a walk over victory against Carterton Rangers to join the other three sides in the semi-final draw.

Junior Cup
The semi-final line up is complete for the Junior Cup as the remaining three quarter finals were played in the recent round of games. It will be an all Division One line-up as Eynsham SSC, Milton and Stonesfield all came through their fixtures in relatively comfortable fashion.

Eynsham played the only Division Two side left in the competition in Kingham but managed to overcome their high flying lower league opposition 3-0. Stephen Chappell, Ryan Stockford and Ash Bowerman all scored one each to put Eynsham through.

Milton also won by three goals as they safely dispatched Bourton Rovers 4-1. Levi Steele got the ball rolling with a double for himself. Stephen Pearce and Lewis Dady both scored one each as Milton advanced to their second semi-final of the season. Josh Fielding responded with Bourton's consolation.

Division One top side Stonesfield are still chasing an incredible treble after advancing into the Junior Cup semi-finals. Currently top of Division One and already through to the Fred Ford semi-finals, they comfortably overcame fellow Division One side, Middle Barton to make it through to the penultimate round. As usual, both Carry and Raffy Rice were on the scoresheet for the home team, scoring one each. Reece Bayliss notched one and Nick Clarke scored the last to complete the scoring.

They all join Bampton United in the hat for the semi-final draw

Premier Division
The sole fixture in the Premier Division, because of the Senior Cup taking place, was between Carterton Town A and Minster Lovell. Carterton proceeded to do the league double over Minster with a 3-1 home victory. Rui Alves scored for Minster but Carterton hit back through Dave Wanless. Connor Kelly then scored direct from a corner for his second goal in two games and Liam Felstead completed the scoring in the second half to give Carterton back to back victories in the league.

Division One
In the only Division One fixture Chadlington missed out on the opportunity to go third as they slipped to defeat against Combe. Jordan Godfrey score for Chadlington as they looked to maintain their pursuit of the top two but Combe hit back through Mark Minchin and Ethan Penney for their third league win of the season.

Division Two
The league's top two sides faced off against each other in a potential title deciding battle at the weekend. Hailey Reserves faced off against Minster Lovell Reserves with the winners guaranteed top spot and a three point cushion by the end of the 90 minutes. Bragging rights fell to Minster Lovell then as they came away from Hailey with the win. Gary Mitchell slotted home from the spot with Seb White and Luke Hessey scoring the other goals for Minster. Bradley Evans replied for Hailey but it finished 3-1.

In terms of league places gained, Siege FC gained three league places as they defeated Charlbury Town Reserves. With the teams closely placed in the league beforehand, and fourth place guaranteed by the end of the game for the victors, both sides served up a treat in a closely fought five goal game. Mitchell Faulkner and Michael Hayes scored for Charlbury but Siege went one better through Gerard Morgan and an Andy Makepiece brace. Siege will now have one eye on second place Hailey who they can catch with their game in hand as Division Two's title race hots up with a few games left.

Witney Wanderers escaped the bottom two by leapfrogging Brize Norton as they were awarded a walk over victory against Aston Reserves.

Division Three
Just three games in Division Three but the fixtures still managed to produce 18 goals between them as the goal scorers thrived at the weekend.

Jay Nair followed up from his five goal haul last week to hit a hat-trick this weekend to takes his tally to eight goals for the month as Hook Norton strolled to a 9-1 victory over FC Mills. Ben Haynes joined in with two of his own whilst James Ingham, Harry Prickett and Luke Street also joined in the goal scoring action. Hook Norton were even responsible for FC Mills getting on the scoresheet as they scored an own goal to give Mills their consolation. Victory sends Hook Norton third and well within touching distance of the top two.

Wootton jumped two league places as they overcame Chipping Norton Town 4-1. Wootton produced four different goal scorers as Karl Guschtscha, Brian Kerry, Karl Ware and Callum Davis-Allen all scored one each to send Wootton fourth. Chippy's consolation came from Jack Knight but couldn't prevent Chippy slipping to the bottom of the table.

Chippy’s slip to the bottom is thanks to a win for former bottom side Witney Royals Reserves. They faced off against high flying Bletchington but defied their lowly league position in a well battled 2-1 victory. Dan Willoughby scored for Bletchington from the spot but Royals had a penalty of their own converted by Mikey Piper. Dale Howlett proved to be Royals' difference maker to secure the three points and Royals jump two places thanks to the three points.

Division Four
The top 5 are separated by just six points now in Division Four.
Bampton United stunned league leaders Milton Reserves to leave themselves in control of their own destiny if they have title ambitions come the end of the season. Lewis Knight scored the only goal of the game to give Bampton the three points. Victory leaves them just six points off the leaders but with three critical games in hand.

Despite defeat, Milton remain top as some of the chasing pack dropped points. Chadlington Reserves, who received a positive points adjustment in the week due to an opponent fielding an illegal player, are now level on points with Milton despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Brize Norton Reserves. Goals from Ollie Wellstood and Charlie White would have had Chadlington dreaming of victory but Brize hit back through Adam Harris and Chris MacNeil to give each side a share of the spoils.

The fixture list threw together third versus fourth as Kingham Reserves hosted Stonesfield Reserves. A tight battle was always on the cards and so it proved as both sides had to settle for a share of the points. It finished 1-1 at the full time whistle. Stonesfield's Liam Harris cancelling out Ben Gibbon's strike for Kingham. Kingham are 3 points off the top, Stonesfield just a point further back in fourth.

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