Groups stay wide open before last week of fixtures
Teams basked in the glorious sunshine as the penultimate Saturday of group fixtures were played out. Only two teams have booked their place in the semi-finals of their respective cup competitions as teams look to seize their chances in the next seven days of cup competition.
Ted Young Senior Cup - Group 1
Hailey are one of the sides to have guaranteed themselves a place in the next stage of the Senior Cup, recording a comfortable victory over previously second placed Spartan Rangers. Jack Wood’s brace did some of the damage in the 5-1 victory. Luke Bolley also hit a brace and Freddie Buckingham struck goal number five as Hailey kept a firm grip on top spot, leaving themselves just a point away from winning the group. Spartan Rangers clawed one back through Henry Clarke and will have to hope for favours elsewhere if they are to advance to the knockout stages next week.
Carterton FC recorded three wins on the bounce in progressing into second place with victory over Charlbury Town. Victory for either side would have seen them break into the top two and it was Carterton who took advantage in the sunny conditions at Kilkenny Lane. Despite goals from Stefan Lang and Michael Hayes for the visitors, Carterton took all three points thanks to strikes from Mark Threlfall, Jack Robinson, Jason Lonsdale, Tom Harvey and Carl Austin as Carterton ran out 5-2 winners. Carterton now have their fate in their own hands next weekend whilst Charlbury must rely on results elsewhere and win their own fixture as well against Chadlington.
Carterton Rangers and Hook Norton played out a seven goal thriller at Hook Norton with Rangers securing all three points to eliminate Hook Norton from the competition. There were seven different goal scorers on the day with Liam Day and Damien Williams scoring for Rangers. Hook Norton fought back through Sam Prickett and Max Harris but Rangers extended their advantage thanks to Joe Collett. Adam Lee struck a fourth for Rangers and although Max Bayliss pulled one back for Hooky, they couldn’t find an elusive fourth and Rangers escaped with all three points. Rangers take third spot in the Group and face a winner takes all battle in the Carterton derby next week when they host Carterton FC at Monahan Way.
Minster Lovell had failed to score and failed to secure a point before Saturday but saw a change in their fortunes as they scored and won against Chadlington. In a tough encounter, Chadlington controlled possession and territory in the first period, testing the Minster keeper on a couple of occasions before earning a slice of luck as Callum Curtis’ strike from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection and looped over the Minster keeper to give Chadlington a first half lead. Minster had the better of the start of the second period and hit the woodwork twice as their efforts edged closer to the back of the net. Just past the hour mark their tenacity paid off as a wicked cross from the left found Sam Wright all alone in the box who powered a header past the Chadlington keeper to spark Minster celebrations. For 15 minutes the stalemate remained but in the 75th minute Mykel Ryan used his strength to fend off the stubborn Chadlington defender and used the yard of space to perfection as he fired home to put Minster ahead for the first time. Chadlington desperately sought an equaliser, even sending the keeper up for corners but Minster stayed strong and held on for their first three points.
Ted Young Senior Cup - Group 2
Enstone climbed to the top of Group Two with one game to go with a 5-0 rout of Witney Royals. Prior to the game Royals would have held ambitions of their own of breaking into the top two and advancing but found Enstone in stunning form. Regular goal scorers Dan Bott, Josh Hunt and Rhys Warne-Carter all hit the net once and Jamie Gregory and Jordan Godfrey joined in on the action to leave Enstone just one point from qualification.
Milton came from behind to earn an unlikely victory and keep their hopes of qualifying in the Senior Cup. Stonesfield, were the dominant side and should have been out of sight early in the second half Raffy Rice put Stonesfield in front after a ball over the top put him through on goal and he kept his composure to slot home. They should have made it two but Mike Phipps missed a penalty as Josh Allen comfortably saved. Allen was the hero in the second half as well, making one great save to deny Carry Rice. Milton stayed in the fight and drew level fifteen minutes from time, a driven ball hit Jordan Newman and deflected into his own net. As the 90 minutes were almost up Milton drew level. A throw in high up the pitch found Stephen Pearce who made a great move. He fed Louis Breaks and he curled the ball round the defender and past Lewis Kemp in the Stonesfield goal. Stonesfield went in search of a winner in the final seconds and with Kemp dribbling the ball out deep into is own half, he was tackled by Alex Ayres who was able to keep his composure and slot home from distance to give Milton all three points. Milton join Stonesfield on 12 points, behind only on goal difference now, and have a their fate in their own hands as they have a crucial game in hand.
Bletchington and Wootton received walkover victories against Carterton FC Reserves and Hailey Reserves respectively but realistically neither can reach the semi-finals on account of their severely inferior goal difference.
Watts Junior Cup - Group 3
Siege FC and Combe contested the battle of the top two and Siege prevailed by a single goal to make sure of their place in the semi-finals. Andy Makepeace was the only scorer of the game in the 1-0 win. Siege may still require victory in their final game to guarantee top spot. Combe will be left sweating on other results to see if they make it through.
Ducklington missed the chance to leapfrog Combe as they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against North Leigh. Ducklington, who were twice ahead had Lewis Bartlett to thank as he struck a double for Ducklington. But he was outdone by Jack Clarke’s crucial hat-trick for North Leigh as they secured their second win of the competition, leaving them just 2 points outside the top two with one game to go. Ducklington still have things in their own hands as they face Aston in midweek in their game in hand before a tasty encounter with Siege on the final Saturday.
Aston go into their game with Ducklington knowing that a win will elevate themselves into the top two ahead of the final round of games as they thrashed Eynsham 5-2. Olly Hawkins, Charlie Harper and Cairo Cuss hit one goal each for Aston, with Andy Stratford and Ben Partlett grabbing goals for Eynsham to get them back into the game. Nick Angus bagged a brace for Aston to make sure of the three points and leave them with something to fight for on Wednesday night.
Watts Junior Cup – Group 4
Four teams are mathematically capable of advancing from the second Junior Cup group. Kingham All Blacks and Carterton Town B occupy the top two spaces and have the strongest case for going through as they both have two games left to play.
Kingham hit top spot with a 5-0 demolition of bottom side Chadlington Reserves. The Lay brothers, Dan and Jack, both scored one each with Dan Davies grabbing a third. Gaz Price bested them all with a brace to take the tally to five and send Kingham to the summit.
Carterton Town B benefitted from Milton Reserves not being able to get a side. Both themselves and Kingham have a one point advantage over Cassington Rangers who were gameless this week. Carterton Town B face off against Kingham on Tuesday night and then Cassington in a crucial encounter next weekend.
Brize have left themselves a mountain to climb after losing to Spartan Rangers Reserves. Fabio Fernandes inspired his team to a brilliant victory with a sublime hat-trick in the 3-0 win to propel Spartan into fourth place, one ahead of their opponents. Sadly, it’s too little too late for Spartan who are unable to qualify due to other results going against them. Brize must win their outstanding games and hope for favours elsewhere to be able to make the last four.
Supplementary Cup – Group 5
Hailey A maintained their 100% record and are almost certain of qualifying following a handsome victory over Sherborne Harriers. The scored six to take their tally to 19 for the competition and leave themselves just a point away from guaranteeing a place in the top two. Curtis Hathaway hit his second hat-trick since the resumption to take the plaudits from his team mates. Further goals followed from Luke Hessey, Zack Payne and Daniel Reading as the swept Sherborne aside. Pete Houston scored a scant consolation for Sherborne.
Brize Reserves are masters of their own destiny as they edged a seven goal encounter with Bampton United Reserves. Victory for Bampton would have practically seen themselves and Hailey A through and their hopes would have been high scoring three away from home through Seb White, Gary Mitchell and Ed Norris. But Brize have been free scoring of late and found their form in front of goal once again as they scored four. Jacob Hambridge scored two for the home team with further goals coming from Danny Claridge and Joe Hatt to secure the three points and put them third, one point behind second placed Bampton. Brize play Hailey A on Tuesday night in a decisive night for both sides.
Witney Royals Reserves smashed Leafield Reserves for nine, the massive boost in goal difference doing them the power of good in their attempt to qualify for the semi-final. Elliot Major hit a five goal haul to most of the damage to the opposition. Rob DeBanks followed with a brace and there was still room for goals from Joe Dallimore and Dylan Corkish too. It means Royals are now just two points behind Bampton and have a slightly better goal difference thanks to a clinical Saturday afternoon’
Supplementary Cup – Group 6
There appears to be no stopping Hook Norton Reserves as they beat Spartan Rangers A 10-0 to maintain their 100% start and put them on the verge of qualification. Mitchell Faulkner hit a hat-trick to set the wheels in motion for their huge victory. Dom Hemmings and Will Wall both scored two goals each, both scoring 35 yard screamers in the process. Damien Corbin also got in on the goal scoring action and Joe Shirley scored his first goal of the season to the delight of his team mates. There was still time for Spartan to compound their own misery as Michael Hole headed into his own net from a Hook Norton corner. Spartan’s now only have pride to play for in their final game, whilst Hooky need a point to secure qualification.
A second half goal fest ensued at Aston as they played host to Stonesfield Reserves. Aston led at the break by a solitary Lewis Scott goal but the second half saw seven goals in a back and forth game. Aston had current goal scoring machine Ash Edwards scored and was joined on the scoresheet by Daryl Potter. Stonesfield edged back into the game with goals from Tom Wilson and Nick Higgs. Lewis Scott grabbed his second to extend Aston’s advantage and although Luke Burns dragged Stonesfield back into contention, Jay Whelan grabbed Aston’s fifth to leave them within touching distance of the top two with their last game against Chippy on Saturday.
After winning their first three, FC Mills recorded back to back defeats this Saturday to leave their semi-final hopes outside of their control as Leafield thumped them 7-1 to jump into the top two. James Rogers scored for Mills but it was one-way traffic as Leafield found the net with regularity. Ed Russell, Luke Housegood, James Wadie and Lloyd Offort all scored once each. Kyle Grimmett scored a hat-trick to complete the thumping and elevate Leafield into second. Leafield play Hook Norton Reserves on Tuesday night in what promises to be a pulsating encounter between the top two.