Witney & District Match Reports - Week 8

By john smyth

By David Evans

Goal happy Hanborough hit Hooky
for six

Premier Division

Only inferior goal difference keeps Hanborough off the top of the table in the Premier
Division after thrashing Hook Norton to record their third win of the season. The
score line didn’t reflect Hooky’s intentions as they flew out of the traps from the off,
forcing a series of corners which had the Hanborough defensive line using all of their
skill and ability to keep them level. Counter attacks were all Hanborough could
muster but with the early substitution of Alan Rogers into the game, Hanborough
began to assert some dominance with Rogers’ running game causing continuous
With a corner earned from one of Rogers’ mazy runs, Arran Hobley swung the ball
into the Hooky box and with a clever flick from Jack Morton at the front post, Carl
Austin was on hand at the back post to score his first Hanborough goal.
Just five minutes later and Austin had his second as he rose high and powerful to
forcefully head home Dan King’s corner, taking out two of his own team mates in the
process. Johnny Ayris, one of Austin’s victims, having to leave the field due to a
concussion as a result of Austin’s desire to meet the ball before all others.
Boro keeper Tom Bennington still had to be alert to Hooky advances and made one
particularly smart save from a close range header to keep Hooky off the scoresheet.
Hanborough’s two losses this season have come from two goal leads so the nerves
were still palpable around the team in red as they hunted for goal three. Craig
Johnson provided that relief before the break as his nonchalant 35 yard lob beat the
stranded Hooky goalkeeper and fell beautifully into the net for a three goal half-time
With an air of control on the game, the second period came much easier for
Hanborough, who were able to keep their shape and let Hooky have more ball, whilst
being more efficient and ruthless with their counter attacks.
From one Hooky attack Bennington had the ball in his hands and his long kick found
Morton who blasted home for goal four. Al Rogers continued to be a nuisance and
run the game. Finding Craig Johnson with another completed pass, Johnson crossed
the ball into the box to find Josh Brookes who popped the ball up with his left foot,
spun and sweetly volleyed the ball home for goal five and the best one of the day.
Morton completed the scoring with a fine finish under the keeper after yet more fine
work from Al Rogers as Hanborough moved to second in the table after the 6-0

Enstone are also level on points with Hailey and Hanborough after a 3-1 victory over
Minster Lovell. Strikes from Aaron Witham, Andy McCabe and Nathan Bott had
Enstone firmly in control and comfortably earning all three points. Richard Williams’
goal got Minster into the game but the three points headed back with the away side.
Carterton FC Rangers
won by the same score line as Enstone to jump to fourth in
the table. They saw off Charlbury Town at Kilkenny Lane to get their second win of
the season. Craig McCallum scored for Charlbury but Damien Williams’ double and a
goal for Daniel Barnes gave Rangers the win.
Stonesfield leapfrogged Spartan in the league after a narrow 2-1 victory over their
mid-table opponents. A goal for Nick Higgs was cancelled out by Daz Craig’s goal for
Spartan but Jordan Newman’s goal for Stonesfield handed the home team their first
home win of the season.
Charity Cup
Hailey kicked off the Witney and District’s representation in the Charity Cup,
Oxfordshire FA’s version of the Champions League, and found themselves in round
two after a 4-2 victory over Summertown Stars. Travis O’Conner’s brace had Hailey
well in the game and further goals from Luke Bolley and Freddie Buckingham had
the green and white hoops advancing to the next stage of the competition.

Division One

Chadlington were the big winners in Division One, dishing out a 7-0 thrashing of
struggling Brize Norton. Jarvis Morley and Jacob Hazelwood both hit two goals each
in the comfortable win. Rocky Burton, Hans Korge and Gus Boeing added the extras
in Chadlington’s big win.
Bampton United missed the chance to go joint top after succumbing to an inspired
Witney Royals side. Royals, who were without a win before the weekend, hit four
without reply as they coasted to victory. Marshall Balmer and Lucq Balmer both
scored one goal each, Robbie Cockfort went one better by hitting two as Royals
recorded their first win of the season.
Freeland moved into second place with victory over Hailey Reserves. Freeland had
to work hard for a close fought victory over their battling opponents. Hailey, with only
one win this season, scored through Ash Mills but Freeland managed to go one
better with goals from Robbie Nicholson and Ethan Simlett to move to within three
points of Minster Reserves at the top of the league.

Fred Ford Cup 1st Round

Three more teams advanced into the second round of the Fred Ford Cup this
weekend. Wootton Sports ensured their fine early season form wasn’t to be upset by
Division Three’s FC Mills as they romped to an 8-0 victory on home soil. Wootton
started brightly and were ahead inside six minutes thanks to a Jared Smile header
from a corner. On sixteen minutes it was 2-0 thanks to Craig Gilboy and Wootton
were four to the good by the 24th minute thanks to goals from Jack Dineen and a
wonderful diving header from Michael Steers. Tyla Peck made it five before half-time
and Wootton were comfortable. An early penalty conceded by Stu Cutts was safely
dispatched by Smile for his second of the game in the opening five minutes of the
second period. Credit to Mills who battled stronger in the second half and came
close to scoring on a couple of occasions but Wootton’s clean sheet remained intact
and as Mills legs tired Wootton scored two late goals through Jack Dineen and
Peck’s second to safely put Wootton into round two.
An upset took place at Rissington Road as Eynsham SSC bested Bourton Rovers on
their own turf. Bourton, who are sixth in division two, have only lost once so far this
term, faced Eynsham who currently sit seventh in division three and would likely
have fancied their chances before the game of making it into round two. But an
inspired performance from Ben Oates saw him make the headlines as the hat-trick
scorer. Matt Winter did score for Bourton but Stephen Chappel’s brace put the tie to
bed. Connor Hitchman’s 89th minute strike added a modicum of respect to the score
line for Bourton but they were well beaten on the day in the 5-2 reverse.
Much tighter margins for Combe and Aston in a tightly fought three goal game.
Charlie Ibbotson scored once again for Combe but Aston possess a goal machine of
their own and Cairo Cuss bagged a brace to send Aston into the hat for the next

Jack Busby 1st Round

Chadlington Reserves entertained Hook Norton Reserves on Saturday in the first round of the Jack Busby Cup.

Hook Norton Reserves apply their trade in Division Two of the Witney & District, a league above Chadlington Reserves and are the fourth ranked side in the competition behind Minster Lovell Reserves, Hailey Reserves and Spartan Rangers Reserves. Despite this they remain without a win this season and were coming off the back of a 10-4 defeat to Aston who had been equally winless and bottom of Division Two along side Hooky.

The visitors were certainly keen for the match and eyed up a win against a lower level side. They had their kit on and were warming up even before a Chad player had entered the dressing room.

Hookys keenness flowed into the game and they took a 1-0 lead via Ashley Booth who was lively alongside Mitch Faulker up front. He latched onto an excellent through ball and slid it under the advancing Harry Ware in goal. Their movement and pace was causing the Chad back line problems and they remained a danger all game long.

While Hookys ultimate downfall did not take place until much later in the game the seeds for it started in the first half. Sean Collins in midfield for the visitors lost his discipline and seemed more interested in arguing than playing a game of football. His distraction rubbed off on his team mates and they lost their focus.

Chads equaliser came from Callum Jefferies and it was reward for an excellent freekick from Brinley Mayne who delivered into the six yard box. Jefferies struck back for the first time in the game as he buried the chance giving keeper Tom Lane no hope. At 1-1 they were back in the game and took that score into half time.

The returning Ollie Jordan replaced Brinley Mayne and 16 year old Finlay Beggin making his adult team debut having come up through the junior set up replaced Jack Legg.

The second half was once again a tight affair and both teams went end to end looking for goals. It was Hook Norton that struck first as Ashley Booth turned poacher and poked home from a couple of yards out as Chad failed to clear the ball from a deep cross into the box. 2-1.

Hooky continued to threaten (the goal) but regular injuries and tiredness were starting to show. Mauro Esteves continued to torment their back line, twisting and turning players inside out, the only way he could be stopped was by kicking him and that's what Hooky resorted to. Beggin down the left and Jordan in centre mid continued to stretch the game as Slatter up front continued to be a threat. Matt North in centre midfield continued to pull the strings and dish out a few meaty challenges in the process. 17 year old Matty Cottrell was also introduced into the game to make his Chadlington debut at right midfield.

The equaliser came shortly after as Jefferies grabbed his second slotting home via good work from strike partner Slatter who held off two challenges to pull the ball back from the sideline. 2-2.

As extra time beckoned centre back Greg Kemp made a limping exit to the bench as Jack Legg was reintroduced into the backline alongside skipper James Hobden and Aaron Bennett. Hooky thought they had won the game but Bennett pulled off a remarkable goal line over head clearance in front of the 30 strong crowd behind the goal to keep the game at 2-2 and send it into an extra 30 minutes.

At the end of normal time, Chadlington knew they had the legs and quality to go on to win the game and the tactic was to make that advantage pay as soon as possible.

It was the turn of Slatter to get onto the scoresheet to reward the large number of home fans who had come to out to see the man who had scored 8 goals the week before. Down the right, Cottrell played in Jordan who outpaced the centre back down the wing, he crossed low into the 18 yard box to find Slatter who controlled and tucked home to give Chad their first lead in the game. 3-2.

Hook Nortons Sean Collins quickly picked up two yellow cards for late challenges and also then received a further red card for abusing the referee. Departing the pitch he javelined the half way line flag over the wall, it was the proverbial toy being thrown out of the pram and the most accurate thing he had done all afternoon.

Strangely thinking that there had been some sort of injustice done to them during the game by the referee (there hadn't) they continued to argue and shout their way to the final whistle in a petulant display. Four other players were shown yellow card. The OFA will be delighted by the boost to their funds.

The game was then sealed in Chads favour as patient build up down the left with Esteves saw the ball go through the midlfield from Martin Plumbridge to Jordan who set the ball sideways to Jefferies who smashed the ball into the top corner from 18 yards out, sealing his hat trick to a roar from the home fans. A fifth goal nearly came as Cottrell charged down the right to see his shot pass narrowly over the bar as the keeper looked beaten.

Chadlington Reserves now go into the second round of the Jack Busby Cup and will undoubtedly face some more tough encounters if they are to progress.

Division Two

Another weekend in October in Division Two, another set of comfortable victories for
Ducklington and RAF Brize Norton Social.
RAF Brize Norton shot to the top of the table with a 6-1 hammering of Carterton.
Michael Flavell followed up from his four timer last week in the cup with a hat-trick
this time out. Dave Wanless recorded his first goals of the season with a brace and
Dan Chillington scored to get Brize to six. Adam Fisher scored the consolation goal
for Carterton but could do nothing to stop Brize hitting the summit.
Ducklington and Spartan Rangers Reserves also had a seven goal battle with
Ducklington taking the points. Mev Gundem and Joel Graham goals at least had
Spartan in the game but Ducklington found the back of the net through four different
players as Samm Murphy, Lewis Bartlett, Brad Olive and Josh Hartley (2) sent
Ducklington second, just two points behind Brize and with a game in hand.

Division Three

Hailey A continue to lead the way at the top of Division 3 after a hard fought 3-0 win at home to Brize Norton Res. Tommy Burns had a mixed first half for Hailey. He missed an early penalty, that would have not looked out of place at the nearby rugby club. He then scored a fine opening goal before then hitting the bar from 20 yards. All of this in the opening 20 mins. Will Lyne added a second when a Brize defender was caught in possesion in his own box. Zac Payne grabbed the 3rd to open up a 6 point cushion for the league leaders.

Robbie Harrington’s hat-trick rescued a point for Faringdon Town A but Wootton
Sports Reserves still caused them to drop points for the first time this season. In fact
Wootton were in fine form, starting brightly and playing free flowing attacking football
which left Faringdon stunned and unable to contain their opponents. Faringdon had
barely left their half when Wootton scored their opener, Dan Bourton sliding home
their opener in the 17th minute. Against the run of play Faringdon equalised in the
33rd minute. A long ball forward from the Faringdon keeper had Harrington running
through on goal and with the Wootton keeper well out of position, Harrington rifled
home with his right foot. Parity remained for all of 2 minutes as Wootton went straight
down the other end and retook the lead. Dan Mundy-Court’s strike, with the outside
of his foot was weak and seemed to be floating calmly into the hands of the
Faringdon keeper, only for the ball to squirm through his hands and open legs and
dribble painfully over the line. Wootton remained in charge and went 3-1 up just
before half-time. Jimmy Riley’s calm finish left Wootton jubilant and Faringdon
looking for answers.
To the second half and not much changed, Wootton still had the better of the game
but squandered a couple of good opportunities in front of goal to extend their lead.
Something they would ultimately regret. A couple of substitutions for either side
subdued the excitement and gradually Faringdon started to take control of matters,
gaining more possession and more importantly, territory on the pitch. A silly foul on
the edge of the Wootton box left Faringdon with a free kick in an ideal position and
nothing could be done to deny Harrington his second as he rifled the kick straight
into the top left corner. Faringdon were upbeat and anxious to keep the ball in play,
retrieving every ball that went out, regardless of whether it was Wootton possession
or their own. Wootton’s defence was resolute, blocking anything inside their own
area but from one of the resulting corners Harrington rose highest to nod into the
bottom left corner and over the line despite the best efforts of the defender on the
post. Wootton had one last attack, a mazy run down the left gave ample time to fire
the ball across the box but the delightful delivery evaded the onrushing Wootton
attackers and rushed out for a throw on the opposite side. The final whistle blew
shortly after as it finished 3-3.
Division Four
Freeland Reserves inflicted a first league defeat of the season on previous league
leaders Sherborne Harriers. In what was a battle of second vs third, with Freeland
directly behind their opponents in the table, a tight encounter was won by the away
side thanks to a marvellous Spencer Lancaster brace which saw Freeland take the
points and top spot. In a tight league, Sherborne’s defeat saw them drop from
second to fourth.
Freeland went top after league leaders Faringdon Town B dropped points away to
Witney Royals Reserves. Tom Burdett and Alistair Eccleston’s goals would have
given Faringdon hope of keeping top spot but a Rob DeBanks brace gave Royals a
share of the spoils and help dislodge Faringdon from the top of the league.
Hatherop Reserves moved into third place after a walkover victory against Spartan
Rangers A. The top four are separated by just 3 points.
Kingham All Blacks but some daylight between themselves and the bottom three
after defeating bottom side Carterton Town FC. George Warren’s double and Corban
Ridgeway’s goal giving Kingham a 3-0 win.
A very rare occurrence in the Witney and District but a 0-0 draw was recorded by
Aston Reserves and Leafield Reserves. The point apiece leaving Aston sixth and
Leafield seventh in the league table

Where next?

Witney & District Match Reports - Week 9 Saturday 23rd October 2021 Written by David Evans

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