Week 20 Match Report

By David Evans

Jack Busby semi-final line up complete after epic quarter finals

Jack Busby Memorial Trophy

The Jack Busby final four is now complete after four entertaining quarter finals were played to completion on Saturday, meaning four sides have earned themselves a night under the lights.

Division One’s Hailey Reserves were given a big scare in their pursuit of a third consecutive Jack Busby win after Division Three’s Aston Reserves battled well to force a seven-goal thriller. Sebastian Hicks and Jordan Blackstock’s brace had Aston well in the game but Hailey’s upturn in form in January helped them to persevere with Yasin Ahmed, Moh Semlali, Seb White and Lewis Mills scoring one each to put Hailey through.

Hanborough Reserves surrendered a two-goal lead but then snatched victory in the final minutes to avoid extra time and eventually see off Stonesfield Reserves. It was another Division One vs Division Three encounter but Hanborough seemed to be coasting as they entered the final fifteen minutes two goals to the good. Then a chaotic 10 minutes ensued. First, Stonesfield won a penalty, successfully despatched by Jayden Chapple who then equalised less than two minutes later to leave Hanborough reeling. Parity remained for all of two minutes when Hanborough grabbed a third and held on to make it through to the last four. Hanborough’s goal scorers were Jack Simmonds, Calum Mackay and Oliver Jarvis.

By comparison, the teams who were closer together in terms of league placings had much more comfortable victors in the other two ties.

Division Two’s Milton Reserves had a Mitchell Constable hat-trick to thank for a resounding win over Division Three’s Kingham Reserves. Jack Rom, Jake Newland and Stephen Pearce also scored one each in the 6-2 win.

Heyford Athletic Reserves also won by a margin of four goals as they swept past Witney Royals Reserves. Two Jack Scott goals, a goal each for Josh Haynes and Josh Smith and a wonderful fifth from Matt Ingram, who rounded the keeper expertly before slotting home, gave Heyford a 5-1 win and into the hat they went.

Football in net

Football in net

Premier Division

Stonesfield moved to three games unbeaten with a 5-2 win over Hanborough. Doubles from both Mike Phipps and Jack Sale had Stonesfield comfortable. Hanborough fought back with goals from Alpha Breezy Kamara and Craig Johnson but a Harrison Connolly strike secured the three points for Stonesfield.

Milton under Wychwood scored a 90th minute goal to snatch a point against title hopefuls Hailey. Milton controlled large portions of the game and were well in charge in terms of possession and territory, easily putting in their best performance of the season. Hailey scored two fortuitous goals through Callum McNaughton and Cameron Foster but during a tense and heated battle, the latter saw red during the game to reduce Hailey to ten. Ryan Oliver scored for Milton barely five minutes into the second half and with Hailey trying to hang on until the very end, Josh Catling struck home in the ninetieth minute to grab a point for Milton.

RAF Brize Norton missed the chance to pull away from Hailey as they were also held to a draw by Charlbury Town. Brize top scorer Dave Wanless scored yet again this season but Stefan Lang replied for Charlbury.

Division One

Tower Hill edged to victory over Chadlington for a third victory in all competitions this month, to return to the top of the league and earn the Team of the Month award for January as well. Having beaten Premier Division opposition in the Junior Shield and then seeing off giant killers Deer Park Rangers in the Fred Ford last week, they successfully rounded off their month by beating third place Chadlington by the odd goal in five. Alfie Peachey and George Slatter scored for Chadlington but a treble of goals from Jack Scott, Fenn Carey and Josh Hartley had Tower Hill claiming the points and back to the top they went.

Ducklington capitalised on Chadlington’s defeat by beating Spartan Rangers to jump back into the top three. Charlie Fisher’s brace along with goals from Harvey Butler, David Pryse and substitute Ady Kew saw off bottom side Spartan Rangers, for a 5-0 win.

A first win in nine games for Cassington as they put a further dent in Witney Royals’ ambitions this season. Cassington hadn’t won in the league since the 14th October before victory on Saturday. Jamie Kennedy scored for Royals but Cassington led at the break thanks to a Declan Green goal and Neal Hobday’s strike on the brink of half-time. The second half saw both sides battle it out but with Royals pressing for an elusive equaliser, Jason Blackman cemented the points with an 89th minute goal to give Cassington the win and leave Royals winless in five.

Heyford Athletic appear to be rediscovering their form from last season at a crucial time as they marched to their third league win in a row. In those three victories they’ve scored 20 goals and conceded just one, a stat which means they now boast the best goal difference in the league. 4-0 was the final score this time, against second bottom Eynsham, as Heyford recorded their fifth win of the season. Joseph Flarry scored twice, Jack Duggan scored once and Xander Cameron came off the bench to get a fourth as Heyford coasted to victory.

Division Two

Friday night football returned to the Witney and District for the first time in 2024 as Bourton Rovers hosted Siege FC under the lights. Siege hadn’t won in five games prior to the fixture, Bourton had lost two on the bounce so something had to give and it was the away side, who got their first league win since the start of October, who left with the points after a 2-0 win.

The fixture list pitted all of the top four against each other in Division Two and as the chasing pack prevailed in both encounters, the promotion and title race really ramped up.

Moreton Rangers slipped to their second defeat of the season as fourth placed Faringdon Town Development grabbed their fifth win in six games to see off the league leaders. Richard Evans’ brace was enough for a 2-0 win and all three points to put them within four points of the top two and with a game in hand as well.

Third placed Wootton travelled to Gloucestershire to face off against second placed CHQ United. A physical encounter would put it mildly as both sides battled fiercely for the points that would see them close the gap to Moreton. Alex Anderson scored twice for CHQ but his haul was matched by both Lee Spencer and Tyla Morgan for Wootton. Craig Gilboy scored once himself for Wootton’s fifth of the game and Wootton prevailed 5-2 to move to within a point of CHQ in the table.

Kingham All Blacks have their first win of the season after beating Chadlington Reserves in the battle at the bottom. Kingham started the day bottom and were up against it in the first half as Adam Tinkham and Matt Chadwick’s goals before half-time had Chadlington well in the contest. A double from Dan Nimmo and further goals from Yusuf Okunade and Joe Shirley had Kingham full of that winning feeling. With it being Kingham though, nothing is ever easy and Aaron Bennet’s 90th minute goal gave Chadlington hope of a point but Kingham held on and jumped off the bottom of the table and out of the bottom two, leaving the bottom six clubs separated by just 3 points.

Yarnton A came from behind to beat Leafield to maintain their own push for promotion, and send their opponents bottom in the process. Isaac Ribeiro gave Leafield a deserved lead but were made to pay for missed chances when Ben Fouracre equalised after 26 minutes. It was level at the break but not for long after, Henry Payne grabbing what turned out to be the winner within sixty seconds of the second half starting to give Yarnton their ninth win of the season.

Division Three

The top three all won as no one gave an inch in the battle for supremacy in the Division Three title race.

Deer Park Rangers returned to winning ways in style as Cullen Angus’s four-time helped Deer Park reach eight without reply in their demolition of bottom side Leafield Reserves. Angus had two on the board by the twelfth minute and although Leafield held firm for twenty minutes after that, Ethan McDermott’s strike after half an hour and Ciaran King’s goal seven minutes later had Rangers comfortable. The second half followed similar suit, Angus scoring the first two of the half, getting his hat-trick after 58 minutes and his fourth six minutes later. Michael Bason scored a seventh after 67 minutes and it was left to Ben Delnevo to finish off the scoring with fifteen left to go.

Carterton Town survived going down to ten men to march to victory over Faringdon Town A. James Harvey giving Town the lead inside five minutes was a dream start but it could have turned into a nightmare as they were reduced to ten men after twenty minutes. It only served to push Carterton on though, goals from Luke Smith and Tyler Webster gave Town a commanding 3-0 lead at the break, although Jack Barber’s heroics in the net helped keep Carterton comfortable. Faringdon did breach the Carterton defences during the second half, Jason Evans’ brilliant free kick leaving Barber helpless but Ben Pullen scored a fourth for Town late on to give them a 4-1 win and level on points with Deer Park.

All the goals came in the second half as Tower Hill Reserves beat Sherborne Harriers. The first half belonged to the defence as both attacks were shut out, although Sherborne had strong claims for a penalty waved away after Josh Betteridge was felled in the box. Into the second half and after Sherborne had a goal disallowed for offside it was Tower who eventually broke the deadlock, just after the hour mark, when Ciaran Doyle’s header found the net. Harriers were level five minutes later though. Betteridge powering his own header past the Tower keeper for 1-1. Another five minutes and another goal. Another Doyle header giving Tower the lead once again. As the final ten minutes played out Harriers pushed for an equaliser, to no avail, whilst Tower had a penalty saved before Liam Aust prodded home to secure a 3-1 win.

A fourth win in five games gave Yarnton B their sixth win of the season, this time over Bampton Reserves. David Baron and Chris Marsh’s goals propelled Yarnton to a 2-1 win. They’ve an outside chance of a push for the top, given they have four games in hand over most of their rivals.

Jack Knight’s hat-trick gave Eynsham Reserves their third win in a row as they continue to move away from the bottom of the table. Anthony Adegoke scored for hosts Spartan Rangers Reserves but a Lewis Wild goal gave the visitors a 4-1 win.

Where next?

Week 21 Match Report Four is the magic number! Fred Ford third round victors progress comfortably!
Week 19 Match Report This is Spartan! Rangers grab fifth draw in ten goal thriller with Brize

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