Week 29 Football Report

By David Evans

Enstone survive scare to maintain title challenge.

Premier Division

If you are going to pursue a title challenge over the course of the season then you need to be able to cope with adversity and difficulties throughout a whole campaign. Enstone’s pursuit looked dead and buried on Saturday afternoon at Milton as the hosts took an astonishing 2-0 lead inside six minutes. Alex Ayres and Sam Wright finding the back of the net to leave Enstone reeling. But Enstone are made of stern stuff this year and fight back they did, even managing to turn the game around before half-time as they led 3-2 at the break. Both sides scored one each in the second half as Enstone escaped the right side of a seven goal epic. Alex Ayres scored in the 72nd minute for Milton to give them hope of a point but the four goal combination from Dan and Nathan Bott, Jordan Godfrey and Josh Hunt means that they are still mathematically capable of winning the title, but will have to beat Hanborough in the week and then leaders Stonesfield next week to have any hope.

Charlbury's brilliant season finished with a win, albeit a walkover one. Freeland were unable to raise a side meaning Charlbury picked up their eighth win of the season.

Division One

Combe managed to upset Carterton FC’s trophy day with a second win in four days that lifts them out of the bottom two. On the day that Carterton received the Division One trophy from Paul Bircher and Fred Bellenger, it was Combe who walked away with all three points thanks to Charlie Ibbitson’s brace. Jay Revill hit back for Town but defeat couldn’t stop their jubilant celebrations.

The other promoted side, RAF Brize Norton, also suffered defeat as a clinical and superbly organised display by Chadlington allowed them to take all three points. A much changed Brize side included a first start in men’s football for 17 year old Callum O’Brien, but Chadlington were clearly up for it from the very first whistle and controlled possession and territory whilst forcing multiple errors from Brize over the pitch. Chadlington had already forced two excellent saves out of Greig Masson in the Brize net when they took a much deserved lead in the 37th minute, Hans Korge opening the scoring and they were two up just two minutes later as they took a 2-0 half-time lead, thanks to Matt Soanes’ goal.
If Brize were going to get back in it then they needed to score fast so Mike Duerden promptly took 27 seconds to halve the deficit with the goal of the game. Receiving the ball on the right wing and then playing a one-two with the right back, his flicked touch saw the ball sit invitingly in the air and his sweetly timed volley, from about 35 yards out, flew over the keeper’s head and nestled into the bottom corner, causing even the Chadlington defence to applaud the strike.
But the strike didn’t deter Chadlington and just nine minutes later they restored their two goal advantage as a ball played into the back post found Hans Korge who slotted home his second of the game. Ten minutes later it was game over as Matt Waller got his name on the scoresheet too to put Chadlington 4-1 up with twenty minutes to go. Brize battled on but had to wait until injury time to reduce the deficit with a thumping Rich Hall header but it would be Chadlington who had the last say as they went straight down the other end and another cross into the box found Alfie Peachey who rounded off the win with a powerful header of his own to finish the game and give Chadlington a 5-2 win.

There were double figures at Aston as they hosted a Faringdon Town Development side fresh from their Fred Ford semi-final victory. Faringdon required victory to give themselves a realistic chance of getting out of the bottom two and had Chris Rutt on fine form as he scored a hat-trick, Robbie Harrington added a fourth for Faringdon too in an eventful game. But Lewis Scott grabbed all the plaudits as his four-timer matched Faringdon’s haul and with further goals from Sam Aston, Ben Hardcastle and James Fleming the damage was done and Aston won 7-4. Faringdon must now win their final game on Wednesday night and then hope for a 17 goal swing in goal difference after Combe face Brize next Saturday, whilst also hoping Hailey Reserves don’t get one more point from their final two games

Heyford Athletic’s first season back in the Witney and District can be marked as a resounding success as they secured a twelfth win of the season after a walkover victory against Hailey Reserves. Considering they failed to win any of their opening seven games, their recent remarkable run of only one defeat since October has been nothing short of brilliant. Third place is now guaranteed for Heyford, whilst Hailey need to better Combe’s haul in their final two games to get out of the bottom two.

Division Two

Kingham recorded a big win by thrashing Faringdon A 5-1 to secure a third win in four games. Mitchell Faulkner scored twice. Lewis Pretorius, Dom Hemmings and Daryl Middleton took Kingham’s tally to five. Ben Stratford got Faringdon’s response.

Siege won for the first time in three outings as they saw off Leafield, 3-1.
Brize Norton’s walkover victory against Witney Royals Reserves means they are now four points behind Cassington but have played a game more.

Milton Reserves’ walkover victory against Hailey A means they jump out of the bottom two at the expense of Freeland Reserves.

Division Three

Leafield Reserves hosted Carterton Town in a full on, proper game of village football that was end to end from the first to the last whistle, which saw plenty of action and plenty of goals. Only eleven minutes had expired when Matthew Williams’ clinical finish found the bottom corner of the Leafield net after fine build up play between Williams and John Bevan down the left-hand side. Town’s lead lasted for three minutes, Harry Hearn firing home Leafield’s equaliser. The fast pace continued with no let up in chances before a quick-fire double allowed Town to take control of the game. In the 31st minute, Bevan was involved again as his free kick went into the danger zone, James Harvey was given the time and space to collect it before taking the ball round the keeper and into the back of the net. Two minutes later and Town’s lead was doubled. Playing out from the back, neat football allowed them to advance up the pitch before Harry Perkins slotted home to give Town a 3-1 lead at the break.
Into the second half and Leafield came out firing but couldn’t beat Jack Barber in the Carterton goal. Instead, Town were able to extend their lead from the spot after a Leafield handball. Town top scorer Tyler Webster getting his ninth of the season to put Carterton 4-1 up. The Leafield onslaught continued and ten minutes later then reduced their arrears, Brian Palmer firing home after Town failed to track runners in the box. Man of the match Barber continued to be tested in the Town net but he and the Carterton defence stood firm. In the 87th minute Luke Wiggington reduced the gap to one from another well taken Leafield free kick to leave the game in the balance but Carterton remained steadfast and refused to concede an equaliser for their seventh win of the season.

FC Mills’ promotion push will have to wait for another year after being held to a 2-2 draw by Stonesfield Reserves. Tom Wilson and Eden Rice scored for Stonesfield, Ryan Williams and Ben Thomson hit back for Mills who are now ten points off second with only three games left.

The battle between second and third ended goalless as Yarnton A and Chadlington Reserves cancelled each other out. The point allowed both sides to leapfrog Wootton into first and second place respectively, however that’s the end of Chadlington’s league campaign. Wootton simply need a point from their last two games to guarantee promotion. Yarnton need to win their two remaining games to win the league.

A second half barrage of goals gave Deer Park Rangers their 10th league win of the season after beating Aston Reserves. They led 1-0 at half time thanks to Ethan Phillips-Richardson’s strike. Dave Rabbich and Dan Jeffrey hit back for Aston but Deer Park scored four times in the second half with goals from Andrew Rippin, Cullen Angus and a brace for Harry Edwards to earn a 5-2 win.

Senior Cup

There will be new Senior Cup champions this season as Stonesfield knocked out current champions Hailey in a nine goal thriller. Jack Wood scored twice for Hailey with Freddie Buckingham and Travis O’Connor also on the scoresheet for the men in green and white. But Stonesfield had five different goal scorers to thank for helping them advance. Carry Rice and Logan Mitchell both scored for the second game in a row. Jack Sale, Jake Halligan and Will Barker all added one each as well for an incredible 5-4 win to see Stonesfield into the last eight against Charlbury.

Senior Cup Q/F Draw

Hanborough vs Tower Hill
Enstone vs Carterton FC
Spartan Rangers vs RAF Brize Norton
Stonesfield vs Charlbury

Supplementary Cup

Wootton are still on for a league and cup double after Lee Spencer’s hat-trick helped them to a 6-0 win over Tower Hill Reserves. Asha Townsend, Jamie Hutton and Steve Haines added the extras for a resounding win. Wootton’s reward is a trip to Aston Reserves in the next round.

Where next?

Jack Busby Cup Final Hailey Res retain the trophy
Fred Ford Semi Finals and midweek round up Premier Division versus Division One as Fred Ford Final is decided.

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