Week 30 & 31 round up

By David Evans

Hanborough Reserves are Jack Busby champions!

In the absence of a report from last week, this week’s round up will be a bumper one as two weeks’ worth of football is summarised, including all the midweek action and the first final of the year, the Jack Busby Memorial Trophy.

Premier Division

6th April

Football in net

Football in net

Hailey dropped points in their pursuit of RAF Brize Norton at the top of the league as they drew with Stonesfield. Freddie Buckingham, Tom McCudden and Matt Knapton all scored for Hailey, but Stonesfield hit back through Jacob Oliver, Jack Barker and substitute Max Brand-Wiggins in a 3-3 draw which left Hailey 3 points behind Brize with two games in hand.

A quick reversal of venue allowed Milton under Wychwood to face Enstone. With the Milton pitch battered by the poor weather, they travelled to Enstone to get the game on. Freddie Rix then gave them the lead with a smart free kick from the edge of the box. Into the second half and with fifteen left on the clock, Ryan Oliver burst down the left wing, cut inside his defender and smashed the ball home to seemingly make sure of the points. However, Enstone struck back in the 89th minute. A fine cross from the left found Dan Newman all alone at the back post and he headed home to give Enstone hopes of a point. But as they went searching for the elusive equaliser, they left themselves open to the counter attack and as Milton played the ball long Nathan Randall was able to latch onto the loose ball and slot the ball into the net for a 3-1 win.

Into the midweek action then and Hailey travelled to Hanborough knowing that a win by five goals or more would take them top with two games to go. They started brightly and found themselves two ahead within 20 minutes as they started perfectly. Hanborough held on till half time and then came out with renewed vigour after the break. Jack Busby semi final hero Ollie Jarvis was introduced and his pace allowed him to race down the left and cross perfectly for the waiting Craig Johnson to head home. Minutes later Johnson turned provider as he set up Sam Clarke to smash home the equaliser. Hanborough were now firmly on top but it looked as though the points would be shared. All that changed in the final minute as Alpha Kamara was upended in the Hailey box and the penalty was rightly awarded. Up stepped former Hailey player Travis O’Connor who calmly put the ball away in the final kick of the game to damage Hailey’s title hopes.

13th April

This weekend both title challengers were in action. Hailey started the weekend 3 points behind Brize and 6 goals worse off. If Brize could better Hailey’s result, then they would be champions.

Hailey responded to the disappointment of the last two games in perfect fashion, thrashing bottom side Enstone 5-0. A heavily depleted Enstone could prove no match for Hailey as they ensured that the title race stayed alive. Cam Foster, Brad Evans, Gino Castagna, Jack Wood and Sam Wheeler all scored one each in the comfortable victory, ensuring that the title race would go down to the final game for the second season in a row.

A victory for RAF Brize would have left Hailey needing to overturn a goal difference deficit in their final game to be crowned champions. Dave Wanless gave Brize the lead to push them towards their ninth win in a very impressive season following promotion. Just like the Hailey game in midweek, it looked though the tie was done and dusted but in late drama, goalkeeper Sam Hibberd strolled forward for a last-ditch corner and it was he who rose highest to head the ball into the back of the Brize net to earn a dramatic point.

All this means that Hailey need to win their last game to earn a third consecutive league title. Anything other than a win and RAF Brize will be champions.

Jack Busby Cup Final

Hanborough Res lifted the Jack Busby Cup in dramatic fashion beat Milton Reserves 1-0 with a goal in the 89th minute.
It was a closely fought contest on a blustery night in Carterton in front of a crowd approaching 200 people. Milton won the toss and elected to kick down the hill and with the wind behind their back. And they were soon peppering Tom Bennington in the Hanborough goal. He has to be down sharp to keep out a smart effort from Dan Hooton and the dangerous Ryan Oliver fired in 2 or 3 long range pot shots. At the other end the experienced strike duo of Kev Davies and Aston Leach were getting little change from the Milton rear guard, who were playing well above their lowly league position. There best chance came from a corner which Milton keeper Jake Romanek failed to gather properly, but he grabbed the loose ball at the second attempt. The best chance of the half fell to Hooton, he was slipped in on goal by Nathan Randell but Bennington was out sharply to prevent the goal.
The second half was dominated possession wise by Hanborough, but they really failed to trouble Romanek and indeed it was Milton who came closest to scoring when mid-way through the half a free kick from Oliver clipped the top of the bar. On 74 minutes Milton were reduced to 10 men when sub Louis Breaks was dismissed for a dangerous tackle by ref David Woodcock.
This only seemed to galvanise Milton and they dug in and looked comfortable. With extra time looming Luke Perkins picked up a ball 25 yards out, his shot was too strong for Romanek to gather and Davies was the first to react to fire home the loose ball.
There was barely time for Milton to mount a further worthwhile attack and it was Hanborough Captain Carl Austin who was presented the trophy by League Chair, Paul Bircher.

Division One

6th April

In the battle at the top, Chadlington kept the title race alive with a 1-0 victory over Tower Hill. Alfie Peachey’s goal after half an hour proved to be the only goal of the game as Chadlington closed the gap to four, and with a game in hand to come.

Ducklington scored three to cement third place in the table, as they beat relegation threatened Eynsham 3-0. David Pryse, Jasper Winder and George Townsend all scored one each to move Ducklington four clear of the chasing pack.

Two of the chasing pack slipped up in their pursuit as Bampton were held to a 0-0 draw by Heyford Athletic.

Aston were the biggest winners as they jumped from seventh to fifth by Combe. Cairo Cuss scored the only goal in a tight 1-0 away victory for the men in red.

Down at the bottom, Hailey Reserves played Brize Norton. A win for Brize would move them well clear of relegation and they scored through Joe Hatt and Matt Webster. Hailey Reserves needed three points to move clear of Eynsham and they hit back through Moh Semlali, Dan Reading and Callum McNaughton to win 3-2 and move four clear of Eynsham.

Spartan Rangers are the first relegation casualties of the year. Following Hailey’s victory over Brize there was nothing they could do to achieve safety. Still, they battled hard to earn their eighth draw of the season, a 0-0. Opponents Witney Royals can probably look forward to life in Division One next season as they’re now eight points clear of Eynsham.

On Tuesday evening four of the promotion candidates were in action as the glut of midweek action required for April finally took off.
Aston won their fourth game in a row to move within two points of promotion, and severely dent Chadlington’s title aspirations in the process. Lewis Scott and Kieran Watts scored one each in the 2-1 win. Ethan Bennett’s second half goal wasn’t enough to get Chadlington anything out of the game.
Bampton moved to within one point of the promotion spots as they beat Cassington Rangers. Rui Alves scored after 17 minutes before Jake Prichard scored fifteen minutes later to double their lead. Jason Blackman scored from the spot five minutes before half time to halve the deficit. Bampton restored their two-goal advantage through Miles Roberts and the points were secured fifteen minutes from time as Ross Parker netted to give Bampton their tenth win of the season.

Combe got back to winning ways as they beat Witney Royals 2-0. Goals from Herbie Hamilton and Ryan Stockford moved Combe to within three points of Ducklington.

Ducklington then played on Wednesday night, facing the pressure of their opponents winning the night before. They travelled to Heyford, who were unbeaten in four as they looked to use their games in hand to mount a late promotion push. Heyford scored through Dion Mukono and substitute Matt Ingram but Ducklington managed to take all three points thanks to four different goal scorers. George Townsend, Karl Guschtscha, Harvey Butler and substitute Josh Lakey all scoring one each in the 4-2 win which restored their four-point cushion.

13th April

A clinical first half performance kept Tower Hill top but they were made to work for their victory by Spartan Rangers. Tower scored five in the first half as Tim Banks, Matt Gallagher, Matt Hunt, Jamie Harris and Ethan Simlett all scored one each, one of them being a penalty and one being a glorious free kick. Spartan battled back to make it 5-2 at half-time and actually won the second half 1-0 as the final scored ended up 5-3. Stu Naylor, Che Tannock and Brandon Fenwick scored Spartan’s goals as they managed to give Tower a little bit a fright.

The other two teams in the top three faced each other, with stalemate being the final outcome as neither side found the result they would have desired. After Chad’s keeper made a couple of smart saves, George Townsend scored his third goal in as many games following Ben Stanley’s cross to the edge of the box. Chadlington caused problems, especially from long throws and even hit the inside of the post but it would be Ducklington who would take a 2-0 lead, Henry Clarke rising highest from Harvey Butler’s corner for a 2-0 half-time lead. Chadlington didn’t score until an hour had been played, Ethan Bennett scoring for the second game running. Into the final ten and when Alfie Peachey was brought down in the box, Isaac Harrington stepped up to make no mistake from 12 yards and give Chadlington a deserved share of the points.

The three teams in hot pursuit, Bampton, Aston and Combe, all picked up three points, albeit in slightly different ways.
Bamtpon were given a walkover victory by Cassington Rangers earning them back to back victories against the same opposition inside five days of each other. They’re now two points behind Ducklington with two games in hand. Combe also received a walkover victory from Hailey Reserves. They’re now four points behind Ducklington.

Aston moved within three points of Ducklington and dented Heyford’s outside chances of going up with a 3-1 victory. Lewis Scott’s incredible season in front of goal continued as he moved to seventeen goals for the season. Nick Rose and Jamie Timms got the others. Mike Philpott replied for Heyford.
Eynsham put themselves back within two points of safety after a comfortable 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Brize Norton. Stephen Chapple, Malek Chok and Peter Edwards did the damage in the late kick off.

Hanborough Reserves suffered no hangovers (on the pitch at least) from their Jack Busby win on Tuesday night. Their 3-1 win over Witney Royals maintained their mid-table position. Harry Perkins, Jack Simmonds and Ollie Jarvis all scored one each for Hanborough’s seventh win of the season.

Division Two

6th April

Moreton Rangers moved to within three wins of securing the league title with a 6-0 thrashing of Leafield. Sam Tyack, Callum Peters, Kyle Smith, Lee Brooks, Edward Churchill and Luke McDonagh all grabbed one each to leave Leafield in the bottom two.
CHQ United also won comfortably as their lead over Wootton increased to ten points in the race for promotion. They safely negotiated Bourton Rovers with a 4-1 win. Andrew Eaton, Fabian Daniels, John Watson and Olly Taylor all scored one each. Arlen Hartley scored Bourton’s consolation.

Upset of the day took place at Wootton as the home side crashed to back to back defeats, as visting Chadlington Reserves secured back to back wins for the first time this season. Jamie McGuaig and Lee Spencer scored for Wootton but a Michael Roberts brace and a third from Matt Chadwick earned Chadlington the three points which saw them overtake Leafield.

Also winning at the bottom were Milton under Wychwood Reserves. Much like their first team, they quickly travelled away to Bampton to be hosted by Siege FC, instead of hosting themselves and promptly left with all three points. Dan Olczyk and Dan Hooton scoring one each in a 2-1 win which saw them move to within four points of safety.

Witney Royals Reserves and FC Mills played out an entertaining 2-2 draw to leave each side in mid-table. Darren Craig and Carlos Paiva scored for the away side. Royals hit back through Archie Tranter and Robbie James for a share of the spoils.

Kingham received a walkover victory against Freeland.

There was just the one midweek game but a critical one nonetheless as third bottom Bourton Rovers hosted second bottom Leafield. With only six points separating the bottom six, three points was always going to mean a lot. In the end one goal decided it, Arlen Hartley scoring for the second time in four days to earn Bourton a 1-0 win and elevated them three places up the league.

13th April

Into last weekend and the upturn in fortunes for some of the bottom clubs didn’t slow down. Bottom club Milton Reserves won again, beating third bottom Chadlington Reserves. James Hobden scored for Chad but Jason Hester and Patrick Collett laced up their boots for the Reserves in the absence of a game for the Firsts and scored one each in a 2-1 win to move them two points from safety.

Leafield also picked up three points as they received a walkover victory against CHQ.

Bourton Rovers earned a critical point in a 0-0 draw against Siege. Those results mean that the bottom four are separated by two points.

Back at the top and Moreton Rangers and Wootton also received walkover victories against Freeland and Witney Royals Reserves respectively. Those results, combined with CHQ’s defeat, mean Moreton Rangers have confirmed promotion for next season. Only Wootton can stop them winning the league but they need favours.
Yarnton A won for the first time in four games as they beat Kingham 3-0. Roger Moss, Ben Fouracre and Jai McGill all scored one each for the home side.

Division Three

6th April

Only one place to start, as first travelled to third in the game between Deer Park Rangers and Carterton Town. Their 1-1 draw earlier in the season provided false anticipation of a close encounter as Deer Park showed off their goal scoring prowess in a 6-1 win. As has proved typical of their season, they blitzed the opposition in the early minutes before coasting to victory. James Scott, Daniel Squires and Cullen Angus all scored once before the clock had even struck 10. Angus grabbed his second minutes later and Jamie Horne scored on the half hour mark to make it five. James Harvey did at least put Town on the scoresheet. The damage had been done but there was still time for Angus to secure yet another hat-trick for the season as Rangers rolled out 6-1 victors to take them one step closer to the league title.

In the other game at the top it was second versus fourth in a much tighter affair. Heyford Athletic Reserves had the half-time lead but Aston fought back in the second half with goals from Reece Wain and Sam Bodinham giving Aston their 14th win of the season to lift them back into second.

Multiple other big score lines littered the weekends results.
Team of the Month for March, Bampton United Reserves, picked up their prizes from John Smyth before going on to thrash Leafield Reserves 7-0. Another hat-trick hero, Dan Paintin, moved his personal tally to seventeen for the season. Adam Davis, Joseph Jenkins, Lewis Protheroe and Aaron Court all scored one each on a perfect afternoon for the purple army.

Yarnton B also kept a clean sheet as they romped past Sherborne Harriers. Sean Dyer, Oscar Smith, Christopher Marsh and Matthew Spooner all scored once as Yarnton won 4-0.

Macauley Luckett-Groves scored twice as he helped Faringdon Town A beat Spartan Rangers Reserves 5-0. Chris Watts, Chris Rutt and Nick Loveridge all added one each for Faringdon’s sixth win of the season.

Stonesfield Reserves beat Kingham Reserves 4-1, allowing them to close the gap on their opponents in the league. Kieran Grant scored twice for the visitors, Luke Burns and Kames Lloyd were the other scorers. Cody Williams-Cavus replied for Kingham with both sides tied on 27 points.

The midweek games brough misery to Deer Park Rangers challengers as Aston Reserves and Carterton Town both lost. Jake Underwood’s brace wasn’t enough as Sherborne Harriers won by the odd goal in five. Adam Webley matched Underwood’s efforts and Daniel O’Toole scored an important third for Sherborne.

Sam Bodinham scored again for Aston but it wasn’t enough to take any points off Tower Hill Reserves. Liam Aust and Ethan Barrett scored one each for a 2-1 win.

13th April

Deer Park Rangers also confirmed promotion this weekend as they battled past Aston Reserves in the fight between the top two this weekend. Another first half blitz to match their efforts against Carterton the week before, Rangers had four on the board before half time. Cullen Angus scoring his 32nd goal of the campaign to open the scoring before James Scott scored on 17 minutes. Josh Carter and Ben Madley added one each within two minutes of each other towards the end of the half. Aston weren’t going to give up though and found the net through Bradley Allen, Jordan Blackstock and Charlie Harper, however, Angus’ 33rd goal of the season on 57 minutes secured promotion. Rangers need just a point to be champions.

A Jake Underwood hat-trick failed to get Carterton Town even a point as they went down 4-3 to Eynsham Reserves. Matthew Hughes-Dahill (2), Luke Hayes and Chris Baldwin all scoring for Eynsham’s third win in five.

Jack Duggan scored four as he helped Heyford Athletic Reserves beat Sherborne Harriers 5-1. Stephen Molnar struck for Sherborne but Henry Fletcher added a bit of gloss to the scoreline for Heyford.

Leafield Reserves scored in the final minute of added time to beat Spartan Rangers Reserves 4-3. Leafield took the lead thanks to Gary Mitchell. Spartan levelled 10 minutes later through Ricardo Rodrigues but Mitchell scored again less the 60 seconds later to give Leafield the lead again. Josh Williams prodded home from inside the box and Alex Barrow smashed the ball into the top corner to give Spartan the lead for the first time. Leon Smith scored the goal of the game, neatly cutting in from the right and curling the ball into the bottom corner for 3-3. In the final minute Leafield won a free kick on the edge of the box. Mitchell delivered beyond the back post and as Steve Allery rose highest to nod the ball backwards across the box, Mykel Ryan bundled the ball over the line to give Leafield their second win of the season.

Stonesfield Reserves won their third league game on the spin with a 2-0 win over Tower Hill Reserves. Eden Rice and Marko Babic scored one each to move Stonesfield up to ninth.
Yarnton B received a walkover victory against Kingham Reserves.

Where next?

Week 32 and Cup Match Reports Deer Park Rangers are Division Three champions
Cup semi-final round up New winners of the Jack Busby Memorial trophy and Fred Ford cup guaranteed after dramatic semi finals

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