Witney & District Match Report - Week 20

By john smyth

By John Smyth

Oxon Junior Shield

With 6 of the 8 quarter finalists the WDFA were guaranteed at least 2 in the Semi Final. And that is the way it turned out with Aston and Hailey making it through.

Pride of place goes to Division 2 who knocked out a Premier Division side for the 2nd round in a row. They made the trip to Milton and came away with a well earned 2-1 victory, Despite playing into a stiff breeze the visitors took the game to their opponents and Charlie Harper blazed a great chance wide when through on goal. Then Luke Beauchamp saw his header palmed away by Adrian Underhill. Milton's best opportunity was a 25 yard Dan Hooton free kick that was deflected wide.
Aston took the lead 15 minutes into the 2nd half, a long ball over the top saw Nick Angus outstrip the defence and slot past Underhill. The lead was soon doubled and it was ex Milton played Ashley Armitage firing home with his first touch after just entering the fray, This sent the large Aston crowd into raptures. Milton sent Jim Littlewood into the fray with a few minutes left and with almost his first touch he swivelled in the box andf fired home from 8 yards. This set up a grandstand finish with Milton throwing all but the kitchen sink forward, and should have equalised in stoppage time a cross found Stephen Pearce 8 yards out, but he failed to make a clean contact and the ball went wide. Nit sure if Aston have ever made it this far in the Shield?

Hailey were the 2nd side to make it through, after another close encounter with Stonesfield. They met in the Fred Ford Cup last wek and this was settled by pens. These week with extra time looming, Hailey won through with a late headed goal by Jack Wood.

Combe put up a great fight before going down in extra time to Bicester Athletic 4-1. They played most of the game with 10 men after having Dan Burgess sent off for pulling a Bicester player down when through on goal.

Hanborough went out in a 7 goal thriller to Longford Park. The conditions were bad to say the least, bobbly pitch and wind coming across. After only 5 minutes and this was clearly evident when the returning Tom Benningtons kick from inside his penalty area flew over the opposing keepers head and with 1 bounce found the net for the opening goal. Not long after however Park were level when some sloppy and careless defending left an un opposed Longford player free in the box whose cross somehow deflected in past Bennington. Chances were being created and the Longford Park keeper made a great safe to deny Craig Mays header finding the net, Sid Ashley's long range effort was an easier one for the keeper and a flurry of corners was putting pressure on the home side. Finally the 2nd goal for Boro came from one of those corners when Jonny Ayris found the net with a header. The lead was not held onto for long again though when another unmarked Longford attacker smashed the ball past Bennington.
Half time
Longford Park 2 V 2 Hanborough
The second half started with Hanborough much brighter and sharper, a great run from the impressive Alan Rogers ended with a slide rule pass for Mays who attempted to knock the ball round the keeper but the ball got away from him then Mays had another chance created by Morton this time but his shot went wide. A Josh Brookes free kick from the right evaded everyone and sailed into the net to give us the lead for the 3rd time in the game. Chances were coming thick and fast now at both ends with Charlie Collins creating a few chances that were wasted and Longford missing the target and hitting the bar. Then with 85 minutes gone Longford got the equaliser with a scrappy free kick the ball broke lose and the Park player was there to smash home. Then with time nearly up a free kick to the far post from Longford was not dealt with and somewhow the ball squirmed past Bennington. 89 minuyes and we were behind for the first time in the game, chances were still made to get the equaliser, Mays hit an air shot when the ball was cut back to him from Morton, Morton found the ball at the far post but the keeper denied him and the keeper made a fine save from a Brookes header which Ayris headed the rebound wide.
Longford Park 4 V 3 Hanborough

Premier Division

There were only 2 games in the top division, but they had implications and the top and bottlom of the table. Enstome missed the chance to go top as they were held to a 3-3 draw at Hook Norton. Bit they will see it as 2 points lost as they squandered a 3-1 lead with only minures to play. Jay Mair's 26th goal of the season from the spot put Hooky in front but Enstomes then dominated and scored through Josh Hunt, Rhys Warner -Carter and Reece Col Timms. But Hooky hit back and Dan Bott halfed the defecit against his former club then in the final minute Max Bayliss popped up to net the equaliser and the noise could be heard 1/2 mile away in the vilage.

At the foot of the table Spartan Rangers did their survival hopes a power of good as they beat Charlbury 2-0. It was a first for the season for Dave Pryse against one of his former clubs, with Josh Walkington adding the other. Spartan now have a 7 point gap over bottom side Milton.

Division One

It's as you were at the top of Division 1 as both the top two won. Freeland scored 7 as they thumped Wootton. Danny Taylor lead the was with a hat trick, there was a brace for leading scorer Joey Burgess and 1 apiece for Connor Allmond and Liam Harris. Tyla Peck hot 2 for the visitors who are on a dismal run of form.

It was 2nd hosting 3rd as Witney Royals looked to consolidate there great run of form over Minster Lovell. But it was the visitors who took the 3 points with a header from Knibbs separating the sides. Rumours of Carl Williams assiting from 10,000 miles away maybe off the mark?

Kingham climbed off the bottom for the 1st time this season as they shared the points and 6 goals with Blechington. The brother's Lay bagged Kingham's goals with Dan neting rwice and Jack once. Richie Wells also scored a brace for Bletch with Jamie Hudson scoring the 3rd.

Division Three

Just 2 games in Division 3 and again the top two sides recorde wins. Leaders Hailey A saw off Bampton Res 2-0. The game kicked off late as Bampton arrived without any kit!!!! Then Tommy Burnd and Jamie Goodwin confounded their misery.

Second placed Faringdon A are 3 points back after a 5-0 thumping of Brize Norton. There were 2 apiece for Robbie Harrington and Richard Evans with Peter Fletcher scoring the 5th.

The top two meet at Hailey in a couple of weeks in what could potentially be a title decider.

Division Four

Hatherop Res have pretty much almost clinched the Division 4 title and need to pick up only a couple more wins after a 8-0 thumping of 3rd placed Leafield Res. Craig Whitbread took his total to 24 for the season with another hat trick. Rob Malcolm-Stewart chipped in with 2 and there was 1 apiece for Henry Titcombe, Olly Taylor and Mason Hathaway.

Witney Royals Res remain 13 points back after they continued their good form with a 4-1 defeat of Faringdon B. Ollie Nolan scored a hat trick with Rob DeBanks grabbing the other. For Faringdon Paul Eaton was on target.

Sherborne arr having their best season since moving over to the WDFA. They got back onto winning ways, defeating Kingham Res 3-1.
Sherborne opened brighter as Josh Betteridge had two chances in the opening 7 minutes but failed to take either. Kingham took the lead in the 16th minute as Jack Eley fired the ball under Ian Hepworth in the Sherborne goal from the left hand side of the area. Kingham were the far better side and forced two great saves out of Hepworth whilst Sherborne were reduced to wayward and weak potshots at goal that either flew wide or dribbled into the welcome arms of Dom in the Kingham goal. Kingham ahead at the break.

Second half started brightly with Kingham still in the ascendancy however couldn't force a chance on goal.
In the 65th minute that all changed, with advantage played from inside the Sherborne half, the ball moved out to Rael Mills on the right hand side. His neat ball into the box found Betteridge at full tilt who beautifully slammed the ball home from 15 yards out with a first time volley.
Momentum changed significantly after that and it was pretty much one way traffic as Kingham tired. Sherborne took the lead 7 minutes later as Toby Larking ran between the two centre half's to latch onto a through ball, then had the presence of mind to round the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net.
The points were secured in the 84th minute when Betteridge turned smartly in the box to find a yard of space and fired the ball low and hard leaving the keeper with no chance.
Another richly deserved three points for the high flying Harriers.

At the foot of the table the bottom two met and bottom Side Carterton Town are still seeking their first win after going down 3-1 to Spartan Rangers A. Matt Foley scored 2 stunning volleys for the visitors with Chris Olive socring the other. For Town Adam Wakefield scored the consolation.

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