Witney & District Match Reports - Week 19

By Ant Barlow

Saturday 22nd January 2022

Penalty drama seals Hailey’s semi-final spot

Fred Ford Cup
A dramatic penalty shoot-out was required to separate Stonesfield and Hailey in their close fought quarter final tie. There was nothing to separate the sides after ninety minutes and not a goal could be scored as the teams remained deadlocked at 0-0. But after ninety minutes with no goals, it took just six minutes of extra time to break the deadlock, with Stonesfield taking the lead through …… and they held their lead until the break. There were two key moments in the second period though.

First, Hailey equalised through Cam Foster and then Stonesfield were reduced to ten men after Ollie Wynn received his second yellow card. But Hailey could do nothing about their numerical advantage with the limited time remaining and penalties were required.
Stonesfield missed first in the penalty shoot-out only for Hailey to miss the chance to win the game with their fifth kick. Stonesfield then missed the first kick of sudden death and it was left to Cam Foster to come up with the goods once again as he dispatched spot kick number twelve to give Hailey the win, 5-4 on penalties.

Premier Division
With Hailey absent from league duties Enstone moved into second place with a 5-0 thrashing of Carterton FC Rangers. In a rather one sided encounter Nathan Bott scored twice, including one from the spot. Enstone secured the points thanks to further goals from Aaron Witham, Rhys Warner-Carter and Connor Ladbrooke.

Hanborough have a three point advantage at the top after a narrow win against in-form Hook Norton. A depleted Hanborough made a poor start and Hooky had the better of the opening exchanges but squandered
each of their opportunities in front of goal, with stand in keeper Aaron Hobley making a couple of necessary saves.
Josh Brookes broke the deadlock to give Hanborough the lead, slightly against the run of play. His cross shot from the angle of the box hit the back of the net as Hanborough went in ahead at the break.

A dominant second half performance was undone by a sloppy backpass which saw Hobley bring down a Hooky player in the box and Jay Mair stepped up to despatch the spot kick and bring the game level with his nineteenth goal of the season.
The equaliser didn’t dent Hanborough’s progress though and after introducing Nathan Neale from the bench, he managed to take his opportunity as he turned provider, sliding a ball through for Brookes to latch onto and slide home. Hanborough were guilty of missing more chances as the half wore on but Hooky couldn’t make them pay as they held on for the 2-1 win.

At the ninth time of asking Milton have their first point of the season after earning a battling point against Spartan Rangers. There was nothing to separate the bottom two sides with Spartan’s Frank Clarke cancelling out Sam Wright’s strike for Milton. A 1-1 draw does nothing to help either side in their current plight but one point is better than none.

Division One

Witney Royals are up to second place in the table after a 7-0 thrashing of Wootton Sports. No surprises at all that Corey Donoghue continues to grab headlines as the top scorer in Division One bagged yet another hat-trick in Witney Royals’ 7-0 thrashing of Wootton Sports. He wasn’t alone as Ryan Harris, George Simms, Luke Baker and Luke Rippington all joined in on the goal-scoring act as Royals’ superior goal difference allowed them to move into second in the league above Minster Reserves. Next week sees the battle of second vs third as Royals host Minster at Burwell next Saturday!

Freeland increased the gap at the top of the table to five points after a 2-1 win against Bletchington. Richie Wells scored for Bletchington but could do nothing to prevent defeat as Ethan Simlett and Joe Burgess both scored for Freeland in their eighth win in nine league games this year as they ominously march towards the Division One title.

A rare occurrence but a welcome one nonetheless saw both teams send emails of thanks and congratulations about referee Callum Jordan’s performance in Chadlington’s feisty win over Hailey Reserves. The game required six yellow cards and a red card as tempers flared. But Chadlington proved to be the more clinical of the two in front of goal and helped themselves to a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Alfie Peachey and John Walker as they moved into fourth place in the league.

Bampton United and Kingham played out a six goal thriller as Kingham recorded just their second league win of the season in a 4-2 win. The Lay brothers got in on the act as both Dan and Jack scored one apiece. Daryl Middleton and Yusuf Okunade scored the other two in a welcome win for the bottom club.

Division Two

Siege dished out a 7-1 thrashing in what proved to be their final game in the Witney and District. Sadly manager Chris Jones has had to withdraw the team from the league but managed to make it a last game to remember. A scrappy start on a bobbly surface made for difficult football with both sides having chances that they failed to take. Gez Morgan changed all that with a neat finish as he cut in from the right and lifted the ball over the stranded keeper and into the net.

Andy Makepeace doubled their lead directly from a corner as all the bodies in the box missed the ball as it floated into the net without another touch.

Siege were then awarded a penalty which Chris Jones brought himself off the bench to take. Striking the ball to the keeper’s left who managed to get a hand to it, Jones was relieved to see the ball hit the back of the net and then promptly took himself off again. Just three minutes later Ash Booth had the ball in the back of the net to get Hooky back into the game and it was 3-1 at the break.

The second half passed without incident as Hooky battled hard to try and reduce the deficit but failed to trouble Steve Lazarus. As cramp and injuries took their toll on both sides, Hooky lost numbers with no bench to call upon and Siege managed to score four times in the last ten minutes to inflate the scoreline and give them a big win. Tom West scored number five with a neat header, Gez Morgan scored a second impressive goal with another lob from outside the area and there was still time for Jones and West to grab their second goals of the game as Siege signed off in style.

Ducklington stumbled in their pursuit of league leaders RAF Brize Norton as they crashed to a 4-0 reverse against fifth placed Combe. There were four different goal scorers in the process as Solomon Maasz, Dan Burgess, Louis Ashcroft and Lloyd Thomas all found the net once in a comprehensive victory.

Spartan Rangers Reserves recorded a come from behind win against Cassington Rangers for just their second win of the season. Despite Nick Edwards’ goal for Cassington, Spartan levelled through Daz Craig’s impressive 25 yard strike before Branden Fenwick and Shae Stewart’s goals earned the home side all three points in a 3-1 win.
James Fleming scored the only goal of the game as Aston moved into the top three.

Division Three
Milton Reserves jumped up to fifth in the table with a stunning 5-1 win over high flying Leafield. Richell Lacerda scored for Leafield but it mattered little as Duncan Cooper, Finn Mullin, Jason Hester, Paddy Collett and Josh Catling all scored once as Milton jumped two places in the table.

Division Four
Hatherop Reserves are just ten points away from the Division Four title after a 12-0 demolition of second bottom Spartan Rangers A. They only need one more win to prevent Leafield Reserves and two more wins to prevent Witney Royals Reserves from being able to catch them. Realistically only Freeland Reserves have a chance but they need favours from other sides to make it possible. Stephen Waugh hit four to do significant damage. David Legg scored a hat-trick to continue his fantastic season in front of goal. Alex Griffith bagged a brace and with further goals from Henry Titcombe, Mani Rawanawa and Olly Taylor completed the rout.

Harry Edwards hit a hat-trick as Leafield Reserves maintained their pursuit of the top two with a 4-0 win over Faringdon Town B. At the start of the day it was a battle of third vs fifth but Leafield took control of proceedings in a dominant win. Harry Eggington scored the fourth to secure the three points.

Witney Royals Reserves won by the odd goal in five as they leapfrogged up the table and into the top two with a narrow win over Stonesfield Sports Reserves. Ryan Hunt and Nathan Doran scored for Stonesfield but they were cancelled out by a trio of headed goals. Rob DeBanks’ double and Ollie Nolan was on hand to score a third for Royals as they just managed to grab the win and jump from fourth to second in a big move in the late stages of the season.

Aston Reserves moved past Sherborne Harriers as they bested them in an eight goal thriller. Seven different goal scorers made for an entertaining afternoon at Cote Road. Dave Rabbitch (2), Rhys Jones, Josh Asbrey and Alex Murrell scored Aston’s goals. Harry Green, Lee Saif and Josh Betteridge hit back for Sherborne but couldn’t stop the 5-3 reverse.
Kingham All Blacks Reserves have their fifth win of the season after a 5-0 win over bottom side Carterton Town FC. Dom Hemmings hit a hat-trick in the one sided encounter. George Martin and Alex Stringer scored the other two as Kingham moved further clear of the bottom two.

Jack Busby Memorial Trophy

The Jack Busby semi-final line up is now complete after Freeland Reserves overcame Chadlington Reserves at the weekend. A 4-1 victory was enough to put them into the last four with Sam Blantz and Ross Henderson getting on the scoresheet. Connor Smith’s goal for Chadlington was a mere consolation. Freeland join Hailey Reserves, Kingham Reserves and Bampton Reserves in the semi-final draw.

Where next?

Witney & District Match Reports - Week 18 Saturday 15th January 2022 Written by David Evans

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