Witney & District Reports - Week 25

By john smyth

By David Evans

Week 25 Football Report
Finally, a week of mainly dry weather and the Witney and District fixture list was looking fuller than it has in recent weeks. A bumper set of Saturday games and a handful of midweek cup fixtures make up this week’s round-up with everyone glad to be lacing up their boots once again.
Premier Division
Tom Gregory recorded a four goal haul as he helped Hailey to a resounding victory against Spartan Rangers. Jack Wood also got in on the act and Freddie Buckingham scored a brace as Hailey hit seven to earn the three points. Frank Clarke did at least grab two back for Spartan but Hailey are still within touching distance of the league leaders after a 7-2 win, with things still in their hands in their pursuit of the title.
Carterton FC finally exacted revenge on Carterton Town this season by winning their league encounter 4-0. After being dumped out of two cup competitions by their local rivals this year, Carterton managed to get their title ambitions back on track with a comfortable home win. Mike Duerden, who has recently joined from nearby Clanfield, scored a brace on his debut for the club. Craig Mays and Will Smaldon completed the scoring for Carterton to send them five points clear at the top
Division One
Minster Lovell Reserves extended their lead at the top of division one but had to settle for a draw as Bourton Rovers snatched a draw. Minster twice took the lead thanks to goals from Seb White and Luke Hessey but Bourton managed to upset the form book as Alex Winter hit back each time to give bottom side Bourton an unlikely point in a 2-2 draw.
In the battle at the bottom Chadlington comfortably saw off Middle Barton to put some space between themselves and the bottom three. Chadlington recorded their fourth league win, with a 4-0 win and four different goal scorers as Alfie Peachey, Lee Woodward, Matt Chadwick and Ewan Thomas found the net in Chadlington’s win.
Level on points at the start of the day and next to each other in the table, the early signs suggested that Witney Royals hosting Bampton United was always going to be a tight affair and so it proved with both sides having to settle for a share of the points. Chris Laurence continued on his impressive goal-scoring form this season as he scored for Bampton but his goal was cancelled out by Ozzy Oswald’s strike for Royals and the game finished 1-1.
Junior Cup
Hook Norton survived an early Ducklington fight back before safely advancing into the third round of the Junior Cup. Ducklington will be left thinking what might have been, 4-1 down from the first leg, they started the brighter of the two sides and stunned Hook Norton after Sam Duthie and Ady Kew fired Ducklington two ahead to leave them just one goal away from parity. The tension grew as Ducklington were awarded a penalty but they missed the opportunity to level the aggregate scores and in turn gave Hook Norton the belief to bring themselves back into the game. Ben Haynes scored either side of a Jay Mair strike as Hook Norton turned the game on its head as Hook Norton won 3-2 on the day and 7-3 on aggregate.
Dave Cross continued to show that he enjoys playing Brize Norton as he followed up from his hat-trick in the first leg to score a brace to secure Spartan Rangers Reserves place in the third round. Comfortably leading 5-0 from the first leg, Jack Coster scored after Cross’ brace and whilst Adam Davis and Jake Farrugia reduced the deficit for Brize, Spartan advanced courtesy of the 8-2 victory.
On Thursday night, under the lights at Bourton, Bourton Rovers hosted Siege FC and booked their place in the next round with ease. Already leading 3-1 from the first leg they never took their foot off the gas as Connor Hitchman scored a brace to extend their advantage. Andy Makepiece did score to bring Siege back into the game but further goals from Alex Winter and Josh Hubbard put Bourton back in their comfort zone and it finished 8-2 on aggregate.
Charlbury Reserves and Carterton Reserves played out a hotly contested fixture in their second round first leg match. With both teams going well in division two it was due to be a tight game. Carterton broke the deadlock after Danny Brearley’s fine volley and just five minutes later Carl Williams went on a fine run from the halfway line and as he burst into the Charlbury box he squared the ball to John Andrews who gratefully doubled their advantage. Chalrbury came out firing in the second half and Dom Hemmings halved the deficit but as the game wore on Charlbury lost their composure. First, they were reduced to ten men after a stamp on a Carterton player and then in the last five minutes they conceded a penalty which Joe Langdon safely nestled into the corner to restore Carterton’s two goal advantage. Carterton will take a 3-1 lead into next week’s second leg.
Division Two
Carterton Town B have just their second win of the season but achieved it in style after thumping Siege FC 5-1 at Monahan Way. Tom Nicholson was the star as he hit four to set Town well on the way to victory. Peter Okerke scored Carterton’s fifth with Sam Thompson getting the merest consolation. With Eynsham forfeiting their game against Wootton, the three points was enough to take Town off the bottom of the table.
Supplementary Cup
Aston will take the slenderest of advantages into the second round second leg contest against Chadlington Reserves after winning their first leg contest 2-1. Brinley Mane got Chadlington up and running but Alex Murrel’s brace was enough to give Aston the aggregate lead ahead of the second leg.
In midweek East Oxford Rangers overcame their division three opponents Bourton Rovers Reserves by a single goal. Kieran Clarke scoring the only goal of the game in the first leg tie on Tuesday night. The second leg, however, was a comfortable stroll for the division four outfit as they won 6-1 on the day. Nathan Prestidge the latest Rangers player to score a hat-trick this season got the ball rolling and with Josh Clarke’s solitary goal and Jason Blackman’s brace, Rangers breezed into the quarter finals. Lee Mosson did, at least, get Rovers on the scoresheet but it finished 7-1 overall.
The final aggregate score in the Ascott derby was 13-0 with FC Ascott winning 8-0 in the second leg. Six different goal scorers each found the net, Chris Brooksbank the pick of the bunch as he hit three. Kieran Dyble, Marshall Balmer, Joe Lofthouse, Brendon Campbell and Sam Perry all scored one apiece to send FC Ascott into the last eight.
Division Three
In the battle of the bottom two, there were hat-tricks for both teams but Stonesfield Reserves came through by the odd goal in seven to give themselves hope in the battle to get out of the bottom two. Jake Davis found the net three times for Stonesfield Reserves with Kieran McIntosh hitting three in return for Witney Royals Reserves. With the game hunting for a difference maker, Liam Hatton stepped forward to notch Stonesfield’s fourth and a win which brings them within four points of the teams above them. Royals now four points adrift at the bottom.
Chipping Norton Town and Kingham All Blacks Reserves started the day level on points and that’s how they finished after sharing six goals in an entertaining encounter. Dan Davies fired in all three of Kingham’s goals and he would have hoped his hat-trick was enough for all three points but Chippy are unbeaten at home for a reason and fought back thanks to a brace from Jack Knight and a third from Matt Smith.
Bletchington received a walkover victory against Wootton Sports Reserves and as a result are just seven points away from securing the division three title.
Division Four
Hailey A continued their impressive first season in the Witney and District by recording their sixth win of the season to move back up to third place in the league. Moh Semlali continued his fine goal scoring form this season by scoring his third hat-trick of 2020 to move his seasonal tally to 17 goals. Curtis Hathaway scored Hailey’s fourth to secure the win. Tyler Tair and Harry Green scored in response for Sherbourne Harriers as they kept Hailey honest but it wasn’t enough to take anything from the game and it finished 4-2.

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