[size=small]Witney and District fixture programme prevails despite the horrendous weather conditions.[/size]
In a huge testament to clubs, players and officials across the Witney and District, only one of the scheduled twenty one fixtures was lost to the stormy Saturday conditions. Minster Lovell vs Enstone sadly succumbed to the wet weather but all other fixtures took place.
Charlbury Town and Carterton Town A are both off the mark for the season as the sides couldn’t be separated in an eight goal encounter at Nine Acres. Before the day’s fixture both sides had only scored four goals between them this season, but a free scoring, back and forth game was played out, in which, there were seven different goal-scorers.
Zak Taylor put Town ahead, only for George Sulir and Josh Sylvester to turn the tide in Charlbury’s favour. Rich Hall equalised for Town but Charlbury fired themselves ahead once again as Jacob Hancocks scored the first of his two goals. Wes Christian and Tom Mackenzie-Fenwick scored Carterton’s third and fourth but Hancocks restored parity with his second goal and both sides left with a point in the 4-4 draw.
Hailey FC are in ominous defensive form as they kept their second straight clean sheet of the season. On this occasion they shut out Milton as they put four goals past their opponents. Freddie Buckingham, Sam Wheeler, Devon Wright and Cameron Foster all scored once each to keep Hailey firmly in second place in the table.
Only Carterton FC are keeping Hailey from occupying top spot, but they were made to work for their three points as they battled against Stonesfield. Carterton had to display particularly steely resolve after battling back from 3-1 down at half-time. Raffy Rice’s double, alongside a Tom Weedon strike had Stonesfield in dream land at the break, with Carterton only on the board through a Dan Bishop strike.
Whatever was said at half-time clearly worked in the home side’s favour as they scored four without reply to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Michael Duerden scored two of the four to open his account for the season, with Craig Mays and Mark Threlfall both scoring for the third game in a row to see the game through for Carterton in a 5-3 win.
Rhys Woodward was the solitary goal scorer as Spartan Rangers beat Tower Hill 1-0. Rangers are now fourth in the table, level on points with Hailey and Minster Lovell but with a far worse goal difference.
Jay Mair is now the joint leading scorer across all four divisions after notching another hat-trick as Hook Norton managed to beat Hailey Reserves by the odd goal in seven. Mair now has eight goals for the season and he was joined on the score sheet by Connor Davies as Hook Norton put four past their hosts. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing as Hailey scored three of their own. Kieran King, Joel King and Moh Semlali all scored once each to give a Hooky a scare but they held on for victory to maintain their 100% start to the season.
Chadlington lost ground on the leaders as they fell to their first defeat of the season. Witney Royals were the victors as they recorded consecutive victories in the league. Corey Donohue scored a brace to get Royals on the board and despite Pete Tate firing Chadlington back into the game, Royals marched on to victory with further goals from George Simms and Stuart Tranter, in the 4-1 win.
Wootton Sports hosted Spartan Rangers Reserves and each side took a point from the game in a six goal thriller. Finley Ludlow, Jamie Hutton and Lee Spencer all scored once for Wootton but Spartan fought back through Josh Walkington, Telmo Fernandez and Richard Brumble as Spartan earned their first point of the season.
Chris Laurence scored his fourth goal in two games as he helped steer Bampton to a narrow victory over Brize Norton. Laurence scored for Bampton, only for Dan Leverton to draw Brize Norton level but Bampton went home with all three points after Dan Toma’s winner secured a 2-1 victory.
Aston are the new Division Two leaders after thumping North Leigh 6-1, on their Witney and District return. Aston were rampant throughout the ninety minutes and were ahead thanks to goals from Ben Hardcastle and Charlie Harper. A Max Godwin own goal further compounded North Leigh’s misery and although Jamie Buxton got a goal back for North Leigh, Aaron Robins and Sam Aston (2) both found the net for the second consecutive game to secure the points for Aston.
Aston are now top thanks to Ducklington also scoring six as they brought Cassington Rangers back to earth with a bump this weekend. Cassington, who benefitted from playing against ten men last week, suffered the same fate this week as Alex Kavanagh was dismissed for handball to reduce Cassington’s playing numbers.
Ducklington made the man advantage count, to take the lead through Tom Costley but Cassington hit back to lead 2-1, through Shaun Rowbotham and Nick Edwards, despite playing with less men. Ducklington’s hero was an unlikely source, as centre back Tom Costley netted two more to secure his hat-trick and steer Duck to victory. Rangers fought hard and scored again via Tyler Walker but Ducklington pulled clear through Harvey Butler, Ady Kew and Samm Murphy to win 6-3.
Combe make up the top three, all of whom have 100% records, after beating Eynsham 3-0. Combe proved to be more clinical in front of goal than their opponents and grabbed all three points thanks to goals from Toby Cox, Luke Coles and Conner Hobley.
Siege FC are just three points off the pace after recording consecutive victories in the league, thanks to a 4-2 victory over Bourton Rovers. Dan Cartwright gambled on a long kick from the keeper to put Siege ahead and Tom West scored a fine header to double the advantage just before half-time. Bourton came out much improved in the second half and reduced the deficit thanks to a fine solo goal by Reece Oakey, who promptly put two defenders and the keeper on their backside before slotting into an empty net.
Siege restored the two goal cushion thanks to a Tom West penalty but Bourton got right back into the game thanks to Fin Griffith’s strike. As Bourton pushed for a deserved equaliser, Andy Makepiece gambled on a defensive error and fired hard and low past the stranded keeper to secure all three points.
Carterton Town B and Chadlington Reserves are both off the mark after winning for the first time this season. Chadlington were able to safely negotiate their way past Wootton Sports Reserves with a 5-2 win. James Minchin and Simon Stokes both scored for Wootton but two doubles from Mauro Esteves and George Slatter put Chadlington in control and Ollie Jordan scored a fifth to give Chadlington victory.
Carterton Town gained a slightly narrower victory as they defeated their hosts, FC Ascott Rangers, 3-1. Maahir Alam and Nathan Nyenya scored once each for Carterton but Kyle Grimmett dragged Ascott back into the game. Tyler Webster fired in a third for Town and the visitors left with all three points.
Kingham All Blacks Reserves were the biggest winners of the weekend as they thrashed Aston Reserves 10-1. Boosted by some players normally found in the reserves, the biggest help came in the form of Dan Lay who bagged four goals for the reserve side. He was helped by Tom Dodds scoring from the spot. Further goals followed from Dan Davies, Jack Lay, Jay Stonehouse and a brace from Matt Deakin. Daryl Potter got Aston on the score sheet at least but nothing more.
Five star Ryan Stockford joins Jay Mair at the top of the goal scoring charts after scoring five times in Hailey A’s defeat of Bampton United Reserves. Karl Smith scored the other goal in Hailey’s 6-3 victory. Steve Allery, Seb White and Richard Ghagan hit back for Bampton but could only half the deficit in defeat. Hailey A move top of Division Three as a result of a superior goal difference.
FC Mills kept up their impressive start to the season by coming away with victory in a five goal thriller against Spartan Rangers A. Lee Senior,Darren Smith and John Chapman put Mills in an early commanding lead, but goals from Mev Gundem and Michael Basson set up a nervy end to the match. However, despite both side having goals ruled out for offside, the hosts held on for the win.
There were five goals in the game between Hook Norton Reserves and Witney Royals Reserves but sadly for Royals they were all scored by Hook Norton.
Five different goal scorers combined to make it two wins from two for the Division Three’s newest outfit. Mark Clifton, Mitchell Faulkner, Damien Corbin, Sean Collins and Dom Hemmings all scored once each to send Hook Norton fourth in the table.
A lightening start from Stonesfield Reserves saw them take the lead just 42 seconds into the game as Sam Hibberd slotted the ball home to give them an early lead. Credit to their opponents Chipping Norton, who had to play the whole game with only ten players, and they admirably kept the gap to one until half-time.
In the second half the floodgates opened as Sam Hibberd added his second and Tom Wilson grabbed a brace all inside the opening ten minutes to put Stonesfield 4-0 ahead. They saved their best till last as James Lloyd fired in from all of twenty five yards to put Stonesfield five ahead.
Chippy weren’t happy to finish the game scoreless and scored the best goal of the game to finish the scoring. Brad Smith nimbly skipped past a couple of tackles before firing an unstoppable strike past the keeper but it finished 5-1.
A tale of two penalties was the take away story from the match between Sherbourne Harriers and FC Ascott Rangers Reserves. Josh Betteridge scored his second penalty in as many games for Sherbourne but was cancelled out by Gary O’Donovan’s own penalty for Rangers. The draw gives Rangers their first point of the season.