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Pre-Season September

5 & 7 August 2016

Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Ardley United 3 Tuffley Rovers 2
The Playing Fields hosted a classic FA Cup battle which the home side eventually won by the odd goal in five. Tuffley dominated the first half, and should have been clear by the interval, but several missed chances were to prove costly in the end, as the home side improved in the second half, and dominated once they got their noses in front, however an unlikely equaliser then put the game on a knife edge until a Jack Ross goal nine minutes from time was enough to secure Ardley’s passage into the next round.

The visitors were forced into an early change when their keeper Christopher Perks was injured in the pre match warm up and was forced to go to hospital, and outfield substitute Marcus Foxwell donned the goalie gloves for his side. Jacob Daffern set Elios Katsoloudi in on goal on ten minutes but there was just too much on the ball which gave Foxwell an early feel of the ball in his hands. Tuffley then took the lead two minutes later when a cross to the back post saw a looping back post header from Warren Mann elude everyone and bounce in off the crossbar. A corner then to Ardley saw Matt Cruse under heavy pressure bundle the ball wide at the far post, before an injury saw Reece Bayliss having to be replaced by Bradley Cox.

As Tuffley started to dominate the play, a left wing cross from Mann found Shane Bradley who went up with Chris Jackson and the United defender did enough to only allow the striker to head straight into Lee Farrows arms. On twenty eight minutes a corner from Adam Morris found Jackson in front of goal and he could only head over the crossbar. Moments later Carl Tappin linked up well with Cruse which allowed the latter to get a shot away from twenty yards but he could only direct over the top. Nine minutes before the break should have seen Rovers double their lead again, when a poor clearance from the United ranks saw the ball sliced in behind the defence and all alone Bradley had all the goal to aim for but rushed it and could only shoot straight at the Ardley custodian.

Moments into the second half saw a Morris free kick go straight into Foxwell’s arms but he spilled it and Ross & Cruse were on it in a flash but somehow the keeper managed to block the rebounds as they came in. Five minutes later saw Ardley level, when a corner was only cleared to the edge of the area, and Elias Katsoloudi hit the ball first time and it eluded everyone including Foxwell who could only push it into the net at full stretch. This then sparked United into life, and it was then their turn to dominate possession and create numerous chances. Joel Meade then gained advantage of a poor clearance from the Tuffley defence, and he squared the ball across the six yard box where Cruse thumped at goal but a good save from Foxwell saw him save diving away to his left. Just past the hour mark a fine passing move saw Ardley patiently build down the left, which saw Joel Meade make it to the bye line to square and running in Carl Tappin slotted home to give the hosts the lead.

On sixty six minutes Tuffley took a quick free kick to get in behind the back line again, and from a ball squared across the eighteen yard line, Davies managed to screw his shot way over the bar. Cruse then fed Ade Talabi down the right channel, and the forward took his shot early and it rolled agonisingly wide by a matter of feet. Cruse then took on a ball and cut inside the area before forcing Foxwell to save with his feet at the base of the post. Talabi then forced the stand in goalkeeper to save well diving away to his left, before Katsoloudi then fired over the top from the edge of the box, and the third goal seemed imminent. Then against the run of play Rovers found an equaliser on seventy six minutes, when pressing the Ardley defence Stanley Brown managed to force a mistake and the loose ball fell to Ashley Davis who fired home from ten yards. But just five minutes later Ardley scored their winner on a breakaway, Ade Talabi used his pace to get down the right wing, and his cross was met by Jack Ross to fire Ardley ahead once more.

Lee Farrow was called into action to keep his side ahead with five minutes remaining pulling off a fine save diving away to his right, to keep out an effort from Brett James. A final minute corner saw a header cleared off the United line by Luke Cray, and the follow up shot was fired straight into Farrow’s midriff, and the seconds then drifted away until the final whistle saw Ardley progress into the next round.

Ardley United 3 Tuffley Rovers 2 (away view)
Tuffley Rovers had a day to forget, as they exited the Emirates FA Cup against Ardley United, almost twelve months after triumphing against the same opposition, at the same stage, as they lost 3-2 to a late winner by their hosts.

With Manager Mark Pritchett and captain Dave Evans unavailable, Rovers’ plans for a successful FA Cup campaign started to unravel, as back-up keeper Chris Perks was forced out of the game, after dislocating and fracturing a finger in the warm-up. That forced stand-in Manager, Shayne Anson, to select Marcus Foxwell, normally an outfield player, in goal.

With Brett James not at 100% and confined to a place on the bench, Rovers were otherwise unchanged from their midweek victory at home to Highworth Town, as Shayne Bradley and Foxwell represented the only changes to the starting eleven.

Rovers started brightly and used the notable slope at the Ardley Playing Fields to their advantage, as they played downhill in the first period. After good work by Liam Wright and Ashley Davies, Warren Mann produced a looping, back-post header that eluded Lee Farrow and gave Rovers a great start to the game, on 12 minutes.

Bradley could have extended the lead on 20 minutes, but his shot lacked power and was easily held by Farrow in the Ardley United goal. Chris Jackson wasted a great chance for the hosts, as he headed over Foxwell’s goal when well placed to meet a corner, and the teams reached the interval with the visitors holding a narrow advantage.

Rovers were in the ascendency and looked likely to extend their lead but Wright, who had been impressive in the centre of midfield, pulled his hamstring on 35 minutes and left the field, to be replaced by James, but the score remained 1-0 as the sides reached the interval.

If Rovers had dominated the first half, the start of the second period saw them placed under pressure and Foxwell had to produce a good stop to deny Jack Ross, after he had initially blocked Adam Morris’ free-kick.

Foxwell was beaten five minutes later, as Ardley United levelled the score, when Elia Katsoloudi steered the ball goalwards and beyond Foxwell’s attempt to stop it.

The hosts were now in the ascendency and took the lead on 61 minutes, as Joel Meade set-up Carl Tappin to stroke the ball home from close range.

Ashley Davies had a half-chance to get Rovers back in the game, on 66 minutes, but his shot went high over the bar, before Ade Talabi twice went close for Ardley.

With a little over sixteen minutes remaining, substitute Stan Brown, who had replaced Jamie Goodwin to make his debut, chased down the ball and it fell to Ashley Davies, who produced a terrific finish to pull Rovers level and a replay looked likely.

Talabi had been a thorn in Rovers’ side all afternoon and in the closing minutes he used his pace to sprint away from centre-half Ben Tunnicliff, before squaring the ball to Jack Ross, who thumped the ball beyond Foxwell, handing Ardley a 3-2 advantage.

James and Davies both went close to salvaging a result but they were unable to convert their chances and it was Ardley United who will play Highworth Town in the next round of this year’s competition.

Ascot United 2 Milton United 0
A very good crowd of 156 were at the racecourse ground to watch this Friday night Emirates FA Cup extra preliminary round as The Yellamen took on Milton United. Ascot welcomed back an old favourite Rob Saunders to the line up after an absence of a whole season.

Both teams took time to settle into their stride and in the first half hour very few chances were created. Then in the 30th min Ascot broke the deadlock when Ben Knight challenged Miltons centre half Jonathan Naish, he could only head the ball down to James Brazier who stabbed the ball in on the 6 yard box. Minutes later and Saunders played in Charlie Samuels who had his shot well saved by keeper Ben Maidens. Then the ever lively Luke Wilson tried to chip Maidens but again the keeper saved. Just before the break Samuels found space in the box but shot just wide of the far post.

The second half was only minutes old and Ascot increased their lead. The young impressive Samir Regragui played a delightful ball over the Milton defence where Samuels brought the ball down and fired an unstoppable shot past Maidens for 2-0 Samuels should have got another soon after this but his placed shot went just wide of the post.

Then in a 10 min spell Milton should have levelled the game, first Naish somehow put the ball wide when unmarked in the box, and then Daniele Piscopo headed wide when well placed. These scares woke Ascot up and full back James Smith’s deep cross was almost converted by Wilson. Miltons Edward Preece headed wide from a corner, but Ascot had the best late chances. Sub James Goodey had a 25 yard shot tipped over the bar by Maidens, Samuels skimmed the bar and Saunders shot straight at Maidens having been set up by a Goodey pull back.

A very good competitive game and more encouraging signs emerging from the Yellamen squad as they start to gell as a team. It will be Didcot Town at the racecourse in the next round.

Brimscombe & Thrupp 3 Henley Town 1
The Lilywhites played their first ever game against Henley Town, who were recently promoted to the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division, but Henley were no match for the Brimscombe & Thrupp team at the Meadow on Saturday. Brimscombe dominated from the start, keeping possession of the ball, with Ben Deakin and Jordan Yeo having promising shots at goal.

Cracks in the Brimscombe & Thrupp defending, however, lead to a goal for Henley Town in the 19th minute. Nile O’Meally got a lucky break, tricked the defence and scored an individual goal, moving the opposition into an early 1-0 lead.

In the 24th minute Brimscombe were given a penalty after a Henley Town player handled the ball in the area. Ollie Pitt slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner with ease.

The Lilywhites continued to maintain possession throughout the first half with great crosses from Jordan Yeo and Jamie Bish leading into shots on goal from Ashley Caldwell and Ben Deakin, which were both saved by visiting keeper.

No changes were made at half time and Henley town came out fighting, having a lot of possession in the first few minutes and looking on top. This did not deter Brimscombe who were quick to turn it around and things changed In the 54th minute. Tom Pass took an opportunity to play a long ball up field to Ollie Pitt who controlled the ball and then glided it into the middle of the net, moving the Lilywhites up into a 2-1 lead.

In the 57th minute Brimscombe’s Ben Deakin was substituted for Jack Smith. He was barely on the pitch a few minutes before he played a vital part, holding off his man and squaring the ball to Caldwell who wrong footed the Henley Town’s goal keeper, with a precise shot into the bottom left hand corner; adding to Brimscombe’s lead.

Tensions were beginning to rise in the Henley Town team, with a yellow card being given to Benjamin Clark for pushing after a bad foul. Brimscombe, however, stayed strong, gelled well as a team and crucially secured a position in the next round of the FA cup.

Flackwell Heath 6 Baldock Town 3
Heathens marched into the next round of the Emirates FA Cup with a convincing 6-3 win over Baldock Town FC from the Spartan South Midlands League Division One.

The Heathens started at a fast pace and it was not long before they got on the score sheet. In the 13th minute, with a flick on from Jamie West, Dan Burnell beat the defence and slotted the ball past a static keeper, 1-0. 4 minutes later Liam Tack shut down the left back and made a good block picking the ball up from the rebound and crossed the face of the 6 yard box finding Jamie West who side footed the ball past the keeper, 2-0.

After this the Heathens took their foot off the peddle and Baldock Town FC capitalized from a Mitchel Woodward mistake, playing the ball across his own 18 yard box which was cut out by the Baldock forward who drove into the box crossing to the far post for his number 9, Harry Holland, to tap in, 2-1. This goal gave the visitors a lift and they scored the equaliser 2 minutes before half time when their captain, Jack Gregson, scored from a free kick with Dan Weait wrong-footed, 2-2.

The manager's team talk at half time must have done the trick as the Heathens came out on the attack scoring on the 50th minute with a long kick from Dan Weait to Jamie West who lobbed the keeper, 3-2. This was shortly followed on the 59th minute when Joe Gritt passed the ball to Dan Rapley who took it down on his chest and drove into the box, squaring it across the goal. Liam Tack slide in and poked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, 4-2.

Manager, Paul Shone started his first of 3 substitutions swapping Liam Tack for Dan Molloy (63 minutes), Matt Stockill for Jamie Essex (72 minutes) and Jamie West for Fabian Driffill on his debut (78 minutes). With this the Heathens relaxed again and let Baldock score their 3rd goal when Anthony James beat Dan Weait on the 83rd minute, 4-3. But this spurred Flackwell on with a fine goal in the 87th minute from Fabian Driffill in his first FA Cup game who beat the off-side trap and calmly slotting the ball past the keeper, 5-3. The game was all over in the 90th minute when Heathens captain Ben Sturgess scored Flackwell's 6th and final goal of the game, 6-3.

Flackwell Heath now play Cogenhoe United FC away in the Preliminary Round of The Emirates FA Cup on Saturday 20th August.

Highworth Town 2 Tadley Calleva 1
On a sunny but blustery afternoon and in front of a bumper 161 crowd, the Worthians took on Tadley Calleva of the Sydenhams Wessex League Division One in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup. In a closely fought encounter, honours were even after the first half, Tadley then took the lead shortly after the break, but the Worthians clawed themselves back into a winning position late in the game to take the tie and a trip to Ardley United in the next round.

The Worthians came into the game with a carefully worked out strategy, but this was thrown into disarray when the influential Jordan Roberts was injured after four minutes and subbed off. The hastily re-arranged formation settled into a pattern of play and after some 20 minutes, a Ryan Stanners free kick from the left was met by the speedily advancing Aysa Corrick but he was only able to guide the ball into the grateful arms of Tadley stopper, Tom Hindmarsh.

Shortly after, Max Scholefield made an excellent save from a solid Calvin Kalinga shot, which nearly wrong-footed the Worthian stopper after taking a heavy deflection. Matt Jenkins may have done better when he created space in front of the Tadley box but he pulled his shot wide wide of an upright.

The influential Brett Denham then had a hand in two chances for the visitors when he firstly delivered a superb diagonal ball into the path of Sam Hamilton but the Tadley forward missed the target from close range when he might have done better. The second came when the Tadley frontman capitalised on a defensive error, carried the ball into the penalty box but the powerful shot fizzed across the goalmouth and out of play.

With the Worthians having the advantage of the wind for the second period, it was no surprise to see them attack from the off but a very quick counter-attacking move down the left flank saw the ball delivered over to the right for Brett Denham to control, avoid a desperate defensive tackle from Tom Cole and then slot home to the left of a flailing Max Scholefield to give Tadley the first goal of the contest after 52 minutes.

The Worthians were now reeling and another Tadley attack saw Scott Kinge deliver a great ball to the far post from the left, but Connor Thorne missed the flight of the ball from two yards out. Then Sam Hamilton attempted a clever flick over the Worthian stopper's head from just outside the box but the ball dropped onto the top of the netting.

The Worthians then regrouped and pressed forward for the equaliser but despite the pressure, the final ball was unable to get past the resolute Tadley back line. However, after 68 minutes, Fabian McCarthy took out two Tadley defenders on the right flank and delivered a curling cross into the danger zone. Aysa Corrick's excellent late run into the six yard box caused a slight hesitation in Tom Hindmarsh's reaction and the swirling wind did the rest, carrying the ball into the back of the net for the equaliser.

Shortly after, Tadley were on the hunt for another goal and during a five minute attacking phase, Sam Hamilton was first to a loose ball in the Worthian penalty box and he lifted it over the advancing Max Scholefield but somehow Tom Cole managed to get back and head the goal-bound effort out from under the crossbar. A well-taken corner saw Tadley go close again but Dan Vickers' powerful header fizzed past an upright.

It was now the Worthians turn to put the pressure on and a great tackle from Ryan Stanners saw him dispossess James Milford who was carrying the ball out of defence on the right flank. The diminutive frontman then turned to carry the ball forward but was unceremoniously upended. He then took the resulting free kick himself, delivering a perfectly weighted ball to the back post where Tom Cole rose like a salmon to head powerfully home for the Worthians to take the lead.

It then looked all over when Spencer Barlow handled on the edge of the box when under considerable pressure from Aysa Corrick and was red-carded for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Despite being down to ten men, Tadley kept the pressure on to give the Worthians a nervy ten minutes or so but despite getting to the Highworth penalty area on a number of occasions, they were unable to create any scoring chances.

In fact, the Worthians might have grabbed another when firstly a well-struck Keiron Gleed free-kick beat the defensive wall but flew over the bar and then in the final moments of play, Tom Hindmarsh saved brilliantly at the feet of Fabian McCarthy after Harry Myles had lifted the ball over the Tadley defence to the far post.

Despite the ravages of a swirling wind and a solid performance from Tadley, the Worthians did enough to take the tie. It takes time for a new team to gel, but the boys are getting there!

Longlevens AFC 4 Bedfont & Feltham 2
Formed in 1954, Saturday’s FA Cup game was Longlevens highest level match in their 62 year history. A bumper crowd of 178, including many travelling fans supporting Bedfont & Feltham at Sawmills End, witnessed an exciting football game.

Both sides went “hard at it” from the whistle with fouls committed by both sides, resulting in worrying consequences for Levens. Within two minutes of play centre back Ellis Sausman had to substituted following an injury.

Bedfont opened the scoring on 20 minutes, through a free kick taken by Luke Craig. Though Levens were back on level terms three minutes later. Dave Merrick laid on an excellent pass for Ryan McDonald to tuck inside the near post.

Five minutes passed before Levens went in front, with Shaun O’Connor converting a penalty

Pressure on goal continued by both sides through to the half time whistle being blown, with seven minutes added through injury stoppages.

Three minutes into the second half Bedfont were back in the game. Michael Campbell took advantage of a defensive mix up to push the ball into an empty goal.

On 65 minutes the advantage returned to Levens. From a corner Dave Rich headed in off the post making the score 3-2.

Leven’s then had the game in their control, with further missed opportunities and a goal disallowed. The final goal came on 87 minutes through a goal mouth scramble, which resulted in the opposition keeper slicing the ball into his own net.

Longlevens “Road to Wembley” continues, when they travel to Evo-Stik Southern League Farnborough on August 20.

Lydney Town 0 Team Solent 6
Any thoughts of a run in the FA Cup this year were blown away in a disastrous first half display against Team Solent yesterday. The University side from the Sydenham Wessex league scored inside the first minute through Tyrell Mittford and never looked back.

To be fair to Lydney they were missing some key players, with keeper Rich Thomas at a wedding, Pat Gibbs and Pete Macklin both picking up injuries in midweek, but that can not take anything away from how Team Solent went about their business.

The impressive Ekow Elliott put them 2-0 up after 8 minutes after some horror defending before Lydney did threaten when Tom Maxted headed wide and then the same player provided a cross for Declan Morley-Lyne who's volley was beaten away by Passingham in goal.

Solent took a 3 goal lead after 25 minutes, when Elliott was again given too much room and he bent a superb effort past Sadler. Worse was to follow for Lydney when skipper Jamie Addis pulled up and had to be replaced by Jack Rutter for his first appearance of the season.

Lydney's day was up just before the break when they conceded two more. First striker Martin Johnson fired home from close range before an error from 16 year old keeper Mack Sadler saw Tyrell Mittford slide the ball into an empty net. Sadler did make a great stop from Wiseman in a one on one situation, but he had very little protection from his defenders.

Boss Mark Lee changed things after the break, replacing Dave English with the lively Harry Williams and got his side higher up the field. Lydney pushed the visitors quiet well with Rutter, Hale, Maxted, Williams and Morley-Lyne all getting strikes on goal. Morley-Lyne also saw a freekick come back off the post to deny Lydney even a consolation goal. Tom Baldwin made way for new signing Abdirizak Hussein for the last 20 minutes and the young fullback showed great pace and some clever touches.

As if to prove it wasn't Lydney's day on 75 minutes a freekick on the edge of the box from Wiseman took a wicked deflection before looping over Sadler to complete the scoring.

After a fine second half display in the opening league game at Brimscombe in midweek, the result was a massive disappointment for the home support who are hoping this was just a blip, and the side can get back on track in time for the trip to Binfield next week,

Thame United 3 Abbey Rangers 0
Thame United progressed to the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over visitors Abbey Rangers on Friday evening.

The match, which marked the visitors first ever game in the competition, was played out in front of a healthy crowd of 141 and, after a Luke Ricketts effort went over the bar on 6 minutes, they did not have to wait long for a goal.

That honour went to Lynton Goss (pictured) who collected the ball 30 yards from goal and, with defenders backing-off, struck an angled effort from just outside the box that gave the visiting keeper no chance. The goal will, in fact, go down in history as the earliest ever goal in the FA Cup given that never before has the competition started so early in August.

Whilst United continued to press, the visitors thought they had found an equaliser on 18 minutes when Ford headed home from a free-kick, only to be flagged for off-side. A Ricketts effort was then saved on the line before another Ford effort forced Henry Craven in the Thame goal to spectacularly push the ball wide of goal. Eventually the second goal arrived when, in the 38th minute, a deep cross from the left was knocked back in to the area by Ben Connelly for Andy Gledhill to head home via a slight deflection – his fourth goal in two games. Shortly afterwards Craven was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area, but the resultant free-kick from Carey went over the bar.

During the early stages of the second half United had a few chances to extend their lead as West (twice) and Ricketts went close. United thought they had won a penalty on 63 minutes when Gledhill was upended in the box, but the Referee instead gave a corner. However, five minutes later and United were awarded a penalty when West was fouled when through on goal. However, Goss placed his effort wide of the goal, and the visitors immediately went down the other with Efambe volleying just wide.

Goss made amends three minutes later with a drive from 20 yards that the keeper got a hand to but could not keep out. With United three goals to the good, the remainder of the game was largely uneventful, and United progressed to the next round where they will face North Leigh at the ASM Stadium.

 

 
 
 
 
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