- Hits: 517
Saturday 13th October
UHL Hellenic League Premier
Brackley Saints (4) Tuffley Rovers (1)
SAINTS: Worby, Middleton, Ward, Goddard, Brock, Kille, Godfrey, Watts, Stott (Ball 40), Hammond (Jordan 75), Knight (Steele 80)Subs not used: Bridges
Another solid and, at times, fluent display from the Saints with victory meaning that they have taken 13 points from the last 5 games moving them to the top of the division. At the beginning of September Saints won the reverse fixture against Rovers and were lucky to hold on to a 2-1 victory on a day when Rovers spurned plenty of good goal scoring chances. Today was a different story, and although the game was still finely balanced until the 75th minute Saints were always on the front foot and in the ascendancy.
Saints made a couple of changes from the win over Shrivenham in midweek with Lewis Baldwin pulling up in the warm up. Hammond returned from illness.
The early stages saw Hammond released down the wing on 2 occasions but each time his dangerous crosses were well dealt with by the TR defenders. Saints took an early lead on 7 minutes when excellent approach play from Knight and Watts released Charlie Kille who finished clinically to notch his 3rd goal in 2 games (1-0)
Surprisingly Saints were sloppy for the next 10 minutes and Goddard was required to make a good defensive header from a dangerous cross from Rovers Birkett who proved to be lively all afternoon. 4 minutes later Rovers tested Worby from a free kick but he saved well and Middleton was on hand to clear the danger.
Saints finally sprang back into life when Godfrey broke strongly from central midfield and dinked a lovely ball through to Knight whose volley was pushed over the bar by Merchant in the TR goal. Hammond then cleverly played in Knight but he was thwarted by Merchant. Knight retrieved the loose ball and played in Hammond but he was unable to create the space to get his shot away.
On 26 minutes Birkett ran strongly through Saints midfield and into the left channel where he put in a pinpoint cross for Rhodes at the far post whose volley was well kept out by Worby. From the resulting corner James held off Worby’s challenge and had the strength to turn and strike a fierce shot into the net off of the post (1-1).
Immediately Saints were at the other end where Stott got into a good position on the end of a Brock corner but his goal bound effort was cleared off of the line. Rovers broke quickly and from the resulting move Godfrey conceded an unnecessary free kick in a dangerous area, which fortunately came to nothing more than a corner. Godfrey atoned immediately picking up the ball just outside his own area and knocking a pinpoint ball that pierced the heart of the Rovers defence and which put Knight through one on one with Merchant. Knight toe poked the ball past the keeper and then won the race to catch the ball and slide it into the empty net (2-1)
On 36 minutes Stott was substituted having been on the wrong end of 2/3 strong challenges. He was replaced by Ball who was immediately in action getting on to the end of a Kille cross, but he was unable to keep his header on target.
Rovers started the second half brightly and James had a great run cutting in from the left side and forcing a good save from Worby with Middleton again the first to react to the rebound. But Saints were soon back in the driving seat and on 55 minutes Hammond collected a Middleton throw and played Watts into space. He cleverly drew a couple of defenders and slipped the ball to Godfrey whose shot was well directed but Merchant again refused to be beaten. Hammond and Watts then combined well and Watts outstripped the full back. His vicious cross nearly resulted in a cracking own goal by the Centre Half who was thankful for the assistance of the post and the keeper.
On 66 minutes Rovers were the breaking dangerously but Joe Ward showed great anticipation intercepting the ball and driving out of central defence. The break was fast and Ward found Kille wide on the left and his first time pass was perfect for Hammond who didn’t waste the chance, making a great run and beating the last defender, before delivering a cross that took everyone out of the game except Knight, who tapped in from close range. 3-1.
Rovers made a few changes and on 73 minutes substitute Gale cut in from the left and fizzed a wicked right foot shot across the face of the goal. 2 minutes later Saints sealed the match. Hammond once again found acres of space on the left and a cracking pass from Godfrey eluded Kille but ran on to Hammond who cut in and smashed a shot past the despairing Merchant (4-1).
That was the last action for Hammond, who was replaced by Jordan, and shortly after Saints made their final substitution with Steele replacing Knight.
Birkett fashioned another chance but Worby was not to be beaten keeping out his low shot with Alder only able to direct the rebound back into Worby’s arms. At the other end Jordan was prominent and he set up Steele for a shot which Merchant did well to keep out with his legs. Shortly after there was a great spell of Saints possession which ended with Jordan flighting a perfect ball to the back post for Kille, whose first time volley was very well saved by Merchant. Jordan had one more opportunity but his well struck volley just drifted past the post.
Birkett who was a strong force for the visitors had the final say with a good run and a great strike at goal which was just too high.
Overall a very satisfactory performance by Saints which sees them sitting at the top of the table. Next game is away to a strong Royal Wootton Bassett side on 20th October.
- Hits: 593
Three wins on the bounce move Brackley Town saints into second place in The Hellenic Premier after a comfortable win away at Shrivenham FC on Tuesday evening.
Two goals either side of the break for Charlie kille was enough to seal the points on a perfect autumn evening for football.
- Hits: 509
Saturday 6th October
UHL Hellenic League Premier
Flackwell Heath (1) Brackley Town Saints (3)
SAINTS: Worby, Brock, Kille, Baldwin (Godfrey 94), Goddard, Middleton, Ball (James 80), Watts, Stott, Jordan (Knight 60), Hammond
Subs not used: Cox, Bridges
After a stylish victory in midweek this was a far more disciplined and resilient performance against a FH side who never stopped battling and worked very hard to disrupt Saints. To their credit Saints matched FH for effort and intensity and eventually were fully deserving of the 3 points which maintained their third placed position in the league.
The early part of the game was tight, hard fought and niggly, with much of the action in midfield. After 10 minutes FH created the first attempt on goal from a corner, but the header was comfortable for Worby to collect. Saints first opportunity came after a poor clearance from the FH keeper. Ball galloped free down the left but his cross was just too a touch close to the keeper, who collected off of the toes of Jordan. Saints were then fortunate when Worby passed the ball out straight to the FH centre forward but he delayed and Saints did well to snaffle out the opportunity.
Saints were holding their own but the bumpy pitch and wet windy conditions were certainly making it harder for them to knock the ball around in their usual style. However Saints took full advantage of a piece of good fortune on 25 minutes with an incisive move following a hotly disputed throw in, which was given to Saints, but which to most people looked to be a throw to the home team. However most importantly not to the referee. Whilst the FH players vented their frustration at the referee Saints took the opportunity to get on with things and a slick passing move involving Kille, Stott and Hammond saw the latter play Jordan into the box, and although the keeper was able to save Jordan’s shot Stott was on hand to tap in the rebound.
The remainder of the half was tight with lots of action in the midfield area but no clear cut chances of note.
HALF TIME – FH (0) Saints (1)
Within 4 minutes of the re-start FH had levelled. A long ball down the right wing found Sinclair who timed his run excellently and he was able to lob the despairing Worby. Saints wobbled a little and for the first time were a little untidy around their own penalty area. Even so they were defensively solid and quickly regained their composure and discipline and slowly began to take the upper hand.
On 60 minutes Stott played Knight through and his shot was heading for the bottom corner but the FH keeper got down well to tip the ball around the post. Ten minutes later Saints won a corner. Brock swung a long high ball over and Stott rose highest, at the far post, to get a header on target. Although the keeper saved the header Stott was the sharpest to react and tapped in his third rebound in 2 games.
FH had the strong wind behind them in the second half and Goddard and Middleton were bombarded with long kicks from the FH keeper which in the main they were able to cope with very well. Stott again managed to connect with a header from a corner and was perhaps a little unfortunate that it was blocked when goal bound. Saints were in the ascendancy. Baldwin was solid in central midfield and Watts and Hammond were beginning to find more space. Watts was thwarted at the last minute after a typical run through the midfield and Ball hit a stunning left foot shot having cut in from the right wing. The FH goalie pulling off a cracking save to keep the deficit to one goal.
Stott was then released by a great pass from Ball and he played Knight through but the ball would just not sit for Knight as he approached the keeper and the chance was gone. FH ramped up the pressure in the final 5 minutes. Worby made a great save a minute into stoppage time getting down well to his left to push the ball round the post.
As FH pushed on they were taking more and more chances at the back and in the 92nd minute Knight ran unopposed through behind the defence and lobbed the keeper for his 6th league goal of the season.
Next game – Shrivenham V Saints – 9th October 2018
- Hits: 549
3rd October 2018 – UHL Hellenic League Premier
Brackley Town Saints (3) Ardley United (0)
SAINTS: Worby, Ward, Middleton, Goddard, Watts, Baldwin, Brock, Ball (Kille 68), Stott (Steele 76), Hammond, Jordan (James 80)
Subs not used: Bradley, Bridges
Saints moved up to third position in the league with this impressive display against local rivals Ardley. A great team display, solid in defence and inventive, skilful and incisive moving forward. Also much praise to Ardley who were prepared to knock the ball around nicely on what was a stunning St James Park pitch.