Abingdon United Reserves 0-2 Faringdon Town –
A fresh start and new challenge for all involved for Faringdon, starting their first league game in the Hellenic Div 2 West.
A new look squad and a feel good factor all promised for a good game. Town started well and on 5 mins, midfielder Matty Pill swung in a inviting free kick that managed to go through everybody. Both sides were pretty evenly matched and it was a good battle from the start. Abingdon were awarded a free kick which town keeper Justin Yates made a smart save. 15 mins gone and town centre midfielder Dom Wills skipped past two players, scooped a ball over to striker Richard Evans who took it on his chest, spun and shot but went wide. Young wing back Daniel Lawson found himself in a position to shoot, it was deflected into Christian Wills path who also shot, eventually the ball fell to Richard Evans who’s shot went just over the bar.
On the half hour mark Towns hard work paid off, Matty Pill took the free kick and knocked it in deep to the back post where centre back Louis Bowers headed the ball back across goal for Josh Forth to head in on the line. The linesman flagged for offside but the referee over ruled his decision and gave the goal. Town 1-0 up.
The next 15 mins up to half time saw town battle to keep their lead. They had to defend a number of corners and free kicks. A couple of chances came in this period for the ‘Don with Christian Wills having the best one, he closed down the defender who played it back to the keeper, he rushed his clearance and gave it straight too Christian. He took the ball on and shot low but the keeper saved comfortably, however a square pass to fellow striker Richard Evans would have provided a simple tap in.
We spoke about being a little cleverer, especially with free kicks around the box and making sure we were hungry to come away with the win. We went back out and struggled as if we were still in changing rooms. Gave away more silly fouls and rode our luck slightly. After this tricky 5 mins we settled down and on 55 mins we doubled our lead. Captain Martyn Gatehouse won a commanding header at the back, he then managed to also win the second ball, volleying it forwards to our front men. The ball bobbled over the defender and into the path of Christian Wills in on goal, he made no mistake with a great one on one finish and Town found themselves 2-0 up.
Town were looking comfortable but we knew if Abingdon scored it would be all find blazing from Abingdon. On 65 mins towns keeper Justin Yates made a fantastic save to keep town in a good position. The Abingdon forward in on goal but Justin smothered it. With 15 mins to go town made two changes bringing on Jamie Broadfield and Ryan Bradbury for Dom Wills and Richard Evans. Town played sensibly and saw out the last 15 mins, dealing with everything that was thrown at them and soaking up the Abingdon pressure. Some good free kicks won by Jamie in the corners of the pitch, a second wind from our midfield and the defence remaining 100% concentrated.
On the final whistle Town had secured their first 3 points in their new league. Full credit too every single player who worked as hard as they could and deserve all the plaudits they get. A real sense of achievement for the boys and nice to feel proud again. Hopefully a standard has been set, that will see more points follow!
Man of the Match: Justin Yates