Highworth Town Reserves finally made it to Tucker Park today, after there two previous attempts had fallen foul of the weather. The Worthians arrived with a 100% league record & Town were hoping to spring a surprise in this Division Two fixture.
The visitors started the brighter and actually had the ball in the back of the net in the opening couple of minutes, however, the goal was ruled out for offside. Highworth were in control and on 9 minutes they took the lead when Town keeper Connor Guinness-Smith failed to hold the ball and on his second attempt he only managed to pat the ball down to the waiting number 9, who scored with ease. Town gradually worked their way into the game and equalised in the 19th minute.
Josh Forth won a free-kick inside the visitors half, where Ryan Bradbury put a great ball into the penalty area which Highworth didn’t deal with and new signing on his debut, Ash Piotrowski reacted quickest to open his Town account. The level scoreline was only short-lived as Town gifted the away side another goal. This time fullback Adam Rudman failed to win the ball and a decisive pass found the Highworth striker for his second of the game in the 23rd minute. The rest of the half saw Highworth in control, but in truth, neither keeper was tested.
Town knew they had to come out brighter and impose themselves more to have a chance of gaining anything from the game. This they did immediately, stopping Highworth from playing and breaking up the play. No real chances were created up to the hour mark and Town introduced Jack Green for the tiring Josh Vaughan. Moments later and Green was fouled by the overzealous fullback for a Town free-kick.
Matty Pill’s ball into the penalty area from the left was flicked on by Bradbury, but cleared off the line by a defender, however the ball was played back into the 6 yard box for skipper Forth to force home the equaliser. Town were in the ascendancy and had a very good shout for handball in the Highworth penalty area, but with no VAR at Tucker Park to help the match official, play on was called!
Town were pressing for the winner, but in the closing stages the man in the middle took centre stage as he showed Bradbury a straight red card to everyone’s amazement for a foul, which was worthy of a yellow at most! So down to 10 men for the final five minutes and it was backs to wall, before Town centre half Luke Davenport was shown to the sinbin for asking the referee a question with not a word of foul language?..
The nine lads who saw out the final minutes, stood firm with Guinness-Smith making an important stop and Town took a deserved point from the title challengers, in a game which was hard but fair for 90 minutes on a tough surface.
Final Score: Faringdon Town 2 – 2 Highworth Town Res
Team: C Guinness-Smith, A Rudman (sub 89 H Platt), A Sly, J Vaughan (sub 62 J Green), L Davenport, A Goodchild, J Forth, R Bradbury, A Piostrowski, M Pill, D Hoskin (sub 70 S Saunders) Sub Unused: W Nash.
Next week Town are at home again, with Fairford Town Reserves the visitors to Tucker Park, 2.15pm kick off.