Match Report – Wantage Town Dev v Faringdon Town

TOWN LET LEAD SLIP TWICE

Faringdon Town made the nine-mile journey to Alfredian Park on Tuesday evening for their latest uhlsport Hellenic League Division Two West fixture. With both sides in the higher reaches of the table, it was always going to be a tight affair and so it turned out to be.

On arrival, the ground had a lot of grass, probably too much and it was certainly bobbly! The hosts had dragged in a number of 1st Team players to bolster numbers, whilst Town welcomed back Dan Hoskin, Sean Creeley and Adam Rudman to the starting eleven from the weekend.

The match was immediately a midfield battle, but the ‘Freds’ were in the ascendancy as Town struggled to get into their rhythm and conceded numerous free kicks in their own half allowing unnecessary pressure.

Town’s first effort on goal came on 20 minutes when Creeley cut in from the left and his goal-bound effort was deflected past the far post for a corner, which unfortunately came to nothing. Soon after and Wantage’s number 8 drove at the Town backline and hit an effort at goal, however, Town number one, Connor Guinness-Smith was equal to it, getting a finger-tip to the ball to send it over the bar.

On 26 minutes the deadlock was broken, as Town took the lead. A terrific ball from Rudman at right back down the side of the home centre-half found the run of Ryan Bradbury. He held off the defender and his initial effort was saved at his feet by the Wantage keeper, however, Bradbury was alive to the loose ball and scored his fifth of the season.

The home side now had to apply more pressure and this they certainly did, as they first had a good turn and volley effort straight at Guinness-Smith and then Luke Davenport had to be quick-footed to block a shot off the line to prevent an equaliser.

On 40 minutes Town skipper Josh Forth went in for a tackle and despite winning the ball, hard but fairly, the match official decided to show the first yellow card of the tie. Just as the half was coming to a close, the home keeper had to be alert as he managed to block-save at the feet of Creeley, when a second goal for the Town looked probable.

The second half started just a frenetically and the referee was very one-sided in his decision making, which was clearly frustrating the Town players and management. Due to a number of these decisions, Town had to remove skipper Forth before a second yellow card was shown for a culmination of alleged fouls.

Josh Vaughan was his replacement and his first touch in the game, was in the Alfredian’s penalty area, as he linked up and shot at goal, which went the wrong side of the near post. The next twenty minutes went by without incident and on 77 minutes the home side were level.

A long throw into the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by Town and the substitute winger managed to get a touch on the ball to divert past the stranded Guinness-Smith. Town made their next substitute with Andy Munns replacing Andy Lynham with 10 minutes remaining.

Munns was then involved in the build-up to Town taking the lead for a second time, as he took Bradbury’s ball down the right-wing, cut inside his marker, passing the ball to striker Dan Hoskin. He laid the ball off to Creeley who side-footed the ball home around the keeper from 20 yards with three minutes of normal time to play and Town’s squad enjoying their celebrations.

Town’s management tried to get the message across that the lads had to play sensible football, but unfortunately the ongoing trend of cheap free-kicks made us pay yet again. Wantage awarded a retake 10 yards into the Town half, an excellent ball was played into the area and Wantage’s top scorer half-volleyed the ball into the far corner for the equaliser.

The game came to a close, a draw was a fair result with both sides being very competitive, but frustrated by the match officials decision making.

Final Score: Wantage Town Dev 2-2 Faringdon Town

Town Squad: C Guinness-Smith, A Rudman, A Lynham (sub 80mins A Munns), M Pill, A Goodchild, L Davenport, S Creeley, J Forth(c)(sub 55mins J Vaughan), D Hoskin, R Bradbury, A Sly – Subs Not Used H Platt, M Morris, J Broadfield

Next Game: Saturday 26th October – Away v Fairford Town Res – 3.00pm KO