TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE DIVISION TWO: Bratton win battle of the villages (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE DIVISION TWO: Bratton win battle of the villages
1:00pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in Sport
BRATTON, who are tipped to do well this season, got their Division Two campaign of to a winning start with a 4-1 victory at fellow villagers Heytesbury.
Bratton are another team with a new man at the helm, Dave Jenkins has replaced Paul Flanagan as manager and he will be more than happy to have got off to a winning start as the game was seen as a potential banana skin.
Bratton made the perfect start and went ahead inside two minutes with Dan Cox finding the net.
After that both sides had chances but they had to wait until the 47th minute before the net rustled for a second time and it was Heytesbury who hit the target to level things, Sam Sweetman doing the damage.
Bratton regained the lead midway through the half thanks to a second from Cox and late goals from Shane Newman and Matthew Morgan made sure the points made the short trip back to Bratton.
Calne Eagles 3 Broughton Gifford 2
CALNE Eagles got their league campaign off to a winning start with a hard-fought home win over Broughton Gifford.
The first half was an entertaining affair with the two teams playing completely contrasting styles.
The home side were defending solidly and cautiously, while Broughton were getting men forward in numbers and were relying heavily on playing a really high line in defence.
This resulted in Broughton having more possession of the ball, but the Eagles always looked the more likely to score throughout the first 45 minutes.
Calne opened the scoring after 10 minutes when a goal kick from Broughton goalkeeper Nigel Stokes was headed straight back upfield by Stu Windsor.
The ball then ran through to last season’s top scorer Adam Bewley, who raced away from his marker before firing the ball home from 12 yards out.
Broughton responded brightly and should have equalised, but Gary Turk fired wide after a teasing cross from Dan Wordley.
However, it was the Eagles who always looked the more dangerous in front of goal with their front pairing of Adam Bewley and Stu Windsor constantly looking to get in behind Broughton’s offside trap.
The home side were frustrated on numerous occasions by a lot of very close offside decisions.
Nonetheless, they managed to double their lead after 25 minutes when Bewley once again went clean through on goal and squared a pass to Windsor to tap in from close range.
Broughton managed to pull a goal back shortly afterwards, when Gary Turk headed home from a corner kick.
Broughton’s dangerous striker Rob O’Harrow also went close on a couple occasions with two stinging shots from distance, but on each occasion he was denied by Eagles keeper Andy Windsor.
Calne regained their two-goal cushion just before half time when Windsor once again turned provider as he set up midfielder Sam Rogers for another simple tap-in.
Broughton played much better in the second half and stretched the home side far more than they had managed in the first half.
They forced Calne to defend deep, which also resulted in them winning numerous corners.
After 57 minutes, they took the score to 3-2 following a corner kick, when Windsor’s attempted clearance rebounded off the head of teammate Roy Wenham, leaving O’Harrow with a simple finish.
Sensing an equaliser, Broughton continued to drive forward, aided by a brief lapse in form up front from Calne.
However, in the last 10 minutes, Calne re-grouped and actually managed to see out the game and without any more scares.
It was a good performance for Calne Eagles, who continue to strengthen their squad. New signings Kian Enderby, Josh Eades and Russell Driver all made impressive debuts.
Furthermore, with two of last season’s top performers missing through injury (Rob Docherty and Matt Fleming), the Eagles will be hoping for a more prosperous league campaign this year.
Steeple Ashton 3 Westbury Town 2
STEEPLE Ashton, who suffered relegation from Division One last term, began this campaign with an excellent win at home to Westbury Town, who were last season’s third division runners up.
In an attempt to get them back into the top flight, Ashton have turned to former manager Neil Taylor and he must have been impressed with his side as they overcame a 2-1 half time deficit to take maximum points for the first time since January.
Guy Rowley put Ashton in front after just 90 seconds when he raced through the Westbury defence to thump the ball home.
With Ian Gray running the midfield for Westbury he came close to leveling things up was deny by the woodwork with his 25-yard strike rattling the bar.
Westbury restored parity on 13 minutes through Jamie Howse whose cross come shot gave keeper John Jones no chance.
It was the the turn of Ashton to be denied by the frame of the goal, Rowley heading a Marc Sheppard cross against the bar.
Westbury took the lead in the 33rd minute, a handball in the area by Paul Ford saw a penalty awarded and Ryan Earny made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-1.
Ashton started the second period the better of the two sides as they looked to turn things around and their equaliser came from an unlikely source, Jake Mazan scoring from 35 yards on 50 minutes to claim his first ever goal for the villagers.
Four minutes later Nick Gittens burst into the Westbury area and finished well to make it 3-2. Shortly after Gittens should have added a fourth but with the goal at his mercy and just two yards out he somehow put his shot over the bar.
However, despite the miss, Ashton held out and secured a hard fought for but deserved win.
Worton & Cheverell 2 Trowbridge Wanderers Reserves 3
FORMER Northbridge manager Matt Rusling, now in charge of Trowbridge Wanderers Reserves, began his tenure with a fine 3-2 victory away at Worton & Cheverell.
Wanderers took the lead on 10 minutes when Mike Cooksey got his head on Jason Hughes long throw.
Worton weren’t behind for long as four minutes later the evergreen Dave Close made it one apiece.
With the hosts looking for the half time whistle they were caught out three minutes before the break when Will Bayley netted from a 25-yard free kick to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Wanderers increased their advantage on 80 minutes.
A mix-up in the Worton defence led to Darrell Thompson netting from close range to make it 3-1.
Worton never gave up and they scored a second on 90 minutes thanks to a second of the contest from Close, but it was a case of too little too late as a few minutes after the referee brought an end to an eventful game.
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