CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE SUBSIDIARY CUP: Ashton book place in semi-finals (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE SUBSIDIARY CUP: Ashton book place in semi-finals
2:30pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
STEEPLE Ashton Rangers booked themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Subsidiary Cup, after finishing top of Group D with a game to spare.
A 3-2 win over first division stablemates Prestige Bodyworks means that whatever the outcome of their final match against Kings Arms (All Cannings), Nathan Holloway’s side become the first team to seal a spot in the last four.
Ashton travelled to Buckley Barracks to face Prestige knowing that victory would mean progression in the competition.
Both teams were under strength and with a difficult surface it was credit to the two bare XIs fielded by each manager for putting on a well-competed game of football.
It was hosts that started the brighter and were ahead on 10 minutes, a neat ball through found James Pope who beat the offside trap and he calmly lifted the ball over Nathan Taylor in the Ashton goal to net.
After a sloppy opening 25 minutes Ashton started to get into the match and were level thanks to a set piece, Mike Ritson's in-swinging free kick from the right found Mark Hunt unmarked at the back post and his downward header found its way into the goal.
Ashton started the second half the way they ended the first, on the front foot.
The visitors soon went ahead, strong wing play by Jake Sainsbury down the right resulted in a cross towards the head of Matt Grist, but as went for the ball we was barged in the back, Phil Lewis stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
This seemed to wake up Prestige who were soon back on level terms, Jamie Treweke had space in the midfield and his pinpoint cross found the run of fellow midfielder Alex Pring and he connected with the ball to head past the keeper.
On 70 minutes, Ashton were dealt a blow when Marc Sheppard's toe injury meant they had to end the game with 10 men, but despite the disadvantage they grabbed an unlikely winner with five minutes to go.
Matt Grist picked the ball up on the left and cut inside his man, he spotted the keeper in no mans land and lofted the ball over keeper and retrieving defender to grab Ashton a won the guaranteed qualification with a game to spare.
Group A: Old Road FC 4 FC North Wiltshire 3
OLD Road defeated fourth-division rivals FC North Wiltshire 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller in their Group A encounter.
Old Road would have preferred the victory to have been in the League but the win will at Langley Burrell will give them a new found confidence for the remainder of the campaign as they chase a top two finish.
Road got off to the perfect start with player-manager Andrew Rose giving them the lead which was double before half time by Adam O’Keeffe for whom it was his first goal for the club.
After the break, North Wilts got themselves back on level terms courtesy of two goals from Dan Gilbert his second deflected in off Andy Rose.
A second from O’Keeffe regained the lead for Old Road but they were unable to stay in front as Luke Denham brought North Wilts level for a second time.
Old Road wrapped up the spoils thanks to an unbelievable strike from O’Keeffe which saw him complete his hat-trick, after controlling the ball with his chest the striker sent a stunning volley into the net to put the icing on the cake of his own personal performance and that of his team who saw the game out to claim their 4-3 success.
Group B: AFC Melksham 2 Corsham United 1
TOP-FLIGHT AFC Melksham welcomed Division One high flyers Corsham United to Christie Miller for this Group B encounter game with no more than a win acceptable.
The game started at a frantic pace and with both sides showing passion and commitment would prove to be a close fought contest with some clattering challenges from both teams on an uneven hard surface that would make good crisp passing difficult to achieve.
The home team had three or four close efforts in the first ten minutes before Corsham went ahead with a goal worthy of note when Darrin Moss hit an unstoppable drive past the home keeper Nick Dibden who was helpless as the crowd applauded a cracking opener.
The next 30 minutes saw Melksham push forward down both wings with Josh Robinson and Brett Partner working the excellent Corsham defence.
Keeper Scott Dawdry proved to have safe hands when Sean Fordham, Aaron Wiltshire and Jordan Kirk beat the banks of Corsham players, but were unable to trouble him.
The second half saw Jack Morris running rings through the visitors midfield beating five or six defenders before being stopped in his tracks.
With Dibden a virtual spectator, the home team pressed looking for an equaliser Jordan Kirk scored on 65 minutes with a neat left footed drive from a Partner pass.
Ethan Cox mopped up every pass forward as the visitor's tried to take the pressure of the hard-working defence , with fellow centre back Rich Hudson keeping Joe Pritchard and Moss at bay as Melksham piled forward.
Fordham and Kirk both had goals ruled out for off side before Partner once again set up Kirk for him to shoot home from close range to win the tie.
Both teams put in a hard-working shift and both managers could not have asked more of the players.
With each team in this group having a win a piece it remains all open for a place in the semi final.
Group C: Bug & Spider FC 1 Talbot FC 1
THE second installment of the Calne derby between Premier Division’s Bug & Spider and third division Talbot FC was a far closer run encounter than the previous week's fixture which Bug had won 7-2.
The return match finished with honours even at the fought out a 1-1 draw.
Having been promised a second hammering, Talbot gained the lead in an evenly-matched first period through an Aaron Clegg thunderbolt.
Chances were created at both ends with Bugs Jamie Bartlett marginally the busier of the two keepers.
The second half commenced with the Bug & Spider seeming to be rejuvenated and applying more pressure in the Talbot half, but the resolute defending of their back three and the heroics of deputising keeper Jamie Gale kept the Bug at bay.
As the half wore on Talbot began to to Stretch their hosts at the back but failed to apply the finish which may have secured the game.
With around 10 minutes remaining Bug & Spider succeeded in breaking the Bees' resolve when Aaron Hopkins finally found a way past Gale.
The post was rattled soon after by Mark Dolman but Talbot held out for a deserved draw to make Group C a little more interesting than it may have been had the Bug won the game.
CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE ROUNDUP, STATS AND PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport and @WTSport