Having played four games since the last post, we unfortunately have lost all of them, giving a slightly different perspective on the season so far.
After beating Witney Vikings, our next league game was away at Freeland and despite taking an early lead through Joe’s penalty, Freeland scored twice late on in the first half to turn round with their noses in front. We conceded a third early in the second half and despite rallying well and playing some of our best football we couldn’t find a way back into the game and Freeland added a fourth late on to seal the win.
We had a desperately unlucky 1-0 defeat at Hook Norton where, despite dominating the second half in particular we could not find that little bit of composure (or luck) in front of goal to get the equaliser we deserved.
The first league game of 2019 saw us host Kingston Colts and we were hampered by the absence of AJ in goal and Max’s injury meaning Oli once again went between the sticks and once again made some fabulous saves. Kingston took the lead with a accurately placed long shot midway through the first half whilst at the other end Archie Hawley’s close range header was well saved by the Kingston keeper. The game turned early in the second half when (another) inexplicable penalty decision went against us and the Kingston striker was fortunate to see the resulting spot kick go in off the post. We continued to play well and work hard, but again found the well marshalled Kingston defence difficult to break down. An excellent finish (again in off the post) saw Kingston go 3-0 up and they added a fourth with virtually the last kick of the game to record a somewhat flattering 4-0 win.
In the County cup quarter final we travelled to Bardwell to play on their 3G pitch. Against a good team it was hard for us to get used to the different surface that seemed to slow short passes up while firmer balls zipped off the surface and seemed to gain speed! We held our own for 20 minutes before Bardwell scored through a well worked goal and they added a second just before halftime. We continued to work hard and every player gave their all, but against a big, strong side we conceded three more second half goals. Late on Archie Hawley’s persistence was rewarded as he battled his way through to slot past the keeper for a consolation goal.
Despite the results, the team performances have continued to be good and a combination of really good finishing from our opponents, some bad luck and a couple of key decisions going against us has meant we have lost games that on another day we would have drawn or won. The effort and application from all the players has still been first class so hopefully the results will start to match the performances in the second half of the season.