North Berks Football League Roundup - 10th March 2018
Richard Underwood, NBFL Media Relations Officer

Saxton reach final after dramatic penalty shootout

Saxton Rovers reached the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy after they won 6-5 in a dramatic penalty shootout against Spartan South Midlands Division One side Winslow United at a windy Caldecott Road in front of around 200 supporters. Saxton playing into the wind in the first half struggled to get a foot in the game and it was Winslow who created the early chances and they rattled the Saxton crossbar after five minutes following a fine header from Ryan Freshwater. Then moments later Winslow’s Dan Parsons found himself in space in the box after a fine through ball from Tom Brindley but he could only see shot rebound off the post and out to safety. Then Saxton had keeper Jack Absolom to thank after saving low down after Winslow’s Sean Coles was put through on goal which then followed with both sides being reduced to ten men following a after ball incident that resulted in both Tom Booker and Harry Dalton seeing red. Saxton created their first real chance after twenty five minutes when Dan Parry found Frank Haines in space but his shot from just inside the box went straight at the keeper. Both sides then had half chances until just before half time Winslow’s Brindley got on the end of an Aaron King pin point cross but only could direct his header wide when in a great position. Saxton then had a chance of their own when good work between Tom Stanley and Dan Parry saw Stanley creating a snap shot from an acute angle which was saved low down by Winslow keeper Rob Wright. Then just on the half time whistle Winslow should of taken the lead when Lydon Szabo attempted to head the ball back to his keeper but this was intercepted by Parson’s who ran beat the out coming Absolom and took a touch but fired horribly wide and over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Then in added time in the first half Winslow took a deserved lead when Brindley latched onto a fine through ball from King and he took a touch and fired the ball past Aboslom from ten yards to the away supporters delight. The second period started and neither side created any chance to note in the first fifteen minutes with both sides finding it difficult to control the ball in the windy conditions. Winslow’s King then had a snapshot from just inside the box which whistled over the bar and Saxton’s Louis Bloomfield saw his free kick from just outside the box hitting the wall. Then with twenty minutes left the game came alive when Saxton were awarded a free kick from just outside the box and Dan Parry stepped up and fired an unstoppable shot into the far top corner and out the reach of the outstretched hand of Wright.Saxton were now in full swing which then saw two chances to take the lead with first after a fine run from Stanley and his lay off found Bloomfield who fired just inches over the bar from twenty yards which quickly followed with substitute Ollie Nadin being put through one on one but he could only see his shot saved by the on rushing keeper Wright. Winslow then had a fine chance to take the lead minutes later when King found space in the box but only could fire over from ten yards out when unchallenged which quickly followed with Saxton’s George Miles making a great last ditch challenge to stop a near certain goal just as Parson’s was about to pull the trigger. Saxton then created a string of corners which Winslow’s defence held firm which left the last chance to Saxton which saw Bloomfield firing again just over as both sides now looked towards a penalty shootout to decide the winner. In a tense shoot out which saw some penalty’s saved and missed Saxton’s Dan Parry then had the chance to clinch victory but he could only fire wide which then saw each penalty scored until it went to sudden death. With Saxton Rovers leading 6-5 up stepped Dan Parson who had missed a sitter early on in the game and with the home fans jeering as he walked towards the ball he fired his shot hard and low to the left which was somehow kept out by keeper Absolom taking two attempts to stop the ball crossing the line with his outstretched hand.Saxton fans ran onto the pitch in jubilant mood to celebrate victory in a game which was played hard but in good spirit from two very good sides with Saxton now going on to meet Marlow United in the final.

North Berks Charity Shield Semi Final
Westminster reached the final of the Charity Shield when they beat Division Two Kintbury Rangers Reserves 3-1 at the Stanford football ground with Westminster scoring through Mike Hooton, Tom Srawley and Andy Younie whilst Kintbury replied through Luke Connor. Westminster will now meet either Saxton Rovers or Berinsfield in the final.

North Berks Cup Quarter Final
Holders Berinsfield took another step forward to regaining the trophy when they overcame Division Two Ardington 2-1 thanks to gaols from Max Palmer and Zach Gallagher whilst Ardington replied through Tom Eatwell and Berinsfield now go on to meet Long Wittenham in the semi final.

North Berks League Cup Semi Final
Berinsfield Reserves reached the final of the North Berks League Cup when they were taken right to the wire against Hagbourne Reserves with eventually winning on penalty kicks after the sides were locked 2-2 after extra time. Dom Lovegrove scored both goals for Hagbourne Reserves as Berinsfield now go on to meet either Cumnor Minors U21 or Watlington Reserves in the final.

Division One
East Hendred move to the top of Division One when they beat North Oxford 4-2 at Mill Lane thanks to two goals from Tom Austin with further goals coming from Chris Brind and Mark Brind whilst North Oxford relied through two goals from Charles Appiah.Lambourn Sports continued their fine of run of form when they beat bottom of the table Steventon 4-0 Rob Curtis, Jason Tatum, Jonathan Peachey-Score and Luke Plumb with the Steventon keeper making a string of fine saves to keep the score respectable. Long Wittenham made short work of their afternoon posting a fine 6-1 victory over Hanney United thanks to two goals from Sam Borland with Arran Colley,Kieran Cooper, Andy Taylor and Joe Cheong all finding the target whilst James Bishop replied for the visitors.

Division Two
In the only game played in Division Two Blewbury went top of the league after a posting a fine 4-0 victory over Sutton Courtenay with Bryn Ingram scoring twice and Boyan Thorpe and Arran Gray also hitting the target.

Division Three
Tom Graham hit a four timer as Marcham produced a fine 6-1 victory over Wallingford Town A with further goals coming from Kyle Dann and Dan Barnes whilst Wallingford replied through Cedric Nkouh.Letcombe Reserves made it three wins in a row when they beat Cholsey United 3-0 with Charlie Knight scoring early on and Iggy Illott adding a second midway through the second half with Ben Hummel completed the scoring just before the whistle. Drayton and Lambourn Sports Reserves played out a 1-1 draw at the Drayton Recreation Ground with the home side scoring through leading scorer Josh Dennis whist Lambourn replied through Dan Glozier.

Division Four
Cumnor Minors U21 took a further step forward to clinching the title when they posted a 3-0 victory over Faringdon Town A with goals from Levi Webb, Josh Rough and Will Jones.Hanney 66 Club won a nine goal thriller against Appleford in a 5-4 victory at the Hanney Memorial Ground whilst Marcham Reserves kept their promotion hopes alive with a fine 4-1 victory over Steventon Reserves thanks to two goals from Jamie Salter with Chris Shahab and Leighton Jackson also finding the target whilst Phil Barton scored for the visitors.

Roll of Honour
Saxton Rovers reach the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy
Berinsfield Reserves reach the final of the North Berks League Cup Final
East Hendred go top of Division One
Blewbury go top of Division Two
Tom Graham hits a four timer for Marcham.