Bicester grind out win to maintain unbeaten start
3-1 win for Bicester Men 1s away at Newbury and Thatcham
Newbury and Thatcham 2s 1 - 3 Bicester (James Webb, Jonny Reid, Ben Kirk)
Bicester maintained their perfect start to the season with a solid victory away to early table-toppers Newbury and Thatcham on Saturday. In a tight game, full of chances but lacking in finishing ability, it was a ten minute spell in the second half which won it for Bicester.
The first half saw Bicester go close numerous times without being able to score or win any short-corners to apply much pressure. Newbury on the other hand had the majority of possession and numerous short corners which Nathan Elliott and his defence managed to manage perfectly. Thus, both teams managed to keep it to 0-0 at half-time, with the first goal in the second half seen as key.
Bicester managed to get the opening goal following some outstanding work from the pacey Adam Drewitt led to James Webb being able to slide in the D and slap the ball into the goal to give Bicester the lead. Drewitt managed to quickly set up the second goal as well as another mazey run ended with him releasing Jonny Reid on the edge of the D, who was able to finish with aplomb into the top corner of the goal from an acute angle. With Bicester in the lead, but not in the ascendancy in terms of possession, Newbury continued to press well and won numerous short corners. Their perseverance was soon rewarded with a well taken goal to half the deficit.
The Bicester defence managed to hold firm for the rest of the game however, marshalled brilliantly by Andy Brown and ably supported by the dependable Stuart Lock and Stuart Goodacre. The away team then managed to wrap up the game after Lock won a short corner which Benjamin Kirk managed to put away with a solid flick that found its way to the backboard. This was a fine reward for Kirk's endless running and determined play alongside Jordan Chester in the middle of the pitch.
This game was notable for the full debut of young Ollie Hartley alongside his brother Will. Will has been outstanding this season up front and Ollie began his first-team experience with a solid first game with hopefully many lessons learnt. He was unlucky not to open his goalscoring account after some fine work from Jeffrey Elliott and Benjamin Kirk released him the D and he was only prevented from a fine save from the opposition goalkeeper.
Bicester now look forward to welcoming South Berkshire 2s next week to The Cooper School as they look to continue their unbeaten run.
Man of the Match: James Webb
Dick of the Day: Jonny Reid. Incorrect postcode...
Match teas rating: (Where 10 = Eastcote) 9/10 - Delicious homemade chilli and tortillas. Donuts for sale too!
Facilities rating: 6/10 - Solid showers. Sandy pitch. Nice clubhouse.
Fines table rating: 4/10 - A very 'dead' table not adding to the entertainment factor.