Match Report – 18th September 2021 Cropredy v Bicester Hallions

The Hallions first away fixture of the current campaign took them to Cropredy with at least six regulars missing.
However, the old saying of ‘The show must go on’ was clearly evident on this occasion.
With the prudent use of WD40 and other available medical aids saw the Hallions muster a team which was more than ready to do battle for those vital league points.
The early pressure came from the Hallions with Wayne Blossom soaring above the home defence, only to see his effort fly inches over the crossbar.
As the game settled the Hallions with the energetic Keelan Cronin causing Cropredy immense problems things looked very promising, especially on the counterattack.
As the half progressed neither team seemed in complete control with both defences rarely troubled.
Then in the 28th minute a quick break by Cropredy saw Aaron Dineen firing poorly wide when well placed.
Back came the Hallions to immediately gain a corner which was expertly taken by Stu Bridges, finding the head of Wayne Blossom who in turn fed Michael Hicks, whose effort went marginally wide of its intended target.
In the 34th minute from another Stu Bridges corner, Wayne Blossom saw his goal bound header deflected for another corner, which came to nothing.
As the half reached its conclusion a timely interception from Carl Ellis prevented Aaron Dineen from scoring as he powered in on the visitor’s goal.
HT 0 – 0
Cropredy started the second half in the ascendancy with Alfie Jarvis and Daniel Bartlett wasting good opportunities.
As the pressure mounted a deflected long-range strike in the 57th minute from Jack Welch brought a smart save from Hallions keeper Reece Green. This was followed by a brilliant acrobatic save from Tony Truman.
However gradually the Hallions weathered the storm and began to take control of the proceedings.
In the 65th minute Striker Keelan Cronin raced into the penalty area only to be aggressively halted by the Cropredy defence, but any penalty claims were quickly dismissed by the official.
Regretfully the tackle ended Keelan’s participation for the day.
In the 70th minute Dan Smith fired inches wide with the home keeper James Cutts stranded.
Back came the home side with Dineen being allowed to play despite a clear foul on Hallions defender Carl Ellis, luckily justice prevailed as his well struck effort hit the crossbar, before being cleared to safety.
Disaster stuck in the 80th minute as the Hallions were reduced to ten men following a red card dismissal.
Surprising the Hallions did not wilt and in the dying moments a great effort from a Stu Bridges free kick looked destine for the net until the home keeper James Cutts pulled off a remarkable save to divert the ball onto the crossbar. Unbelievably the poor keeper was not allowed the glory as a goal kick was awarded.
There was still time for more action as the Hallions were then reduced to nine men via the sin bin, but justice was done as the final whistle sounded with the Hallions gain a valuable draw.
FT 0 – 0
Official: Graham Norris
MOM: Carl Ellis
Hallions Team: Reece Green. Callum Tighe. Wayne Blossom. Carl Ellis. Chris Schooling.
Sam Graham. Michael Hicks.Stuart Bridges [Capt.]. Liam Godin. Keelan Cronin. Dan Smith.
Subs Played – Lewis Bland
Cropredy Team: James Cutts. Sam Wheatley. Tony Truman. Daniel Bartlett. Ismael Liverpool. Alexander Morrish.
Robbie Brown. Alfie Jarvis. Tom Rivers. Jack Welch [Capt.]. Aaron Dineen
Subs Played: Harry Dunham

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