OXFORDSHIRE SENIOR LEAGUE – PRESIDENTS CUP [SEMI FINAL]
BICESTER HALLIONS 3 v EASINGTON SPORTS CLAN 2
For the last home fixture this season the Hallions entertained Easington Sports Clan in the semi-final of the Presidents Cup.
The game started with both teams totally committed with a final place at stake, but it was the visitors who conjured up the first opportunity in the early stages with an effort from Daniel Reeves easily saved by Hallions keeper Reece Green.
The Hallions soon responded with a Ryan Brooks drive being deflected wide of its target via Easington defender Ben Milner.
As the half progressed Easington seemed to have marginally more possession, without really creating any worthwhile openings.
In the 35th minute, slightly against the run of play Hallions Liam Godin produced a great surge forward and his fierce drive saw keeper Jason Clark pull off a fine save.
As the Hallions moved up a gear a tremendous overhead kick from Wayne Blossom in the 39th minute crashed against the visitor’s crossbar before it was cleared up field.
Then in the 43rd minute a superb ball from Wayne Blossom split the Easington defence apart to send Ryan Brooks in on goal, keeper Clark brilliantly parried his first effort, but Brooksy rifled in the rebound to give the Hallions the lead.
In added time the Hallions looked to increase their advantage, but a clear penalty was denied, then keeper Clark produced another wonder save to stop a Lewis Bland header.
However right on half time a Jamie Mundy cross was headed back across the Easington penalty area by Dan Bone and there was Dan Fraser crashing home, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The early action of the second half was rather scrappy with Hallions content to hold Easington at arm’s length.
Things changed in the 60th minute when Easington were awarded a penalty, however Andrew Stidder’s effort was brilliantly saved by Reece Green for a corner kick.
However, the home joy was short lived when from the corner Andrew Stidder scored with the home defences offside plea being overlooked.
With their tails up and the Hallions on the end of some strange decisions it was no real surprise when in the 73rd minute Easington equalised through Daniel Reeves from the penalty spot.
Within a minute Liam Godin hit the Easington upright as the Hallions looked to regain the initiative.
Then in the 80th minute Ryan Brooks broke through on goal and was clearly pushed over by an Easington defender, but amazingly penalty appeals were ignored.
However, justice was done when minutes later a great diving header from Dan Bone put the Hallions back in charge.
Things took another turn as the Hallions saw the team reduced to ten men [sin bin] and then nine men [another sin bin !!!].
The Hallions saw out the rest of the game including the added time to secure a place in the Presidents Cup on Saturday 14th May.
Officials: Justine Sercombe [Referee]. James Beil [Asst]. Nathan Fuller [Asst].
MOM: Dan Bone
Hallions Team: Reece Green. Wayne Blossom. Lewis Bland. Tai Thomas. Dan Bone.
Chris Schooling. Jamie Mundy [Capt.]. Dan Fraser. Sam Graham. Liam Godin. Ryan Brooks.
Subs Played: Dan Smith.
Scorers: Ryan Brooks. Dan Fraser. Dan Bone
Easington Sports Clan Team: Jason Clark. Terry Fitton.Ben Milner. Lewis Fowler. Matthew Knight.
Charlie Blee. Daniel Reeves. Archie Cunnold-Payne.Andrew Stidder.Tserling Sherpa-Moore.Ollie Rose.
Scorers: Andrew Stidder. Daniel Reeves.