OXFORDSHIRE SENIOR LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION
SOUTHAM UNITED 1 V BICESTER HALLIONS 1
It was billed as the big one, a battle of two of the premier division’s highflyers.
A must win game for Southam, or another step on the championship ladder for the Hallions.
The Hallions arrived at Southam with a near full strength squad, with only one player failing to put in an appearance.
With nothing to lose it came as no surprise as the home team started on the front foot.
As early as the 6th minute the lanky Adam Neale headed narrowly wide of the target from close range.
In the 10th minute Hallions keeper Reece Green was then called on to produce a great save deny Kieran Brady.
After weathering the early pressure, the Hallions countered with Ryan Brooks cleverly holding off the challenge of home defender Ashley Knights to find Piers McGlynn on the edge of the penalty area,
one pace forward and bang, the ball flew past a stranded Southam keeper Lewis Hudson to give the Hallions the lead.
Minutes later and a bad defensive nearly allowed the Hallions to increase their advantage, but the opportunity went begging.
Then in the 22nd minute following a goalmouth scramble Adam Neale netted from close range to equalise for the home side.
With Southam using route one tactics with long throw specialist Ryan Harris firing in a constant stream of missiles the home team seemed to gain the upper hand.
In the 28th minute another of these missiles found Kieran Brady but the opportunity was wasted as the ball clipped the crossbar.
As the half progressed both teams were showing a great appetite for the game, although the half came to its conclusions with no further score.
The second started with the Hallions on the attack and only a tremendous save from Hudson then quickly followed by a goaline clearance by Harris denied Ryan Brooks.
Back came Southam with Adam Neale clipping the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Then in the 70th minute only great last gasp tackle by the alert Sam Dunn stopped Ryan Brooks as he homed in on the Southam goal.
In the 83rd minute Hallions keeper Reece Green pulled off one of his trademark amazing saves to keep out an Adam Neale effort at full stretch.
Right at the death [96th minute] Jay Lawes thought he had broken through the Hallions ranks, but he was clearly offside, and the goal was correctly disallowed.
The final whistle echoed around the Bobby Hancock’s Park with the Hallions still unbeaten and getting closer to that league title.
Official: David Burns
MOM: Wayne Blossom
Southam Utd Team: Lewis Hudson. Sam Dunn. Alfie Speed. Adam Neale. Ryan Harris. Ricky Barby.
Simon Barby [Capt.] Patrick O’Brien. Shane Osbourne. Kieran Brady. Jay Lawes.
Subs Played: Ashley Knights. Wendel Moyo.Daniel Long.
Scorer: Adam Neale
Hallions Team: Reece Green. Wayne Blossom. Chris Schooling. Tai Thomas. Stuart Bridges [Capt.]
Piers McGlynn. Jamie Mundy. Ryan Brooks. Liam Godin. Callum Tighe. Dan Bone.
Scorer: Piers McGlynn