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CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE DIVISION TWO: Huge win for Staverton at White Horse
3:30pm Monday 18th February 2013 in Sport
THE division’s two highest scoring teams, White Horse and leaders Staverton, met at a cold but sunny Leighton Sports Centre and once again another pulsating encounter unfolded, with both adding further goals to their respective tallies.
With the previous four games between the sides producing two wins apiece it was expected to be a rollercoaster ride and for 73 minutes it was exactly that, before the visitors finally clinched the vital two points, running out 6-3 winners that saw them open up a two-point lead at the top of the table.
Neither keeper had been called into action for 12 minutes as the sides probed anxiously without creating anything of substance.
In fact it turned out that Staverton keeper Wayne Gerrish’s first significant action was to pick the ball out of his net, as Chris Stiles bundled home at the far post from a Dave Appleyard corner, for his 20th goal of the season and to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Even having gone a goal behind a nervy and untypically sloppy Staverton failed to find their feet until the midway point in the first half, when Josh Ferguson started to find more room and began to pull the strings in midfield.
With the away side having taken control in the middle of the park, chances started to come. Jason Povey should have done better when he reacted quickest to Rich Hunt’s save from Levi Woods’ freekick, only to prod wide.
But in the 24th minute the striker made amends, controlling well from a long cross-field pass, cutting inside and finding the net to level things up.
It was only six minutes until the Westbury side restored their lead however, when Appleyard again crossed for Stiles, who sent a trademark bullet header past a helpless Gerrish to double his tally for the day.
The scoreline may have favoured the home side, but it was the visitors that were now asking all the questions.
Just a minute after falling behind for the second time in the morning, Zak Manna caused confusion amongst the Horse’s defensive ranks, but fluffed his lob with Hunt well off his line.
Chances were now coming thick and fast though and in the 32nd minute parity was restored when Woods’ effort from the edge of the penalty area wrong footed Hunt and nestled in the top corner.
With their tails up the villagers were gifted the lead for the first time, as the normally reliable Danny Clarkson misplaced a pass out from the back.
Povey was the grateful recipient and, after his initial effort was stopped by Hunt, he then unselfishly crossed the rebound allowing Manna to tap into a vacant net from a yard out.
With five minutes remaining in the half Dale Rowland thought he had again leveled the scores only for his curling effort to come back off the crossbar.
It was to prove to be a crucial moment in the game, as two minutes later a Darren Clarkson slip allowed Woods to race through and fire past Hunt, for his second and to send his side in 4-2 up at the break.
The second period started where the first had finished and Staverton should have added to their lead. Manna got on the end of a Povey free kick seven minutes in, only to send his header tamely wide and then Sam Clarke sent a free-header over the bar from a Manna cross.
Povey was the third guilty party when, having been sent clean through, he lifted the ball over Hunt only for his shot to clip the top of the crossbar.
With just under 20 minutes remaining Staverton would have been forgiven for wondering if they would end up regretting those earlier missed opportunities, as Stiles was felled in the box and Pete Ayton sent Gerrish the wrong way from the resulting spot kick, to reduce the arrears.
Any hopes the Horse had of forcing a nail-biting finale and salvaging something from the game were short lived though, as Woods claimed his hat-trick just three minutes later, benefitting from further uncertainty in the home side’s backline.
When Stiles was forced off through injury with twelve minutes remaining, and all substitutes were already deployed, Horse’s hopes and greatest threat went with him.
It was left to Ferguson to complete proceedings deep in injury time when he found himself on the end of a Povey pass as Staverton broke quickly from a White Horse corner.
The result puts Aaron Latchem’s side firmly in the Division Two driving seat, whilst for White Horse its down to earth with a bump as their proud undefeated home run finally comes to an end, nine days short of a calendar year.
Goatacre CC FC 0 Somerford FC 7
GOATACRE CC FC who started the day on level points with Staverton saw their title hopes suffer a setback when they were beaten 7-0 by Somerford.
Goatacre went in the game on the back of seven straight wins and having already beaten Spike Chandler’s side 3-0 this term they would have expected another two points to keep up the pressure on the leaders, it wasn’t to be as the visitors to Combe Lane tore up the formbook to claim a stunning win.
Matt Holdaway started the ball rolling for Somerford and two Ashley Monaghan goals put them 3-0 up at the break.
A first goal of the season from John Rawlings made it 4-0.
Will Stone made certain their was no way back for Goatacre with his teams fifth of the morning, a second from Holdaway took it to 6-0 and to put the icing on the cake Somerford added a seventh through Lee Hernandez.
GRFC 7 Wren FC 2
TAM Laidlaw’s GRFC completed a double over basement side Wren FC, after beating them 9-0 earlier in the season GRFC strolled to another victory, taking the spoils this time thanks to a 7-2 success.
With their keeper Dan Hibberd over sleeping, GRFC started with Sam Myles in goal and found themselves one-down, Ben Buckley putting the Wren in front.
Following the arrival of Hibberd, Myles returned to his midfield roll and got his team back on level terms. Robbie Burton put GRFC ahead and a first goal of the club from captain of the day Dan Bendall made it 3-0 before the hosts added a fourth, Burton scoring from the penalty spot following a foul on Sam Myles.
The second half began with GRFC on the front foot and a second from Myles made it 5-1, a second penalty of the game from Burton saw him score his third of the morning and GRFC’s sixth, before Mike McKeller bagged a second for the Wren.
Robbie Burton capped a brilliant individual performance when he produced a stunning volley to claim his fourth of the game and wrap a deserved win for the Chippenham based side.
Southwick Wanderers 7 Miller Sports 4
SOUTHWICK Wanderers built on last week's 5-2 win over basement side Wren with a 7-4 victory against a Miller Sports side who remain involved in relegation dogfight.
Miller who won the reverse clash 2-0 back in September fell behind on 15 minutes with Craig Sheppard putting Southwick one up via a fantastic 20 yard volley.
Paul Walker got Miller back on level terms five minutes later and Scott Boyd put the visitors to Trowbridge Cricket Club 2-1 ahead before Paul Gittins beast Miller’s offside trap to score his first of the morning to get Southwick on level terms.
Jack Parker played in Reuben Spong who put Southwick 3-2 up and another assist from Parker saw him set up Gittins for his second of the game making 4-2 at the break.
Southwick added number five not long after the restart, Parker following up a Spong shot for 5-2.
Nick Groves reduced the deficit for Miller but their comeback was short lived as Gittins round the keeper to net his third and Southwick’s sixth of the game.
Groves grabbed a second for the Miller Boys but his efforts were in vain as Gittins completed a man of the match performance when he scored his fourth of the contest to wrap un Southwick’s impressive 7-4 win.
Sutton Benger 2 Chippenham West End 4
CHIPPENHAM West End edged themselves closer to the promotion fight with a 4-2 victory at Sutton Benger and with other results going their way Leighton Joyce’s side are very much in the battle for a top two finish, especially as they have as many as five games in hand on the teams above the min the table.
West End scored early on through a stunning 25 yarder from Scott Nash. Benger fought back and restored parity before the break as they replied with a bullet strike into the top corner from Chris Miles.
Benger started slowly in the second half and were made to pay by conceding a scrappy goal with David Byatt tapping in to put West End 2-1 ahead.
Benger thought they had drawn level when a Tom Bond effort appeared to have crossed the line but with keeper Ciaren Lyon keeping it out, West End broke away and scored a third with Nash slotting home his second.
This was quickly followed by a third from Nash who went one-on-one with the Benger keeper to complete a well taken treble.
Benger pulled a goal back through Matt White and had chances to add to their tally but couldn't score again as West End held out to claim a valuable two points.
CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE ROUNDUP, STATS AND PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport and @WTSport
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