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DIVISION THREE REPORT: Staverton maintain lead in title race
3:30pm Monday 27th February 2012 in Sport
STAVERTON maintained their two-point lead at the top of Division Three, but their 3-2 victory away at strugglers The Talbot was lot closer than they would have expected it to be.
Talbot, who had not won in four games, were quickly out of the blocks and took the lead when Steve Wordley netted after in the 13th minute.
Four minutes later Staverton equalised through Jason Povey and were unlucky not to add a second when Cameron Henley's shot rebounded off the Talbot post.
Zack Manna put Staverton ahead on 37 minutes and the visitors should have made it 3-1 5 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty, Aaron Latchem's spot kick smashing into the Talbot crossbar. Staverton increased their lead on 62 minutes when Jason Povey got his second to make it 3-1.
Talbot pulled a goal back five minutes from the end when Steve Wordley got a second which set up a nervy finish.
But the leaders held on to claim the result in a closely fought encounter and two valuable points for keep them in contention to take the Division Three title.
Bremhill View Boys 2 North Star B 1
BREMHILL View Boys put themselves clear of the relegation dogfight for the time being, thanks to their 2-1 win over local rivals North Star B who are another team slogging it out at the wrong end of the table.
Liam Jones gave Bremhill a half-time lead which they doubled when Rob Lymath put through his own net and although Dan Allison gave them a glimmer of hope at 2-1, Star couldn’t fashion an equaliser despite going close on a couple of occasions.
Christian Malford 2 Pig & Whistle United 2
PIG & Whistle United may not have got the victory they so longed for at Christian Malford, but their 2-2 draw keeps them in the division for another week at least.
They will feel that they missed out on the chance of maximum points and an important win as Malford finished the game with 10 men due to injury.
Again struggling to field 11 players, Malford were soon on the back foot in the early stages and it was no surprise when Pig & Whistle took the lead after six minutes.
Wayne Bailey chased a long clearance from defence outran the defenders before beating the keeper low inside the right hand post to give Pig & Whistle a 1-0 lead.
Malford gradually came back into the game and nearly equalised when Ben Head headed over the crossbar from a Peter Angell cross.
Ben Head did equalise for Malford in the 12th minute when he unleashed a powerful strike from fully 35 yards that beat Pig & Whistle keeper Steven Sims over his head and under the crossbar.
Pig & Whistle should have regained the lead when Wayne Bailey again beat the defence, but Malford keeper Paul Knight saved well at his feet as he tried to go round the keeper.
Pig & Whistle gradually began to get on top again and were rewarded after 37 minutes when Max Crossley ran down the left beating a clutch of defenders before hitting a low shot into the net to give them a 2-1 lead.
Malford should have equalised minutes later when after making a good save the Pig & Whistle keeper collided with one of his defenders, but Malford could only head the ball against the post.
On the stroke of half time Pig & Whistle's Wayne Bailey hit the crossbar with a fine effort. The second half opened with both teams struggling to find a final ball despite some neat play in the middle of the park.
After 70 minutes Malford went down to 10 men when defender Martyn Mackie had to leave the game with a recurrence of an injury that had kept him out for a month.
This initially encouraged Pig & Whistle but Malford’s rearranged defence held firm.
In the 75th minute Malford were awarded a free kick outside the penalty area on the left.
Ben Head’s free kick hit the defenders but cannoned across the field to Declan Flood who hit the ball on the volley straight past everyone and into the net to bring Malford level at 2-2.
Pig & Whistle threw players forward to try to take advantage of their man advantage but the nearest they came was a Mark Bridger shot that was just wide of the left hand post.
There were no further chances as both teams shared the points with a 2-2 draw in a game that was well refereed by Ben Williamson.
Corsham Park Rangers 0 Kings Arms (All Cannings) 2
KINGS Arms (All Cannings) took their unbeaten run to seven games thanks to their 2-0 win at fellow promotions hopefuls Corsham Park Rangers, who were dealt a cruel blow when they had top scorer Matthew Spear carried off following a heavy challenge.
This was after Kings Arms recent signing Luke Chant had given his team the lead on nine minutes.
Dave Smith was fouled by Adam Davey who was shown a second yellow card of the game for the challenge which in turn led to his dismissal.
With Corsham Park chasing the game in the second half they were caught out at the back which allowed Andy Hunt to break clear and add the second and decisive goal for Kings Arms.
Goatacre CC FC 3 GRFC 3
IT WAS a case of deja-vu for Goatacre CC and GRFC who, after sharing the points from a thrilling 3-3 draw earlier in the season, fought out another 3-3 stalemate.
Joe Tillyer saw his opener for Goatacre cancelled out by Rob Jefferies who headed GRFC level before Ed Wilkins regained the lead for Goatacre when he scored from the penalty spot.
A second from Wilkins gave his team a 3-1 half-time lead and into what looked to be a comfortable position.
GRFC’s talisman striker Robbie Burton got his team level on 49 minutes and, 15 minutes from time, Tom Salter earned GRFC their point when he scored an incredible free kick from 45 yards out.
Both teams had chances to win the match Matt Lang missing a sitter for GRFC when it looked easier to score.
White Horse FC 1 Somerford FC 2
THE game that had received top billing in the Division Three preview didn’t disappoint as second placed Somerford faced an in-form White Horse FC, who before the game sat just a place and three points below their guests.
The two teams produced a thriller that wasn’t settled until the 93rd minute, when the villagers pinched a 2-1 victory, making the long trip home a pleasant one and keeping their hopes of winning the division alive.
The away side started the brighter and looked the busier, but a well-organised White Horse defence reduced clear-cut chances to a minimum.
It wasn’t until the 20 minute mark that they really tested stand-in keeper Paul Whale.
Unfortunately for veteran Whale the chance fell to the ever-reliable Chris Yeo, following good work down the left by Scott Hatton, and Somerford’s top scorer made no mistake, sending his left foot shot into the back of net.
With their tails up Somerford continued to dominate the first half, but they failed to make their dominance count and went in at the break with just the solitary goal to their name.
Having made early second-half substitutions the hosts found the momentum of the game shifting in their favour and they started to ask more and more of the Somerford back line.
Having been pushed further forward it was Craig Hatton-Pocklington that got his side back on level terms, finishing neatly from close range after clever play from Chris Stiles.
With 20 minutes still remaining the home side felt they had gained the upper hand and, despite Will Robins going inches wide for the visitors with a cross come shot, they started to create the clearest chances of the game.
Tom Crawford saw a 30-yard effort sail narrowly over and Hatton-Pocklington was denied twice by the impressive Dan Quinsey in the Somerford goal.
With just seconds remaining however White Horse hearts were broken as the ever-lively Ashley Monaghan picked out substitute Gavin Klukowski, whose looping header nestled in the back of the net to pinch the points in the most dramatic fashion.
The result means Somerford become odds-on favourites for automatic promotion and will give them great self-belief in the quest for top spot.
For White Horse it ends an undefeated run that dated back to the end of November and puts to bed any remote hopes they had of a top two finish.
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