PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
SATURDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2023
ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDLESEX) 4 UXBRIDGE 3
Uxbridge’s Jekyll & Hyde season continued with this defeat at lowly Ashford Town (Middlesex) on Saturday. Two former Reds players, with 590 appearances between them, are at the helm of the Tangerines. The two Pauls, McCarthy and Mills certainly weren’t in a charitable mood and their celebrations at the final whistle showed how much they enjoyed getting one over their old club. The Reds made one change from the side that had defeated Chertsey Town the previous Saturday, Alan Hedley was unavailable and his place in the starting line-up was taken by Alex Witham.
As starts go, this was pretty much perfect from the men wearing blue. Mark Bitmead’s 2nd minute corner, was met by the forehead of the on-rushing Luke Paris and before Fred Chapman in the Ashford goal had time to react, the ball was nestled in the back of the net. The home side were soon on the attack and Thomasz Siemienczuk went close with a lob which was just wide of the target. The playing surface was showing signs of wear, remember Southall ground share the Robert Parker Stadium with the Tangerines, which made free flowing football difficult for both sides. After finding himself unmarked seven yards out, Andy O’Brien will be wondering how he headed Bitmead’s free kick wide of the mark in the 12th minute, and this miss proved to be costly as the home side capitalised on some indifferent defending to race into the lead. O’Brien in attempting to clear, struck the ball against Callum Woodcock and it flew past Tyler Tobin into the bottom corner. Straight from the restart Woodcock under hit a back-pass and Ricky Johnson pounced. His pass found Wayne Ridgley who in turn fed Siemienczuk and the striker had the simple task of tapping the ball into the empty net. Uxbridge had two excellent chances, either side of half-time, too get back on level terms. In the 43rd minute Eitel Goueth fired over after being put through by Jordan Ireland’s pass and five minutes into the second period substitute Dan Williams side-footed wide of an empty net, following a break from Anthony Mendy. The Reds finally equalised on the hour mark through Witham. Paris challenged Chapman for Bitmead’s free kick and the ball fell nicely for him to tap home from close range. However, the status quo only lasted for three minutes. A cross to the far-post was headed back across goal by Javin Dougan and former Red’s midfielder Prince Mbengui just beat Tobin to the ball and was tripped by the Uxbridge keeper.
Tobin atoned for his error by saving Mbengui’s spot-kick, but Ridgley found the bottom corner from the rebound. Uxbridge showed great character and once again drew level nine minutes from time. Paris broke down the left and found the feet of Mendy. The striker’s cross-field pass was played perfectly into the path of Victor Osobu, who took aim and let fly with a powerful shot. Chapman could only deflect the shot and Khalid Simmo was on hand to force the ball over the line. Sensing that the three points were up for grabs the Reds pressed forward looking for a winner. Unfortunately, they failed to keep it tight at the back and Lindell Stewart was on hand to run onto Chad Goulter’s through ball and unchallenged he curled his shot into the far corner past Tobin. Full-Time 3-4.
A day to forget for the Reds at both ends of the pitch. Defensive errors and missed chances frequently mean defeat rather than victory and with the games coming thick and fast a quick bounce back will be the order of the day. COYR….
Uxbridge Line-Up. Tobin, Woodcock, Ireland, Paris, O’Brien, Jackson, Maloney, Witham, Bitmead, Mendy, Goueth. Subs Used: Osobu for Ireland, Williams for Maloney, Simmo for Bitmead. Not Used: Jarra.