PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
ASHFORD TOWN (MDX) 1 UXBRIDGE 2
4 NOVEMBER 2023
IT’S THE LATE, LATE SHOW
Uxbridge have now won more games on the road this season than they managed in the whole of the last campaign. On this occasion it took a stoppage-time strike from substitute Dean Morgan to secure all three points. Following the previous weeks disappointing home defeat to Hanworth Villa, Manager Danny Edwards made seven changes to the starting eleven. Loris Marcimain, Bryan Taylor, Lewis Pegg, Alan Hedley, Kensley Maloney, Bernard Mensah and Alex Paine all coming into the side.
The first chance of the afternoon came the way of the home side in the sixth minute. A throw-in found its way to Jack Arnold inside the penalty area. The young forward lifting his shot over Marciman and fortunately for the Reds, the crossbar. Both sides were finding it difficult to create any worthwhile chances in the wet conditions and it wasn’t until the thirty-sixth minute that Uxbridge came close to opening the scoring. Alex Witham did well down the right and found Paine just inside the box, his side-footed effort was deflected just the wrong side of the post, with Toby Mawer in The Tangerines goal completely wrong footed. From the resultant corner Ashford broke – Ben Holder picked out Qasim Khan at the far-post – but the tall striker failed to get a decent touch and the ball sailed behind for a goal-kick.
With conditions improving in the second half the standard of football on offer also took an upward turn. The Reds took the lead in the fifty sixth minute through George Moore’s twenty-yard strike. His first effort, with his right-foot was blocked, and when the ball rebounded to him, he let fly again – this time with his left-foot and ball found its way into the back of the net via post and goalkeeper. Uxbridge from this point took control of the game and could have added to their tally on several occasions. Moore shot just wide after combining well with Mensah – Taylor stun the finger-tips of Mawer with a powerful drive – Mawer got down well to push away another Moore piledriver. With ten minutes left on the clock Uxbridge made their first change of the afternoon. After he suffered a horrendous facial injury, in a practice match at Chalfont St Peter earlier in the season, it was a delight to see Ryan Haugh back on the pitch in an Uxbridge shirt. Alan Hedley making way. A minute later we almost witnessed a wonder goal from Moore. Spotting Mawer off his line, he hit a first time shot from fully fifteen yards inside his own half, that flew over the stranded keeper, before curling just wide of the upright. Mensah, who was making his start following the injury he picked up against Northwood in September, was replaced by Morgan in the eighty-third minute. Having spent most of the second half as a spectator Marcimains’ next involvement was to pick the ball out of the back of the net. Mawer launched a long ball forward – Khan flicked it on, and Arnold ghosted in-between Haugh and Taylor to score. With the clock ticking just past the ninety-minute mark, Edwards made one last throw of the dice in an attempt to win the game. Ezra Ndukuba coming on for Witham. Two minutes later the tricky wide-man got to the bye-line and fired in a low cross towards the six-yard box - Morgan was alert and slid Infront of his marker to guide the ball home. There’s nothing like a last-minute goal!
On chances and possession, The Reds deserved all three points. However, a one goal lead is always a dangerous one. One lapse of concentration and the ball is in the back of the net. Credit must go to the team for their reaction after conceding a late equaliser and finding a winner in stoppage time. The Reds are on the road again next week when their visit league newcomers Raynes Park Vale. A tough looking task on paper as The Vale are currently occupying second position in the league, having only slipped from the summit due their game falling foul of the weather this weekend.
Uxbridge Line-up: Marciman, Andrew, Taylor, Pegg, Hedley, Cole, Maloney, Paine, Mensah, Moore, Witham. Subs Used: Haugh for Hedley, Morgan for Mensah, Ndukuba for Witham. Not Used: Ogunmekan, Pagliaroli.