PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
UXBRIDGE 3 BADSHOT LEA 0
18 NOVEMBER 2023
Moore, Moore, Moore, how do you like it!?
With a goal and two assists, George Moore claimed the Man-Of-The-Match award against the in-form team of the Pitching In Isthmian League South Central Division. Badshot Lea arrived at Honeycroft boasting a thirteen-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Their only blemish during these thirteen games was a penalty shoot-out defeat against Redbridge in the FA Trophy at the beginning of October. Seven wins and a draw in their last eight league matches had propelled them into the top half of the table after a poor start to the season. Uxbridge on the other hand have struggled to find consistency after a good start to the campaign and were still looking for a first victory on their new 3G pitch.
The first forty-five minutes can only be described as uneventful! Both sides cancelling each other out with more passes across the back-four than England and Malta served up the previous evening. Former Red, Anuar Ceesay had the best chance of the half, sprinting clear as the home side appealed in vain for offside. Andrew McCorkell stood tall, and the Baggies forward passed his shot wide of the post. On reflection Ceesay could have squared the ball to the unmarked Anthony Mendy, for a simple tap-in. Yes, that Anthony Mendy! Prince Ogunmekan had the best effort for The Reds, his 20-yard shot was just too high and Myles Bowman in the visitors’ goal, was relieved to see it clear the crossbar. Half-time: 0-0
One or two of the bumper 182 crowd, could have been forgiven for a taking a few minutes longer over their half-time refreshments. However, the ones that lingered in the warmth of the clubhouse will regret missing the best goal of the afternoon. After a couple of minutes of Reds pressure, Moore laid the ball into the path of left-back Bryan Taylor. The defender’s low shot was pushed round the post by Bowman, and from the half-cleared corner, Moore received the ball from Kensley Maloney and cut inside before unleashing a twenty-five yarder into the far corner of net. Uxbridge were now playing with a much higher tempo and getting the ball forward a lot quicker. The Baggies continued to play from the back, and had more of the possession, without causing The Reds defence too many headaches. Lewis Pegg headed over from a corner in the sixty-first minute before Luke Paris made a superb clearance from a rare, dangerous, Badshot Lea cross. Eight minutes later it was 2-0. Moore won the ball and drove into the box. His shot was parried by Bowman and as he lay on the ground, he had the presence of mind to play the rebound into the path of Bernard Mensah - who gleefully fired home from seven yards. Two became three within a minute. Moore intercepted an attempted pass out from the back and unselfishly squared the ball for Alex Witham to side-foot into the corner of the net. You could almost see the confidence flood into the Uxbridge players and The Baggies, not used to losing, looked shell-shocked. With the injury list starting to subside it shows the quality of the Reds squad as Danny Edwards was able to bring on Mahlondo Martin and Ezra Ndukuba for the final minutes of the game. It was especially pleasing to see Martin back at Honeycroft, having been out for more than a season with a serious injury. In the final ten minutes credit must be given to the visitors for continuing to try and play out from the back, even at 3-0 down. The Reds midfield, however, were pressing higher and higher and began to win the ball in dangerous positions. Mensah set up substitute Alex Paine - how Bowman managed to deflect the midfielders shot, from the edge of the box, over the bar is a mystery. Lewis Cole, on his 150th appearance for the Club, was like a bee buzzing around the centre of the park. His tireless work-rate, along with Ogunmekan and Maloney, was a big part of the Reds success. In the last five minutes Uxbridge had numerous chances to add to their tally. A combination of woodwork and Bowman keeping the score down. James Gurteen saw his header from Moore’s corner crash against the bar - Moore picked up the clearance, and his piledriver forced Bowman into a tremendous save, low down at the post. Martin was left cursing Bowman’s agility as the Baggies custodian twice thwarted the Reds substitute – sticking out a leg to keep out his low shot – before reacting quickly to push his hooked effort, from close range, over the bar. From the corner Peggs’ goal bound header was deflected onto the bar, and over – as the Reds threatened to run riot. Full-time: Uxbridge 3 Badshot Lea 0.
Next up for The Reds is another tough test. Marlow away on Tuesday. The Blues have won eight of their last nine league games and are always a tough nut to crack on their own patch. The players would really appreciate your support as they look to build on Saturday's result and performance.
Uxbridge Line-up: McCorkell, Ogunmekan, Taylor, Pegg, Gurteen, Paris, Witham, Cole, Mensah, Moore, Maloney. Subs Used: Paine for Ogunmekan, Martin for Mensah, Ndukuba for Maloney. Not Used: Andrew & Hedley