PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
UXBRIDGE 2 CHIPSTEAD 1
2nd DECEMBER 2023
REDS SHOW BOUNCE-BACK ABILITY
After the previous Saturdays disappointing visit to Guernsey, the Reds recovered from an early set-back to take all three points against Chipstead. Manager, Danny Edwards, was busy during midweek, bringing in several players to bolster Uxbridge’s threadbare squad. Rhys Murrell-Williamson, young prospect Oliver Spicer, Hamilton Antonio, Hassan Jollah and Dan Williamson all joining the club. Jollah and Antonio going straight into the starting eleven.
Chipstead arrived at Honeycroft having lost their previous five league games, but made the perfect start, taking the lead in the second minute. Jack Leahy finding time and space to beat Andrew McCorkell. The Reds response was to dominate possession and territory – this lead to a deserved equaliser in the seventeenth minute. George Moore was once again in the thick of the action - his forceful run down the right produced an inch perfect cross for Jalloh to side-foot home from twelve yards. Bryan Taylor was getting forward at every opportunity and several dangerous crosses just eluded red shirts in front of goal. He then came close to giving Uxbridge the lead with a curling free-kick - Harrison Firth in The Chips goal grateful to see it drift just wide. Lewis Taylor placed a header just over for the visitors in a rare attack on the Uxbridge goal. Jalloh headed just wide from a Mahlondo Martin cross as Uxbridge pushed the side from Surrey deeper and deeper. Moore forced Firth into a flying stop as the half drew to a close - chesting down Taylor’s pass and unleashing a powerful volley that the stopper did well to keep out. Half-Time 1-1.
The Reds started the second half as they finished the first, keeping possession and giving Chipstead very few touches of the ball. Martin was alive to a square pass across the back and quickly closed down Danny Dudley, before robbing the ball from him and finishing with aplomb past Firth. Although he has only been back a few weeks, from a season long injury lay-off, Martin has hit the ground running with two goals already in just one start and two appearances from the bench. The two debutants combined well on the hour mark - Antonio picking out Jollah in front of goal. However, the former Hayes & Yeading United man took too long to get a shot away and the chance was snuffed out. A one goal lead is always a dangerous one and Danyaal Iqbal wasted a good chance to draw his side level with twenty minutes to go. An intricate passing move found the diminutive midfielder inside the box, but he lifted his shot high over the bar. Buoyed by this chance the Chips suddenly woke up as an attacking force and McCorkell had to be on his toes to keep out two more efforts on his goal. Uxbridge responded through an unexpected source. Luke Paris picked up the ball in his own half and ran forward – playing a one-two with Moore he found himself with just Firth to beat – unfortunately he reverted to his defensive mindset and blasted his shot high and wide. Moore went close with a curling effort as The Reds looked to restore their control on the game. Two more of the midweek signings emerged from the bench to make their debuts. Spicer and Murrell-Williamson replacing Kensley Maloney and Jollah respectively. Just as referee Dan Malyon indicated there would be a minimum of five minutes stoppage-time Chipstead came close to grabbing a point. A hopeful pass into the box wasn’t cleared and the loose ball fell kindly to substitute Khalid Babikir twenty yards out – his goal-bound shot lacking the power to beat McCorkell, who moved quickly to his left to save. Full-Time 2-1.
After the hugely disappointing trip across the English Channel, this was a much needed three points for The Reds. The new signings settled in well, and with the next two fixtures against two of the bottom three, they will be hopeful of closing the gap on the top five.
Uxbridge line-up: McCorkell, Paris, Taylor, Hedley, Gurteen, Antonio, Jalloh, Paine, Martin, Moore, Maloney. Subs Used: Murrell-Williamson for Jalloh, Spicer for Maloney, Not Used: Preddie, Yala and Witham.