PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
HARTLEY WINTNEY 1 UXBRIDGE 3
21 OCTOBER 2023
REDS GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS!!
After a run of four games without a win, Uxbridge came from a goal down to secure all three points at in-form Hartley Wintney. The Reds only previous visit to the Memorial Ground came in 2018, a hat-trick from home forward Ciardini helping The Row to a 4-0 win on that occasion. Both teams finished the afternoon with 10 men following a flurry of yellow cards in the opening forty-five minutes.
Uxbridge started brightly and could have been two up in the opening seven minutes. In the fifth minute Mickel Platt picked out Lewis Cole in the box and the midfielders’ side-footed shot was just too close to former Sandgate custodian Callum Coulter, who stuck out a leg to deny Cole his first goal for the club since he netted from the spot against Aylesbury in February 2016. Two minutes later Alex Witham found space out wide, his cross was met by the left boot of Platt, but his volley lacked the power to trouble Coulter. Marcio Neves gave the home side the lead in the eighteenth minute, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box and firing a crisp left foot shot that flew in off the inside of the post. Liam Gavin came close to doubling The Row’s advantage at the mid-point of the first half. A far-post header, following a corner, was destined for the back of the net until Witham comfortably headed clear. After thirty-two minutes of cardless action Kai Hobbs was the first player to find his name into referee Jacob Wrights’ book. Hobbs pulling back his former Basingstoke Town teammate Neves as the tricky forward threatened to break away. A minute later right-back Mark Amaning was late in the tackle, sending Cole sprawling to the ground, and The Row player was also shown a yellow card. With persistent rain now falling, Witham’s free kick was headed goalwards by the diving George Moore, but Coulter got down well to gather on the slippery surface. The afternoon then went from bad to worse for Uxbridge. Hobbs made a challenge, and just as he was about to clear the danger, Wright blew for a free kick. Hobbs’s boot was only inches from the ball as the shrill of the whistle sounded and without the time to stop his momentum, the sphere flew into the opposition’s half. Wright produced another yellow card for kicking the ball away and Hobbs’s afternoon came to an abrupt end in the forty-first minute. A goal down and reduced to ten men the road to victory seemed a long and difficult one for Danny Edwards team. However, this journey was made less arduous with the showing of the fourth yellow card in just over ten minutes. Amaning was adjudged to have taken a throw-in from the incorrect position and he had to join Hobbs as a spectator for the remainder of the match. Brad Pagliaroli won the ball from the retaken throw-in and Moore helped it onto Platt. Platt turned the ball into the path of Moore who unleashed a powerful low drive that beat Coulter for pace as it skidded off the greasy surface from twenty yards. With just enough time for Hartley Wintney to re-start proceedings, Wright sounded the half-time whistle.
Mason Obeng tested Loris Marcimain with a long-range effort ten minutes into the second period, but the man from Guadalope was equal to the task, pushing the shot round the post for a corner. The rest of the afternoon belonged to Platt. His tireless running and challenging for every ball reaped its rewards. On the hour mark he twisted and turned in the box, leaving defenders in his wake, before placing his shot wide of Coulter to give the Reds the lead. Witham was forced to leave the field in the seventieth minute through injury, being replaced by combative Alex Paine. Twelve minutes from time Platt was the again in the action, latching onto a through ball from the impressive Moore, he cut inside and finished with a blockbuster of a shot that was past Coulter before he could move. To their credit The Row never gave up and Marcimain got down well to keep out a Neves drive and from the rebound substitute Elijas Bagdonavicius saw his shot towards the top corner palmed away by the Uxbridge keeper. Kensley Maloney came on for Cole with six minutes remaining, to loud applause from the Honeycroft faithful, after rejoining the club in midweek from Walton & Hersham. His first involvement was to receive a yellow card for kicking the ball away. Welcome back Kens. In difficult conditions the Reds defence were superb. Gurteen and Alan Hedley were rocks, Pagliaroli worked his socks off at left-wing back and Josh Andrew kept the dangerous Reece Wylie quiet in what was a solid defensive display. In fact, all the Reds players must be praised for their work-rate, which went a long way to bringing all three points back to Honeycroft.
The injury list is growing longer and with the suspension of Hobbs following his harsh red card The Reds squad will be tested to its limits over the coming weeks. Next up for Uxbridge is the visit of local rivals Hanworth Villa on Saturday. It would be nice to see another big crowd at the newly refurbished Honeycroft to cheer the boys on to hopefully another three points.
Marcimain, Andrew, Hobbs, Hedley, Gurteen, Cole, Pagliaroli, Ogunmekan, Platt, Moore, Witham.
Subs Used: Paine for Witham, Maloney for Cole, Patrick for Pagliaroli. Not Used: Morgan, Ndukuba.