PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
TUESDAY 25TH OCTOBER 2022
UXBRIDGE 3 MERSTHAM 0 (HT 0-0)
A strong second half performance from The Reds ensured they bounced back in style from Saturday’s defeat to Basingstoke Town. Gareth Chendliks’ impressive 30 minute cameo on Saturday earned him his first league start since joining from Hanwell Town. Kensley Maloney, Josh Andrew and Mark Goodman returned to the starting eleven, with Dan Williams and Elliott Poley dropping to the bench. Scott Donnelly was unavailable due to a family commitment.
Merstham arrived at Honeycroft still looking for their first league win of the season, although five of their seven defeats had been by a single goal and they certainly didn’t play like a side that was propping up the table. The Reds had the better of the chances in the opening forty-five minutes but were unable to find a way past Mo Otuyo in the Moatsiders goal. Goodman and Maloney both tried their luck from distance in the first 10 minutes and Maloney was unlucky with another well struck effort which was deflected wide of the post, with Otuyo rooted to the spot. On the half-hour mark Chendlik sent a header just wide of the upright following a superb cross from Alex Witham, while at the other end Goodman made an excellent challenge to prevent Merstham taking the lead. The best chance of the half fell to the home side in dying moments of the opening period. Andrew sent the ball down the line to Chendlik who turned and played a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Joe Jackson. Jackson looked up and spotted the unmarked Mark Bitmead arriving at the far post. Unfortunately, his cross lacked just a yard of pace and Luke Read was able to slide in and block Bitmead’s shot. Half-time 0-0.
Uxbridge upped their game in the second half, determined to claim all three points and climb up the table. The breakthrough came just after the hour mark through the hard-working Chendlik. Jackson sending over the perfect far-post cross for the striker to firmly head past Otuyo. Tyler Tobin was having a quiet time as The Reds took control, although a one goal lead is always a precarious one. With 15 minutes remaining Danny Edwards introduced fresh legs to the attack with Williams and Victor Osobu replacing Chendlik and Bitmead, respectively. These changes had the desired effect, with Jackson again the provider. The midfielders pass found Williams in the channel and the lively forward cut in and his shot took a deflection before nestling in the back of the net. Osobu netted the third in almost identical fashion, Williams this time with the assist. Osobu cutting in and firing a left-foot shot past the Moatsiders custodian to wrap up a comfortable but hard-fought victory. Full-time 3-0.
It's back to cup action this Saturday with the visit of Wingate & Finchley in the First Round of the FA Trophy. Amongst their ranks will be former Reds striker Dylan Kearney who scored 22 goals in 38 appearances during his time at Honeycroft. A tough tie is anticipated and your support could help the team book a place in the Second Round. Come On You Reds.
Uxbridge Line-Up: Tobin, Andrew, Goodman, Jarra, O’Brien, Jackson, Bitmead, Hedley, Chendlik, Maloney, Witham. Subs Used: Williams for Chendlik, Osobu for Bitmead, Nugent for Hedley. Not Used: Poley & Seabrook.