PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
WEDNESDAY 17TH AUGUST 2022
SOUTHALL 1 UXBRIDGE 2 (HT 0-2)
Uxbridge were made to work hard for their first win of the season, despite playing for nearly an hour against ten men. Ant O’Connor seeing Red for the home side following an out-of-control lunge, which caught the Uxbridge skipper, Andy O’Brien, late and high.
Southall, like Saturday’s opponents Hanworth Villa, gained promotion from the Combined Counties League last season after finishing as runners-up in the Premier North Division to the Villains. This was their fourth game of the season following a FA Cup replay win against Redhill and an impressive opening league victory at Merstham. It was Uxbridge who started the half brightly and were controlling the game through possession and pushing Southall back into their own half. This pressure finally told in the 14th minute as a fine move involving Joe Jackson and Victor Osobu saw the latter find Jack
Beadle who rode a challenge from Ben Tricker before poking the ball home. The Reds continued to dominate and should have doubled their lead when Lenny Farhall’s pin-point cross found Osobu unmarked at the far-post with an empty net in front of him. However, the ball squirmed under his outstretched boot and agonisingly wide of the goal. Osobu almost atoned for his miss moments later after another slick passing move found the lively forward inside the area. He controlled the ball and let fly with a left foot shot which cannoned back into play off the foot of the post. The match then appeared to be heading towards only one possible outcome, as O’Connor received his marching orders in the 34th minute and ten minutes later Farhall played the ball inside to Beadle, whose low shot beat former Reds custodian Michael Edegbe low to his right. Half-Time 0-2.
I’m not sure what was in the home sides half-time cuppa but it certainly had a positive effect. From the opening minutes of the second-period they looked to take the game to the visitors and only some resolute defending from Baboucarr Jarra and O’Brien kept them at bay. Young goalkeeper Matteo Salamon was also cool under pressure as “The All” cranked up the pace of their attacks. The Reds were forced into a change following what looked like a pulled muscle to left-back Lewis Patrick, Elliott Poley replacing the young defender. Southall deservedly pulled a goal back with just over fifteen minutes left on the clock. Some tricky play left three Uxbridge players for dead and Jarra’s desperate tackle saw referee Thomas Kelly point to the spot. Southall’s skipper Louis Stead making no mistake with the penalty. Game On. Uxbridge tried to respond and Beadle got free down the right and crossed low into the box. Juwon Akintunde, who replaced Osobu, threw himself at the ball and collided with the brave Edegbe as ball flashed across the face of the goal. Southall’s ten men kept coming and Salamon was happy to see a well struck shot nestle in his mid-drift as the clock ticked towards the ninety-minute mark. Five minutes of stoppages seemed liked an eternity and a relived cheer sounded from The Reds faithful as Mr Kelly blew the final whistle.
Uxbridge will look to take the positives from their dominate first half display, which saw them deservedly lead at the interval. For Southall they will be left wondering why they were so much better with ten men and how close they came to capturing a point from a game that looked well beyond them in the opening 45th minutes.
Salamon, Andrew, Patrick, Jarra, O’Brien, Jackson, Farhall, Maloney, Witham, Osobu, Beadle. Subs: Poley for Patrick, Bitmead for Farhall, Akintunde for Osobu. Not Used: Lonit Talla and Presley Evans.