PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
TUESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2022
WESTFIELD 1 UXBRIDGE 1 (HT 1-0)
Uxbridge returned to league action for the first time since August Bank Holiday, with a visit to Westfield. The Field made an impressive start to the campaign with 4-0 victories over fancied Leatherhead and Basingstoke Town but followed this up with defeats to Chipstead and Northwood. Five changes were made from the side that started on Saturday at Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup. Tyler Tobin returned in goal after completing his suspension. Andy O’Brien, Alan Hedley, Victor Osobu and Andy Ofosu replaced Harry Seabrook, Alex Paine, Presley Evans, Mark Goodman and Matty Bonnett.
If games were won on territory and possession then Uxbridge would have returned from Surrey with all three points. Alas, its goals that win games and therefore The Reds had to share the points with their hosts. Kensley Maloney must have had more touches than the whole of the Westfield side put together. Picking the ball up deep he was at the heart of most of the Uxbridge forays forward. Having spent the majority of the opening fifteen minutes in their opponents half, Uxbridge found themselves a goal behind in the 18th minute. The impressive Bradley Walsh picked the ball up wide and cut inside. He played a firm pass towards the feet of Jacob Breckon, who either had a shout from Nathaniel Mensah out wide, or he mis-controlled the pass, either way Mensah was able to fire a cross into the path of Troy Walters to side-foot home from close range. This rocked The Reds who continued to dominate the ball without being able to breakdown the solid Field defence. A quick freekick put Dan Williams free and his cross was excellently punched clear by Sonny Wheeler, with Osobu lurking to head home. It wasn’t until the 40th minute that Uxbridge had an effort on goal. Mo Nugent’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked and in injury time Hedley placed a good chance wide of the post to end a frustrating half for the Reds. Half-time 1-0.
The half-time talk must have centred around the subject of having more efforts on goal. Within the opening five minutes Williams, twice, and Maloney had shots and Wheeler had to be alert to save low down and keep Westfield’s lead intact. Lonit Talla replaced Ofosu at the break and the young midfielder was finding space in little pockets, picking the ball up on the half turn and causing problems for The Field back-line. In the main the second period followed a similar pattern to the first. Uxbridge with loads of possession and Westfield getting men behind the ball. Tobin did well to save a deflected Mensah shot, pushing it wide for a corner, as both sides created chances that had been few and far between in the opening 45 minutes. The deserved equaliser came on the hour mark. Josh Andrew, who was marauding down the right, cut back onto his left foot and floated a superb pass into the path of Osobu to volley home. The Reds fans held their breath a few minutes later as Tobin fumbled a Walsh shot and appeared to bring down Breckon as tried to retrieve the ball. However, the assistant referee had noticed Breckon had strayed offside. Walsh was causing problems with his direct running and after doing well to beat three men was denied by a great O’Brien block and his shot was deflected just wide of the post. As a spectacle the game was now end to end. Jonathan Sanchez made a goal saving tackle to prevent Osobu from giving Uxbridge the lead. Talla fired over and Tobin made a great stop as both sides looked to grab all three points. Hedley picked up a yellow for a nothing tackle, while former Red Harry Carter seemed to commit foul after foul without punishment. Mark Bitmead replaced Joe Jackson with five minutes remaining and he fired in a low cross which Wheeler spilled and Williams was only feet away from a tap-in. Deep into stoppage time Hedley under-hit a back-pass and got into a tangle with Walsh. Referee Michael Ryan deemed this worthy of a second yellow and Uxbridge had to see out the last three minutes with ten men. Full Time 1-1.
Both sides will have felt they had chances to win the game but in the end a point a piece was probably about right. Bedfont Sports travel to Honeycroft on Saturday for a FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round tie. Williams and Jackson will both be looking forward to this one against their former club.
Uxbridge Line-Up: Tobin, Andrews, Nugent, Poley, O’Brien, Jackson, Maloney, Hedley, Williams, Osobu, Ofosu. Subs Used: Talla for Ofosu, Goodman for Nugent, Bitmead for Jackson. Not Used: Akintunde, Paine.