PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
TUESDAY 14th FEBRUARY 2023
UXBRIDGE 1 WESTFIELD 1 (HT 1-0)
For the third time in the last four games Uxbridge were unable to capitalise on an early first half lead. Defeats at Ashford Town (Middlesex) and Binfield being followed by this draw against Westfield on Tuesday. After Saturday’s subdued 0-0 draw with Sutton Common Rovers, a number of changes were made to the starting line-up. Mark Bitmead, David Sota and Luke Paris, making way for Harry Seabrook, Lewis Patrick and Marlon (Bradley) Walsh. Walsh was making his first team debut against his former club.
Walsh was straight into the action, his persistence leading to the Reds opening the scoring in the third minute. Anthony Mendy played the ball over the top and Walsh hassled the full-back and won possession. His blocked shot ran kindly for Mendy who calmly side-footed the rebound into the back of the net. Goals boast confidence and for the next twenty minutes Uxbridge, without creating clear-cut chances, looked comfortable against their top-half of the table opponents. Mendy had a great chance to double his and the Reds tally in the 23rd minute. Alan Hedley headed the ball across goal and the striker somehow failed to make contact four yards out. The last third of the opening forty-five gave a glimpse of what was to come in the second half. Tyler Tobin had to be quick off his line to save at the feet of the lively Didi Ndombe and with minutes of the half remaining the same wide man fired high over the bar, following a cutback from the bye-line. Half-time 1-0.
Ten minutes into the second period Alex Witham found Seabrook with a far post cross and the defenders header forced Wheeler into a good save, pushing the ball round the post for a corner. Unfortunately, this was as close as the home side would come to troubling the Field’s custodian for the remainder of the match. Moments later Ndombe did well and fed Richard Afrane-Kesey whose shot was just wide of the mark. Westfield’s second half display probably merited at least a share of the spoils, however there was a touch of controversary about their equaliser. Substitute Troy Walters appeared to pull back Joe Jackson on the edge of the area, before latching onto a free-kick and placing a shot under Tobin as he tried to spread himself. Uxbridge’s protests fell on deaf ears and the goal was allowed to stand. Westfield, buoyed by drawing level, went all out for a winner to keep their play-off ambitions on track. Florian Envoudou-Ada was allowed time and space to fire a shot just over before Tristan Ablideen-Goodridge repeated the feat moments later. Tobin made three good saves in the space of as many minutes, as the clock reached the 80th minute mark. Andrew Crossley, Ablideen-Goodridge and Afrane-Kesey were all denied by the Reds keeper. Deep into stoppage time Walters looked like he was going to strike and take all three points back to Surrey. Seabrook however, had other ideas and made a magnificent sliding block to ensure matters finished all square. Full-time 1-1.
That’s five draws in seven meetings now between the two sides, with a win apiece in the other two games. Uxbridge have now lost only two of their last eight as they look to climb the table, with hopefully a good run in the last third of the season. The biggest smile of Valentines night was left to the announcement of the attendance on the “Day of Love”, 69!
Uxbridge Line-up: Tobin, Andrew, Patrick, Seabrook, O’Brien, Jackson, Walsh, Hedley, Witham, Mendy, Goueth. Subs used: Maloney for Walsh, Ireland for Hedley, Paris for Goueth. Not Used: Bitmead & Evans.