Chadlington Reserves entertained Hook Norton Reserves on Saturday in the first round of the Jack Busby Cup.
Hook Norton Reserves apply their trade in Division Two of the Witney & District, a league above Chadlington Reserves and are the fourth ranked side in the competition behind Minster Lovell Reserves, Hailey Reserves and Spartan Rangers Reserves. Despite this they remain without a win this season and were coming off the back of a 10-4 defeat to Aston who had been equally winless and bottom of Division Two along side Hooky.
The visitors were certainly keen for the match and eyed up a win against a lower level side. They had their kit on and were warming up even before a Chad player had entered the dressing room.
Hookys keenness flowed into the game and they took a 1-0 lead via Ashley Booth who was lively alongside Mitch Faulker up front. He latched onto an excellent through ball and slid it under the advancing Harry Ware in goal. Their movement and pace was causing the Chad back line problems and they remained a danger all game long.
While Hookys ultimate downfall did not take place until much later in the game the seeds for it started in the first half. Sean Collins in midfield for the visitors lost his discipline and seemed more interested in arguing than playing a game of football. His distraction rubbed off on his team mates and they lost their focus.
Chads equaliser came from Callum Jefferies and it was reward for an excellent freekick from Brinley Mayne who delivered into the six yard box. Jefferies struck back for the first time in the game as he buried the chance giving keeper Tom Lane no hope. At 1-1 they were back in the game and took that score into half time.
The returning Ollie Jordan replaced Brinley Mayne and 16 year old Finlay Beggin making his adult team debut having come up through the junior set up replaced Jack Legg.
The second half was once again a tight affair and both teams went end to end looking for goals. It was Hook Norton that struck first as Ashley Booth turned poacher and poked home from a couple of yards out as Chad failed to clear the ball from a deep cross into the box. 2-1.
Hooky continued to threaten (the goal) but regular injuries and tiredness were starting to show. Mauro Esteves continued to torment their back line, twisting and turning players inside out, the only way he could be stopped was by kicking him and that's what Hooky resorted to. Beggin down the left and Jordan in centre mid continued to stretch the game as Slatter up front continued to be a threat. Matt North in centre midfield continued to pull the strings and dish out a few meaty challenges in the process. 17 year old Matty Cottrell was also introduced into the game to make his Chadlington debut at right midfield.
The equaliser came shortly after as Jefferies grabbed his second slotting home via good work from strike partner Slatter who held off two challenges to pull the ball back from the sideline. 2-2.
As extra time beckoned centre back Greg Kemp made a limping exit to the bench as Jack Legg was reintroduced into the backline alongside skipper James Hobden and Aaron Bennett. Hooky thought they had won the game but Bennett pulled off a remarkable goal line over head clearance in front of the 30 strong crowd behind the goal to keep the game at 2-2 and send it into an extra 30 minutes.
At the end of normal time, Chadlington knew they had the legs and quality to go on to win the game and the tactic was to make that advantage pay as soon as possible.
It was the turn of Slatter to get onto the scoresheet to reward the large number of home fans who had come to out to see the man who had scored 8 goals the week before. Down the right, Cottrell played in Jordan who outpaced the centre back down the wing, he crossed low into the 18 yard box to find Slatter who controlled and tucked home to give Chad their first lead in the game. 3-2.
Hook Nortons Sean Collins quickly picked up two yellow cards for late challenges and also then received a further red card for abusing the referee. Departing the pitch he javelined the half way line flag over the wall, it was the proverbial toy being thrown out of the pram and the most accurate thing he had done all afternoon.
Strangely thinking that there had been some sort of injustice done to them during the game by the referee (there hadn't) they continued to argue and shout their way to the final whistle in a petulant display. Four other players were shown yellow card. The OFA will be delighted by the boost to their funds.
The game was then sealed in Chads favour as patient build up down the left with Esteves saw the ball go through the midlfield from Martin Plumbridge to Jordan who set the ball sideways to Jefferies who smashed the ball into the top corner from 18 yards out, sealing his hat trick to a roar from the home fans. A fifth goal nearly came as Cottrell charged down the right to see his shot pass narrowly over the bar as the keeper looked beaten.
Chadlington Reserves now go into the second round of the Jack Busby Cup and will undoubtedly face some more tough encounters if they are to progress.
Next Up: Saturday 23rd October. Home v Milton-u-Wychwood Reserves. Division Three. 2pm ko.
Team: Ware, A Bennett, Hobden (c), Kemp, Legg, North, Jefferies, Plumbridge, Mayne, Slatter, Esteves. Subs: Jordan, Beggin, Cottrell.