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Semi Final Success - Match Report

Chadlington Reserves of Division Three overcame Milton Under Wychwood Reserves of Division Two in the Witney & District FA Jack Busby Memorial Trophy Semi Final on Wednesday night. The game was played at the home of Moreton Rangers under lights and a bumper three hundred plus crowd came to cheer on the two local teams.

Both sides were a credit to their clubs and to the league, and put on an exciting show which for large parts of the game could have gone either way. In the end Chadlington Reserves ran out 3-1 winners and now progress into the final against the holders Hailey Reserves of Division One who had beaten Witney Royals Reserves 2-1 the night before.

Milton were visibly the more confident before the game and at kick off they immediately forced Chad backwards. After 10 minutes their pressure and dominance got its reward when their top striker George Ford scored from close range. The Milton fans roared and it looked as though Chad would buckle under the pressure of the occasion.

All they could do was soak up the pressure as well as the near constant rain and hope that they could get some momentum of their own. That came after 30 minutes as Rocky Burton and George Slatter started to cause the Milton back line all sorts of problems. Pressure was building and Burtons determination fired up the Chad faithful. On 34 minutes an Ethan Taylor corner was forced in by an elongated limb of striker George Slatter. The identification of that limb is yet to be established but no matter the ball was in the net. A huge cheer went up from the Chadlington supporters and all knew that it was now game on!

For the remaining 10 minutes of the half both sides looked capable of scoring but when the whistle came it was welcomed as a chance to get back into the changing rooms and reset.

Half time 1-1.

Chad made one change at half time with Brinley Mayne coming on into the centre of midfield for the battering ram that was Callum Jefferies.

Into the second half and Chad started bright, learning from the first half lessons and taking on board the management teams observations they immediately did to Milton what they had done to Chad. Forcing them backwards, Chad built up momentum and soon the chances were being created.

The Milton keeper, Dan Hooton was having nothing of it however and pulled off a series of saves that were remarkable in the conditions. A triple save from the marauding Burton was all that was keeping Milton in the contest. That was until Slatter grabbed his second of the game on 54 minutes to give Chad the lead. From a deep corner, Slatter latched onto the ball with an unconventionally low overhead kick at the far post. 2-1 on another huge cheer went up from the crowd.

Chad now looked rampant and had all the momentum in the game which soon got its reward just 10 minutes later. A brilliant run from Slatter once again from the right into the box followed by a clinical shot past the Milton keeper into the corner of the net. 3-1!

Milton looked shell shocked but to their credit they did keep forcing forward in the game looking for the goal that would get them back into it. On the deteriorating pitch though, Chad looked to close out the game and the introduction of Ollie Jordan for Slatter, Jarvis Morley for Ashley Hughes and George Cockle for Rocky Burton gave them the fresh legs they allowed them to do this comfortably.

With no further incident of note the full time whistle came with the final score as 3-1 to Chadlington Reserves which was met with a loud cheer from the Chad travelling fans. It was a highly entertaining game which swung both ways and all credit should go to Milton for their performance and sportsmanship. George Slatter stole the show with his hat-trick but the entire squad should be delighted with the performance they put in.

Cup holders Hailey Reserves of Division One now face Chadlington in the Final in what will be their toughest test of the season to date!

Tuesday 25th April - Jack Busby Memorial Trophy Final

Hailey Reserves v Chadlington Reserves

Clanfield 85 FC - 7.30pm kick off

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