Saturday, 10 March 2012

Chawton Make a Splash in Cup Semi-Final!

ADSFL Division 7 Cup Semi-Final
4 March 2012


Starting XI:  Martin Booth (GK).  Jamie Oakley (RB), Jake Channon (CB), Marc Taylor (CB), Kyle Bale (LB).  Pete Goodall (RM), Danny Taylor (CM), James Harvey (CM), Andy Vickers (LM).  Ben Hodkin (FW), Ryan Furey (FW).
Substitutes:  Carl Waterfield, Ashley Brooks, David Nicholson, Mikey Phillips
Referee:  Derek Taylor

A second postponement at the Jubilee for this tie was not enough to stop this game from going ahead, as the match was switched to the slightly less waterlogged Lindford pitch.  Chawton overcame giving up home advantage to triumph and reach their first cup final since the re-birth of the club in 2010!

The pitch was heavy, but playable, and the rain light.  In the conditions, it took both sides a while to warm up and the first fifteen minutes merely presented half chances for each side.  Possession was fairly even and neither keeper looked in any real danger.

The first clear cut chance fell to Chawton though, as a back pass was penalised by the referee, who awarded the Yellows an indirect free kick inside Lindford's area.  Ben Hodkin knocked it to Jake Channon to hammer it towards goal, but his shot was also towards the keeper.  He spilled his shot, but nobody was close enough to follow it up.

Lindford finally got a decent chance on goal from a corner.  Despite beating the Athletic keeper, they could not beat Pete Goodall on the line who cleared the ball.

This kick started Chawton into life and they duly put the Lindford defence under a sustained period of pressure.  Martin Booth in goal had to be alert to Lindford's counter attacks and was forced into a couple of saves before the half time whistle came.

With the late pressure, the away could feel hard done by at not being in front against the division's second placed team.

Chawton started the second half as brightly as they ended the first, and an Andy Vickers corner was headed home by Channon to give the lead.

The pitch was really starting to get more boggy and this contributed to some misplaced passes.  One pass that was not misplaced was that by James Harvey to Hodkin just before the hour mark.  Hodkin slipped in the surging Danny Taylor, who slid the ball past the keeper to put the Yellows 2-0 up and provide a little daylight between the teams.

By this point the game was getting pretty even and indeed a little tetchy.  Mikey Phillips came on, after Vickers had taken a knock from a late tackle, to provide some fresh impetus.

But it was the other winger Goodall that was catching the eye, with his runs causing no end of problems for a tiring Lindford backline.  One such run provided a glorious chance to put the game beyond the home side's reach, but unfortunately he just put his shot past the far post.

Lindford were trying desperately to grab a goal back, Marc Taylor having to clear a corner or two.  Tackle began to fly in and one opposition player was shown a yellow card for one too many frustrated kicks at Danny Taylor.

With barely five minutes on the clock, Lindford thought they had pulled one back when the ball fell to the striker who was clean through and lifted the ball over an advancing Booth in goal.  But Athletic's 12th man, Mr A. Puddle came to there rescue as the exasperated Lindford player saw the ball stop on the line with Channon reacting quickest to clear the ball!

The match ended to a cheer from all those in Yellow, with the score 2-0.  A second final for Chawton Athletic, the first since the new administration took control, and they will be hoping to go one better than they did in the 2010 Runwick Cup final.

There were some outstanding performances on the day.  Danny Taylor dominated the midfield, ably assisted by James Harvey breaking up the play.  Ben Hodkin put in a captain's game up front, working hard to track back in the second half to protect the lead.  Pete Goodall had an excellent game on the wing for the second week running, a performance only lacking a goal to top it off.  Martin Booth in goal pulled off some good saves to help preserve the clean sheet.

Elstead Lighting Man of the Match:  Jake Channon.  The centre back dominated the back line and broke the deadlock with a cracking header.

Man of the Match, Jake Channon

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Chawton Plough Through P&H.

ADSFL Division 7
26 February 2012


Starting XI:  Martin Book (GK).  Jamie Oakley (RB), Jake Channon (CB), Marc Taylor (CB), Kyle Bale (LB).  Pete Goodall (RM), James Harvey (CM), Danny Taylor (CM), Mikey Phillips (LM).  Ashley Brooks (FW), Ben Hodkin (FW).
Substitutes:  Elliot Watkins, Andy Vickers, Will Rietzler, Kieran Lenachan.
Referee:  Jay King.

Following two narrow defeats in 2012, Chawton Athletic finally got their calendar year off the ground with a well deserved victory over Plough & Horses Reserves at the Jubilee.

Ben Hodkin opened the scoring.
Straight from the off, the Yellows quickly got into their stride.  It was less than ten minutes before they got on the scoresheet.  Ashley Brooks crossed from the left channel to Ben Hodkin, who's shot was initially blocked.  But he reacted quickest to the rebound and slotted home.

Chawton began dominating possession, with Plough limited to counter attack opportunities.  But it was one of these that led to the equaliser after 18 minutes. The away side broke down their left flank and the striker found himself goal-side of the centre backs and slipped it in off the far post.

This gave Plough their best spell of the game and Martin Booth was forced into a low save at the striker's feet to keep the scores level.

James Harvey marauds forward!
That spell lasted a mere three minutes before a thunderbolt from Jake Channon put Athletic ahead again.  His speculative shot from thirty yards bounced down off the crossbar and went back in off the keeper.  The linesman ruled the initial shot had crossed the line before the keeper's touch, thus sparing his blushes!

Starts for Brooks and Pete Goodall looked good moves as they worked hard to keep their place and Channon in the centre of defence was generally clearing all Plough's balls pumped into the box.

Martin Booth collects the ball.
Some good skills from Danny Taylor, surging forward, set up Hodkin, but his shot was well held by the keeper.  But a few minutes later it was 3-1.  Kyle Bale's cross was met by Hodkin, but again his initial shot was saved.  The keeper couldn't quite get the ball under control, and Hodkin poked it in from the goalie's hand.

And a minute before half time it was four.  Again, some skilful work from Danny Taylor allowed him to find space for a cross which alluded his marauding midfield partner James Harvey.  But Ashley Brooks made no mistake with a cool finish into the corner, reinforcing manager Marc Taylor's decision to start him.

The game was 4-1 at half time.

Jamie Oakley... not fouling!
The second half was almost all Chawton.  Within five minutes of the restart, Bale had a good run down the left flank and crossed for Brooks to hit first time.  His shot rebounded off the crossbar and was cleared from danger.  From that clearance, Jake Channon lost the ball trying to clear and set the Lough striker clean through.  However, he chased back and put in a crunching recovery tackle that averted the danger.

The first substitution came after 56 minutes with Brooks coming off to an ovation from the bench and being replaced by Kieran Lenachan - making his debut after his deadline day transfer.

A ball forward from Hodkin found Lenachan within moments of coming on, his cross found Mikey Phillips who couldn't get his shot on target.

Mikey Phillips takes a shot.
Goodall saw a cross fumbled by the Plough keeper but his reaction header was then cleared.  It was to be his last act of the match and again was congratulated for his efforts when coming off, Elliot Watkins his replacement.  This moved Bale further forward.

Phillips had a chance to atone for his earlier miss, but mishit his shot at the far post resulting in an easy clearance.  Plenty of endeavour from the Athletic winger, but unable to find the clean shot needed.  With Taylor's final roll of the dice, Phillips was replaced by Andy Vickers with a little over quarter of an hour to play.

Jamie Oakley had been battling hard all game and he knocked a ball through to James Harvey on 75 minutes.  Harvey steadied himself but dragged his shot narrowly past the far post.

Debutant Kieran Lenachan given a welcoming hug!
Into the last ten minutes and the Yellows forced a corner.  This was whipped in to the far post where it was met by the head of Channon, his shot whacking the crossbar and bouncing clear.

There was still time for a couple more shots on goal before the final whistle, but Bale had the best chance and saw the keeper save his shot.

There was even still time for Plough to have a final go at goal, but Booth in goal was equally up to the task and easily saved.  That was to be the last action of the game and Chawton finished 4-1 winners, unable to add to their half time advantage.

A hard fought win with plenty to build on.  The four week lay off had taken its toll on some players but some much needed pitch time ahead of this Sunday's big cup match (weather permitting).  Pete Goodall worked hard down both flanks and Ashley Brooks provided some good movement up front with Hodkin to create some openings.  Jake Channon was again dominant in defence, with a solid Martin Booth behind him.

Elstead Lighting Man of the Match:  Danny Taylor.  Ran the midfield with James Harvey and set up some clear cut chances, including an assist for Brooks' goal.
Man of the Match, Danny Taylor.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Yellows Have Busy Deadline Day!

Chawton Athletic worked hard on transfer deadline day to bring a new face to the club, ahead of their clash with old rivals West Liss on Sunday.

The Yellows swooped to poach attacker Kieran Lenachan from bottom of the table Aldershot Park Elite for an undisclosed fee - thought to be a handful of Woolworths pic 'n' mix and the promise of shiny new shorts.  Lenachan was the stand out player for Elite when the two sides recently met in the Division 7 Cup and they will no doubt be devastated to lose him.

Chawton travel to Liss on Sunday for the return trip to their old Farnham League rivals, hoping to finally get the win that has thus far eluded them.  With a flurry of sleet and snow, coupled with plunging night time temperatures, the game is in some doubt though - only time will tell if the Liss groundstaff are able to keep the game on.

The game represents the last league game before both clubs play the Division 7 Cup semi-final.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Chawton Lose Battle of Waterloo.

ADSFL Division 7
22 January 2012


Starting XI:  Martin Booth (GK).  Jamie Oakley (RB), Steve Merritt (CB), Marc Taylor (CB), Elliot Watkins (LB).  Will Rietzler (RM), Jake Channon (CM), James Harvey (DCM), Ben Hodkin (CM), Andy Vickers (LM).  Ryan Furey (FW).
Substitutes:  Pete Goodall, Ashley Brooks, Kyle Bale, Mikey Phillips.
Referee:  Graham Smith.

Chawton Athletic finally got to play a match in 2012, following Alton Wanderers' demise and Rushmoor Celtic's frozen pitch, but failed to get any of the points their possession deserved in this closely fought encounter at Waterloo.

Rietzler puts in a tackle.
The almost-two-month break seemed to have taken its toll on Athletic, who were slow out of the blocks.  An early chance fell to Waterloo with the Chawton midfield caught in possession from the kick-off.  The striker couldn't compose himself though and didn't test Martin Booth in goal.  The warning wasn't heeded either as the home side had another clear cut chance from the game's first corner but, despite some slack marking at the back post, the header went over.

It was fully five minutes before Chawton properly tested the experienced Waterloo keeper.  When they did, it was a result of some trademark slick passing but Ben Hodkin's shot was well saved.  The resulting kick was shanked right out of play, allowing the Yellows to keep the pressure on.  A through ball from Hodkin found a marauding James Harvey who's shot was saved down low.

Taylor takes a free kick.
The game was beginning to become end-to-end.  Waterloo countered and drew a smart save from Booth.  His kick wasn't brilliant and only made it as far as Marc Taylor, back after a long injury lay off.  Taylor's clearance was left by an offside Will Reitzler and found its way to Harvey who had closed down an attack.  Harvey coolly round the keeper and slotted home to give Chawton a 1-0 lead.

Energised, the away side started to boss the game and some tasty tackles flew in.  Elliot Watkins slid in and committed a foul, before Jamie Oakley riled the Waterloo number 12 with a crunching tackle.  The ref called it, but it didn't stop the Orangeman squaring up to the Athletic right back.  After a quick word, play resumed.

Furey keeps his eye on the ball.
From the free kick, the home side won a succession of corners.  The first was headed by Jake Channon on to his own post, but the second was expertly tipped away by Booth.  After that the game finally settled down.  There was a lot of Chawton possession, but the final ball seemed to constantly go to an orange shirt.

Following a Ryan Furey free kick which went harmlessly over, the Yellows attacked again and a Rietzler through ball to Furey found him apparently offside... or so the Waterloo defence informed their assistant referee who duly obliged with the flag, a debatable call at best!

The next attack saw Andy Vickers have a shot blocked, followed by a bit of pinball in the box.  Nobody could get the final shot off though and it was cleared.  A poor low corner from Rietzler somehow found its way to Channon at the far post.  After rounding one player, he was crowded out by the other defenders before being able to pick out a teammate.

Goalkeeper Booth.
The pressure was relentless, with Oakley the next to have a long range pop at goal.  Given acres of space down the right, he ran forward with the ball and hit a swerving shot from twenty five yards which was headed for the top corner.  Alas, there was not enough power behind it and the keeper easily caught it.

The three musketeers then combined to set Furey through on goal.  But following too much time on the ball he tried to find Hodkin, but the pass was cut out.  Again the final ball wasn't there.  Shortly after, Furey find Rietzler down the right and he puts in a peach of a ball, splitting the defence, to find Hodkin.  He tries to round the keeper, but he showed his experience and dived at the striker's feet just at the right time.

Completely against the run of play, a sliced clearance from Taylor results in Waterloo winning a corner.  The corner deceives everybody and the ball goes in off a combination of Jamie Oakley's head and the crossbar for a totally undeserved equaliser.

That was practically the last move of the half, bar some abuse from the assistant ref!  The game delicately poised at 1-1 with Waterloo definitely the happier to be level!

Channon getting up above the Waterloo defence.
Athletic started the second half as they finished the first, on the front foot.  There was plenty of neat passing until near the opposition box, when the ball was lost.  Another Harvey long shot went wide of the post, the midfielder proving he has developed a taste for shooting!

Next it was Waterloo's time to show they could pass the ball.  But try as they might, they could not get past a resolute Chawton defence, with Taylor, Merritt and Channon putting in some decent blocks.  Oakley and Watkins also reminding the Oranges they weren't afraid of putting in some decent challenges.

Channon stops the striker hitting Harvey (who's clearly scared!).
Watkins then found his long range passing game and a sweeping pass forward set Furey free down the left channel.  Unfortunately, he was forced too far wide and could only shoot across and past the far post.

The ref then made a bad call regarding an advantage, following a foul in the middle when Vickers had been set through, down the left.  From the free kick, thirty five yards out, Taylor blasted over.  Vickers then almost turned to villan as a sloppy pass put the defence under attack, but the midfielder's shot was hit way over the bar.

Watkins then combined with Furey again, with the latter drawing a foul a few yards outside the area.  Channon stepped up, but couldn't keep his kick down.

Watkins enjoyed a good game at left back.
Then, again from nothing, the ball is lost in midfield and a slip at the back leaves the Waterloo striker one on one with Booth in goal who can't stop him from putting the home side in front.  Chawton's profligacy had haunted them again!

Athletic look to get back on level terms immediately and a cross finds Vickers at the far post, with his post wide after some good control.  Another long ball then finds Furey down the right.  He keeps the ball on the pitch and pulls back for Rietzler.  His shot down low is well saved, and then held on to - the keeper not looking like giving away an easy goal.

Waterloo could have made sure with quarter of an hour to go.  Substitute Kyle Bale stretching to head clear a long ball over the top, but inadvertently finds the Waterloo winger.  His shot beats Booth but also the far post.

Substitute, Goodall.
The game again looked to fizzle out, with Pete Goodall coming on to replace Will Rietzler on the right.  A Kyle Bale cross looks a good one, but nobody is in the box to meet it.  The cross comes back in from the other side and only James Harvey gets anywhere near, with the ball being inches behind him.

The final move of the match sees a Chawton corner headed over the bar by Ben Hodkin, with the Yellows' keeper in the opposition box to try and get something out of the game.  But that's pretty much the final touch and the game ends a disappointing 1-2.

It was a game that Chawton did not deserve to lose and the home side can count themselves very lucky to take all three points.  That said, it was a mixture of some good, at times desperate, Waterloo defending and some wasted Chawton passes that allowed them to hold the lead.  There some positives and the battling in the middle of Jake Channon and James Harvey was good.  The two full backs, Jamie Oakley and Elliot Watkins also impressed, and there was nothing Booth could do about the two goals - he looked solid throughout.

Elstead Lighting Man of the Match:  Elliot Watkins.  Another commanding performance from the young defender.  Although blogger Wulfy actually chose James Harvey!  Strong and commanding, particularly in the first half, and got the Yellows off to the start they needed with his goal.

Blog Man of the Match, Harvey (foreground) and Merritt.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Yellows Go A.P.E.!

ADSFL Division 7 Cup: Quarter-Final
11 December 2011


Starting XI:  Jamie Oakley (GK).  Elliot Watkins (RB), Steve Merritt (CB), Jake Channon (CB), Kyle Bale (LB).  Will Rietzler (RM), James Harvey (CM), Danny Taylor (CM), Mikey Phillips (LM).  Ben Hodkin (FW), Ryan Furey (FW).
Substitutes:  Carl Waterfield, Martin Booth, David Nicholson, Pete Goodall, Ashley Brooks.

Chawton eased into the semi-finals of the divisional cup by demolishing basement club Aldershot Park Elite and equaling the club's biggest ever win record in the process.

The first half saw the away side plunder eight goals, itself a record.  But it was Elite that drew first blood, looking to carry on where they left off in the second league meeting between the two sides.  A free kick was conceded just outside the area and it was well struck past Oakley in goal.

The lead did not last long though, as Danny Taylor soon equalised.

The ten men of Elite were then subjected to a constant tide of Yellows' attacks for the remaining thirty five minutes of the half.  While a lot of attacks were quelled by the hard working Elite defence, Will Rietzler did find himself on the scoresheet.  He was joined before half-time by Ryan Furey who scored twice, allowing him to wear both gloves without being fined, and captain Ben Hodkin who helped himself to four!

With payback for the season's earlier league defeat well and truly dished out, Athletic went in 8-1 leaders at half-time.

The second half was very much like the first - a goal fest!  And again it was Elite that pinched a goal back first.  The referee gave a soft penalty, booking Danny Taylor for the foul in the process.  He also booked keeper Jamie Oakley after the penalty was scored for daring to ask why it was worthy of a card!

From then on in it was mostly one way traffic.  Rietzler added his second goal of the game before Chawton were given a penalty of their own.  Hodkin relinquished penalty duties to substitute Carl Waterfield, who was yet to score for the club.  He stepped up and coolly sent it to the keeper's left, although the glovesman did get a hand to it.

Danny Taylor, captain by this point after Hodkin was given a rest, scored his second of the match - but the scoring was far from done.  Another substitute, Ashley Brooks, scored a brace of his own - his first competitive goals for the club and both following hard work in the build up and well fashioned finishes.

There could even have been more goals with Mikey Phillips, James Harvey and Pete Goodall all coming close.  Kyle Bale's running, which caused panic in Elite's defence all game, almost yielded a goal for him too.

The pedantic ref, who had booked four Athletic players (but no Elite players, interestingly) called time on the match which ended in a 13-2 victory - the largest ever away win for the club.

Elstead Lighting Man of the Match:  Ben Hodkin - An all round captain's performance! He hit four first half goals, set up a few others too and even shared the glory with his grateful Treasurer!