New first team manager, Keith Darling, has had pre-season training underway for a few weeks now and after friendlies with Downton Reserves, Barford and Woodfalls is looking forward to more friendlies before the season starts in September. Come along and support the boys at:-
14 August – 6:30pm – Royal George
16 August – 3:00pm – Trowbridge Rangers
20 August – 6:30pm – Redlynch
31 August – 2:00pm – Whiteparish
All games are away fixtures.
Undefeated Record Lost to a Last Minute Strike
This is one of the hardest fought and closet games I have ever had the privilege to watch. The first half was spent with the two teams exchanging attacking blows. Malmesbury had the only clear cut chance of the half. Their centre forward found space on the left hand corner of South Newton’s box and fired a rocket of a shot just under Joe Mussell’s bar. Joe, equal to this, calmly and skilfully palmed the ball over the bar to keep the score level until half time. (HT 0-0)
The second half began with South Newton in the ascendancy. Chances began to fall for the visiting strikers and only some impressive keeping from the home keeper kept the visitors in sight. Eventually this pressure was too much for Malmesbury who gave away a free kick about 25 yards from the goal. George Mould stepped up and stretched the net with a strike Mr Beckham would be proud of. (0-1)
South Newton continued the pressure but try as they might, numerous opportunities went begging. Eventually this would come back to haunt them, as Malmesbury took advantage of a free kick of their own, to level the score with two minutes to play. (1-1)
These last two minutes somehow turned into eight, and the game was now at a frantic pace. Malmesbury threw caution to the wind and with the almost the last move of the game, they breached the hither-to steadfast South Newton defence, to send the ball into the net and secure all three points.
Report by Paul Russell
Sunshine Heralds a Return to Winning Ways
Westbury Youth Tigers kindly agreed to host South Newton & Wishford U13’s home fixture, due to the ongoing flooding problems at Stoford recreation ground and a beautiful spring day offered perfect conditions for a replay of last week’s closely fought game.
After an impressive display last week, Westbury could have been forgiven for going into today’s match with a degree of confidence. However South Newton had learned a hard lesson about the danger of underestimating opponents and today they were a completely different side. Positional changes made by Steve Johnson and John Mould altered the shape of the team, which gave their boys the edge from the start. The whistle at the kick off was like the firing of a starting pistol for South Newton and they went out all guns blazing! This energy pegged their opponents into their own half and soon a corner was won, which was fired in at pace by George Mould. Harry Russell span on the spot to flick the ball over the static keeper to open the scoring.
The newly formed striking partnership of Chey Hayer and Taylor Oakley proved a stroke of genius. Both have outstanding pace and they continuously stretched the defence of the home side, taking players with then to provide space for midfielders Matthew Hamilton and team captain Tyler Grey to press forward in support. Chey took full advantage of his new spearhead position and he and Taylor started to impose themselves on the game. Supported by his partner and the impressive cohesion of the whole team, Chey showed a focused determination to break the defensive line and score his first of a fantastic first half hatrick.
Westbury, showed flashes of last week’s skill and netted two of their own, but were on the back foot throughout. The half ended 4-2 to the visitors.
The second half was similar to the first, with all members of the team stepping up to be counted:
Joe Mussell in goal made numerous impressive saves, despite an extremely bobbly pitch. The back four of Ben Huntley, Isaac Bonney, Joe Huntley and George Mould were unyielding and a formidable barrier. The centre midfield supported the strikers when needed, allowing Matthew Hamilton to find the net with a well struck effort half way through the half. But this did not mean they neglected their defensive colleagues, dropping back when called upon. The two wide midfielders gave breadth to the field, with Ben Rolfe on the right demonstrating significant skill and pace to create frequent chances and Harry Russell on the left sent numerous perfectly weighted passes into the path of the forwards. In addition, substitutes Adam Barnett and Tyler Easly gave the team an extremely valuable resource. Both came on in both halves and slotted well into the positions they were assigned, bringing fresh legs and a determined performance with them.
The differences in the performance today and last week’s game were huge. Today’s team communicated well, praised and supported each other, held their assigned positions, defended and attacked as a unit and passed the ball well. I really do mean this when I say, each and every member of the team played their part today and they can be rightly proud of an excellent performance.
The final score today was 9-4 to South Newton!
A similar performance will be required next week at fellow title rivals Malmesbury.
Chey Hayer – 4
Taylor Oakley – 3
Harry Russell – 1
Matthew Hamilton – 1
Report by Paul Russell
Late show not enough as semi final ends in heartbreak
Laverstock was the venue for the League Cup semi final and the weather was the best it has been for weeks. Sarum Youth were the visitors looking to secure their second cup final of the season. Only 12 available players to pick from so maximum commitment and effort were needed once again. After the warm up and passionate team talk the game got under way.
Both teams began slowly feeling each other out and looking to gain a foothold. With a final in the offing it was understandable that both teams were nervous and little hint was given to the grand stand finish later on. Sarum Youth was just edging possession and as the half wore on put some pressure on the home team. Clear cut chances were few and far between with Will Hooper having the homes sides’ best chance which he put wide.
Once again the centre half partnership of Luke Mathews and Tom Sainsbury was looking solid and their no nonsense approach was giving the dangerous away side forwards no change whatsoever. The midfield was also playing well cutting out the balls into the strikers and trying to get the ball forward at every opportunity.
The away side had a few corners which were well defended by the home side and as half time approached there was still no score. There was plenty of encouragement from both sides supporters but as the half time whistle went it remained 0 – 0.
Paul Mitchell and Jamie Davies were happy with the commitment being shown by the boys they just now wanted them to try and get the passing game going and put the away side defence under more pressure. No subs were made at half time so it was the same eleven who took to the pitch for the second half.
At kick off it was Sarum who took advantage of the breeze and the slight down slope and attacked with vigour. With 46 minutes on the clock the away side broke the deadlock with a flowing move on their right. Dave McClelland had to come across to make a challenge and the ricochet fell to the impressive Sarum player on the left who made no mistake with the finish, 0 – 1.
The boys now needed to get back into the game but the away side struck again almost from the kick off. This time the move came down the Sarum left with the cross to the far post well met by the Sarum No 9 with his head to make it 0 – 2 in the 47th minute. As has happened too many times this season two goals have come in quick succession.
It was all Sarum now with South Newton struggling to get any good ball in midfield and they were hanging on. To the home sides credit they somewhat stemmed the tide but couldn’t really threaten the away goal. The next goal came in the 62nd minute when an impressive move from the away side was clinically finished by the No 9 to make it 0 – 3.
The game looked like it was done for the home side especially when on 66 minutes Sarum added to their tally after an unfortunate own goal by Cairen Wells who had come on for Dave McClelland minutes earlier, 0 – 4. The away side made a number of changes which included their impressive front two who caused endless problems for the home side. No one had any idea what would follow.
With nothing to lose South Newton seemed to relax and finally start playing football. After a good move which involved the midfield and defence with good passing and movement the ball fell to Will Hooper who lashed the ball past to the away keepers right, 73 minutes gone 1 – 4. This galvanised the home side who two minutes later reduced the arrears to two after Will Hooper again finished well, 2 – 4.
There now seemed to be panic in the away sides defence and Paul Mitchell sensed blood and sent Luke Mathews forward and going to a back 3. The change paid immediate dividends after Luke Mathews received the ball on the right side of the penalty area and he struck a bullet of a left foot shot past the keeper, 77 minutes gone 3 – 4. The away side immediately called back their best two players back from the other side of the pitch cutting short their early escape.
Could the home side pull off a remarkable comeback and force the tie into penalties. The Sarum management team were frantic with their defence asking them to keep their shape and not to panic. South Newton piled forward looking for the equaliser and in the last minute of time forced a corner on the left. The keeper came forward for the corner and the box was packed with all 22 players jockeying for position. Adam Harris took the corner but unfortunately the wind got hold of it and it drifted out of play, no last minute goalmouth scramble which the home support was hoping for. The ref blew for full time to end the thrilling climax.
What a great end to the game, Paul and Jamie could not fault the effort and application after going 4 goals behind and not giving up. The last 7 minutes of the game showed what South Newton is capable against any side in the division and they deserve to be at the top table. MoM was Tom Sainsbury for his excellent display at the heart of the defence. The last game of the season is away at Stockbridge on the 22nd March, let’s finish the season with a win.
Scorers: Will Hooper 2 and Luke Mathews.
Report by Simon Boase
U13’S Unbeaten Record Remains Intact
The relief felt by players and supporters at actually starting a match was palpable today, as the U13’s visited league stragglers Westbury Youth Tigers.
South Newton went into today’s game as favourites, having a hither- to unbeaten record, but this would not have been immediately obvious to the neutral, as Westbury took the initiative in the opening minutes. The first half was played with the strong winds favouring Westbury and their keeper took full advantage of this, sending numerous long balls into the visitors half for their forwards to chase. Inevitably one such ball fell kindly for their left winger who struck a hopeful long high shot from 30 years which looped over Joe Mussell in goal to open the scoring in the tenth minute. (1-0)
South Newton struggled in the windy conditions and despite pressing forward and strikers Ollie Zachariello and Taylor Oakley creating chances of their own, the wind took the sting out of all efforts and the Westbury keeper was rarely tested. The remainder of the half continued with long balls from Westbury’s keeper bypassing the midfield until another opportunity fell to a Westbury green shirt and the score was 2-0.
Late in the second half the wind began to change and South Newton successfully strung a few passing together. This increased success bore more chances until right back George Mould slotted a sweet ball over the heads of the Westbury back four for Taylor Oakley to chase and fire past their statuesque keeper. (HT 2-1)
Following some words of encouragement from Manager Steve Johnson, South Newton came out punching in the second half and most of the play was then undertaken in the Westbury half. This more offensive approach appeared to be working until a long clearance from the Westbury midfield, bypassed the South Newton defence and left Joe Mussell with no option other than to race out of his box to attempt to clear the danger. The clearance was pounced on by the on rushing Westbury attack and their lead was restored to two. (3-1)
South Newton were now staring a possible shock defeat in the face and this prospect proved the motivation they needed. South Newton’s attacking efforts were eventually rewarded with a penalty kick, as a defender handled on the line. But this too proved only to increase their frustration as Taylor Oakley fired the ball high over the bar, much to the relief of Westbury. The pressure began to mount and when Tyler Easley was brought down in the box, a second spot kick was awarded. George Mould stepped up and stretched the net to reduce the deficit. (3-2)
The last 10 minutes was at a frantic pace and South Newton were now in full attack mode. Wave after wave were thwarted by Westbury until eventually Taylor Oakley breached the final defensive line to level the score! (3-3)
Lack of match practice was evident today, but every player put in a shift for the team and the draw was well deserved. With the return fixture next week likely to be hosted at Westbury’s ground due to the flooding at home, we all now know not to underestimate the opponents and a full strength squad will be essential.
Report by Paul Russell