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OAKWOOD REPEAT PERFORMANCE
So after the summer break it was back to Tyro football, and the Champions Oakwood were up against their recent nemesis St. Francis in a re run of the last competitive game of last season the Daltons Cup Final which Oakwood won 1 - 0 after spending most of that game defending resolutely against an in form St. Francis side...................well it was a case of deja - vu as this game followed a similar pattern to the Daltons Cup Final.
Both teams had injury problems before the game began and it was a credit to the two managers that the game went ahead as scheduled.
Oakwood began brightly and the excellent Crisp hit a powerful shot from 30 yards which just flew over the bar and then the same player narrowly headed over from the resulting corner.
The game was becoming a midfield battle with neither side gaining superiority and both keepers remained untroubled.
The deadlock was finally broken when midway through the first half great vision by the Oakwood 'keeper Casey kicked long upfield and the ball bounced on the edge of the St. Francis area between a group of players where Griffiths was the first to react and turn smartly to volley the ball low into the corner of the goal.
The St. Francis reply was almost immediate and a great move through their midfield saw a tremendous shot by Mairon hit the bar with the Oakwood defence beaten.
Fortunately for Oakwood the under pressure midfield players were combining well with Crisp and Smith working well together on one wing where Smith was always an outlet whilst Burt, Thorne and Newman were proving once again what a great midfield trio they are constantly breaking up attacks from the impressive St.Francis midfield players and as a result the midfield stalemate continued upto half time and Oakwood were relieved to go in one nil up.
The second half began with St.Francis taking the game to Oakwood in similar fashion to the Daltons Cup Final.
Their period of pressure ended when Newman showed his fantastic ball skills with two superb passes to Burt who shot narrowly over.
Not to be outdone Tomasso once again stood out in an impressive Oakwood defensive performance and continued to show what a superb, reliable defender he is with a fantastic block tackle as Hansford was about to shoot goalwards.
St. Francis were now carving out better chances but with both defences standing firm the 'keepers were having a quiet game.
A superb through ball by Fricker then released Captain Thorne who shot over the bar.
Not mentioned in the report so far, but probably the two outstanding player for Oakwood today were Fricker and Johnson, both produced superb battling performances and without them the match result could have been very different.
Finally two of the new team players for the 2008/9 season also contributed to the victory with Moth holding the ball up well as the effervescent,hard working Pascoe was forced to drop deeper and deeper to bail out an overworked and rapidly tiring Oakwood defence.
Written by Paul Griffiths