NWL Division 1: Shrivenham & Watchfield 1 CCCFC Whites 1
CCCFC and Shrivenham & Watchfield line-up before the game to mark the FA Respect weekend
The Whites proved they can compete with the very best sides in the North Wilts League as their tough run of Division 1 fixtures continued with a trip to Shrivenham & Watchfield.
Runners-up to the mighty Croft Juniors in each of the last two seasons, Shrivenham tasted defeat only once in the league in 2013-14 but were given a real run for their money by a Colts side who were ahead at the interval and had a couple of good chances to take all three points.
However, it took some wonderful goalkeeping from Max and a terrific display at right-back from Callum to deny dangerous Shrivenham more than a solitary goal at the other end and a draw was the fairest outcome.
The game coincided with the launch of the latest phase of the FA’s Respect campaign and, although very physical at times, was played in a sporting manner by both teams and was a great advert for what is proving to be a highly-competitive division.
Colts’ achievement is even more impressive given they were never at full-strength, shorn of one member of their squad beforehand while others suffered with knocks and illness during the contest.
The resolute defensive trio of Callum, Tom and Bradley did well to help the visitors soak up early Shrivenham pressure but the Colts always posed a danger on the break, with Liam’s pace taking him away from defenders and winning a couple of free-kicks in useful positions.
They took the lead when the predatory George latched on to Callum’s ball from the back, burst between two defenders and then kept his cool to round the keeper and slot home in clinical fashion.
Luke and Matthew worked tirelessly despite being outnumbered by a quick and skilful Shrivenham midfield and broke up a number of attacks, while Max produced two brilliant saves and some composed handling to keep the Colts’ noses in front at half-time.
He was powerless when Shrivenham’s pressure finally told ten minutes into the second half, a loose ball falling kindly to a home striker who curled in the equaliser.
The hosts turned the screw and hit the crossbar not long afterwards but Colts eventually regrouped and threatened a winner themselves. Toby cut inside to good effect and had a couple of efforts from distance blocked and Luke VDB, enjoying his best game of the season, was direct and determined on the other flank.
Brandon H linked the play well up front and created a late chance for Matthew, who was denied by a brave stop from the keeper as he prepared to pull the trigger.
Max continued his superb work between the posts but was beaten by an audacious, wind-assisted lob from distance that flew over his head but somehow bounced over the bar.
Colts also survived a late corner to emerge with an excellent point that gives them a very decent return from their first six matches – during which time they have faced all of last season’s top five as well as a side that ran away with the Division 2 title.
Last Updated on Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:17