Derby day woe again...
... in second "El Villageo" of the season
Aston travelled the awfully short journey to play “that lot up the road” in a game dubbed “El Villageo” by the gaffer, others called it a “pigs head affair” so it was disappointing to see the pig Warren Austin had used another excuse from his never-ending book of excuses, apparently this little piggy stayed at home and had Roast Beef.
Arguably the fiercest Derby of the Witney and District was ready to begin with Edwards just about pulling a squad together. “The Cat” Ross Fleming was back in goal after a vigorous warm up from the ageing Caswell who was back in the squad. Dan “I ache all over” Molony in at right back, “Mr Sniffles” Mike Hedges at centre back who genuinely is ill paired up with the technically pleasing on the eye Woodley with incredibly haired Rowe at left back. Fleming senior, “The Hulk” Golding and the rotund Harriss filled the centre midfield areas. Smith, Brown and Kennedy filled the attacking areas.
The game started well for Aston as extra media presence did not phase them although not as much media attention as Kennedys relationship has been getting in recent months. Smith rampaged down the left beating the right back twice and curled tamely towards the front pot when maybe squaring the ball would have been advantageous.
Soon the man mountain Henry Golding was bursting into the box, Golding a man with an incredible turn of pace for a big lad went past the Bampton centre back as if he wasn’t there but he somehow managed to pull him over. Penalty to the Lions. “The Wizard of Oz” Matt Brown stepped up, Hewer and Caswell were unsure on the sideline as they had never seen Brown take a competitive penalty but Brown didn’t disappoint as he fired home with consummate ease. 1-0 Aston.
It was soon 2-0 with some fantastic Forward play from Romeo Kennedy as he slipped Smith in down the left and he slammed the ball towards goal, a big block off the goalie didn’t prevent the ball from bouncing in to the ground and into the net. Smith’s 9th of the season.
Aston were in Derby heaven quickly followed by Derby Hell as Astons resident Cat went stray and for some reason was in the centre circle shaking Astons well performing front line by the hand. Bampton twigged the Cat was out and sent the Ball flying into the net like a ball of wool into a cat basket. 2-1 and a response within four seconds. A major shot in the arm for Bampton Utd.
Aston tried to keep their composure as Smith was again looking dangerous and found the benefit of a ricochet after more good work from Kennedy and found himself on the right, he shot across the goalkeeper who managed to put a strong right hand on it and just keep the ball out.
Fleming senior was controlling things for Aston and giving the Team the base to attack from and in particular Smith the base to attack from, he was again released down the right this time by Golding and was hacked down on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick coming to no avail.
Bampton Utd soon equalised, totally against the run of play for the second time with a cross from the left winger which curled straight into the top corner lobbing Ross Fleming in the process who was not enjoying his afternoon. 2-2 and Aston were dumbfounded.
Edwards again having to read the riot act at half time to try and reassure his team to keep their cool and concentrate and forget about the silly errors. They were the better team.
The chances were few and far between in the second half but it was still Smith carrying the main threat with a superb run down the byline and being fouled but still managed to find Golding who connected beautifully but the ball fizzed wide.
Bampton Utd would soon complete the comeback they dreamt of taking the lead 3-2 with a corner coming in ending up in the six yard box but Brown for Aston was out fought to the ball and the header was slammed home despite a good hand from Fleming. Agony for Aston.
Brown was instantly sacrificed by the ruthless Edwards as Evans who had just got kitted up despite an alleged tweaky knee decided he could play half an hour of football. Evans was out on the right and made an instant impression bursting down the right hand side of the Bampton box and a lunge brought a foul, a stonewall penalty. Hedges stepped up and there was never any doubt. 3-3 Aston.
A fizzing drive from Smith after good work from Kennedy and Fleming went just past the top right corner of the goal as the crowd gasped. A disallowed goal was then given as Hedges pole axed the Bampton goalkeeper after heading the ball straight out of his hands and into the net, this triggered one of the most unusual sights at a Witney and District game ever, a smoke flare in a purple colour. This truly confirmed that it was the biggest Derby in the Witney and District. Although Bampton in Orange, Aston in Red, what did the colour signify? Was it a Brexit demonstrator? Dads for justice? Or another romantic gesture from Kennedy as purple is the colour of love.
A dubious free kick was soon awarded for Bampton with the familiar looking referees eyes maybe watering from the flare. The ball was whipped into the back post where the Bampton player had time for a cup of tea and a picnic to pick his spot in the corner. 4-3 and the Bampton massive were in raptures.
With ten minutes to go Aston laid siege to the Bampton goal, Evans the man to keep finding who again burst down the right squaring to Kennedy who had two bites of the cherry, the first chance being blocked the second superbly saved by the Bamo goalkeeper.
Edwards thrust Caswell into the action to replace Kennedy and then put himself on for Hedges. The ageing, balding duo managed a header and a less than acrobatic overhead kick between them.
There was one last chance for Aston as Fleming whipped in a superb free kick but for curly haired Rowe to head over after he outfought Molony for the ball!!
Another incredibly frustrating afternoon for Aston as they handed over six points to their arch rivals in this league campaign. Bampton together were greater than the sum of its parts, something that maybe Aston still need to learn.