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Firsts - Match centre

Mansfield Road
Chalgrove Cavaliers FC
Chalgrove Cavaliers FC win 3 - 5 on penalties. Sat 23 Sep 13:30 - Cup Full time

Mansfield Road 5 - 5 Chalgrove (AET, Chalgrove win 5-3 on Pens)

The thriller in Manny Roadiller

Mansfield Road 5 - 5 Chalgrove (AET, Chalgrove win 5-3 on Pens)

Chalgrove travelled to Mansfield Road on Saturday in the first round of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. It’s Oxfordshire’s major cup competition and Chalgrove knew they were in for a tough test against a Mansfield Road side they’d never beaten away from home.

Chalgrove welcomed back Skiller, Piper, Stobbs and Lockyer but were without Cox, Halliday, Clarke & Barlow so as with most weeks there were changes required.

So, on a superb pitch it was Chalgrove who got the game underway with the main priority being to enjoy playing on a fine surface. And enjoy it they did.

The visitors took the kick-off and kept hold of the ball. It was worked around the back and between the midfielders before a ball forward was knocked on by Josh Billingham and from nowhere Nick Skiller was through on goal. Skiller had much to do as a bouncing ball was also on his left side but he waited patiently before firing a superb volley over the Mansfield Road ‘keeper and into the top corner.

Indeed, it wasn’t much longer before Chalgrove made it 2-0. The away side were moving the ball around well on a pukka surface and extended their lead when John Clarke played a ball through to Billingham who left two Mansfield Road defenders trailing in his wake as he went through on goal and slotted home after rounding the ‘keeper.

The home side rallied and started to get into dangerous areas but Chalgrove defended those situations well and continued to move the ball around and look to further increase their lead. They didn’t have to wait long.

Billingham’s pace had been causing the Manny Road defence all kinds of problems and on around the 15 minute mark he was played through again after a nice run by Sam Drake and although he saw his shot parried by the home ‘keeper Harry Bond was on hand to fire the ball home for his first goal in men’s football.

You think about all kinds of permutations of a game beforehand but you don’t think about being 3-0 up at Mansfield Road after 15 minutes, that’s for sure.

The visitors were well in control, although the hosts were starting to ask questions with several shots going high or wide of Stubbs goal and dangerous moves being snubbed out by the Chalgrove rear-guard.

Chalgrove could have made it 4-0 when a neat move across the pitch saw the ball fall to Drake but he opted to take a touch instead of shooting and saw his effort go just wide.

The home side were given a lifeline when a through ball took a deflection that evaded Diment at centre-half and allowed the Mansfield Road forward to run through and slot past Stobbs.

The first half action wasn’t over yet though as with just a minute remaining John Clarke picked the ball up on the left side of halfway and sent a delightful diagonal ball over the top of the Mansfield Road defence to find Nick Skiller who rifled a volley across goal and into the bottom corner.

Half-Time: Mansfield Road 1 - 4 Chalgrove

The half-time team talk focused on the importance of remembering what happened a few weeks back in the Yarnton game and last season at Cropredy. Fat lot of good it did!

Within minutes of the restart, Mansfield Road had pulled a goal back when a shot across goal was parried by Stobbs but the ball managed to trickle into the far corner.

Then, not long after, it was 4-3 when a ball into the box was spilt by Stobbs and a Mansfield Road player was on hand to tap home.

We now had a game on our hands as Mansfield Road had the momentum and Chalgrove weren’t keeping the ball well at all. In all credit to the hosts, they had made a double substitution at half-time which made a big difference for them.

Momentum isn’t something that can be coached but it makes a huge difference in a game of football and it was no surprise when Mansfield Road drew level following another scrappy goal from a long ball into the Chalgrove box. All square.

The away side changed the system to 4-5-1 to stop the flow and that seemed to work as the home side didn’t threaten as much and Chalgrove got back on an even footing. Both sides pushed for a winning goal but neither were able to find it and so the game went to extra-time.

Extra Time

It was now a 30 minute game and it was the home side who took the lead for the first time in the game. A free-kick from the right was clipped into the centre of the box and Mansfield Road’s long-serving midfielder was on hand to head home much to his delight.

Chalgrove reverted to the formation they’d started with at half-time in extra time and it seemed to work as they now looked a lot more threatening. They found an equaliser when Nick Skiller headed on for Billingham to run through on goal and once again he rounded the keeper to slot home and draw the sides level.

Mansfield Road thought they were going to win the game when their striker ran through but his lobbed effort was superbly tipped over by Stobbs. Chalgrove then thought they’d won the game when Billingham ran through and saw his shot creep just feet wide. Penalties it was…

The Penalties:
Chalgrove: Skiller (scored).
Mansfield Road: Scored.
Chalgrove: Rolfe (scored).
Mansfield Road: Scored.
Chalgrove: Lockyer (scored).
Mansfield Road: Scored.
Chalgrove: Drake (scored).
Mansfield Road: Saved by Stobbs.
Chalgrove: Clarke (scored).

Final Score: Mansfield Road 5 - 5 Chalgrove AET (Chalgrove win 5-3 on pens).

Chalgrove will be delighted with the win and will hope for an attractive tie in the second round. The management duo of Godfrey & Skiller will be looking at the number of goals being conceded but will be delighted with the way in which their young side moved the ball and the attacking threat they carried throughout the game.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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