Eynsham SSC 0 – 3 Chipping Norton Town
Eynsham SSC were defeated on the opening day.....
Two goals from Dan Bott and one from Mark Corbett saw Eynsham SSC fall to an opening day defeat at Oxford Road on Saturday against Chipping Norton Town.
The Social were frustrated for the majority of the game as they looked edgy but also dealing with the fact that 5-6 first team regulars were missing for different reasons, meaning reserve team players had to step up from Division Four.
Chipping Norton Town broke the deadlock on 12 minutes, when a ball delivered in from the right wing found a Chippy player unmarked in the box to fire the ball past Ash Bowerman in goal who had to replace Tom Bryant moments before kick-off.
The host did try to get a foothold off the game and did play some passing football at times but couldn't find that final ball to create a goalscoring opportunity for the attacking players.
Last minute call goalkeeper Ash Bowerman was to be thanked for keeping the scores at 1-0 making a number of heroics saves most notably a one-on-one which he managed to tipped over the bar from off the ground.
Though on 38 minutes the visitors lead was increased, a low corner from the right was swung in and was failed to clear at the near post the ball was knocked in for an easy tap-in.
Half-Time: Eynsham SSC 0 – 2 Chipping Norton Town
During the interval it was known that the next goal was important as if the host got it then the game would be back on but if a third from Chipping Norton then it would most probably kill the game off.
The half started in the same way as much off the first half was played out, and again Ash Bowerman was on hand to make save after save.
On the hour-mark, Barry Stratford began to make changes to try and get back into the game, on came Shaun Rowbotham to replace débutant Tom Gonzales.
Eynsham SSC did start getting into the game creating half chances but nothing clear-cut for John Ayres to get on the end off to open his account for the season.
Ten minutes later, a second substitution was made as Dan Johnson came on to replace Lee Parsons, but on 74 minutes the game was out off reach as a third goal went in. The striker was put through on goal and this time had the ability to slot the ball past the keeper.
On 82 minutes, Barry Stratford brought on reserve team manager Neil Latham to replace Stephen Chappel at left-back. But that was how it stayed.
Full-Time: Eynsham SSC 0 – 3 Chipping Norton Town
Barry Stratford's verdict
"We knew it was always going to be a tough job with the players we had out but have to give credit to the players that came in and did a job, it's tough stepping up four divisions. We know we have some work to do before Combe next week and hopefully we will have players back, we will dust ourselves down and go again."
"On the plus side I thought Ralph Rankin had a decent game at centre-back after a couple of season break from the game. Ash Bowerman was our player of the match after making many decent saves throughout the 90 minutes."