F/T: Fairford Res 2 Highworth Res 3
Entertaining derby clash sees ten man Reds edged out
FAIRFORD Town’s reserves succumbed to a 3-2 home defeat to Highworth Town in an entertaining derby encounter on Tuesday evening.
It was only a second defeat in six league games for the Reds, but followed a tough away day in the cup at Stokenchurch on Saturday.
Highworth made the brighter start and were soon ahead with just two minutes played. Liam Crabbe then doubled the visitors’ advantage on 11 minutes with a close range header.
The action continued at a pace and Fairford got back into the game with a deep free-kick from Lewis Taylor finding Ben Saunders whose inch-perfect header glanced in off the post with a quarter of an hour on the clock.
Fairford’s goalscorer was shown a straight red card on the stroke of half-time for a firm challenge with the referee soon blowing for the interval.
Tom Ballard brought a fine save from Reece Cass two minutes into the second period before the introduction of Lee Smith on the hour.
Highworth’s numerical advantage told on 71 minutes as after a period of controlled possession, Joe Broadbank ran in unmarked at the back post to volley home after a cross from the left.
There was still time for more drama – this time a penalty award for a push on Taylor – and Lewis Petrie made no mistake to drive the ball home to make it 3-2 with 15 still to play.
Andy Bright’s men pushed hard for a leveller but after Alex Evans saw his dipping volley fly narrowly over, Fairford’s hopes of a point came to an end.
The victory saw Highworth go level on points with Fairford, but a place above on goal difference. It was a determined effort from the Reds who worked hard throughout – and host Kidlington at Cinder Lane next Tuesday 1st March, 7.45pm.
Fairford Town: Stevens; Anderson, Stubbs, Saunders, Taylor; Hamersley, Ballard, Evans A, Weaven; Evans E, Petrie
Subs: Bright, Bond, Godwin, Petrie M, Smith