Not much more to say – at least we are in the hat for next round.
After failing to convert an abundance of chances in our league meeting at Witney just a few weeks ago, and having to settle for a 2-2 draw on that occasion, it was with some trepidation that we faced them again so soon this time in the last 16 of the Reserve Cup.
With a point to prove we started well, but unlike our recent four home games we conceded the first goal on this occasion. Hainsey had initially done well to parry a shot from outside the box, but Witney’s forward reacted quickest to the rebound which was disappointing.
However we did show good character to quickly levelled proceedings, following good work down our left a quick give and go between Okey and Coles, saw Okey blast a right footed effort into the net. Highworth deservedly took the lead following great work by Corcoran, which ultimately saw him square the ball to Coles to tap into the empty net. 2-1 and barely 7 minutes played!
Witney got the vital fourth goal after several near misses by the home side which should have seen the game at 3-1 and heading towards a comfortable home passage into the next round, Witney hadn’t read the script and instead following a poor corner from Coles saw Witney break away and following poor defending and several weak challenges, Witney’s forward blasted low and hard past Hainsey to make it 2-2 at half time.
Not two-each again!!
This time with the possibility of extra time and penalties to split the two sides, it was all to play for in the second half. Highworth again had the better chances and it looked like being another one of those days where they just couldn’t convert them, this was epitomised when another great ball across goal by Corks was heading towards Coles and an empty net when Witney's No. 5 intercepted it and managed to smash his clearance against his own bar and away to safety.
With 20 minutes of the second half gone, Corcoran was again the provider and this time the ball did find its desired destination of Coles, and he dispatched it into the corner of the net, 3-2.
Could they this time hold onto their advantage and advance in the cup? YES, Adi Roper reacted first following a goalmouth scramble and pounced to continue his own rich goalscoring run.
Several players failed to reach the heights of recent performances today, however that is a sign of a good team to collectively still do enough to win the match and progress into the quarter finals.
Team: Haines, Pedder, McCluskey, Davies, Jackson, Appleton, M Roper, A Roper, Oke, Corks and Coles
Sub Dan Jelley on for Jamie Appleton
Subs used Josh Kirby and Chris Robinson