Report by Kevin Coles.
Highworth’s second game of the season came 4 weeks after their first game away to Clanfield, and although they had played friendly fixtures it really is no substitute for competitive match practice, this was illustrated by a tentative start to the match similar to their first game against Clanfield.
Highworth had a few chances but none of any real note until they conceded a free kick to Brimscombe out wide, this was taken quickly to the rather stout no. 7 the captain for the visitors but his quick feet deceived Jack Pedder who conceded a stonewall penalty, which was duly converted by the visitor's number 10.
Highworth did grow in confidence and Coles should have done better with a volley presented to him following good play by Mani Roper on the left wing. Coles then turned provider with a long run down the right hand side and cut the ball back to Corks but he was thwarted by the visitors' keeper. Highworth however did eventually draw level courtesy of a fantastic drive from distance by the enigmatic Jack Allen.
The second half was probably edged by Highworth on chances created but Corcoran should have done better following a straight punt down the middle which deceived the visitors' defence but unfortunately he probably caught his volley too well and it ended up nestling straight into the grateful keeper's arms; a mis-shot may have pulled it into the corner.
As often happens when numerous chances go begging, the visitors capitalised on this and took the lead following more creative play from their impressive number 10 who converted himself to bag a brace.
With 10 minutes to go Highworth threw caution to the wind and deployed either Gareth Davies or McCluskey as an emergency centre forward whenever the opportunity arose, this drew the desired effect when following a goal scramble from a corner, the ball fell to Davies, and although the connection wasn’t perfect the ball rolled into the bottom corner to the delight of all the supporters and players. None more so than Davies himself whose celebration showed just how much this hard earned point meant to him, passion is the best word to describe the emotions etched onto his crazed face!.
Coles was booked in the aftermath of the goal and this led to a few unsavoury scenes before the referee finally blew his final whistle.
The management teams of both sides would probably admit they were happy with a point, Brimscombe’s because of the sheer number of chances Highworth created, Colesy, Ropes and Co. probably felt fortunate after such a long layoff and going into the final 5 minutes a goal down. An entertaining 2-2 draw.