Downton 1-2 Highworth Town
A win is a win!
There were a number of changes to Saturday's winning side at Fairford and coupled with a combination of wretched weather, a very wet playing surface and very dull lighting, it would take time for the boys to settle down and play their usual game. Downton, on the other hand, were up for this Wilts Senior Cup tie and pressed from the start.
The first period saw the Worthians make some in-roads into the Downton backline but they were well contained by an organised defence. Downton on the other hand, pressed hard and put the Worthian defence under a lot of pressure, using their pacy forwards to get down the flanks and deliver the ball into the danger zone.
Despite all their hard work, Downton were not able to really create many meaningful chances and when they did, Matt Bulman was on hand to make a couple of astute saves when the breakthrough looked imminent and so the first half finished with honours even.
Right from the restart, the Worthians made a fast break and Dan Drewett was presented with a one-on-one with the Downton keeper, but his intended chip sailed over the bar. Downton then broke forward themselves and a weak back pass by Tom Cole left Matt Bulman stranded and in his attempt to clear the danger, brought down the number 9.
Downton's number 4 stepped up to take the penalty and converted comfortably to give the home side the lead.
The Worthians were improving as the match progressed and with the introduction of Ryan Stanners and Callum Parsons after 65 minutes, the game changed completely and it was now the turn of the visitors to control proceedings. Downton were tiring rapidly and it was almost inevitable that the Worthians would get back into the game.
A great run and cross from Aaron Ferris was headed goalwards by Jon Davoile but the Downton stopper made an excellent save and barely five minutes later Callum Parsons was brought down just outside the box by a weary defender. The effervescent Worthian frontman took the free kick himself, equalising with a glorious strike.
Another five minutes and another desperate challenge by a Downton defender on Jon Davoile resulted in a penalty which Callum Parsons converted. The Worthians were now in full control and played out the remaining minutes without further incident to take their place in the next round.
Downton played well against a much changed Worthian outfit, but a combination of tired legs and over reliance on the long ball was to be their undoing. They may have thought that a victory was within their grasp, but the truth of the matter was that they were unable to contain their north Wiltshire opponents in a final twenty minute onslaught.