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Highmoor Ibis
Wantage Town Football Club
Fri 25 May 19:00 - Cup Full time Attendance 332

Wantage Win Reading Invitation Senior Cup

Freds Too Strong For Highmoor

Freds lift Reading Senior Cup
Highmoor-Ibis 3-5 Wantage Town
Report From:

Wantage Town won the Reading Invitation Challenge Senior Cup for a second time with a 5-3 victory over Highmoor-Ibis at the Madejski Stadium.

They had previously won the competition in 1983, and having returned to the competition this year they had been looking to add a second win.

To get here, they’d beaten Thatcham Town – their last defeat before their 40-game unbeaten run – Woodcote/Stoke Row and Woodley United, with their opponents having overcome Wokingham & Emmbrook and Marlow United.

Wantage took the lead early on in the final, with Steve Robertson getting the final touch as the ball was bundled in, however Highmoor pegged them back quickly through Mitchell Parker.

The Freds continued to have the better chances in the opening half-an-hour, and restored their advantage when Jack Dunmall volleyed in after Highmoor goalkeeper James Hillson made a mess of a corner.

Whilst both teams looked a little short of match practice early on – the Hellenic League season having ended a month ago – both improved as the half wore on and Highmoor had plenty of chances to equalise once more, but it wasn’t until the eighth minute of the second half that Devonta Romeo’s shot off the post restored parity.

Wantage were back ahead shortly after, with Dan Comer’s strike from the edge of the box, and Jim Glover then made it four as Nick Thorne’s cross over Hillson found him at the far post.

The game was all but over just under ten minutes later. Jamie Porter pulled back Robertson in the box, with Jon Davoille stepping up for the penalty. Hillson saved it, however Davoille got forward quickly enough to head the ball home anyway.

Highmoor had learned earlier in the day that they have been reprieved from Hellenic League Premier Division relegation, had played their part in this final and got a goal back six minutes from time, as Joe Joslyn scored moments after they had hit the bar.

The trophy caps a successful season for Ben Sadler’s side, having finished fourth in the league and just missing out on promotion.

Wantage Town: Meare, Comer, Markham (Willoughby 63’), Threlfall, Jackson, Cheetham, Dunmall (Powell 77’), Davoille, Robertson, Glover (Scholes 73’), Thorne. Unused subs: Grant, Alder.

Highmoor-Ibis: Hillson, Mooney, Whight (Catlyn HT), Maylem, Porter, Thorne, Smith, Romeo, White (Joslyn 66’), Parker, Roffey (Da Ramma HT). Unused subs: Cox, Best.

Goals: Parker 9’, Romeo 53‘, Joslyn 84’; Robertson 7’, Dunmall 28’, Comer 57’, Glover 60’, Devoille 68’.

Reading Invitation Senior Cup 25 May - Match report by Dave Wright
Report From:

Wantage Town lifted the Reading Invitation Senior Cup by beating Uhlsport Hellenic League rivals Highmoor Ibis 5-3 in an exciting final played at Reading FC's Madejski Stadium on Friday evening.

Yet even eight goals failed to reflect the amount of action at both ends with plenty of chances being created - and wasted - and the two keepers making some excellent saves.

It was a clash that featured the teams who had finished fourth from the top and fourth from bottom of the table, but for the best part of the game, there was little to choose between the pair.

There was no doubt Wantage deserved their win, but they had to work extremely hard to stamp their authority over a Highmoor side who earlier in the day heard they had retained their Premier Division status despite finishing in the relegation zone.

On a sunny evening, there was an explosive start to the final with both sides hitting the back of the net inside the opening 10 minutes.

The Alfredian Park men took a seventh-minute lead through Steve Robertson, but two minutes later Mitchell Parker curled home a brilliant equaliser.

Wantage, who had knocked out FA Vase winners Thatcham Town on their way to the final, regained the lead with a goal from Jack Dummall after 28 minutes and they were good value for their half-time advantage.

But eight minutes into the second half the scores were back level, courtesy of a fine solo effort from Devonte Romeo with his shot going in off the post.

However, that was the nearest it got for Highmoor, as Wantage snatched control of the game with three goals in the space of 11 minutes.

Dan Comer restored their lead on 57 minutes by firing home from the edge of the area, which Jim Glover quickly extended.

It got worse for Highmoor when skipper Jamie Porter hauled back Robertson as he raced into the area to concede a penalty. Jon Davoille's spot-kick was parried by teenage keeper James Hilson, who is on Reading FC's books, but Davoille followed up to head the ball home to make it 5-2 with 68 minutes gone.

The west Reading-based side looked deflated as they had certainly played their part in a good game. But the introduction of substitutes did give them some fresh legs and it was Joe Joslyn who was first to react after Parker had seen two efforts rebound out, one off the crossbar and another parried by keeper Curtis Meare.

So Ben Sadler's side finish the season with a trophy to follow up their fourth-place finish in the table. With the three sides who finished above them all being promoted, the Wantage will be many observers' favourites for the title next season.

Fittingly, the guest of honour at this all-Hellenic tie was the league's CEO, Brian King. The game also marked the end of the short reign of Highmoor joint-managers Anthony Mooney and Declan Jacob - labeled in the local press as the 'Ant and Dec of non-league football'. Lined up as their replacements are Andy Findlay and Rob Creech, who were joint-managers of the Bracknell Town reserve side which has now been disbanded as part of major changes at the club who will be playing in the Isthmian League South Central next season. Highmoor's decision to make a change of manager had surfaced last week and had no bearing on the cup final defeat.

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