A tale of two halves!
Witney 2 - 3 North Leigh! As the "NEW" Blanket Men Impress.
Witney took on North Leigh of the Evo Stick Southern League South and West Division in their 2nd pre-season match of the campaign in front of a healthy crowd of 130.
After an impeccable minutes silence for Witney Royals Paul Thompson, North Leigh started brightly and Zoldan was forced to tip over the bar but Witney weathered the storm and after a fine run from Ferreira his perfect cross was finished well by new signing Conor McDonagh on 15 mins. Witney grew in confidence and started to dominate producing some lovely flowing football which was at times a joy to watch. Chances came and went before Ryan Brooks doubled the lead with his first goal in a Witney shirt following good work by Thorne on 27 mins. Clark went close late on for North Leigh but Town went in at half time buoyant following a top class half.
North Leigh came out in the 2nd half rejuvenated clearly with their managers voice ringing in their ears. Tony Booker was forced to clear one off the line early on and after a large number of substitutions Witney struggled to adapt and Els struck a beautiful 30 yarder to pull one back on the hour.
3 mins later North Leigh were level and Els tapped in for his 2nd. Witney started to gradually find their feet again after the changes with Jamie Brooks unlucky on a couple of occasions. Substitute keeper Loos kept North Leigh at bay with some good saves before with 1 minute to go on the clock another excellent North Leigh move resulted in John Mills grabbing the winner from Michael Hopkins cross.
Overall Witney should be pleased with their first half display which was as fine a brand of football as seen for many years at the Community Stadium and bodes well for the future and they more than held their own on the day against a side who clearly showed at times they were from a division above with Keiran Sanders particularly standing out for the visitors.
Team - Zoldan, Tony Booker, Thorne, Meade, Perkins, Thomas, Ferreira, Morris(c), Faulkner, McDonagh, R Brooks.
Subs - J Brooks for McDonagh 51,Rixon for R Brooks , Bernesconi for Tony Booker both 58, Loos for Zoldan, Webb for Perkins, James for Meade, Denton for Ferreira all on 70, R Brooks back on for Thomas 79
North Leigh starting XI - Sam Warrell, Zak Westlake, James Organ, Wayne Turk, Stuart Hole, Andy Caton, Michael Hopkins, Toby Clarke, Mitch Bryant, Keiran Sanders, John Mills
Subs - Els