Season 2011/12 - Oxfordshire Senior League, Division One
Chadlington FC end the 2011/12 Season by finishing 11th in the Oxfordshire Senior League Division 1.
This was Chadlingtons second season back in the first division of the Oxfordshire Senior League. Despite a torrid 1st half of the campaign the team rallied to finish a respectable 11th in the league and achieve a point’s haul greater than the past 2 seasons.
It was a new look side that started the season in September following the merging of Chadlington FC and Chad Park FC of the Witney & District League over the summer. It was unsurprising that this new team, getting to know each other lost their opening game 2-0 to Riverside. With their opponents being tipped to be the ones to beat this season and going on to comfortably win the league the performance was viewed as promising.
However despite the promise things did not improve results wise and the team lost their next 5 league games including a 6-3 thriller against local rivals Enstone.
Chadlington made the long haul to Watlington in the Presidents Cup on 5th November hoping that the break in the league would be a relief. Goals from Slatter, Vaughan and Hunt ensured a 3-1 victory and gave the team hope that things were improving.
The following week the team were brought down with a bump and there was to be no more cup respite during the season with the side losing 4-0 to Easington Sports Reserves of the Hellenic League Div 2 West.
Other cup defeats later in the season included losing 4-0 to Marston Saints in the 2nd round of the Presidents Cup and 2-0 to Bletchingdon in the Oxfordshire Charity Cup, both sides applying their trade in the Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division.
The first league point of the season came at home against Broughton & North Newington with a 2-2 draw. It should have been 3 points gained though as the away team equalised late in a game that Chadlington dominated early on and squandered chances following Vaughan and Hunts early goals.
Next up were Enstone with Chadlington desperate to avenge their earlier defeat to their rivals. Despite fielding a strong side they didn't perform well and lost 2-0 with a lot of head scratching taking place afterwards.
Following a 1 week break in the fixtures Chadlington travelled to bottom of the table Long Crendon knowing that victory was essential. A comfortable 3-1 victory with goals from Hunt, O'Brien and Salmon spurred the team to go on a run over the next 10 games. During the spell of 11 games they collected 17 points. This run included the back to back victories over Oakley, 3-1 away and a 5-0 demolition job at home along with the 5-2 thrashing of Yarton, again at home with Slatter scoring the only hatrick of the season with Walker adding a brace.
It could have easily been a bigger points haul as the team drew games against Watlington twice, Northway, North Oxford and Long Crendon. A host of missed penalties kicks throughout this spell and the season proved to be Chadlingtons Achilles heel.
The mid season turn around was helped on its way in part by the returning James O'Brien from injury, James Cleevely and club captain Kevin Mulhearn which ensured that a consistent side could be maintained.
The next three games though were hard for Chadlington as they struggled to maintain this settled side with key players absent. 2 Defeats to promotion chasers Charlton-on-Otmoor and another to Broughton & North Newington resulted in 11 goals conceded with 0 goals in reply.
At the end of April there was at last some relief with an away fixture against Yarnton. A victory would mean that hosts would finish below them in the league along with Long Crendon and Watlington. A strong Chadlington side ran out eventual 3-2 victors with Slatter scoring the winner late on to add to his first half goal.
With the final fixture of the season against champions Riverside not being contested due to its late scheduling the last game of the season came away to Eynsham in a midweek game on 2nd May. The home side had to win to ensure a winner takes all promotion show down with Charlton-on-Otmoor the following week. Chadlington made it to half time with a deserved 1 nil lead following a fine strike from Jason Peters. Eynsham rallied in the second half knowing that their promotion charge was at stake and with help of some dubious refereeing decisions eventually won 2-1.
Chadlington therefore finished the season with 21 points coming from 5 wins and 6 draws.
Positives from the season include the total of 43 league goals being scored, more than in the past 3 seasons at Chadlington. Slatter netting 10, Hunt 9 and Salmon 7. Along with this the clubs discipline record remained good with only a handful of minor yellows and no dismissals.
Chadlington having announced their intention to leave the Oxfordshire Senior League at the end of the season after a successful 10 year spell, finish with their heads held high. They now look to re-build back in the Witney and District League for the 2012-13 season.