Going into the game the Reserves had a five point lead over Kingham Res and Stonesfield Res but with the former having played a game extra. Bampton Res were in 6th position but with an extra game in hand could mathematically still catch Chad.
With many of the teams still to play each other there were still 6 clubs that could come out on top. Mathematically though Chad knew that a win over Stonesfield would guarantee promotion and that they could only then lose the title on goal difference if they failed to win any remaining games and their rivals won all of theirs.
The two sides previously met on 8th December, Stonesfield ran out 1-0 winners and sat comfortably at the top. However the form books have flipped since then and a series of impressive results had seen Chad take control of the league.
Chad knew that they had to be up for a fight for the win and the opening exchanges proved that this would be the case. The Reserves had more possession but Stonesfield were creating all the chances. Their strength and power up front was causing a particular threat at set pieces and but for a goal line clearance from Ellis Godin, the home team would have taken the lead. Josh Betts having been named goalkeeper of the month for March was also busy in keeping the opposition out, aiming for his 4th clean sheet of the season.
Chad weathered the storm though and set about creating chances themselves. Going forward they were once again blistering in their attacks. At half time Alfie Peachey had scored twice. His first effort a 25 yard screamer into the top corner. Ellis Godin also added another with a delicatly curled strike from 18 yards out. The game was firmly in their grasp and promotion with it.
Concentration was the name of the game for the second half as Chad were sent out to expect a Stonesfield backlash.
What transpired was a Stonesfield capitulation and the goals were once again flowing as the opposition argued amongst themselves. Peachey added two more goals bringing his tally to 11 in 3 games. As one of the Reserves top scorers last season his reintroduction from the First Team has given the side a huge boost. Ollie Wellstood got on the scoresheet also and Ellis Godin grabbed his second to round off the scoring. Ollie Jordan, Will Foster and Kevin Mulhearn were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet themselves.
At the final whistle Chad knew that they had secured promotion, the 8th in the history of the Reserve Team and 13th for the club. Promotion had last been secured in 2003-2004 in Division 2B of the Oxfordshire Senior League.
It wasn’t until after the game as results from other fixtures filtered through that news was received that in-form Wootton Res had beaten Bampton Res 3-0. This result meant that Chadlington Reserves were now champions of Division Four with 2 games remaining. Despite the various promotions over the years it’s been 47 since a Reserve Team league title had been secured. That was in 1971-72 when coincidentally Division Four was won.
Team: Betts, Godin A, Jeffcock (c), Mulhearn, Hardiman, Wellstood, Tinkham, Waller, Godin E, Jordan, Peachey. Subs: Watson, Hannington, Foster