Match report by Bob Fisher
On a day that was not conducive to decent football, such was the strength of the swirling wind all afternoon, we managed to scramble a single goal win away at local rivals Uxbridge, a venue where we have gained very little over the years.
Our side showed just one change from that which had featured in our excellent 2-1 win over Bracknell Town the previous Saturday. Fit again Harry Rush replaced the unavailable Danny Julienne whilst there was a welcome addition to our bench with Alfie Cain returning to play for the club.
It was immediately apparent that this game was not a classic as the ball was pumped from end to end in the opening stages but in just the ninth minute, Uxbridge's Luke Maguire for some unaccountable reason launched himself into Keiron Cathline as he had the ball very close to the corner flag and referee, Mr C Green, had no hesitation in pulling a red card out of his pocket and Uxbridge were down to ten men.
However, our numerical advantage lasted for only a short time as just seven minutes later Mr Green was again reaching for his red card as it was waved at Calum Duffy who committed a two-footed tackle on Uxbridge's Charlie Malin.
Shortly afterwards we made a positional change with Will Wambeek moving into central defence alongside Dwayne Duncan to enable Jack Waldren to drop back into a left back position whilst skipper Ollie Duffy moved forward into mid field.
Such was the paucity of attacking moves by either side that it was not until the twenty-fifth minute that either keeper was forced to make a save of any consequence. It came when the very dangerous Matty Woods for Uxbridge managed to get clear of Dwayne Duncan but his shot was directed straight at Aaron Bufton. In the closing fifteen minutes of the half, Uxbridge were by far the better side and we were fortunate that we did not fall behind in this period. Uxbridge's Matt Sinclair was twice denied by the woodwork, first when a curling shot hit the outside of the far post and the ball went behind and then a low shot hit the other post with Aaron beaten before we were able to scramble the ball to safety.
There was some relief amongst our small band of followers when the half time whistle was blown and the scores were still level.
We made the first of our three substitutions at the interval when Gareth Chendlik replaced Zane Gangadeen who had endured a frustrating forty five minutes against his former club.
In similar fashion to our game against Bracknell Town, Gareth's inclusion up front to provide a two pronged attack with Jeremiah Maja made us look a better side and Gareth migt well have given us the lead in the seventh minute of the half when from Jeremiah's cross he headed just over the Uxbridge cross bar. In the fifty seventh minute we were forced into a second substitution when a clash of heads in our goalmouth resulted in Keiron having to depart the action and he was replaced by Alfie Cain with Louis Bircham dropping back to a right full back position. The Uxbridge keeper Paul Macarthy then just got his finger tips to an inswinging free kick by Louis with the ball destined for the far corner of the Uxbridge net. In the seventieth minute we made our third substitution Brian Testolin replacing Jeremiah whilst Uxbridge withdrew Matty Woods and skipper Kevin Warner to be replaced by James Burgess and R Stefanoacia. With Uxbridge seemingly to be running out of steam we were in full control for the final twenty minutes of the game and fully deserved our winning goal when it came.
A cross by Brian was played back into the path of Gareth by Jack Waldren overlapping on the left but Macarthy made a tremendous save from Gareth's point-blank effort and then Brian shot just over the bar after a corner was headed back out to him. Gareth's shot then beat Macarthy but the ball struck the outside of the post and rebounded to safety. However, with five minutes remaining we at last found the Uxbridge net, a goal that we fully deserved such had been our pressure in these final stages of the game. A great cross-field ball from Gareth found Brian cutting in from the right, he cut inside and his left-footed shot took a slight deflection away from Macarthy into the far corner of the net. In the final minute, Brian could and should have saved us having to endure a nervy final few minutes before the final whistle was blown when he burst clear with only Macarthy to beat. He flicked the ball past the advancing keeper and then watched as the ball trickled goalwards to hit the inside of the post before it bounced out to be collected by the retreating Uxbridge keeper.
Side: Aaron Bufton, Keiron Cathline, William Wambeek, Dwayne Duncan, Oliver Duffy (capt), Calum Duffy, Louis Bircham, Harry Rush, Jeremiah Maja, Zaine Gangadeen and Jack Waldren. Substitutes used: Gareth Chendlik for Gangadeen (46), Alfie Cain for Cathline (57) and Brian Testolin for Maja (70). Unused substitutes: Andrew O'Brien and Joe Mills