Kidlington 0 Welwyn Garden City 0
KIdlington were denied all three points from this Evo-stik League Central Division One fixture against Welwyn Garden City by a tremendous second half rearguard action from the visitors defence.
The first half was pretty devoid of goal mouth action, though at times both sides found themselves in decent positions but couldn't really test either goalkeeper.
The only real talking point of the match came just before the break. Welwyn keeper Lewis Todd came out from the edge of his 18 yard box to shepherd a long ball back into his area so he could pick it up. However with Anaclet Odhiambo bearing down on him he grabbed at the ball before it had made it and then dived backwards into his box. The eagle eyed linesman spotted the infringement and flagged, the result of this was denying a goal scoring opportunity and he was dismissed from the park.
Welwyn quickly reorganized with their skipper Dave Keenlyside grabbing the gloves to replace Todd in goal. From the handily placed free kick Lewis Coyle blazed his attempt well over the bar.
The second half started as you may expect with Kidlington having the extra man and in the ascendancy. In the early exchanges of this second half it was obvious that Welwyn were now looking to play deep and hit on the break.
Most of the football was being played out in the middle of the park as both sides were playing very narrow with the center portion of the pitch very crowded. Kidlington were seeing more and more of the ball but not able to create anything.
In the 61st minute striker Mark Janes came on to replace the industrious Darius Browne, which now gave Kidlington a focal point up front.
After this change the imputes was well and truly with the Greens but far to many times crosses into the box were lofted straight into stand in keeper Keenleyside's hands.
Welwyn for their part still looked capable on the break with Elliott Bailey and substitute Jordan Edwards leading the way, however they couldn't unduly trouble Sam Warrell in the Kidlington goal.
With a stand in keeper in goal you felt The Greens would test him, but it took until the closing minutes before he was really called in action. Keenleyside made a fantastic looking double save from Odhiambo and then in unorthodox fashion dived to punch away a shot from Mark Janes at the far post.
Late in added time Odhiambo very nearly snatched the points for Kidlington. After his first shot was charged down the little striker hit a powerful shot, it beat Keenletside but crashed onto the bar and was cleared and almost immediate after this action the referee blew for time.
This was a case of so near, but yet so far, for a Greens side who really do need to take advantage of situations like this. With their opponents on the ropes they just have to be far more ruthless if they are to climb the table to exit the relegation zone.
Next up is an Oxfordshire Senior Cup tie away against North Leigh this coming Tuesday evening, kick off 7:45pm.
Team - Warrell, Tooke, Castle, Martin, Franklin, Gabbidon, Coyle, Osborne-Ricketts, Odihambo, Benjamin (Williams 84), Browne (Janes 62)
Subs (not used) - Willoughby, McGlynn, Bernasconi.
Updated 10:02 - 10 Feb 2019 by Simon Dickens