Saturday, 21 January 2012

Oadby v Ampthill

Saturday 21st January 2012
FA Vase 4th Round
Greene King Park

After what feels like a long time since I saw Oadby in action this is to be the first of two consecutive  Saturday home games for the Poachers. The last time I was down here for a games was on December 3rd when they hosted Tipton Town in the last round of this competition. A combination of the following has seen me miss all home games since - a postponement (10th Dec); midweek matches and two weeks ago I was down in London for the Spurs - Cheltenham FA Cup tie.

This tie pits two sides that compete at Step 6 of the non-league pyramid, with Ampthill playing their football in division 1 of the Spartan South Midlands League. Like Oadby they are having a good season as well and currently sit in second place in their division and have won their last four matches. Also like Oadby they have only lost two out of their twenty five league games played and currently sit in second place though are eleven points behind leaders London Colney. Oadby meanwhile are on a decent run of form themselves having only lost once in the last twelve matches in all competitions, which was against Barwell recently in the Leicestershire Challenge Cup.

On paper this should be a cracking cup tie between two in form sides. 

Both sides also have similar records in this seasons FA Vase so far with them both starting out at the second qualifying round and also they have had one tie that went to a replay. The record for both teams is as follows:

Oadby Town
2nd Qualifying: Huntingdon Town (H) Won 3-2
1st round: Lutterworth Athletic (A) Won 2-1
2nd round: St. Andrews (H) Won 1-0
3rd round: Tipton Town (H) Drew 1-1 aet
replay: Tipton Town (A) Won 2-1 

Ampthill Town
2nd Qualifying: Barkingside (A) Drew 1-1 aet
replay: Barkingside (H) Won 1-0
1st round: Basildon United (A) Won 4-0
2nd round: Haringey & Waltham Development (H) Won 3-2
3rd round: Lancing (A) Won 3-1

The club shop
Oadby progressed to the last 16 of the FA Vase with a victory that should have been more comfortable that it was. After a bout of sparing Oadby settled down and  took the lead on eleven minutes. A Matt Moore shot from twenty five yards out took a slight deflection on its way into the top corner.  The hosts doubled their advantage ten minutes later when Matt Piper converted a Steve Fenton cross to put some daylight between the two sides. A few minutes at it should have been three nil but Piper failed to connect with a cross from the right flank. Ampthill's ploy was to play long balls down the channels and these on the main were dealt with comfortably by Joe Latham and Declan Towers. The visitors best chance of the opening period came around the twenty six minute when a Jake Duffy cleared an effort off the line.   Oadby themselves had an effort cleared off the line and then Matt Moore was unable to beat Tom Kennard in the Ampthill goal. 

The second half saw Oadby take their foot off the gas and allowed the visitors  to come into the game more, though their efforts were on the whole easily dealt with by Oadby keeper Elliot Shilliam. Oadby had three notable chances to put their supporters at ease with both Moore and Jermaine Gordon being a whisker away from converting crosses from Piper, while a Latham header was tipped over by Kennard. With six minutes remaining Ampthill got a lifeline as Chris Lester scrambled the ball home via the post from a couple of yards out. A nervy finish for the home supporters but in the end Oadby deservedly progressed to the next round and as the final whistle blew a chorus of "we're all going to Wembley" rang out.

Admission: £5 / £3 concessions
Programme: £1
Attendance: 417

Other 4th Round Results
Whitley Bay 5-0 South Park
Tunbridge Wells 0-1 St. Ives Town
Willand Rovers 1-3 Staveley Miners Welfare
Shortwood United 1-0 Enfield 1893
Newcastle Benfield 1-2 Herne Bay
Bournemouth 2-1 Royston Town
Old Woodstock Town 0-2 Bethnal Green United
Newport Pagnell Town 2-3 Ashington
Norton United 1-2 Peterborough Northern Star
Wisbech Town 2-2 Dunston UTS (after extra time)
Bitton 1-3 West Auckland Town
Tividale 7-1 Binfield
Gresley 1-1 Three Bridges (after extra time)
Billingham Synthonia 0-0 Runcorn Town (after extra time)
Reading Town 2-3 Larkhall Athletic

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