Oldland 4 Radstock 3 - wow !
More than the wind taking the breath away
Oldland came from behind to pull out a cracking victory in an exciting end to end game at Castle Road.
The O's started with a new look front line, Olly Trevarthen having turned down numerous Toolstation Premier and Southern League club approaches this season had instead decided to stay at this level and return back home to Portishead Town FC and was finalising his move. Manager Scott Armstrong decided to 'go for it' in a Kevin Keegan style with Matt Huxley up front, new signings Ben Dowdell (from Cribbs) and Liam Gale (Stonehouse Town) playing either side of him and Josh Williams playing behind these three. It was a gamble that nearly came unstuck straight away as O's in attacking forgot to defend and Radstock scored after just three minutes. Chris Manns had to make a number of important saves as both sides pushed forward during the half. The impressive Dowdell did not stop running all night and continued to put through balls into colleagues, he himself though produced the equaliser just before half time cutting in from the left and curling a screamer into the top corner.
Oldland hoped to carry on in the second half, Josh Southway returned as right back with Joe Walters impressing in yet another different position, this time left back and Jack Metcalf joining Scott Gregory in central defence. Luke Lecrass and Lewis Parker were the engine room, full of running and tackles and we suddenly had a game on our hands. Liam Gale picked the ball up in his own half on 56 minutes and ran at the Radstock defence before shooting from outside the box into the bottom corner. Radstock didn't die though, and within seconds of the restart made it 2-2. Ten minutes later another good press forward and as the away keeper spilled a shot, Matt Huxley was on hand to poke home the rebound - his first goal on returning to the club was loudly applauded by the crowd and his team-mates, trouble is - Radstock did it again! Another loss of concentration and a quick equaliser, the match then became frantic as both sides attacked looking for a winner.
By now, the O's forwards had it about them. One shot was knocked back out of the box and Huxley steadied then lined up a left foot volley which hit a defender, he was then tackled whilst running at the defence and lining up another before on 86 minutes a corner was cleared up and outside the box, this time his sights were right and Matt Huxley launched a 25 yard left foot volley over the keeper and into the far top corner. Radstock protested that another Oldland player might have been offside but the officials stood firm and gave the goal.
Well done everyone and from the fans, what a nice change to enjoy a home match and have a pint with a smile after the efforts off the pitch that go into getting matches on. It was also great to see a real attacking threat, three dangerous forwards all keen to have a go. Lets have plenty more nights like that in future!
Man of the Match: Ben Dowdell (an impressive debut)