Shrivenham Res vs VWFC
18/11/2017 Shrivenham Reserves 0-2 Virginia Water Reserves
Hellenic Chairman's Challenge Cup
Report by Steve Cox
Virginia Water Reserves travelled the long haul journey to Shrivenham to play in the first round of the Chairman’s Challenge Cup. With a number of players unavailable through absence or injury it looked like grabbing a much needed victory might be a tough ask. However, in relentless driving rain, and an incredibly sloping pitch, the Waters’ lads who made the journey put in a fine gutsy display that earned them a well-deserved cup win.
Defending from the bottom of the hill first half Waters laid the foundations for their win with a solid all round team effort, the impressive Sam Meadows struck a post and Sam Dennison hit the crossbar as Waters strove to take the lead. Defensively the away side were looking solid and well organised, led by Dave Atkins, forsaking his coaching duties to play his first game of the season, they looked in no mood to give the home side any easy route to the Waters goal.
When the home side did get through on goal they were thwarted by a brilliant save by the evergreen Mark Pisani as he wonderfully foiled a one on one with the striker. Halftime arrived and the hard work of defending at the bottom of the slope had been accomplished, and the question was could they now push on and win the game?
The second half saw the weather worsen, if that was possible, but remarkably, Waters seemed oblivious to the conditions and began to play some brilliant attacking football. Inspired by a Duracell performance by Aaron Nevitt, they attacked with pace and style down both flanks.
The first goal arrived in the 55th minute after a driving Meadows dribble into the home penalty area resulted in a handball and thus a penalty which was confidently despatched by Dennison. The goal was well deserved after some fantastic team play; Jack Deabill on his 18th birthday almost made 2-0 with a brilliant 20 yard curling shot that was tipped round the post as Waters looked to double their lead. The Shrivers however showed plenty of spirit and determination as they attempted to find an equaliser, but their attacks were feeding of off crumbs as Atkins, Tom Poulter, Alex Ssenabulya and a resurgent Alex Saunders gave nothing away at the back.
When once the home side did find a way onto goal Pisani saved superbly at the foot of his right hand post. With the game into its final moments, Shrivenham forced a corner, and up went their goalkeeper. The ball was cleared to Nevitt who, breaking downfield gleefully, passed the ball 20 yards out into the unguarded goal to confirm Waters’ passage into the next round after a tough character-building afternoon.
MoM: Aaron Nevitt