Rise Reserves embark on title challenge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 15 June 2010

Millwey Rise 1st XI went to Hawkchurch expecting boggy conditions but found that the pitch had been cut and rolled and was superb.

Millwey Rise 1st XI went to Hawkchurch expecting boggy conditions but found that the pitch had been cut and rolled and was superb. It was a bit windy though and Millwey played the first half with the elements and, as always, Hawkchurch pressed and fought for every loose ball. After 20 minutes Shane Featherstone wandered out of his central midfield position (but had cover) to bomb down the right wing and stick a really good cross in for Jenkins to head in from 16 yards off the underside of the bar. A minute before half time Garrett and Otreba went up through the middle of the pitch, exchanging passes throughout the whole of the midfield. Otreba stuck the ball in to the net from two yards. He made good driving runs all game.Playing against the wind in the second half, Otreba managed to get to the by-line and stuck a cross right against the goal-line, with Gary Venn waiting to pounce. The unlucky Hawkchurch defender bundled the ball into the net. Any contact from any player and it was going to end up in the net. Five minutes later Venn had a goal disallowed for handball and just minutes after that, Adam Phillips put Venners through to score his 31st of the season. Ten minutes from full time Beech struck a brilliant corner kick which the ever impressive Jenkins converted for his second goal of the game. Manager Ian Hall said: "There was good feed from the wide guys and central midfield."Over the last few weeks, I feel our shape hasn't been suitable for our midfield but, with Callum Garrett going into central midfield, allowing Paul Otreba to drive forward and Shane Featherstone to sit, we looked a good outfit."On a sour note, we lost Matthew Hall to a knee injury. "Overall, I was very pleased with the squad. Perryman, Waddon, Ashley Phillips and Adam Phillips did well but there are players who need to make things happen rather than wait for them to happen."Just two more wins could be enough for Millwey to earn promotion.Things are also looking good for Millwey Reserves who beat Thorncombe Reserves 3-2. Other results in the Division Four clashes went their way too with Lyme Bantams and Farway Reserves being beaten. It wasn't as easy as they had been hoping against Thorncombe who were a lot stronger than on the teams' last meeting. And it was midway through the second half that Millwey were able to score the decisive goal - up until then they were level pegging 2-2. Darren Whitehouse and Mark Pike scored in the first half, Whitehouse adding the third midway through the second period when their pressure just started to tell. Manager Stuart Ellis said: "Thorncombe would have been happy with a draw but I can't afford them! It is all in our hands now." Man of the Match was Peter Hoare in midfield for his tireless running and 'do anything' attitude. Farway Reserves were way below par in their match away to Chard Rangers, losing 3-1. "We haven't got anything to play for now," said manager Paul Salmon, "and I think that was part of the problem." Being docked three points for field ing an ineligible player a few weeks back took the wind out of Farway's sails. "We were pretty feeble," Salmon added. Man of the Match was John Mattison who has now left to join the army. "He is our most improved player so far this season," Salmon added. Lyme Bantams' season had to endure a bit of a hiccup when they lost 3-1 to Winsham. They were 2-0 down by half time but Neil Mackenzie scored his 17th goal of the season to make it 2-1. Winsham made it 3-1 towards the end. To add insult to injury top striker Rory Holmes was sent off in the final minute when he rode a tackle and was adjudged to have stamped on a player in the melee. "This really opens up the league," said Rob Thom. The Bantams only have two matches left this season - unlike their 1st XI who have 11 still to go! They have had some good cup runs but Good Friday's Challenge Cup final was a disappointing end against Perry Street, the strong wind which ripped from corner to corner ruining what had been a much anticipated match. Lyme had changed to 4,4,2 for the match so their defence, which has been under par of late away from home, wasn't compromised on the big pitch. Darren Paul was back in the side to add strength to the strikeforce and manager Rob Thom was glad he had brought him in in the first half. Perry Street threw it all at Lyme, but Ashley Caddy made some good saves and the defence held firm. "Every time we tried to clear the ball it would come back thanks to the wind. Perry street scored when we failed to clear a ball three or four times and it eventually fell to their striker who smashed it home from eight yards," Thom said. Lyme thought they would have a chance in the second half, starting it 1-0 down, but the wind really didn't suit their style of play. They did have the ball in the back of the net twice, only for the shots to be ruled offside. Lyme changed back to 3,4,3 in the second half but just couldn't clinch those goals - "It wasn't for lack of trying though," Thom added. Lyme Reserves were delighted to earn a point from Misterton who are unbeaten this term, and had only previously drawn one match. Shaun Dickson had a one on one which went awry and a couple of headers just went wide but in general there were few chances and it was a good point earned from a tough 0-0 clash. Farway 1st XI seem to have lost their winning touch since Christmas but put in a much improved all-round effort against champions elect South Petherton. They lost 2-0 but had a few chances of their own in a fairly even match. "It was our best game for quite a while," said boss Andy Baily. "The sweeper and two defenders, Matt Williams, Phil Derryman and Steve Hallett, all had great games with Derryman my Man of the Match. "They had a wonderful 22 yard drive for a 1-0 lead at half time when the ball just fell to their striker. "We had our chances, so did they. Their keeper made some good saves and so did Phil Woodley." The match had everything - wind, snow, hail and rain - but no goals for Farway despite a positive performance from a near full-strength side.

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