|B Team||vs||Clifton Vale|
|Saturday March 12 2022|
|The B team were back in action after a week off and were up against a decent side in Clifton Vale. The first 10-15 mins saw Vincent’s dominate despite playing into the wind. Some neat passes saw some half chances created but nothing clear cut. Vale only had the bare 11 and appeared to be a little out of sorts with mismatching kit which included one lad in some beach style Bermuda shorts.
Vale to be fair, hit back at Vincent’s and were quick on the counter which resulted in some half chances of their own. On around 30 mins Wilson was bundled over inches outside the box and fell down inside the box, there were appeals for a penalty but the referee deemed this a free kick. Chailett stepped up as has been very successful of late in such positions, but his shot was saved well by the Vale GK. |
Stanleigh then found himself with a great chance inside the box but couldn’t get the ball out of his feet properly and poked it wide.
Frustration was brewing as the first half clock was running out until some nice passes saw Finney collect the ball out wide and delivered a great cross which Sam Kay ran onto and missed by inches, however Danhawoor was lurking deeper and took the ball down well and drilled it from an angle past the Vale GK
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-0 Clifton Vale
Halftime arrived and Stanleigh had a bit of rant at the B’s as this game was most certainly there for the taking and the B’s needed to up it a gear or two. Joe Stewart joined the fold pushing Finney up onto the wing from full back.
With the wind now behind them, the B’s really started to dominate possession. The back line of Lopez-Bland, Stock, Stevens and Stewart were having an easier time of it now and the Vale long ball wasn’t as effective.
The B’s were passing it around now with purpose and quality. 15 mins into the half a corner saw a lovely cross from Finney where Jon Stevens timed his run to perfection and met the ball with a powerful header from close range giving the GK no chance.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 2-0 Clifton Vale
Vincent’s were now in full control and the middle three of Chailett, Kay and McCollough were dictating the game well. Another nice move saw Stanleigh beat his man and loft a high cross to the back stick where Finney cushioned a header back across goal for Chailett to smash home from close range
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3-0 Clifton Vale
The chances kept coming and Lopez-Bland’s pass into the box for Finney saw a great shot but was greeted with an even better save from the Vale keeper who tipped it around the post. Stanleigh then weighted a through ball between two defenders for Chailett sprinting on the outside. He got to the ball before the keeper only to see his shot go agonisingly wide.
Vale occasionally countered and managed a few times to get the ball into the Vincent’s area however the B’s cleared their lines well. Cooper for the most part was a spectator in the 2nd half. The game came to a close and the B’s secured a well-deserved victory. News filtered through that Saints OB on the pitch next door had only managed a draw, which has made the final few games of the season very interesting indeed!
A huge thanks to ex-player and Clifton St Vincent’s legend Simon Devine who volunteered to referee the game. A very professional performance, with fair decisions and kept his cards in his pocket!!!
MoM – Popular choices this week were for Stanleigh/Chailett/Stock/Finney with Luke Finney winning it for a superb display at LB and then RM, clocking all 3 assists.
Line up – A Cooper, J Stevens, M Lopez-Bland, T Stock, L Finney, J McCollough, M Chailett, K Danhawoor, S Kay, M Stanleigh, M Wilson, J Stewart
|B Team||vs||Portland OB A’s|
|Saturday February 26 2022|
|With just 6 league games remaining for the B’s, all involved were keen to keep the chase on for top spot. The B’s had brushed Portland aside with ease earlier in the season although there was caution coming into this game with Portland’s first team not in action. |
The opening 10 mins was an even contest with both teams testing each other’s backline. It was only 15 mins in when Ellet sent a searching long ball towards the Portland area, only for some dreadful communication between the GK & CB, with the latter heading the ball towards his own goal bypassing the on rushing keeper. Stanleigh pounced and was first to get to the ball which was most likely goal bound but from all of about 6 inches he made sure and smashed it into an empty net ……’deadly from there’ as they say .
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-0 Portland OB’s
In fairness to Portland the goal woke them up somewhat and with the wind behind them they started their onslaught. High and long was their approach and it was working, causing the backline of Stevens, Lopez-Bland, Downes & Finney some real problems. The Vincent’s central mids of Chailett, McCollough and Mansfield did their best to protect the defence but eventually Portland found their way in on goal from another long ball and the forward finished well.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-1 Portland OB’s
Vincent’s tried to keep the ball down and play their game, but were frustrated with the final ball not being quite right. The B’s were guilty of overthinking it a bit and just needed to keep it simple.
A nice move down the left saw Finney cross for a half chance to Ellet which wasn’t converted.
Vincent’s then paid for another moment of allowing the high/long ball to bounce, resulting in Portland’s pacey winger to steal in and fire past Gardiner for 2-1 to Portland.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-2 Portland OB’s
Before halftime, Danhawoor was unlucky not to win a penalty when he was bundled over in the box, and Gardiner kept Vincent’s in it with a great save.
Some angry words were shared during the B’s halftime team talk. They all agreed they were playing below par and needed a much better 45 mins if they were to keep the title dream alive.
The second half started brightly and Vincent’s pressed from the off. Within minutes Stanleigh clipped a clever dink between two defenders allowing Mansfield a strike from close range but the keeper pulled off a very good save. Soon after another chance fell Mansfield’s way. This time from a tighter angle and his shot was well wide of the mark.
Portland’s long ball wasn’t working anymore as the wind was holding it up, which was giving the B’s back line an easier time of it than in the first half.
A couple more half chances fell for Vincent’s which weren’t converted, and it felt maybe it wasn’t going to happen, however, with 20 mins left, Danhawoor glided into the box and drew a foul from the Portland defender and this time the ref was in no doubt …..Penalty! Chailett coolly stepped up and buried the penalty into the bottom corner! 2- 2
Clifton St. Vincent’s 2-2 Portland OB’s
The B’s now sensed a victory and went for it. They dominated possession and had Portland on the ropes but just couldn’t find that golden chance. With 10 mins left, a through ball to Stanleigh saw the defender lunge in and miss the ball allowing Stanleigh to bear down on goal from a very tight angle. He saw Chailett sprinting into the area and so pulled the ball back into the danger zone where Chailett smashed the ball home from 8 yards!!
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3-2 Portland OB’s
The last 10 mins were a little nerve wracking as Portland to be fair never gave up and carried on probing the B’s defence, but they held on to claim their 9th victory of the season, and keeps them in touch with Phoenix and Saints OB.
MoM – Popular choices this week were for Stanleigh/Chailett & McCollough with James McCollough winning it for a battling display and covering just about every bit of the pitch.
Line up – S Gardiner, J Stevens, M Lopez-Bland, T Downes, L Finney, J McCollough, M Chailett, K Danhawoor, P Mansfield, M Stanleigh, S Ellet
|B Team||vs||NCSF Utd Res|
|Saturday February 12 2022|
|For a 3rd week on the bounce the Downs provided stormy conditions and players braced themselves for howling winds. The B’s had been forced into a significant reshuffle of positions due to players being off through work/sickness, most notably Stanleigh making his debut between the sticks!|
The B’s started with the wind behind them (just like the previous two games) and were hoping for the same outcome. Indeed, early pressure from Vincent’s saw Chailett bundled over a few yards outside the box, and he himself stepped up to take the free kick resulting in a powerful strike into the bottom corner leaving the GK rooted.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-0 NCSF Utd Res.
The perfect start after just a few minutes.
Vincent’s pressed for more and the middle three of Chailett, Kay, and McCollough were dominating the play, looking to release Danhawoor and Mansfield down the wings to create chances for Carvell up top.
Only 15 mins into the game Mansfield closed down a defender whose clearance was blocked allowing him to break through into the area and rifle his shot past the GK.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 2-0 NCSF Utd Res.
NCSF did launch the occasionally counter and seemed to enjoy success from long throw-ins. It was one of these that led to a close-range header which Stanleigh instinctively palmed away and was hoofed to safety by Stewart. Ellet joined the field on 30mins with Mansfield moving into the middle. With only 5mins to halftime another clumsy NCSF tackle just outside the box allowed another opportunity for Vincent’s. Chailett once again stepped up with almost a carbon copy of his first strike, sending the ball powerfully into the back of the net.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3-0 NCSF Utd Res.
Halftime discussions were positive, but Vincent’s knew this next half would be much harder for them.
The opening exchanges saw some tasty tackles and the game was getting more physical as NCSF searched for a comeback goal. An NCSF midfielder’s tackle on Ellet resulting in the first booking of the game.
Vincent’s were playing good football with some really slick passing despite the conditions but couldn’t seem to create any clear-cut chances. NCSF were more direct, trying to hit it long down the middle but more often than not it would run through to safety. In the second half the Vincent’s defenders of McCollough, Pearce, Lopez-Bland and Finney all looked composed and comfortable and were making Stanleigh’s afternoon nice and quiet. Indeed he could mostly be seen shivering in the goalmouth and trying to keep an eye on the Saints/Torps game going on behind him.
Pearce to his credit had played all game with an injured wrist but rested himself for the last 15 with Stewart re-joining the defence. With 10mins left, the previously booked NCSF player went up for what the referee deemed to be an illegal challenge with Lopez-Bland and promptly issued a red card to the NCSF player. To his credit the referee was swift and robust in his response in getting the red card out. The player displayed his disquiet at the decision and was ushered off the pitch by his own teammates.
The game sort of fizzled out after that and the final whistle confirmed another 3 points for the B’s and sets them up for their absolute crunch game V’s top of the league Saints OB next weekend.
MoM – A strong showing for three players this week, (Mansfield, Kay & Finney) with Finney taking it with a solid game at right back showing a dominant defensive performance.
Line up – M Stanleigh, J Stewart, M Lopez-Bland, J Pearce, L Finney, S Kay, J McCollough, M Chailett, K Danhawoor, P Mansfield, M Carvell, S Ellet
|B Team||vs||Racing Mouse|
|All Saints Cup||Saturday February 5 2022|
|Another windy day on the downs loomed for all teams in action this week. As the players marched out to the pitches it was clearly going “to be a game of two halves” yet again.|
The B’s started with the wind behind them, and just like the week before, dominated early with the strong wind carrying the ball further than normal. Some half chances fell to Vincent’s and Mouse rarely threatened. Fifteen minutes in the deadlock was broken when Stock sent a lovely dink over the top for Mansfield to chase down. The GK hesitated before making his dash for the ball allowing Mansfield to get there first and lob the ball over him into an empty net.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-0 Racing Mouse.
The B’s continued to press and McCollough and Kay in the middle of the park were getting the better of the Mouse midfield. Mansfield saw a lovely strike from distance tipped around the post from the Mouse keeper, an excellent save. Another ball into the box for Mansfield to chase resulted in him being bundled over and the referee pointing to the spot. Despite Stanleigh’s recent claim that he had given up penalty duties he had a change of heart and stepped up to place the ball to the keeper’s right and into the net.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 2-0 Racing Mouse.
The B’s sensed this was the half they needed to capitalise on, and so pressed for more. A nice exchange of passes from Kay, Stanleigh and Wilson saw Kay fire his shot from just inside the box. The Mouse Gk did very well to get a hand on it low to his left, but the shot was too powerful, and the ball rolled agonisingly over the line.
Clifton St Vincent’s 3-0 Racing Mouse.
The half-time discussion was all about how the B’s now needed to “park the bus” as they knew what was about to happen.
Indeed from the off, Mouse hit the ball down the middle and let the wind do the rest. Lopez-Bland, Stock, Downes, Stevens and Pearce were being pelted from all angles and the B’s had no choice but to drop deeper & deeper. Any clearance from Vincent’s GK Demirer was being caught in the gusts of wind pushing the ball back into dangerous territory.
Although the B’s held out for a good 25 mins or so, Mouse to their credit wouldn’t give up and a corner for them resulted in a pin ball goal mouth scramble where the ball broke kindly to their forward who smashed it home from a few yards.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3-1 Racing Mouse.
The B’s to their credit tried to counter when they could, and Stewart found himself unusually high up the pitch where his shot went wide. Soon after another nice move found Wilson in the box who smashed a shot against the underside of the bar, down on the line and out. The referee looked to his watch to see if the goal line technology has awarded a goal, and then realising it was Downs league Division 4, just used his own judgment and said no goal.
Racing Mouse carried on trying to find that all important 2nd goal, but as the time faded, so did their belief. With 10 mins left they did get the ball in the Vincent’s goal again following another scrappy scramble in the area, however, the referee deemed there to be a shove in the back from Mouse on a Vincent’s player. The final whistle came and gave the B’s a deserved victory and has kept their unbeaten run in the All Saints Cup going.
MoM – Only 2 players got voted for this week. Pete Mansfield and Sam Kay who both had superb games, however Kay pipped it (just) for this week with a highly energetic and tenacious performance.
Line up – Y Demirer, M Lopez-Bland, T Stock, T Downes, J Stevens, S Ellett, M Stanleigh, S Kay, J McCollough, P Mansfield, J Pearce, J Stewart, M Wilson
|B Team||vs||Phoenix Downs|
|Saturday January 29 2022|
|A foul afternoon set the scene for the B’s crunch game against second placed Phoenix Downs. The wind was howling across the pitch in a diagonal direction and anything over head height was being affected. |
The B’s knew today was a now or never game for their title hopes.
The B’s started with great energy and intensity and had Phoenix on the back foot. The wind behind them helped the B’s push Phoenix back into their half. A few half chances came and went before some sloppy defending allowed Chailett to fire a shot from the edge of the area which looped over the GK
Clifton St. Vincent’s 1 – 0 Phoenix Down
This goal fuelled the B’s energy even further and they pressed for more. The backline of Lopez-Bland, Stock, Downes and J Stevens weren’t being tested particularly hard other than an occasional counter which they dealt with well. S Stephens in the holding DM role allowed Chailett and Stanleigh to push forward with support from wingers Finney and McIntosh. Soon another poor touch from the Phoenix defence allowed Carvell to fire a short from the edge of the box catching the GK off guard who couldn’t get down to it in time.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 2 - 0 Phoenix Down
It went from bad to worse for Phoenix as only 10 mins later McIntosh slipped a pass into the box for Carvell to chase down, beating his man to the ball and coolly slotted past the GK
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3 – 0 Phoenix Down.
With only 1 minute to half time Phoenix managed to launch an attack which saw their forward inside the box who with the slightest touch on his back from Downes went to ground and a pen was given. The spot kick was scored much to the frustration of Vincent’s who had really dominated the half
Clifton St. Vincent’s 3 – 1 Phoenix Down
Halftime came and went, and the B’s now knew the strong wind would turn from friend to foe.
Phoenix did exactly as suspected and started sending the ball high and long. The game was becoming a real battle with S Kay and R Todd now in the thick of things too. Ten minutes into the second-half a late challenge on McIntosh saw him lose his head and he and the Phoenix players squared up to one another locking horns (heads), and McIntosh then butted the players shoulder with his head, resulting in a rather dramatic crumble to the floor but the referee deemed this a straight red offence and the B’s were now down to ten, with 35 mins still to go.
The cards didn’t stop there with Chailett picking up a yellow for a mistimed tackle.
Soon after though Vincent’s had a rare attack which saw Carvell move into the box. He was bundled over and with no reaction from the ref, managed to get up and get to the ball again, but was yet again forced to the floor and this time the ref said penalty. Chailett stepped up and slotted the ball into the corner to restore the B’s 3 goal advantage and give them a massive boost mentally.
A short time later a long thrown into the Vincent’s box saw the ball fall to a Phoenix player who blasted the ball goal bound. The ball was on a collision course for Stanleigh’s face who instinctively raised his hands to prevent a humdinger to the nose! The ball span away out of play and the ref rightly awarded a pen. The protests from Phoenix to reprimand Stanleigh led to the ref deciding another booking was suitable. The resulting spot kick was heroically saved by Cooper and the ball bounced back into the danger zone for an almighty scramble which saw Vincent’s somehow clear their lines.
The ref wasn’t done with his cards just yet, and a late tackle on Carvell saw a Phoenix defender lose his temper and grab Carvell with both hands around the throat. Carvell pushed him away sparking shouts and screams from all players (and even some spectators), however the ref decided that both players were in the wrong and two more cards were produced.
The B’s dug deep and held out to the final whistle, marking a very important and hard-earned victory. This win has put the B’s right back in the race for the top. A very expensive afternoon for the B team financially, but a vital three points going into the latter stages of the season.
Clifton St. Vincent’s 4 – 1 Phoenix Down
MoM – Tough choices today as everyone gave their all, however a clear winner this week was Carvell for his superb display up top. Even with ten men he caused their backline headaches all afternoon and took his two goals very well, and won a penalty when the B’s needed it most!
Line up – A Cooper, M Lopez-Bland, T Stock, T Downes, J Stevens, L Finney, M Chaillett, M Stanleigh, S Stephens, C McIntosh, M Carvell, S Kay, R Todd
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