Match Reports

A TeamvsSaints OB A's
Saturday March 18 2023
Despite another vile week of weather, with a lot of ‘will it be’ & ‘won’t it be? it was gladly received news that all games were on.

In fact, it felt like a proper spring day on the Downs. The sun was shining, and the pitch was pretty firm. The A’s were up against Saints OB for a second weekend in a row and were cautious that they would be out for revenge after last week’s 6-0 drubbing . The A’s were out with the ‘bare bones’ so just the 11 players today.

The A’s started with the wind behind them and set to work from the off launching the ball forward with purpose.

The A’s welcomed back Luke Jacob in goal with Lopez - Bland , Wride , Pearce , Mansfield as the defence , with Sperring , Stanleigh , Finney , S Mooney, J Stevens across the midfield with K Mooney up top .

The first half was a scrappy affair. Both teams found it difficult to get the ball down and play. Pitch 18 is very narrow and working the ball out wide isn’t ideal.

Fair to say that it was an even contest but with just a few minutes left on the clock, a Vincent’s attack saw K Mooney slip Mansfield into the area and he very calmly and neatly dinked a left footed finish over the keeper and saw it trickle over the line for 1-0

Clifton St. Vincent’s 1-0 Saints OBs

The A’s could have been 2 up when S Mooney was released down the channel. He did well to outpace the fullback and cut inside where his shot was pushed out for a corner. Perhaps a better option was his brother unmarked in a more favourable position but no doubt they will have had that conversation later at the Kings Arms.

The halftime huddle was fairly upbeat but the A’s were cautious about the prospect of kicking into the wind for the second half.

Strangely the A’s seemed to be much happier playing into the wind and found the ball holding up nicely.

Fifteen or so minutes into the half a clipped ball in from Lopez-Bland saw some hesitation between GK and defence which Mansfield anticipated and swooped into chest the ball beyond the pair of them and slot home for 2-0.

Clifton St. Vincent’s 2-0 Saints OBs

This goal gave the A’s a real boost, and they went on to dominate the game. Soon after a sloppy pass was intercepted by Stanleigh who played K Mooney in for a one on one. He rounded the keeper with confidence and then tucked the ball away for 3-0

Clifton St Vincent’s 3-0 Saints OBs.

Vincent’s pressed for more but credit to Saints they never gave up and continued to make the A’s backline work hard to keep them out.

A very fine fingertip save from Jacobs ensured that Vincent’s didn’t let them back in to the game.

Another A’s attack saw Sperring fizz the ball into the box where K Mooney got his shot away. The keeper took the sting out of the shot but it still rolled over the line for a commanding 4-0 lead

Clifton St Vincent’s 4-0 Saints OBs

Soon after the A’s won a corner. Whilst the Saints players were dozing, Stanleigh sprinted forward for a short pass from Sperring on the edge of the area. The ball sat up and Stanleigh lashed a shot goal wards which was on course for a ‘worldie’ but the crossbar denied him a moment to remember and the ball bounced down and into the mixer where Mansfield’s fierce shot was well held by the keeper.

Vincent’s managed the final phase of the game well, slowing the pace down and waiting for the inevitable final whistle which would confirm three more valuable points. The A’s have 4 league games left and just need 2 wins to secure the league title.

Shout out to the defence for a second clean sheet in a row and also for Luke Finney who was acting as CDM today just in front of them.

MoM - The applause this week goes to Pete Mansfield who moved from full back to wing and arguably changed the game with his attacking prowess.

Line up - L Jacobs , M Lopez-Bland, J Pearce , M Wride , P Mansfield, B Sperring, L Finney, M Stanleigh, S Mooney, J Stevens , K Mooney
A TeamvsSaints OB A's
Saturday March 11 2023
Clifton St. Vincent’s A’s were desperate to get back to winning ways and after a week of slush and snow, the pitches were in remarkable shape.

Vincent’s wasted no time, and with the wind behind them and playing down the ‘slope’ they launched numerous attacks. The A’s welcomed Ed Wiltshire back as GK, with Laxen, Pearce, Wride & Gadd across the back, with Scott, Stanleigh, Clucas, Finney & Mansfield supporting the lone striker of K Mooney.

The A’s defence had a relatively quiet half as most of the action was taking place in the Saints half. Mansfield had the ball in the net early on but was ruled to be offside. It didn’t take long though, and with a pass from Finney, K Mooney was through on goal and finished it off. There was a long delay whilst the Ref discussed a potential offside with the lino, but the goal was awarded.

Clifton St. Vincent’s A 1 – 0 Saints OBs.

Soon after K Mooney turned provider steering it into the path of Clucas who made it 2-0

Clifton St. Vincent’s A 2-0 Saints OBs

In fairness to Saints, it was clear their availability this week was poor (nice to see its not just us this happens to!), and with the bare 11, on 25 mins, the CB rolled his ankle and hobbled off. Saints Legend Graeme Edgehill was forced to switch his lino role for that of a player and with more downs league minutes under his belt than most of the other players on the pitch put together, he stepped into the breach.

Vincent’s remained the dominant force though, and Gadd slipped a ball in behind for Mansfield to latch onto and neatly finished to make it 3-0

Clifton St. Vincent’s A 3-0 Saints OBs

.Just before the half, another A’s attack saw Mansfield whip a pinpoint cross into the area where Stanleigh timed his leap better than the defender and onrushing keeper and headed it into the net to give the A’s a commanding 4-0 lead.

Clifton St. Vincent’s A 4-0 Saints OBs

Halftime saw a change of personnel with Lopez-Bland, Miller and Walsh entering the game.

The second half was certainly a tougher time of it. The first 15-20 mins it was backs to the wall as Saints enjoyed the downwards slope and wind. For a while it felt like an invisible ball magnet was somewhere near the corner flag with about 10 Saints throw ins as Vincent’s just couldn’t get the ball up field.

The A’s did eventually adapt to the conditions and started to work some decent passages of play. Mid-way through the half a nicely weighted through ball from K Mooney released Clucas who outpaced his marker and pushed the ball past the onrushing GK and rolled the ball into the empty net to make it 5-0

Clifton St. Vincent’s 5-0 Saints OBs

With 10 minutes left Clucas played Mooney in behind for almost a carbon copy of the previous goal. Mooney rounded the oncoming keeper and side footed the ball into the unguarded net for 6-0

Clifton St. Vincent’s 6 -0 Saints OBs.

In the final minutes Mooney was played in again, only to be quite blatantly tugged back by the struggling defender. The referee had mercy and sensibly just booked the Saints player given that the game was effectively over. The resulting freekick saw Scott dink to the ball to the far post where Clucas smashed a volley against the post and away to safety. It would have been some way to get a hat-trick but just wasn’t to be.

Final score
Clifton St. Vincent’s 6-0 Saints OBs.

Whilst the win was very welcome, and puts the A’s back on track, they can expect a much changed and stronger Saints team next Saturday when they meet again (weather permitting).

The A’s nearest rivals in the table (Sporting Greyhound & Sneyd A’s) were playing each other on the pitch next door and it was established that they had drawn 1-1. This is a very favourable result for the A’s which gives them their 7-point lead back at the top.

5 league games left for the A team. They need 3 wins to secure the title. Time to focus!!!!!!

MoM – It was between Olly Clucas and Kez Mooney this week but for two goals and two assists Kez just nicks it.

Line up – E Wiltshire, J Laxen, M Wride, J Pearce, O Gadd , H Scott , M Stanleigh , L Finney, P Mansield, O Clucas, K Mooney, M Lopez-Bland, H Miller, A Walsh
First TeamvsTorpedo
CSV back to their best against TorpedoSaturday March 11 2023
St Vincent’s bounced back from last weeks’ disappointing cup exit with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Torpedo.

Vincent’s started the brighter of the two teams going close inside the first 10 minutes with a cross shot from Brennand that stung the gloves of the opposing keeper. 

Not long after that Torpedo looked to be closer to taking the lead when a looped deflection clattered off the woodwork to then be cleared to safety by centre mid turned centre half, Davies. 

The chances kept coming for both sides, but with ‘Lady Luck’ appearing to be on the side of Vincent’s, the breakthrough soon came courtesy of captain Adam Brown, who converted his 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot following a dubious handball decision which was welcomed by those in purple. 

The Vs did not let up and they soon had their second after a great bit of build up play ended with Brown turning provider, beating his man on the right hand side and delivering a fierce ball across the box which the Torpedo defender couldn’t help but turn into his own net.

It was a backs to the wall performance in the second half and Clifton have the brilliant Demirer to thank for keeping their clean sheet intact with two remarkable 1 v 1 saves.

With points being dropped around the league since the turn of the year, and 15 points still to play for this season, this was a vital win to put the season back on track. 

A TeamvsSneyd B’s
All Saints CupSaturday March 4 2023
An even shorter report than last week for the A’s due to a bit of a horror show. Despite having the bare 11 and 3 or 4 of their regulars missing, the A team should have performed so much better than they did.

They actually went ahead twice, once from Owed Gadd with a good finish from a corner (but then Sneyd equalised) and then from debutant Olly Clucas with a fine finish (and then Sneyd equalised again).

Sneyd went on to score three more goals throughout the course of the match, securing a memorable 5-2 victory. Some of the goals were most certainly preventable and Vincent’s did have a few decent chances to add more goals, but to say it wasn’t clicking for them is an understatement.

Both sides were already through the group before the game even started, and one does wonder if this was in the mindset of the A’s performance, although clearly Sneyd hadn’t forgotten the 100 years plus of rivalry, and gave more fight and determination than Vincent’s.

The A’s are now licking their wounds a little, and with two back to back defeats you could say they are now at a critical crossroads of their season. One path will take them to glory, and the other bitter disappointment. It’s up to all of them to decide which path they want to take.

MoM – Debutant Olly Clucas was MoM this week for a fine goal and energetic display.

Line up – M Turner , M Lopez-Bland, M Wride, J Pearce, O Gadd , H Scott , M Stanleigh , L Finney, S Mooney, D Wride, O Clucas
A TeamvsNCSF Res
Saturday February 25 2023
The report will be brief this week as the A’s would like to forget about this one and swiftly move on.

Vincent’s were slow out of the blocks, and they paid the price. An early onslaught from NCSF saw them launch several promising attacks. They had the wind behind them too and were peppering the A’s box with cross after cross.

In the space of 15 mins the A’s conceded two preventable goals. The first a cross from the left that seemed to cause hesitation from the A’s players, but not the NCSF forward who poked it home from close range.

Clifton St Vincent’s 0-1 NCSF

The second was a bit of pin ball in the box which had a huge slice of misfortune bobbling through Jacobs’ legs and rolling inches over the line before it could be clawed away.

Clifton St. Vincent’s 0-2 NCSF.

Once the shock of the opening 20 mins had sunk in the A’s did rally and roll their sleeves up. They started to work the ball forwards and created a handful of presentable chances, the most notable probably a glancing header from Mooney which went agonisingly wide of the post.

Another attack saw Cotton get kicked from behind inside the area, but to the disbelief of the players the Ref didn’t see anything wrong. A bit of a shocker that one.

Halftime talks were a mixture of anger/shock and encouragement that the A’s were good enough to get back in this game.

With the wind behind them they set to work. Within 5 mins a cute through ball from Stanleigh found Mooney inside the area for a glorious chance but the NCSF Keeper was equal to it. A number of Vincent’s attacks seemed to end with some good saves/work from the NCSF GK and he was without doubt having a MoM performance.

The A’s huffed and they puffed but they couldn’t find that cutting edge they’d shown in every game up until now. To the credit of NCSF, they were a strong physical team and protected their 2-0 lead cleverly with no nonsense clearances. Some of the tackles were getting rather tasty and the Ref had barely blown his whistle all afternoon which was antagonising the Vincent’s players somewhat who felt they weren’t getting the protection or free kicks they deserved.

The frustration boiled over in the last 15 mins when Cotton and an NSCF player tangled up and then squared up to each other grabbing each by the scruff of the neck. All other players quickly pulled them apart and tried to calm matters, but the Ref decided to dismiss them both so both teams down to 10 men.

As the clock ran down, so did the belief and the game just faded away from the A’s. They haven’t tasted league defeat all season and it has indeed left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths. NCSF celebrated at the final whistle as if they had just won the league, which is a reminder to the A team just how motivated all other Division 3 teams are to try and beat them. When you’re top of the pile everyone wants to bring you down. The A’s are thankfully still top, and have destiny in their own hands still. Their hard work and incredible run has meant that they earned the right to lose one without giving up pole position. They now know they can’t slip up again and need to hit the ground running in their remaining 6 league games.

Final score Clifton St. Vincent’s 0-2 NCSF

MoM – If the award could go to anyone on the pitch then without doubt the NCSF keeper takes the award. However, looking at the A’s this week, no player involved would disagree that no one really deserved to be MoM, but two noticeable players were Matt Wride for throwing himself in harms way numerous times, and Mooney for his persistent running up top. M Wride however takes the applause this week for taking hit after hit and still getting back up and playing on.

Line up – L Jacobs, M Lopez-Bland, M Wride, J Pearce, O Gadd , H Scott , M Stanleigh , L Finney, M Cotton , P Mansfield, K Mooney, D Wride, A Walsh


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