Date Published: Saturday, March 24th 2012
Ardley United ......................0
Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division - 24th March 2012
The Moles best league performance for several weeks saw them bring all three points back from 2nd placed Ardley United - and probably ended United's title chances in the process.
Youth and reserves star, Jordan Rowland continued his rise through the ranks of Binfield teams and made his first start for the 1st team at left back, after a few appearances from the bench in recent weeks. And his inclusion proved to be a good decision in a solid defensive performance and Binfield's first league clean sheet of the calendar year.
Rowland combined well with Danny Wing on the left, finding the energy on a warm day to get from box to box and several occasions - and almost scoring midway through the second half. Having already scored twice this season direct from corners for the Youth team, he almost did it again, but Joe White's finger tips just did enough to push the ball onto the bar.
With Ardley looking somewhat subdued, the Moles had much the better of the match and, although the only goal was an own goal, Binfield could have scored again from several second half chances. Meanwhile, the defence gave nothing away and Dan Weait had little to do throughout.
The Moles started brightly and although playing up the severe slope, pressed forward at regular opportunities. But without an end product as United held firm at the back, United could have taken the lead just after the half hour. Carl Standen replaced Adam Beckett and in a rare foray into the Moles penalty area, Standen's first touch could have brought a goal, but Callum Whitty did enough to block his shot from a far post knock down.
Within two minutes the Moles had the valuable goal their play deserved. Danny Wing surged forward and played Carl Davies into the box on the left. Davies ran on and pulled back across the 6-yard box aiming for James Suarez, but the unfortunate Dean Smith stretched to keep the ball from Suarez and saw it fly into the far corner.
With few chances at either end, the score remained 0-1 at half time.
Playing down the slope in the second half, the Moles pressed their opponents back for the most part. With the half just a minute old, Carl Davies latched on to a long ball and only a last ditch tackle from Smith kept him away from Joe White's goal. From Carl Wither's corner, White had to be alert to push the ball out from under his bar.
On 48 minutes, the Moles thought they had a penalty when Garry Sargeant's flick clearly hit Ben Thomas on the arm in front of goal, but referee Lowe gave Thomas the benefit, presumably thinking it was accidental.
And the half continued in that vein as Binfield piled up the chances and Ardley struggled to make progress in the final third.
On 57 minutes, Rowland's corner was puched onto the bar. Before ten minutes later the Moles best move of the match ended with Carl Davies rising highest to head Jos Millar's pinpoint cross onto the bar.
Jason Costello and Adam Beckett had joined the action for Ardley on the hour and Costello brought a new strength to United's attacks, without getting a clear sight of goal. HIs best effort came 5 minutes from the end, when he cut in from the left, but saw his shot blocked.
Jake Butler came on for the last 15 minutes as Garry Sargeant tired and he almost had a goal to celebrate, but his left foot curler from 25 yards whistled over the bar.
With the Moles holding firm at the back, they continued to make chances to add a second. And late on, Joe White made a top class save from Carl Witherss fierce dipping volley from 25 yards that was heading for the top corner.
In the end, the Moles held their lead comfortably, with no late scares and ended a poor run of league form with a fine win, in perhaps the toughest looking fixture of that run.
A few days rest for Binfield now, before three home matches in 5 days, starting with the visit of Slimbridge on Thursday 29th March, kick off 7.45pm. That's followed by Saturday 31st March at home to Flackwell Heath, before leaders Oxford City Nomads visit Binfield on Tuesday 3rd April.
BINFIELD; Weait, Whitty, Rowland, Callaway (capt), Shone, Withers, Millar, Suarez, Sargeant (Butler77), C Davies, Wing. Subs not used, Nebbett, Pennicott-Bowen