It's a struggle for off-key Banyers
TWI 0 Banyers 2 BANYERS played their first league game since the end of October, and scraped an unconvincing victory over strugglers TWI. The team found it difficult to adjust quickly to the small pitch, and TWI forced some early pressure with chances bei
TWI 0 Banyers 2 BANYERS played their first league game since the end of October, and scraped an unconvincing victory over strugglers TWI. The team found it difficult to adjust quickly to the small pitch, and TWI forced some early pressure with chances being blasted high and wide. Chances fell to Stephen Paul and Steve Cawdell, who both managed to flick the ball over the advancing keeper, but just to the left of the upright. And after some neat footwork by Dave Ratcliffe on the right, the resulting cross was met by Barry Wood, who looped his header over the bar. But it was Wood who finally broke the deadlock, nipping in front of a defender to pick up manager Dave Rice's pass, before racing into the box and placing the ball into the corner off the post. TWI piled on the pressure in the second half, but nothing was really troubling centre backs Mark Halfacre and Adam Smith. Banyers really created only two clear-cut chances themselves. Wood fired wide with a right foot volley on the edge of the box. Then, to relieve some pressure, Banyers went 2-0 up with another fine Ratcliffe goal. The TWI defender took a goal kick of reasonable range, the ball dropping into the centre circle of their half. Without thinking twice, Ratcliffe just half volleyed it straight back over the keeper and into the top corner. TWI still fought bravely, and could have pulled one back near the end with a free kick. But Adrian Pigg pulled off a magnificent save, tipping the ball over the bar to give Banyers their first clean sheet since the beginning of October. Banyers: A Pigg, N Smith (M Hall), M Halfacre, A Smith, G Radford, S Cawdell, S Paul, D Rice (P Matthews), S Easy (S Ramshaw), D Ratcliffe, B Wood. Sawston Rovers Reserves 1 Steeple Morden 3 MORDEN chalked up their eighth win of the season after a tough battle at Sawston. It did not take long for Rovers to go ahead. With a ball out to the right wing and a short pass infield, enough space was created for a midfielder to stroke the ball into the top right hand corner. After 15 minutes Ben Holt created a shooting chance for himself which the Sawston keeper did well to push round the post. Kieran Smith, stepped up to take the resultant corner and Johnny Harper made a late run to the near post, meeting the ball perfectly, heading past the Sawston keeper. Charlie Prothero created an opportunity, flicking the ball over the last defender, leaving him just the keeper to beat. Prothero fired to the keeper's right, but he produced an outstanding reaction save and managed to keep hold of the ball. The Sawston defence appeared to be straining under the pressure they were under, and Nijat found himself with a great chance to score, only to drag the ball wide to the right. The second half could not have started better for the visiting Morden players as confusion rained in the Sawston back line. The goalkeeper, who had so far had a good game, rolled the ball out to his right back. Holt, switched on to the left wing, closed the defender down quickly, which unsettled the defender, whose poor back pass was pounced on by Nijat to fire under the advancing keeper, Sawston fired just past the post, and keeper Tim Tidey tipped an effort round the post before Prothero was fouled in the box, with Stephen Cooke sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot to wrap up the victory Steeple Morden: T Tidy, K Smith, J Harper, D Bown, P Hutley , A Prentice, B Holt, N Carlton, J Murphy (M Holt), Nijat (S Cooke), C Prothero. Unused sub: K Watters. Kimpton Rovers 1 Baldock 2 GOALS from Michael Masters and Craig Nelson gave the Reds the points in their first league match for two months. The match started very evenly, with both sides trying to play attractive football and in the opening 10 minutes Baldock were lucky to not be behind. Kimpton had two efforts in the space of two minutes rightly ruled out for offside. Baldock gained some composure and began to create chances and got their reward after 15 minutes. They were awarded an indirect free-kick on the edge of the box. Quick thinking from Lee Rusbridge saw the ball go out to the left to Beadsworth who delivered a fine cross into the box. After a short game of head tennis, the ball broke on the volley for Masters just inside the box, and he crashed it into the roof of the net. The Reds began to control the game and gaps were beginning to appear in the home defence. Baldock won a corner on the left hand side. The ball from Masters was headed out to the edge of the box, towards a home forward doing some defending. The forward's attempt to clear was blocked by Rusbridge and the ball ricocheted back into the danger area, where Nelson pounced to increased Baldock's advantage. The second half was a much different affair from the first period as Kimpton threw everything at the Reds to try to get back into the match. By the second period, the pitch had cut up very badly and it was becoming increasingly difficult to play good football. Kimpton were given a lifeline halfway through the second period when a despairing lunge in the box by Karl Beadsworth, saw a goalbound shot strike his arm. The home side appealed, and the referee pointed to the spot, much to the anger of Beadsworth, who was booked for dissent. Craig Barnes stuck away the penalty, and suddenly Kimpton were looking for an equaliser. Baldock were hanging on by a thread as their lack of composure in keeping the ball meant Kimpton were able to create more chances. Barnes went close again minutes later, when the ball broke for him at the far post, but his effort was superbly pushed on to a post by Booth. Their best chance came 10 minutes from time, when the home substitute took full advantage of a rare slip by Hoy at the back, and burst clear of the Baldock defence. But just when it looked like he would equalise, man-of-the-match Sam Booth pulled off a superb save to preserve Baldock's lead.