Being up in the Cotswolds again, I revisited the Midland Hellenic League Division 1 (at step 6 of the non league pyramid) for a fixture between two teams at the bottom end of the league, both with a poor defensive record.
Moreton are managed by Nick Timms and came into the game with a point to prove, having suffered a disappointing 1-4 defeat, at the hands of Malmesbury Vics, the previous week, having been level 1-1 at half time. Bourton Rovers also entered the game with pride at stake, as they had lost their last match 0-1 at home to the bottom team, Abingdon United. A win today for either side, would lift them away from the bottom of the league.
The London Road ground is set on the edge of Moreton in Marsh with a small car park attached. It has a modern clubhouse and a refreshment stand. Behind the goal at one end there is a seated and covered stand and a small standing covered area adjacent to the clubhouse. Floodlighting was good with six light posts and the pitch was grass and in decent condition.
The team sheets were released before kick off. Moreton play in Maroon and Blue shirts and blue shorts. Bourton are in yellow shirts and shorts.
After just six minutes Moreton took the lead, with a crucial opening goal, after a fine turn and finish, by number ten, Mark Magee. This resulted in a somewhat awkward “teapot” celebration!
The half saw much more Moreton pressure and somewhat inevitably, on 39 minutes they scored again to make it 2-0. The second goal came after a fine shot by Matty Irons, wearing number eight for Moreton Rangers.
The second half was a dour battle, with neither side being able to capitalise on opportunities presented. The weather got colder and tempers began to fray, as Bourton Rovers desperately sought to find a way back into the match.
As the match moved into added time and just when it looked as if this was going to end as a 2-0 victory, Bourton’s Danny Way scored with a strange goal from a free kick, after extensive Bourton pressure.
This made for an anxious final two minutes but Moreton Rangers held onto the ball fiercely to see out the 2-1 result that got them a hugely important three points, in the struggle to avoid relegation and more importantly to kick start their season.