I was up in the Cotswolds, visiting my parents, so came to watch this Hellenic League Division 1 match. The fixture saw Clanfield 85, who sit currently 4th in the league, play Pershore Town, who occupy second place.
Clanfield 85’s manager, Jamie Butt, saw his team lose narrowly, 0-1, last weekend to Southam United, which brought to an end a run of five straight wins. Pershore Town, managed by Danny Janes, previously managed at FC Stratford, will also want to return to their recent run of winning ways, having suffered defeat at the hands of Atherstone United in the FA Vase, last Saturday.
Clanfield 85 have seen a high number of goals scored this season, with Josef Fullerton and Nate Robinson both coming to the game with seven goals already this season. Pershore Town’s goals have also been plentiful in the opening quarter of the season. William Beach had six goals and Aidan Clark, five, before a ball was kicked today.
Clanfield 85 were founded as Clanfield FC in 1890. In 1985 they were reformed under the new name Clanfield 85, after finishing bottom of the Hellenic Premier League. The Radcott Road ground sits in Oxfordshire and has a capacity of 2000, with a record attendance of 197 against Kidlington in 2002.
Pershore Town started the match on the offensive and created a number of chances in the opening ten minutes. Clanfield 85 appeared to be nervous and opened making unforced errors which gave away possession, whenever they had won the ball back.
Within ten minutes of the start, Pershore Town took the lead when Josh Willis fired home after a rebound from the post to make it 0-1.
Three minutes later, in the 13th minute, Josh Willis broke again and scored his second of the game, after another encounter with the post, to put the away side 0-2 up.
The remainder of the half saw a frustrated Clanfield 85 play themselves slowly back into the game. They saw one good chance well saved by Eddie Cox, in the Pershore Town goal and another headed over when it would be easier to score. However at the break, the sides went in, with the score still 0-2.
Within five minutes of the restart the referee sent off Clanfield 85’s Nate Robinson for kicking out in anger at an opposition player.
The sending off effectively killed the competitive element left in the game. On 66 minutes, Aidan Clark had a tap in, to put Pershore Town 0-3 up.
The ten men of Clanfield 85, did indeed show some resilience to hold the score at 0-3 for the final twenty minutes. Pershore Town threw on all their substitutes, in an attempt to stretch the tired legs of the ten men, but to no avail.
At full time Pershore Town left, with all three points and the chance to move to the top of the league, depending upon the Milton United result. Danny Janes will know his side can secure promotion this season, should they sustain the quality of this performance. Clanfield 85 supporters will reflect on why the side took so long today to find any fluency.
For a series of great photographs of the match, please visit: