Town made it back to back wins with a 2-1 win over Chalgrove Cavaliers at New Road.
It was always going to be a tense encounter with Tom Butler and Rob Greenslade making the move from Chalgrove to Woodstock not to mention pre match talk between players from the visitors about “putting one on them” and targeting former injuries. In the event, this didn’t come to fruition and the game was played in a fair but competitive spirit.
An immaculately observed minutes silence for local football legends John Harvey and Ken Mort who both passed away during the week, was followed by a frenzied opening spell of play which saw Woodstock start the better. Despite the early pressure, the Chalgrove backline remained resolute and Woodstock could not take advantage of the visitors inability to settle into the game.
However, as the half wore on, Chalgroves agricultural style began to cause Woodstock problems at the back as Town toiled to deal with the long ball. The visitors went close on 14 minutes when Skiller shot narrowly wide of the far post after ghosting past Oliver and Greenslade.
On 17 minutes the visitors took the lead when a Clarke shot was well saved by Sam Jeffrey getting down well to his left to push the ball away. The lose ball was collected by Chalgrove and a square ball was slammed home by Bond from 3 yards out past a desperate lunge from Haynes who had got back on the line.
Woodstock looked rattled by this and took time to play themselves back into the game.
On 25 minutes, referee Bunn waved away a strong penalty claim for what looked like an obvious push in the box. Town were also unlucky with other decisions, with 18 year old Jacob Short seemingly singled out for “special treatment” on his Development Team debut. Despite this, he was the standout performer for the 1st half, leading the Chalgrove defence a merry dance.
With no more chances for either side, Woodstock went in at half time 1-0 down and could not be happy with the lacklustre showing, the pre match shenanigans obviously getting to some.
The second half of a different matter and was dominated from start to finish by Woodstock who pressed hard as a team and started to link passes together.
On 50 minutes, a Haynes freekick was spilled by Gurden in the Chalgrove goal with Emmett nearly capitalising on the loose ball. Collins had another effort 5 minutes later which again Gurden struggled to hold. Woodstock sensed blood and shifted up a gear.
Chalgrove began to stand off and allowed Town to play. The pressure began to tell and Woodstock endeavour was rewarded when Short found Shirley who cooly placed the ball past the hapless Gurden to level the scores.
Short himself went close when he danced through the Chalgrove defence who were at sixes and sevens and would have scored but for the last ditch intervention of an outstretched Chalgrove leg to nip the ball off his toe.
On 72 minutes, Woodstock got their well deserved second when Emmett slammed the ball past the agonising dive of the pint sized Chalgrove keeper into the bottom corner.
Woodstock did well to see the game out as Chalgrove searched for an equaliser on the break, but for a smart tip over the bar from Jeffrey, the visitors never threatened the Woodstock goal.
An odd incident on the final whistle when a fan in a condom costume holding a red flare ran into the field to play in celebration of the Woodstock win.
Jacob Haynes was the stand out performer for Woodstock who looked imperious at the back and knocking on the door for a recall back to the 1st Team
The 2-1 victory sees Woodstock go second in the table, albeit early in the season, leapfrogging Chalgrove in the process.
Next up is Eynsham where the Development Team will be looking to emulate the 1st Team and make it 3 wins on the bounce