A scintillating second half fightback witnessed by 137 supporters gave The Development boys the bragging rights over arch rivals Kidlington A in a hard and closely fought local derby.
The lead up to the game was marred by false rumours and lies of bounties put up by shadowy “senior figures” within Woodstock on the heads of Kidlington players (if we track down this criminal mastermind, we will ask him or her to start putting their millions directly into the club) along with accusations that a member of the Woodstock coaching staff switched off the electricity to the club house (we can confirm that the coffee machine responsible for tripping the electricity is not and has not ever been on the coaching staff at the club, but as we need a new one we’re are happy to get one sponsored!) Needless to say, there was a lot of shared history which might have contributed to the paranoia.
There was a minutes silence in memory of John Harvey, the Kidlington stalwart who was laid to rest the previous day. As an additional mark of respect to a great footballing man and to his son who lined up for the visitors, we decided to dedicate our programme to him. The silence was immaculately observed.
The game itself was a cracker and played with the passion that a local derby demands. As it turned out, it was a game of two very different halves.
The first half belonged to the visitors who out fought and out battled Woodstock all over the park. It was obvious that they were up for it far more that the home side who looked off the pace and reluctant to match the passion and steel shown by Kidlington.
Most of the game was played in the middle third where the tackles were flying in. Ollie Wynn’s hard but fair tackle forced an early change for Woodstock with Blayne Oliver needing to go to hospital. He was replaced by youngster Jacob Short wide right.
Kidlington took the lead when Woodstock lost possession deep in the opposition half. The greens swept forward on the break with Saidy getting the wrong side of Welford who’s gentle touch in the back was enough to send the Kidlington striker to the ground to win a penalty. It was Saidy to calmly put Molloy the wrong way to give Kidlington a deserved lead.
The visitors doubled their lead with a soft goal of the variety that only Woodstock can concede! A speculative ball to the far post was not dealt with and Jake Harvey was able to square the ball across goal for Saidy to bundle home.
Haynes was lucky to remain on the pitch for what looked like a 2 footed challenge as Woodstock finally started to show a bit of fight. Charlie Collins and Jacob Haynes doing battle with Chambers and Fisher for Kidlington.
At half time, Kidlington went in 2-0 up with their only 2 efforts on target. Much improvement was needed in the second half with players reminded that this was a local derby and cowardice would not be tolerated!
The players reacted to the halftime rocket up their collective backsides and finally showed a bit of spirit to match their superior ability. The Kidlington backline lead by Didcock and Egden so solid and imposing in the first half began to creak and groan under wave after wave of pressure.
Ethan Waite halved the arrears whennhe coolly skipper past two defenders to slot past Jacques. Looking around the Kidlington team, Woodstock sensed blood as panic started to set in with each foray forward into Kidlington territory. Substitute Carl Shirley began to cause all sorts of issues for Kidlington who struggled to deal with his pace and quick feet.
Emmett was scythed down by Didcock 25 yards out. Carl Shirley stepped up and curled a pinpoint free kick past a disparing Jacques. It was no more than Woodstock deserved
With the visiting heads now gone and their players seemingly content to play the man and not the ball, they lost and semblance of shape and balance. Woodstock were in the ascendancy and there was nothing Kidlington could do to change that.
Shirley ghosted in on 75 minutes to head a rare goal into the top corner past Jacques who got a strong hand to it but couldn’t prevent the inevitable Woodstock comeback.
Woodstock had a goal controversially ruled out for offside which made the fourth Woodstock goal all the more ironic when 17 year old Nathan Emmett completed the 2nd half rout lobbing over Jacques from what seemed like an offside position!
Not even the late introduction of danger man Morgan Parker could drag the stuttering ‘Green Machine’ back into the game.
Despite a poor first half, Woodstock probably shaded it overall and were worth the win. Kidlington let a guildt edged opportunity slip thus proving the adage that a 2-0 lead is the most difficult lead. Unsure whether to stick or twist, the visitors seeming threw in their winning hand and capitulated in the second half.
Handshakes all round after a tough encounter and 3 points in the bag. Its off to Middleton Cheney next Saturday looking for another win (and a new filter coffee machine)