The young Development Team were eager to right the wrongs from last weeks disappointing home defeat against a strong Adderbury Park side.
The management team made a number of changes to last weeks side with a new look strike force of Max Roberts and Bulgarian debutant Martin Ognyanov. The return of Cowles (scorer for the first team last week) and Thorne saw them both go straight in the starting eleven. Tom Molloy, returning form injury, started between the sticks as Davies continues his suspension.
Woodstock started the brightest and had numerous chances in the first 15 minutes, most notably a header from Roberts going just wide, a header from Greenslade magnificently tipped over the bar by the MINI FC keeper and a smart turn and shot on the edge of the box from Ognyanov was smartly saved down to the keepers left.
Despite all the early pressure, Town were unable to make a breakthrough. Mini in their first real attack of the game won a corner. Town switched off and allowed them to take quickly Cowles dived in needlessly on the edge of the box giving away a free kick. Filipowicz stepped up and curled the ball round the wall to beat Molloy at his near post.
Town continued to pile on the pressure and a quick break allowed Ognyanov the chance to find Thorne at the back post only for his goal bound effort to be knocked in 2 yards out by Roberts for a real poachers goal. 1-1
Town were camped in the MINI half and long balls were their only way out, however this proved effective as Towns back line were unable to deal with their direct approach and aerial threat at times. Michalik won his header on the half way line and allowed a fast break for MINI. The rapid Kutlev was able to pick the ball up on the edge of the box only for Welford to bring him down for another MINI free kick. Filipowicz stepped up to take and directed the ball up and over the wall for his second of the game. 2-1 to the away side.
Towns constant threat going forward was starting to show and on 40 minutes a horrible 2 footed challenge from luzi resulted in a straight red card. Town players infuriated by the challenge especially as it wasn’t his first one.
Half time came at the right time for both sides as it allowed MINI the opportunity to regroup and gave Woodstock the chance to talk things over.
Within 5 minutes of the restart Roberts was put through on goal and made no mistake, absolutely smashing the ball past the keeper to make it 2-2.
On 60 minutes, Haynes found space in the middle of the park, a delightful chipped pass put Thorne through who unselfishly squared it to debutant Ognyanov to fire into an empty net. Woodstock regained the lead 3-2.
Town continued to move the ball quickly and effectively and created more chances for the front line. Ognyanov was played through on the right, his cross found Thorne at the back post to tap in however he was ruled to be offside.
MINI were unable to keep their discipline and on the 75th minute had a player sin binned putting them down to 9 men. A relaxed Town were almost playing a keep ball training session at this point however weren’t able to increase their advantage despite having an extra 2 men on the pitch.
Substitute Smith was having joy on the left side and smartly picked the ball up and drove into the area, good footwork allowed him to beat his man only for the MINI defender to dive in and bring him down. Penalty to Town. There was only one man taking this and rightly so. Roberts, on a hat trick picked the ball up straight away and placed it on the spot. Roberts was unable to seal his Hat trick as he smashed the ball over the bar in the direction of Bicester! Some say that the ball is now in orbit around the earth such was the margin of the miss!
Town were able to see the final few minutes out despite a late flurry of pressure from MINI as the flight hard to find an equaliser.
Overall, a much improved display from last week and brilliant character from the players to fight back from behind twice in the match. Despite the dominate play especially in the second half Town were unable to make the scoreline comfortable after plenty of chances were wasted
Woodstock now have the same amount of points that they accumulated in the entirety of last season with more wins under their belt already. They sit safely in mid table some 9 points ahead of local rivals Kidlington (or double the amount of points depending on which way you want to look at it). It goes to show how much the club has improved overall and there is now a Development Team capable of supporting and grooming players to make the step up to the 1st Team. The future is looking bright.