Shrivenham 4 Virginia Water 3

Shrivenham returned to winning ways in yet another very tight game against Virginia Water.

The visitors began the game slowly and after anearly hack on Antonio Gerrish saw referee Isaac Blakey brandish Harrison Duff an early yellow, it wasn’t long before Shrivvy won their first corner and a loose ball conveniently dropped to Nick Stanley, who smashed it home with just 5-minutes gone.

The goal woke up the Waters and they began to create chances of their own – producing a decent save from Dan Lawrence after 15 minutes, while at the other end captain Sam Ockwell crafted a brilliant opportunity passing the ball across the goalmouth, but there were no Shrivenham players there to poke the ball home.

With the game flowing end to end, it was another defensive mix-up that allowed the Waters back in the game when Joel Drew found himself unmarked with the ball and so thrust himself forwards along the left wing and midway inside the Shrivenham penalty area, before slotting the ball along the ground comfortably in to the back of the net to tie the score.

It was anybody’s game, and while the visitors were looking more composed on the ball, Shrivenham’s range of passing was giving them the edge and on 33-minutes, another Shrivvy attack saw Gerrish pick out Josh Morse who took three touches around the keeper to steady himself, before thumping the ball in to the back of the net.

Both sides continued to battle as they had in previous encounters and although there was not much in it, Shrivenham deservedly went in to the interval ahead – but knowing they had a lot to do in the second half if they were to secure the points.

In a mirror image of the first half however, it was Virginia Water who came out of the starting blocks firing on all cylinders and within a minute, they had levelled the score courtesy of Drew.

Josh Dillon raced down the left channel from an absent Shrivenham challenge and was allowed to reach the by-line before pulling the ball back towards the danger area and remarkably Drew was all on his own and gifted the ball which he poked home in to the roof of the net with his left foot.

The visitors continued to press and saw a long range effort fly over the goal before Adam McNamara won the ball on the edge of the centre circle in a tussle with Ockwell on 50-minutes.  Ockwell believed he was impeded so appealed to the referee who clearly thought otherwise, and McNamara was left to awkwardly control the ball as he rushed towards the penalty area before letting loose his shot which found the back of the net – putting the visitors ahead for the first time in the game and there really couldn’t be any arguments.

Ockwell almost made up for his earlier rare lapse in concentration two minutes later, when he saw a brilliantly taken free kick unfortunately smash against the crossbar and out to safety, however with Shrivvy now enjoying a purple patch, another inch perfect pass found Gerrish at the edge of the penalty area unmarked on 55-minutes, and after he chested the ball down, despatched a ferocious left footed half volley which almost broke the back of the net.

Both sides continued to create half chances – with Gerrish going close on two further occasions, before Jamie Prictor made way for Dan Reynolds who was making a return from injury, on 75-minutes.

A minute later, substitute Jake Barker had a golden opportunity to restore his sides lead after he beat the Shrivenham defence, however through on goal his well-placed effort curled round Lawrence and unfortunately – for him – struck the post and although the rebound was smashed back in and wasn’t able to be held by Lawrence, the ball eventually went out to safety when it really had deserved a goal for such great play.

While a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the match, you couldn’t begrudge either side from edging all three points and fortunately it was to be Shrivenham’s day.

With 9-minutes remaining, Nick Stanley provided a hopeful free kick in to a crowded box and Macauley Dodson leapt highest and looped a header over Matt Jones in to the back of the net to restore his side lead.

Both sides had another half chance each before Nick Stanley became the first Shrivenham player to be sinbinned with five minutes remaining, but the score remained the same and it was the home side who took all three points in what had been a thoroughly entertaining game – especially for the neutral.


Shrivenham:  Dan Lawrence, Luke Cordery, Matt Horsell, Sam Ockwell ©, Macauley Dodson 1, Ollie Rejek, Jamie Prictor (Dan Reynolds), Nick Stanley 1 (SB), Josh Morse 1, Antonio Gerrish 1 and Tom Ballard.  Sub:  Liam Edmondson, Beyazit Durdu and Mike Alexander (GK).


Virginia Water:  Matt Jones, Harrison Duff (Y), Joshua Hennah, Joe McBride, Finn Evered ©, Ryan Whyte, Paul Burrows, Josh Guichard, Adam McNamara 1, Josh Dillon & Joel Drew 2.  Sub (TBC):  Jake Baker, Ruben Bande & Michael Chambers.


Shrivenham MotM:  Antonio Gerrish


Attendance:  43



1-0 – Nick Stanley (5 min)

1-1 – Joel Drew (19 min)

2-1 – Josh Morse (33 min)

2-2 – Joel Drew (46 min)

2-3 – Adam McNamara (50 min)

3-3 – Antonio Gerrish (55 min)

4-3 – Macauley Dodson (81 min)


League Position after Game 6:  7th (up from 10th)


You can watch the game highlights courtesy of Your Sport Swindon HERE.


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