Lights Out for Seniors Against Oxford

The first Amateur Football Alliance representative fixture of the season came to a disappointing end on Wednesday 4 October at Uxbridge Football Club, as the match was abandoned on 40 minutes following a floodlight failure, with Amateur FA leading Oxford University 1-0 at the time.

On what was a fine autumn evening, a very good game being played on an excellent surface saw spectators enjoying a night of entertaining grassroots football.

The Amateur FA side included many debutants, allowing the players their first opportunity to gel as a team. That adjustment period was something that Oxford University took advantage of in the early stages of the game, dominating possession in the opening 20 minutes as the visitors played some open football.

However, it was Oxford’s lack of a cutting edge that proved frustrating, with the University side unable to trouble Amateur FA goalkeeper Henry Warne. Oxford’s attempts on goal were restricted to a couple of long-distance efforts, which sailed over the crossbar, whilst the home side’s defence, well marshalled by Ant Beddows, contained Oxford’s attackers for the most part.

Amateur FA’s only opportunity in the opening 20 minutes came courtesy of a cross from the left, which forced the Oxford goalkeeper into a save as he tipped the ball over his crossbar. However, this moment provided the spark for the home side, with Amateur FA coming close to scoring on 25 minutes. A corner from the right-hand side hit the far post, forcing Oxford University to scramble the ball from danger.

Shortly after, the home side took the lead. On the break, the ball found Chris Heritage on the left. Heritage beat his full-back, before cutting in to slot his effort between the goalkeeper’s legs. Amateur FA almost increased their lead later, when a half-hit shot forced the University stopper to touch the ball wide of goal.

Just as Amateur FA had found their stride, it was lights out, bringing a premature end to the game.

Disappointed Amateur FA senior representative team manager, Bob Leeds, said: “This is the first time I have encountered this problem in all my years of Amateur FA football!”

Meanwhile, AFA goalkeeper Henry Warne, a former Cambridge Blue, added: “I have been trying to beat Oxford for three years – and now this!”

1. Henry Warne (Dorkinians)
2. Tom Haines (Ibis Eagles)
3. Charlie Cain (Old Meadonians)
4. Sam Baring (Old Etonians)
5. Anthony Beddows (Old Carthusians)
6. Charlie Johnson (Ibis Eagles)
7. Charles Gerson (Old Hamptonians)
8. Chris Drakeford-Lewis (Old Carthusians)
9. Tom Kelly (Old Salopians)
10. Alex Robinson (Old Foresters)
11. Chris Heritage (Old Hamptonians)
12. Will McFie (Lancing Old Boys)
14. Aiden Chapman (Old Meadonians)
15. Ben Slade (Actonians)

Manager - Bob Leeds
Coach - Pat Folan
Sports Therapist - Jamel Shah

Referee - Mr D. Coe
Assistants - Mr A. Knight & Mr G. Blackmore