Match Report: Newbury 2 Letcombe 1
uhlsport Hellenic League Division Two South
With goalkeeper Jack North injured, Danny Joyce came out of retirement to deputise for him for Letcombe. It was pleasing to see Luke Mulvey back in the Letcombe team, but with Dan Pear withdrawing on the morning of the game, Jamie Wallin moved into midfield from his customary full back position.
Letcombe almost had the perfect start as Josh Fowler raced away on the left in the opening seconds, but nobody connected with his low cross as it flashed across the six yard box. Jamie Wallin shot just over the bar and Fowler hit the post as the visitors continued to press forward, and Newbury keeper Karl Lewis did well to turn a header from a corner over the bar. Newbury gradually came more into the game, and they always looked dangerous going forward. A free kick just outside the penalty area hit the Letcombe defensive wall, and Newbury took the lead just before half time. A long ball caught the visiting defence square, and Jake Allen rounded keeper Joyce before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Letcombe equalised in the opening exchanges of the second half as Fowler cut in from the left and drove a low shot just inside the near post. Newbury regained the lead ten minutes into the half when Kallum Thomas headed home a right wing cross at the back post. Letcombe`s cause was not helped when midfielders Sam Mulvey and Chad Abrams both limped off to be replaced by Bailey Abrams and Joe Blackwell. It was good to welcome Joe back after a long absence with a snapped achilles, and he soon won the ball in a fair challenge with two opponents, leaving both of them on the ground needing treatment. Josh Fowler was a constant threat with his pace on the left, and he produced numerous dangerous low crosses into the Newbury six yard box without any Letcombe player applying the finishing touch. Greg Nutley shot narrowly wide when well placed, and Letcombe moved Nathan Haresnape into the attack to add an aerial threat going forward. The game was stopped on many occasions as Newbury players went down needing treatment, and with the light closing in, the referee had to decide how much time to add on. The final whistle was greeted with delight by the home players as they celebrated their first league win of the season to gain revenge for their defeat at Letcombe a month before.
Letcombe have no game on 27th November, and then visit Clanfield development on 4th December. They will be hoping for a much improved team performance.