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Sunday 2nd October 2011 ko 10.30am

Oxfordshire FA Sam Waters Cup 1st Round

RED LION ISLIP 10 (Thorne 21 90 Wells 22 39 41 110 White 76 90 Webb 89 Johnson 98)

NORTHWAY BOYS & GIRLS 10 (Lawrence 20 54 68 72 Muze 48 Martin 49 77 R Hatt 65 Cox 105 Hibbins 114)

AET Northway won 3-1 on penalties

Att 12 (h/c)

Entry FREE

Programme NO

Wow, where do I start with this one? My attendance was a last minute affair, my mate Pete said he was going, he didn’t turn up and will probably regret his decision for a long time!

Islip is a pretty village around 5 miles north of Oxford, and its claim to fame is that its the birthplace of St Edward the Confessor. The ground is to be found on Church Lane, virtually in the shadow of the village’s decorated gothic church, the parish church of St Nicholas. Like many places in the area the village saw action in the civil war, the battle of Islip Bridge being fought in 1645. The bridge is still in use and adjacent Swan pub car park nearby was used for moor boats taking parliamentary troops into Oxford. The other pub that gives the local side its name, used to boast former Oxford United, Third Lanark, Manchester United, Wolves and Banbury United striker Hugh Curran as its publican.

With the unseasonally warm weather it was a pleasure to sit in the sun, and be entertained on Sunday. The Sam Waters Cup is for Sunday sides affiliated to the OFA, which with the demise of  the Morrells Oxford Sunday League is almost an entirely Upper Thames Valley League affair. Islip play in Divsion 3 of the UTVL with Northway a division down in 3A.

But the game…. exactly as the scoreline would suggest. The opener was a quite wonderful effort, Marvin Martin’s pinpoint cross from the left found Dan Lawrence whose first time volley whistled past Franklin in the home goal.

But then Islip found a outlet, midfielder Adam Wells. No great movement, but a shot like an angry mule. Three shots, three goals, and while the second, the  keeper Partlett will want to forget, the third, a free kick nothing on earth was going to stop. So, at half time 4-1, and the Islip win looked assured. But Northway reorganised and significantly in midfield Justice Muze and Martin swapped places, and the former found real space out on the left. Wells was man-marked, and the game turned. Goal after goal went in as the sides worked out the only form of defence was attack and Lawrence duly collected the second hat trick of the game, and with two minutes left Northway found themselves 8-6 up. The finish? Not a bit of it, as Islip found it within themselves to notch twice in injury time to force extra time.

Sitting here typing I still have no idea how the sides managed to keep the pace going for another 30 minutes. Johnson’s thumping header at a corner was answered by full back Cox tapping in at the back post. Wells’ free kick, so powerful it dislodged the net from its moorings looked like the winner, but no side deserved to lose this. Neither side begrudged Northway’s equaliser, Carl Hibbins bundling in with 6 minutes left.

So to penalties, and would you believe the first two were missed! Wells thumped home his, but his proved be the only successful conversion for Islip. Make no mistake, I’ll make sure I’ll see both of these sides again. What a game!