Midland Counties U16 Championship Oxfordshire 2 Huntingdonshire 0 HUNTINGDONSHIRE S first match in the Championship proved a big disappointment as they returned home with no reward after an impressive first half display. A goal either side of half-time w
Midland Counties U16 Championship
Oxfordshire 2 Huntingdonshire 0
HUNTINGDONSHIRE'S first match in the Championship proved a big disappointment as they returned home with no reward after an impressive first half display.
A goal either side of half-time was sufficient to give the hosts all three points but there were positive signs that Hunts have the basis of a solid side for the rest of the campaign.
In very testing windy conditions good football was always going to be difficult but Hunts began well with Wayne Childerley playing a lone role up front.
He created two early chances for himself first being denied by a brave save at his feet by Sam Higgs and then shooting into the side netting after turning a defender.
At the other end, Oxon looked dangerous on the break and goalkeeper Sam Palmer made an important save from Kieran Sanders.
Despite looking the better side, Hunts fell behind against the run of play after 26 minutes when their defence was caught square as Rob Hoskins slipped a square pass to release Dan Greaves and he gave Palmer no chance with a well-placed shot.
Right on half-time, Connor Olphert brought the save of the half from Palmer who tipped his well-placed shot over the crossbar.
The match-winning moment came seven minutes into the second half when a through ball from John Danby found Rob Hoskins and he cleverly outwitted his marker to send a low shot past the goalkeeper.
That second setback signalled a welcome change in tactics by the visitors who sent on two substitutes and reorganised their side with two players up front and more support from midfield.
As a result, Hunts had much the better of the last half-hour and did everything but score.
Neil MacPhee saw a netbound effort deflected wide by a defender and from the resultant corner, a close range volley from Jake Balkwill was blocked on the line. The Hunts pressure continued and Sam Higgs produced a brilliant save at full stretch to deny skipper Carl Piergianni who had also pushed up.
Then in injury time, Hunts were denied the consolation goal they deserved when George Clarke was played clear of the home defence but he shot wide.