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Feb 27, 2016

27 February: Ashridge Park Royals U17 1 Whitegrove Pythons U 17 2

So, remarkably, we find ourselves hosting our final league match of the season on a deceptively chilly February morning.  There are still 4 tricky looking away fixtures to go, but this is an opportunity to go out in a blaze of glory.
Early portents were good, with Dan’s long ball setting up Alex for a one-one-one with the stand-in keeper, who unfortunately saved the goal-bound effort.
The visitors were clearly up for the game and looked dangerous, cutting through the oasis between the defence and attack minded midfield, coming close to scoring on a few occasion, before Callum’s cross field pass found Owen in the box whose shot almost broke the netting to put the home team 1 goal ahead on 24 minutes.  There then ensued a period of Ashridge domination, where a little more assertiveness in front of goal would have increased the advantage.
Nevertheless, the visitors remained strong and it was no major surprise to see them equalise on 31 minutes, and then look threatening for the rest of the half.
Disappointment with the performance was expressed at half time, and the need to increase the goal tally was emphasised. The team started the half in excellent fashion, looking threatening from all angles.  However in their first counter-attack Whitegrove went to the other end of the pitch to take a 2-1 lead on 50 minutes.
The visitors then defended superbly, while threatening on the counter-attack.  Ashridge tried to probe without really convincing anyone that a goal was coming.  We became more and more desperate but ultimately could not get though and in the end Whitegrove were good value for their victory.
A very disappointing performance and a poor result, a fact reinforced by the seemingly unassailable Reading Rangers dropping another 2 points in their encounter with Caversham Trents.  We have our work cut out now to maintain our Runners up position