Penn & Tylers Green FC Beat Leaders Bicester Town In Crucial Match

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Penn & Tyler Green 2017

Andreas Latta

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First Team beat leaders Bicester Town in crucial match

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Third placed Penn & Tylers Green FC saw off the challenge of league leaders Bicester Town at French School Meadow on Saturday to record an excellent and eventually deserved 1-0 victory to move above Virginia Water into second place three points behind the leaders and with two games in hand.

Penn started the game positively and after three minutes could have gone ahead when Casey Bocarro let rip from 10 yards out but the shot was pushed round the post by the alert Bicester keeper for a corner. Bicester responded and in the eighth minute from a promising move they gained a corner and from the subsequent delivery an excellent overhead kick effort went narrowly wide much to the relief of the Penn defence. Penn countered and Danny Jordan played an excellent cross field ball to full back Brad Holland who whipped in an excellent cross which was met by the incoming Chris Hurst who headed narrowly wide from eight yards. On twenty minutes James Pritchard sent in an excellent free kick into the box and once again the effort from Jamie West went narrowly wide.

Bicester were having their fair share of the chances without really testing Matt Cannings in the Penn goal. They did have one excellent attack which challenged the Penn defence but the final ball was whipped across the six-yard box with no Bicester forward able to arrive in time to finish off the move with a goal. The game continued from end to end with both teams unable to find that decisive final ball or finish and generally both defences were in command. Penn however were creating the better chances with James Pritchard, George Weller and Danny Jordan being dominant for Penn in the midfield battles. At the back, when Bicester threatened, Alex Sethi, back in his familiar centre half role, was dominant in the air and he was ably supported by Fred Tripp, debutant Stephen Rogers at left back and Brad Holland at right back. The game was tantalisingly balanced at 0-0 at half time.

The second half started with a major scare for the home side as in the 46th minute, before Penn could draw breath, a shot from seven yards from Bicester cannoned off the Penn post to safety, with Keeper Matt Cannings stranded. Bicester had certainly come out the stronger team and for the next 15 minutes they carved out some good opportunities with a free kick flying narrowly over the bar, two consecutive corners almost producing that elusive finish and on 63 minutes a cross from the left was headed narrowly wide. However, Penn eventually weathered the storm and were now pushing forward with purpose sensing that Bicester may have given it their best shot, and also knowing that a point was not an option today if they were to revive their title challenge.

In the 73rd minute the move of the game transpired as Penn put together a five-man one touch move from one side of the pitch to the other and from the resulting pinpoint cross Danny Jordan volleyed just past the far post. A minute later Chris Hurst was released into the Bicester penalty area and from his shot cum cross the in-rushing Fred Tripp narrowly failed to connect from six yards out. These were two major let offs for Bicester. Penn were now sensing a victory and in the 86th minute they were rewarded for their pressure when Alex Sethi crossed from the left wing and there was Adam Harman, who had come on for James Pritchard, to head the ball back across the Bicester penalty area for the unmarked Casey Bocarro to loop a precision header over the stranded Bicester keeper to clinch the points for Penn.

With the Penn contingent baying for the final whistle Bicester still had time to try to mute the celebrations when they had a last-ditch effort go wide of the Penn goal. The referee blew for time and Penn could reflect on a priceless three points in the bag and an excellent workmanlike team performance against a very good Bicester side. However, with many games to go no doubt there will be more twists and turns before the eventual champions are crowned at the end of April.

Penn Team: Matt Cannings, Bradley Holland, Alex Sethi, Fred Tripp, Stephen Rogers, George Weller, Danny Jordan, James Pritchard, Casey Bocarro, Chris Hurst, Jamie West. Subs used: Adam Harman. Subs not used: Owen Wood, Nathan Sethi, Nigel Miller