Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Amesbury Town v Downton 02/11/18

Amesbury Town 2 Downton 0

AMESBURY moved into joint top spot in Division One, on points at least and albeit possibly temporarily, with a two goal victory over Downton at a chilly Bonnymead Park. The temperature was certainly lower than forecast – surprising given South Today’s predilection for always offering the worst case scenario – and there was a tinge of white to the grass here and there in what was an enjoyable game.

The home side made the stronger start and took the lead after just six minutes. A free kick from the centre circle was headed on by Jack Vallis and Danny FINNIGAN stole in to send the ball high in to the roof of the net. A quick Downton response saw a twenty yard effort from Harry Crisp acrobatically tipped over the bar by Paddy Creese and play continued to be end to end with both sides keen to go forward at every opportunity. Vallis sent Finnigan clear with a ball over the top but the striker, with just the goalkeeper to beat, found only the side netting – a miss by his standards.

The referee, possibly wary that it was a local derby, was a little quick on the whistle once or twice with the home side denied a good chance when advantage was not played, but overall the officials had a good evening and the game was played throughout in a perfectly acceptable spirit. Tom Edmonds in the visiting goal turned a low free kick from Tom Plant round the post with the home side looking the more dangerous when they went forward. Amesbury did however escape when keeper and full back left a ball to each other – it was eventually cleared off the line – and the half ended with a long run and cross by Crisp that was too high for all in the area. HT 1-0

Early Amesbury pressure on the re-start saw efforts from Jamie Ritchie and Plant deflected for corners and both goalkeepers showed good handling in dealing with dangerous crosses before Downton missed a golden chance to level the scores. The Robins’ found space on the right, and the cross was perfectly placed but Matt Steer, granted an absolutely free header from close range, sent the ball the wrong side of the post.

Creese was then forced in to a saving tackle after more confusion with one of his defenders before the home side made the game safe with five minutes left on the clock. Plant won and took a corner on the left, Finnigan at the far post headed the ball back across goal and VALLIS applied the finishing touch. Amesbury’s decision to play the game on a Friday night attracted a three figure crowd, despite the temperature (which actually seemed to rise as the evening progressed) and overall deserved the three points. Downton contributed fully to the evening but lacked any real edge up front with their attacks too often ending on the edge of the area, and Vallis and Michael Owen missed very little at the heart of the home defence. An enjoyable evening and the half time cake was – as usual – superb! FT 2-0 (John Gorman)