United pick up opening league win of the season
By Chris Burnett
Woodley get their first clean sheet of the campaign as Leon Mannion scores first goal for club
United went into their first league match in over a month on the back of two cup wins in three games. A dominant first half display and a gritty second half showing meant they returned from Slough with three points.
The opening ten minutes were all Woodley; the team showed great energy to press their opponents from the front. Captain Teddy Thomas had the game’s first chance dragging an effort from twenty two yards wide of the left post before a fantastic Chace Jewell free kick out on the right somehow evaded Adam Barnard.
It took till the fifteenth minute for the hosts to get into the game; a Bryan Taylor shot from the left of the box was saved by United keeper Tom Bryant.
Midway through the half saw Woodley go close multiple times in quick succession. Harry Hawkins’ pull back to Leon Mannion saw a shot blocked. The ball fell back to Hawkins who had his shot saved; again the ball fell to a United player, this time Jewell who had a shot beaten out by Lee Bennett in the home goal.
The visitors deservedly went ahead on twenty four minutes thanks to a sublime individual goal by Pablo Fernandez. Picking up the ball on the left, he jinked past two players before placing a crisp shot in off the right post from just inside the box.
Three minutes later the lead was doubled when Mannion capitalised on some sloppy passing by the hosts; running at the defence he beat Bennet with a cool finish from fifteen yards.
Falling two behind sparked Chalvey into life. A decent Taylor effort from outside of the box was well saved by Bryant, quickly followed by a Tom Williams’ half volley again saved by Bryant diving to his left.
The half ended like it had begun with Woodley very much on top. Mannion had a shot from a tight angle saved whilst the hosts were lucky to keep eleven men on the pitch after Thomas was bought down by the last defender. Fernandez took the resultant free kick which was tipped over.
HT Chalvey Sports 0-2 Woodley United
United started the second half looking for a third that would kill the game. Thomas had a shot from eighteen yards deflect off a defender which took the pace off, allowing an easy stop for Bennett before Mannion had a header saved.
The away side were playing really well with the midfield and front three repeatedly linking up. A nice move working the ball from left to right saw Jewell pick out Fernandez who rolled in Thomas who had his shot from the edge of the box saved.
Ten minutes after the restart should have seen the game sealed when a pinpoint pass from Fernandez split the home defence putting Jewell one on one with Bennett. Striking the ball well, the Woodley winger missed to the left.
This miss was nearly immediately punished when a Williams cross from the right was put wide by substitute Jason Marney who flung himself at the ball.
Sixty seconds later the same two players combined with a cross once again coming in from the right; this time Marney made better contact but put over from close range.
United made a change on sixty seven minutes when Max Laschok made his debut replacing Jewell.
The sides then traded shots that went over as the game entered a bad tempered final fifteen minutes.
Woodley made a second change with four minutes to go when Hawkins who had worked really hard in the middle of the park made way for Toby Briggs.
The final chance of the game fell to United from a set piece. Adam Barnard’s well hit free kick just missed the left post.
FT Chalvey Sports 0-2 Woodley United