Woodley started September with a hard earned point at Aldermaston. Giving a debut to Gareth Ainsworth, United started brightly with Ainsworth involved from the off. After being fouled just outside the box, the Woodley man fired the following free kick into the wall and also saw the follow up blocked.
The hosts’ first chance came courtesy of two ex-United players combining. Gary Smith’s long raking ball found Lemar Maycock on the left of the box; however the pacey winger couldn’t direct a difficult opportunity on target. A further Aldermaston shot came courtesy of Jordan Cox. This time it was goalbound, with Woodley keeper Adam Thomson saving in the right corner.
Midway through the half saw United on top, with several chances forged. The first saw winger Ben Anderson find full back Bailey Hill on the left. The latter’s excellent back post cross picked out Ainsworth who missed to the right.
Anderson was involved in the next attack and had a great chance to give Woodley the lead. A Sam Guze cut back found the wide man eight yards out; unfortunately, Anderson miss-kicked when well placed.
Just past the half hour the visitors deservedly went ahead. After Sam Wood was clattered in midfield, the ref played advantage allowing the passage of play to continue. Picking up possession on the right, Ainsworth evaded a challenge, advanced into the box and before being wiped out by the keeper he picked out Anderson who tapped home from close range.
The final chance of a hotly contested half saw Karl Simms fire a free kick just wide of Thomson’s right post.
HT AFC Aldermaston 0-1 Woodley United
The second period began with a superb Thomson save. Getting a strong hand on a low Cox effort, the United keeper preserved Woodley’s lead.
After a long range Ainsworth shot was saved, United made a change when Wood made way for Jon Malone.
Aldermaston were better in the second half. Malone did well to block another Cox shot, Thomson gathered an effort from distance at the second attempt, whilst substitute Jamel Forde-Small just missed to the right.
With eighteen minutes to go Woodley made a second change when Teddy Thomas came on for Anderson.
United were looking to hit the home side on the counter. A Guze pass that would have seen Thomas in on goal was cut out by a decent interception by Jamie Porter.
A final Woodley substitution was made on eighty minutes when Toby Briggs was replaced by Harry Swabey.
Aldermaston equalised with nine minutes to go when Forde-Small fired a shot into the left corner from thirty yards. This was to be their last sight of goal as United ended the match well.
A Thomas shot from the left was blocked before Sean Saxty showed a good pair of hands to hold an Ainsworth free kick heading for the right corner.
With five minutes left and after being called every name under the sun, the referee finally remembered he could send a player to the sin bin. With no shortage of red shirts to choose from, the official decided Jerome Coultress was to serve a ten minute suspension despite protests from the Aldermaston bench who could do with having a look at the rule book.
The final chance of a feisty game ended with a Guze shot from twenty yards being deflected narrowly wide.
FT AFC Aldermaston 1-1 Woodley United