Striker Woods inspires Uxbridge to super win
Boss praises stalwart but refuses to get carried away FOOTBALL
EASTCOTE CC hammered Acton to stay a point clear at the top of the table ahead of this Saturday’s possible title decider against second-placed Shepherds Bush.
Eastcote started steadily before the loss of Phil Bell (24), caught AFTER a turbulent summer of comings and goings, Uxbridge boss Tony Choules is just happy one remaining constant is striker Matty Woods.
The former AFC Hayes frontman bagged his 50th goal for the club as the Reds kicked off their new Southern One Central season in style on Saturday, beating one of the promotion favourites, Royston Town, 3-1.
Choules said: “Matty will be massive for us again. I’m always fielding phone calls regarding him, but he just loves playing for Uxbridge. He’s turned down a lot of good offers to stay because he enjoys it down here, which is excellent news for us.” behind just before the drinks break, before young guns Aman Lotay (83) and Rahul Wijeratne (66) pushed the score on with some superb batting.
Wickets then started falling faster as 153-2 became 177-5, but some explosive batting from Greg Fury (34no) saw Eastcote post a competitive score of 233-7 declared from 50 overs. When the Acton opener was dropped on the first ball of their
Choules is not getting carried away with Saturday’s win, however, and knows tough times lie ahead, starting with last night’s trip to Godalming.
He added: “We’ve got a whole new squad because of our circumstances. It’s the money side of it, we’ve not been able to satisfy innings it looked like Eastcote would be made to suffer, with Matt Savage, who could have had two wickets in his opening over, cutting a frustrated figure.
However, his first scalps soon followed, with Jehan Jefferie also chipping in, to leave Acton reeling at 15-3, which soon became 55-7, with Savage taking 5-35 from nine the needs of those who left and have cut our cloth accordingly.
“It’s been a bit of a rebuild, but it’s probably been a blessing in disguise as we’ve been able to discover the young talent we’ve got coming through.
“We’re under no illusions though, it will be an extremely hard season. While we didn’t expect to beat Royston, we have to keep our feet on the ground and just look to finish in a respectable position.”
In the same division, Northwood had an even more impressive opening day, hammering relegated Arlesey Town 5-0 to top the table after the first round of games.
New signings Louis Stead, Jon Munday, Myles Stephenson and Max Holland made their debuts, but it was an old face, Michael Murray, who led the way with a hat-trick. overs and Jefferie (2-30).
Change bowlers James Wosewarne (2-5) and James Corbett (4-1) then came in to mop up the tail and seal victory for Eastcote, bowling out Acton for a mere 82 from 19.5 overs.
In the same division, Uxbridge slipped to within one place and 12 points of the relegation zone following a 42-run defeat to Hornsey.
Boss Mark Burgess said: “To be fair, nobody expected that, but I won’t read anything into it. It takes 10-12 games before you can have an idea of how your season will pan out, and the league table means nothing until March.
“We finished 10th last season, so we’re just looking to improve on that. We’ve always been slow starters and don’t get going until October, so this was a nice change.”
Meanwhile, relegated AFC Hayes got life in the Combined Counties Premier off to a losing start, going down 1-0 at Ashford Town (Middx).
Over in the Spartan South Midlands League, Hillingdon Borough’s bid to bounce back to the Premier at the first time of asking got off to a good start with a 5-1 win at Baldock, while in the Premier, Harefield United went down 3-0 at home to Hadley.
n CONSTANT: Matty Woods