In his earlier midweek notes, Saracens Manager Gerry Oldham remarked
‘nothing but a win’ from this fixture and his team didn’t disappoint.
On the back of two league defeats, Saracens Lorcan Sheehan returned to
the heart of defence & Saracens also saw a welcome return from injury
for Mike Rhodes.
Saracens started at a brisk pace and saw their fine start result in an
early goal after 5mins. A corner taken by Jamie Hammond on the right
hand side was crossed to the far post where Saracens Captain Sam
Slender finished off the chance 1-0.
Right winger Elliot Kennedy was having much room down his flank and
enjoyed much possession. It was from his run that nearly saw Hammond
extend their lead but Hammonds shot from inside the area went wide.
Saracens Carl Griffiths was equally enjoying the same freedom as
Kennedy, for which Griffiths collected a 20th min long diagonal ball
from Jack Oldham, outpaced his marker and delivered a fine cross into
the area, top scorer Ethan Moore was unlucky not to have made a better
connection and his shot was diverted over for another corner.
The game was becoming a stop/start affair with from the very fussy
referee who then proceeded to caution players from both sides for petty
Saracens extended their lead from a direct free Kick in the 30th min.
Kennedy was brought down wide on the right hand side, and Lorcan
Sheehan curled a delightful free kick into the keepers near post. 2-0
Saracens top scorer Ethan Moore was looking sharp throughout and was
looking to extend his scoring ratio for which he dully obliged in the
35th min. A quick Saracens throw by Jordan Bryan was delivered into the
Kidlington box where both Hammond and Moore were waiting, with Moore
taking the responsibility of shooting into the bottom left hand corner.
Kidlington though to be fair continued to press the Saracens team, and
had chances in the 15th/20th & 38th min but for good last ditch
defending by Slender, Tunnicliff & Sheehan with Tim Griffiths
particularly making a good finger tip just before half time.
Griffiths was helpless with the Kidlington goal on the stroke of half
time. A corner taken from right to left was delivered to the far post
where the Kidlington midfielder Geary was waiting for an easy tap in.
HT: Cheltenham Saracens 3-1 Kidlington
Saracens started the second half in a subdued manner and Manager Oldham
had to make an enforced change with his son Jack Oldham retiring the
field with an ankle injury, Josh Swales replacing Oldham with Swales
switching to left back. This was then followed by another enforced
10mis later!! This time Ben Tunnicliff nursing a slight groin strain
was replaced by Luke Tovey.
After what seemed a period of poor flowing football then saw the game
wake up with Kidlington having a renewed confidence lift, and nearly
scored their second after 60mins second but for a superb one handed
save by Griffiths.
Saracens keeper Griffiths kicking & distribution was excellent on the
day and his long balls was falling on the mark for his fellow
It was from a long Griffiths that saw Saracens best move of the match.
Nick Hill did very well to hold the ball up deep in the Kidlington half
& his 1st time cross field pass to Kennedy was sublime, with Kennedy
running through on goal his final touch was a little heavy allowing the
Kidlington keeper to make a last ditch save.
Moore then had two very good chances to add his tally with a fine
curling shot which went just wide & then just two mins later exchanged
a fine one – two with Hammond and curled an instinctive shot just
Saracens sub Mick Rhodes then came on for the tiring Hill & made an
instinctive impact when he scored Saracens fourth. Moore did well
winning possession on the right hand side and his delivery back into
the Kidlington area found Rhodes who smashed a first time shot into the
bottom corner 4-1
Saracens could and should have won by a lot more but their manager’s
request for a win was met by his players to move them up the table into
7th place and keep in touch with the league leaders.
FT: Cheltenham Saracens 4-1 Kidlington FC