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AFC WOOTTON REACH QUARTER FINALS OF HAMPSHIRE VASE IN 11-GOAL THRILLER

AFC Wootton has made it through to the last 8 of a Hampshire Cup competition for the 1st time in their history following a rather sodden Saturday, in which nearly all games were lost to the weather.

Wootton were very fortunate for the game to go ahead as torrential rain had made the grass pitch unplayable, but fortunately, an artificial 3G pitch was found at the last minute. Wootton’s opponents – Winsor United Green – had already disposed of 2 Island sides (West Wight Reserves and Sandown & Lake Reserves) on their journey to the 4th round.

Wootton trailed 3-2 at halftime. Winsor scored an early goal (1-0), but Dave Renouf equalized in the 10th minute (1-1). Winsor then regained the lead (2-1) only for Nick Antsey to bundle the ball into the back of the net from a free kick to put the Island side back on level terms (2-2). However, Winsor took the lead for the 3rd time in the game shortly before the interval (3-2).

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HT: Winsor United Green 3-2 AFC Wootton

Wootton equalized shortly after half time when Dan Busbridge ran past a couple of opponents before having his shot deflected inside the near post (3-3). The Island side then took the lead for the 1st time through Kai Westmore (3-4) before Dave Renouf scored his 2nd with a volley from the middle of the penalty area (3-5).

Winsor did not give up the fight, reducing the deficit to 1 goal through a penalty (4-5) before getting back on level terms with a poacher’s goal after Wootton keeper Ryan Donald was only able to parry a goal attempt (5-5).

But the final word belonged to Wootton. A couple of minutes before the final whistle, substitute Harry Green was fouled after going past a couple of Winsor players before dispatching the resulting free kick into the back of the Winsor net from the edge of the penalty area.

FT: Winsor United Green 5-6 AFC Wootton

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Wootton: Ryan Donald, Josh Collins, Ross Hiscock, Luke Ward, Macauley Barnes (Charlie Nolan), Kai Westmore, Harris Payne (Harry Green), Dan Busbridge, Dave Renouf, Nick Antsey, James Cheek (Korben Westmore)

After the game, Wootton defender Josh Collins said:

“It was an intense game from start to finish, played in horrendous conditions. We had to dig deep to win.”

In the only game to survive the weather in the Hampshire Plate competition, Adgestone were beaten 0-2 by Horndean United at Cowes Enterprise College.

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Adgestone assistant manager Ben Brown said:

“We had plenty of possession, but we just couldn’t find the finishing touch. Our opponents won the game through a couple of unfortunate mistakes.”

In the Hampshire Trophy competition, a young Ryde Saints side lost 0-8 to Hedge End Town in the 3rd round.

Both Wessex League games to be played on the Island on Saturday, as well as all Island League games, were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

The remaining games in the Hampshire Vase and Trophy will be played this Saturday (15th January). Further details will appear in Friday’s Island Echo football preview.

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