Olney Town – 2
Huntingdon Town – 1
Olney Town had to fight to gain their second successive win inside a week, in their first home game for a month amid treacherous conditions at East Street on Saturday. A seventieth minute penalty put Neil Griffiths side two goals to the good, however Huntingdon pulled a goal back with ten left and then threw the kitchen sink at their hosts but the home defence withstood the onslaught to give the Buckinghamshire side some confidence going into the two huge games over the Christmas period. A cold afternoon on a heavy pitch mixed with some driving second half rain saw both sides struggle to keep their feet, but Olney kept their heads and now look forward to visiting Potton next week before hosting the Boxing Derby local derby with Buckingham Town.
An early free kick to Huntingdon saw Chris Jones curl his effort straight into the gloves of Olney keeper Jack Taylor, before Quincy Shorunmu produced a good double save at the opposite end from Kevin Owusu, the loose ball rolled out to Gary Thurston who drove his effort wide.
The home took the lead on fifteen minutes when Jeremiah Adams received the ball just outside the eighteen yard line and curled past Shorunmu into the bottom corner. The visitor’s reacted almost immediately when Corey Kingston tried a long range effort that never really troubled Taylor.
An eighteenth minute free kick to Huntingdon swung into the back post then almost saw an own goal but for a brilliantly tip over from Taylor, and minutes later a cross from Kingston looped over everyone including the Olney keeper and the ball skimmed away off the crossbar and eventually cleared.
From the corner the ball was put into the six yard box where three Huntingdon players tried to get shots away, but the pitch was playing havoc with grip and balance and Olney threw bodies in the way to block, and somehow the ball was thumped away to safety.
The away side continued to press and another chance fell to Kingston on the edge of the penalty arc but the bobble meant he could only lift his effort over the bar, before a cross from high up the pitch saw a great header from Jamie Waterworth in front of goal that had Taylor throwing himself to his left to push away.
Olney saw a free kick cleared away to the edge of the area which Rob MacDonald pounced on and drove a low show at goal forcing Shorunmu to almost fold himself in half to get down to block with his feet. With five minutes remaining, a clearance from the home defence was met on the half volley by Ben Panting but with too much height. H/T: 1-0
The second half started with Olney in the ascendency but for all their possession they never really threatened the Huntingdon goal, and as the rain began to fall the surface really didn’t help either side with players losing their footing all over the pitch.
The first real chance fell to the hosts when Kelvin Igweani was fed through behind the away back line but Shorunmu raced out to make a good save, the striker collected the rebound and his second shot was deflected by a last gasp block by a defender.
Rob MacDonald then found himself inside the Huntingdon box as the ball sat nicely for him to smash at goal and with only instinct to act upon Shorunmu made himself as big as he could and deny Olney their second goal, before a free kick from Adams was curling inside the back post but again Shorunmu dived away to his left to push away.
On sixty-nine minutes Olney were awarded a penalty when Adams was fed in down the right channel, as he drove towards goal a sliding tackle from behind brought him down and the referee awarded the spot kick. Adams received some lengthy treatment before being helped off the pitch to the dressing room. The Olney skipper Christian Smail had to wait an age to take the penalty but kept his nerve to bury it & double his side’s lead.
Huntingdon fought back, and a three man free kick routine saw Jones fire straight into the gloves of Taylor, then with ten minutes left they pulled a goal back. Substitute Chris Down got down the right and once inside the Olney box he squared and running in Jamie Waterworth touched home.
The away side then piled on the pressure for the remainder, a corner was held up well by James Seymour who cushioned the ball for Jake Waterworth who blazed way over the top from close range.
As the home side repelled the pressure from their guests, they had a late chance through Owusu who forced a great save from Shorunmu, which was equalled at the other end when a long throw was half cleared by the Olney defence and fell to Christian Le whose shot was heading for the top corner until Taylor dived away and brilliantly tipped away to ensure his side gained all three points. F/T: 2-1
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After the match Sports Shots spoke with Olney manager Neil Griffiths:
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