Long Crendon were one of the three outstanding teams last year and were deservedly promoted. The match was staged at Marsh Lane, home of Oxford City, a fantastic stadium for the tie.
Yateley were constantly under pressure from a tall side who played the ball around well, but Yateley carried a threat when they got the chance, so both ‘keepers got a good work out. Yateley’s first chance came on 22 minutes when Oliver Stutz fired into the side netting. George Currey pulled off a save a minute later. On 27 minutes, Myles White, returning for his first game, fired over the bar.
A minute later, James King‘s shot was saved at the near post. Just past the half hour, Long Crendon hit the crossbar following a corner from the left and two minutes later, the hosts scored through Scott Chappell what turned out to be the only goal, from the left into the right hand corner of the net.
Long Crendon soon had a chance to double the score but shot straight at Currey. King crossed for White, who tussled with the defence and picked up a yellow card. Gibbons and Stutz created a chance to level on 36 minutes. Long Crendon put Yateley under pressure with a couple of free kicks and a corner before King’s shot tested the ‘keeper from a free kick on 44 minutes. The hosts headed over the bar at the far post from another set piece, followed by a series of three corners before the half ended.
Ieuan Randall came on for King at the restart. Three successive home free kicks ended with a header just wide, a shot over the bar and a cross that Currey caught. Eventually the fouls totted up and Harry Vickery was booked on 54 minutes. Currey made two stops before Yateley won a corner on 63 minutes to relieve the pressure. Finlay Scott replaced Stutz and a couple of minutes later Callum White replaced Kieran Bradley.
The referee, Curtis Emery, went off injured replaced by the assistant referee, so Stuart Ive had to run the line for the last 10 minutes.
Currey made two more good stops and caught a cross, earning MOTM, while at the other end, Gibbons tested the ‘keeper with a cross. Few goal efforts in the second half so the result was a fair one and no disgrace to the losers.