Any hopes Ajax had of an opening day victory were extinguished before half time by a combination of poor defending, bad luck and good play by the visitors. The only highlight was a powerful finish from an acute angle by skipper Fabrizio Pagliarini after an excellent through ball from Jake Gregory.
Ajax tightened up at the back in the second half restricting Whitnash to shooting from distance. Good combination play down the right flank between Daniel Cobble, Troy Loveridge and Jake saw a succession of corners won, that sadly went unconverted, as the second half finished goal less. From a Bilton perspective it’s a pity the game didn't start at half time. Central defensive duo Ben Carew and Harrison Jupp excelled in the second half as did versatile man of the match Aurelein Adelmant.
Ajax were always going to be up against it fielding the only 11 fit players they had available due to injuries and absence. However they held their own for the first quarter, Daniel Cobble equalising after Lawford opened the scoring. Lawford added another 2 goals, with the referee choosing to ignore the linesman’s flag before mysteriously chalking off a long range Bilton blast from Daniel for offside. Both sides had further chances in the half, Lawford converted theirs, Ajax didn't.
The second half was end to end flowing football with the home side again being more clinical in front of goal than Ajax although Fabrizio Pagliarini and Daniel did convert opportunities for Bilton. I can't fault the effort of the Ajax team who battled to the final whistle in a physical encounter and played their part in an entertaining game.
Individual errors in the first half proved costly for Ajax. Celtic caught them in possession on a number of occasions and were it not for the agility of keeper Jack Unett and tenacity of Fabrizio Pagliarini the 5 goalhalf time deficit could have been more. A half time reshuffle saw an improvement from Bilton with strong tackling from Harrison Jupp, sublime passing from Troy Loveridge and determined running from Ben Carew keeping Celtic pinned back in their own half. The home keeper was much the busier denying Ajax many times. St Peters added 2 late goals where having a full squad of substitutes proved advantageous. The final score was flattering for the home side as Bilton competed well and the positives included a good performance from emergency full back Daniel Cole.
High flying Whitnash were the visitors and they opened very strongly with incisive play that lacked a finish. Ajax weathered the early storm pressurised the opposition goal but failed to capitalise. Midway through the first half Whitnash created 2 chances on the break they did convert which left Bilton chasing the game. A further 2 goals the second suspiciously offside were harsh on Ajax as they competed very well. The early second half exchanges favoured the visitors as they added another 2 well taken goals but Ajax kept going and competed tenaciously before 2 late goals increased the Whitnash advantage. Can't fault the commitment of the lads on duty but to progress Ajax need to improve ball retention and positional awareness.
This was a well fought contest with Khalsa springing the offside trap to take the lead half way through the first half. Ajax went close twice with Daniel Cobble before an excellent four player pitch length passing move saw Etienne Callaghan work the visiting keeper. A costly individual error cost Ajax a second before Khalsa added a third on the half time whistle shortly after they hacked one off their own line.
Bilton dominated by the second-half, they had 2 chances cleared off the line before they got caught twice by quick counter attacks. Despite these setbacks they persisted in pursuit of goals Daniel sliding home, Harrison Jupp and Troy Loveridge going close. Driven on by Ben Carew and Jake Gregory Ajax never gave up and played their part in an entertaining spectacle. MOTM Dominic Wilkins for enterprising defending
League leaders Whitnash showed just why they are unbeaten this season with an impressive performance against an Ajax side who battled resolutely in atrocious conditions.
The home side enjoyed the lion's share of possession after taking an early two goal lead before Ajax had a spell of pressure when Fabrizio Pagliarini saw a shot deflected narrowly wide and the resulting corner causing a goalmouth scramble that was eventually hacked away. The home side scored three further goals to demonstrate their superiority and kill the game prior to half time. Bilton enjoyed more possession second half and created some good openings desperate defending denying Daniel Cobble on a couple of occasions, however Whitnash penetrated the Ajax defence at regular intervals scoring some excellent goals ensuring Bilton keeper Jack Unett had a busy afternoon. Good battling but better concentration needed Ajax.
Lack of concentration at vital moments cost Ajax a game they competed well in. Irish were ahead inside a minute but Bilton responded with a number of attacks as the game flowed from end to end. Banbury scored a second on the break before Etienne Callaghan shot agonisingly wide with the visitors keeper beaten. Ajax then self-destructed losing possession in attack conceding 3 soft goals in 10 minutes. The second half continued in the same vain Banbury scoring twice on the counter either side of Ciaran Dempsey shooting wide after a powerful run. Ajax finally scored when Troy Loveridge & Jake Gregory combined releasing Fabrizio Pagliarini to fire home. Etienne drew an acrobatic save from the Irish keeper and Ajax were denied twice in goalmouth scrambles before the final whistle.
Good debut from Jack Taylor but concentration & awareness needs improvement. motm Fabrizio Pagliarini
Unlucky is the only word to describe the Ajax performance. A positive start saw Fabrizio Pagliarini have a shot cleared off the line, before he was hauled down in the box, the referee refusing the penalty claim. Twice Colts were inches away from own goals before they went up the other end and floated a goal in using the wind to good effect. Bilton continued to dominate into the second half, Tom Armitage being denied a penalty when scythed down and a blatant handball appeal turned down. With Ajax pushing for an equaliser Colts broke away to score again. Bilton immediately went on the offensive Fabrizio bringing a fine save from the visiting keeper before having another shot kicked off the line and continued attacking to the final whistle. Good performances from all players on duty especially Ben Carew, William Costello and MOTM Jack Taylor.
Khalsa 4 - 1 Bilton Ajax Sunday 20th February 2011
The score line offers no reflection on a close physical encounter. Khalsa began better only Ajax keeper Jack Unett prevented them taking the lead. Bilton prompted by Troy Loveridge went close twice before Khalsa scored against the run of play. Ajax search for an equaliser was hampered by an overzealous linesman and inconsistent refereeing before Khalsa scored again. A speedy run and crisp finish by Etienne Callaghan halved the deficit before Jake Gregory hit the bar from a corner as Khalsa clung on to lead at half time. The second half was punctuated by the refs whistle as tempers became frayed. Chances were created which weren't taken. With time ticking a goalmouth scramble led to a Khalsa breakout and an Ajax own goal, a fourth added with the final kick of the game. A gritty effort Ajax with good performances from Sam Taylor and Man of the Match Harrison Jupp.
This game summed up the season for Ajax. Competed well for three quarters of the game but lack of concentration and positional discipline cost them any chance of the game. Bilton were the better side for the first quarter, both strikers working the visiting keeper and a Jake Gregory chip beating everyone including the far post. Celtic had one attack and scored. The next fifteen minutes saw Ajax implode and concede 5 goals. 2 further well taken goals were scored by the visitors in a closely competed second period. Etienne Callaghan and Tom Armitage went close for Bilton. Despite the result Ajax keeper Jack Unett excelled as did versatile man of the match Ben Carew.
This was an enjoyable game, Norton Lindsey were direct and clinical in front of goal whereas Ajax passed and moved well but failed to make the most of their opportunities. Colts were 2 up before Ajax created chances they couldn't convert, although Tom Armitage saw a fierce shot fly narrowly wide with the goalie beaten. Early in the second half the teams exchanged goals Daniel Cobble scoring a measured volley for Bilton. Ajax pressurised for further goals and were denied by alert goalkeeping, the stopper heading of his own line on one occasion. Late goals were harsh on Bilton who battled to the final whistle. Recent signings Tom and Sam Taylor impressed as did AA, Max Wilkins and man of the match William Costello.
An enthralling game was settled in Central's favour with 2 goals in the last 3 minutes. Both teams exchanged early chances, Etienne Callaghan going close for Bilton. The defence of Sam Taylor, Harrison Jupp, Jack Tayler and AA tackled superbly to limit Central to only one further chance which they converted just before half time. The home side began the second half well only to find keeper Jack Unett in imperious form. Bilton created chances Jake Gregory and Tom Armitage going close before a Ciaran Dempsey effort was hacked off the line. As the game became stretched Central hit the bar, Etienne went close with a powerful drive before another goal line clearance repelled a Bilton attack. Then came those 2 unjust late goals. Tireless performances from wide men Ben Carew and Troy Loveridge. Bilton were worthy of a draw.
Daventry began the better and it was no surprise when they took the league after 5 mins. Ajax had chances to hit back but were denied by good goalkeeping and a keen linesman. Daniel Cobble eventually levelled but Danes immediately restored their lead. The last 5 mins of the first half saw a flurry of goals Daniel cushioning a volley to level from a Tom Armitage pinpoint corner before Daventry scored a fortunate goal. Harrison Jupp restored parity for Bilton scoring a superb individual goal beating 5 players and calmly slotting home. Danes began the 2nd period like the first scoring early but Ajax who were denied a perfectly good goal by the keen linesman equalised when Jake Gregory chipped the keeper from distance. The next Daventry goal was an unstoppable blast but Ben Carew restored parity, his first goal for Ajax, a fine shot on the turn. Etienne Callaghan and Harry both drew good saves from the home keeper as Bilton exerted pressure and it was against the run of play when Danes went in front the goal a direct result of an injury to impressive Bilton keeper Jack Unett. Ajax scored the last goal 3 mins from time, started by a Sam Taylor interception and finished by a top corner hammer blast from Daniel Cobble to complete his hat-trick. Stand In full backs Troy Loveridge & AA put in gritty performances and Ciaran Dempsey shone in an exciting game.