Long Crendon comfortably disposed of North Bucks League side MK Wanderers 4-0 to advance to the second round of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup.
There were two changes to the side that beat Virginia Water in Crendon‘s last game with Dan Reilly returning in defence and Christian Warwick coming in for his debut after signing from Thame Rangers. On a rock hard surface, Crendon struggled to find their rhythm early on and were unusually sloppy in possession. This led to Wanderers having the better of the first twenty minutes and their aerial threat at set pieces was clear as they twice headed over from good positions. They also went close when a direct free kick from 20 yards was headed over his own bar by Nathan Brownsword, although George Collingwood appeared to have it covered.
Midway through the first period, though, Crendon took the lead against the run of play. Brownsword played a raking through ball inside the Wanderers right back and Warwick ran on to it, round the keeper and finished into an empty net. Almost immediately upon the restart Crendon forced another corner and from Tom Sykes’ near post delivery, Brownsword cleverly flicked home to double the advantage. These two hammer blows rattled Wanderers and Crendon should really have had a third when good work from the returning Oli Lethbridge, on for the injured Archie Pettingell, set up Harry Pettingell to finish well but the referee dubiously overruled the linesman to disallow it for offside. Warwick hit the bar when well placed and Brownsword forced the keeper into a good save from a fizzing shot as Crendon finished a half they had started badly in almost total control.
Half time: 0-2
Nine minutes after the interval, the game was effectively wrapped up. A lovely combination between Warwick and Dino Bonwick saw the latter maraud into the box and his cross across the face of goal was turned into his own net by an unfortunate Wanderers defender. The goal of the game was still to come, though. Wanderers only cleared a set piece to where Ben Sykes was waiting, 25 yards from goal, and he returned it with interest – rifling his shot into the top corner past the helpless keeper. Manager Ryan Davis was able to ring the changes in the last half hour bringing himself on, along with Joe Russell and Ben Thomas. Crendon remained the dominant force as the back four looked watertight and having already done enough to win the game at a canter, they were unable to add to their tally in the final quarter.
Full time: 0-4
Another positive performance from the side after a shaky opening and a fourth successive win and clean sheet. Oli Lethbridge’s return from injury a big plus, although Archie Pettingell being forced off with a shoulder injury is a worry, though hopefully it will prove nothing serious.
Team: Collingwood, B Sykes (Russell), Bonwick, T Lethbridge, A Farley (c) (Thomas), Brownsword, Reilly, H Pettingell (Davis), A Pettingell (O Lethbridge), T Sykes, Warwick.