Moneyslane suffered a set-back on Saturday with a surprising 2-0 defeat away at Oxford Sunnyside.
Preparations for the match were disrupted when less than an hour before kick-off, three players had failed to weigh in and changes were made to the planned starting team. At kick-off, there was further frustration when it became clear the home team was fielding almost an entirely different team that had been beaten 9-0 by St Mary’s on Wednesday night.
It was the home team that should have opened the scoring when a defensive clearance hit a team-mate and bounced for a striker to have a clear run at goal but the shot was delayed and Davenport made an excellent challenge. Moneyslane struggled to get any rhythm or tempo into the game and all too often poor control or passing squandered possession. Right on half-time, Kerr then had a chance from a free-kick but he found the side netting from a tight angle.
The second half continued much as the first with little passing football from either team. Moneyslane did manage to play more in the opposition half but rarely threatened the opponent’s goal.
Firstly from a corner, Nesbitt rose highest to head goalward but the home keeper made a terrific stop low to his left.
Then moments later, Whitten lost the ball cheaply and the home team countered. After some good passing, their number 14 fired into the corner from 14 yards to give the home team the lead.
Slane pressed for an equaliser with Greg Harrison again firing wide when well placed and Bingham smashing a well hit effort over from the edge of the box.
However, the next goal came from the home team when again from a counter attack, a speculative cross-cum-shot swirled in the wind, drifted over Blevins and into the net off the far post.
Moneyslane players were shell-shocked and although there was still 25 minutes to go, their play became rushed and anxious.
Weir came on for the injured Gracey and the team went 4-3-3 for a final push. However, Nesbitt somehow failed to connect six yards out, Bingham’s shot from just inside the box went well wide and Shilliday headed over from a corner eight yards out.
After that, Weir’s shot from 14 yards cleared the bar and on numerous occasions when in good position, the final pass did not find its target.
Hence, Slane suffered an unexpected defeat.