Tytherington Rocks vs Clanfield ’85

JUNIOR Mbika scored twice and Callum Francis scored once as Tytherington Rocks moved off the foot of the Hellenic League West table with an impressive 3-1 win over mid-table Clanfield ’85.

Mbika scored twice in the second half of a heated encounter with Clanfield ’85 who were no match for Tytherington’s pace and firepower in the attacking third.

The win for the Rocks moves them one point above Woodstock Town who now occupy the bottom place in the league.

Clanfield took an early lead in the sixth minute from a corner. The Rocks boss, Dan Gillespie was not happy. Sam Cross was able to bundle the ball over the line for the visitors following an unchallenged header at the back post.

Although the league table may suggest otherwise with 21 points separating the two sides, there was little to choose between the two teams. Callum Francis, on left flank, was causing major problems for Clanfield’s right-back and goalscorer, Sam Cross, who struggled to deal with the attacker’s speed and quick feet.

Tytherington were refused a penalty in the 21st minute when the ball appeared to hit a Clanfield hand in the penalty area on its way towards goal from Lewis Bezer’s shot. However, the referee waved away Tytherington appeals.

The Rocks were pushing for an equaliser as the half an hour mark approached. Junior Mbika did well to shrug off the challenge of a defender and bend his shot towards the far post from 20 yards out. However, the striker’s effort just went wide of the post.

Since Clanfield’s early goal, the away side had rarely threatened Tytherington’s goal. A series of corners for the home side followed from sustained pressure and, even with some fine delivery from Sven Hopes, the away side managed to retain their one goal lead.

However, just one minute before half time, Tytherington found the equaliser. Mbika was at the heart of another Rocks attack and managed to work some space in the area to find Callum Francis across goal who tapped in from close range.

At half time, the Rocks were even unlucky not to be in the lead. If the sustained attacking pressure from them was to continue into the second half, then there would only be one outcome from this game.

The Rocks did exactly that. 5 minutes into the second half and Liam Pullen executed an audacious back heel to slot the ball into the path of Junior Mbika who finished well to beat the Clanfield ‘keeper.

Clanfield were yet again showing that they lacked any real quality that would see them, at the very least, threaten the Rocks’ final third. Continued attacking play from the Rocks paid dividends on the hour mark when Mbika made it 3-1. A looping long range pass from centre back, Pat Boyd, saw Mbika through on goal who finished well to get his second of the game and Tytherington’s third. Just as it had been throughout the game, Tytherington’s pace on and off the ball caused many problems for Clanfield’s defence. For that reason, Tytherington could have had even more goals.

Nevertheless, the Rocks were all too aware of the fact that they have squandered two-goal leads before this season. As a result, they looked to dictate the pace of the game and ease to victory.

All but for some off the ball skirmishes, that is exactly what the home side did. Clanfield posed very little threat to the Rocks’ back four who looked comfortable for most of the afternoon.

With a weakened squad due to suspension and injury, the Rocks did extremely well to win this game against a mid-table Clanfield side. All the Tytherington players applied every last ounce of energy to gain a deserved three points that fittingly rewards them with moving from the foot of the table. Next Saturday at 3pm, Tytherington play at home to Shrivenham who are 8th in the league.