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SWINDON SUNDAY LEAGUE: Gas topple Fox & Hounds
AFC GAS got their Swindon Sunday League Division One campaign off to the perfect start as they hung on to beat Fox & Hounds 4-3 in a dramatic opening day clash.
Fox took the lead early on thanks to a goal from Nick Boza before the visitors hit back to go 2-1 up through a free kick from James Blake and a neat finish from Ash Taylor.
The home side levelled things up almost immediately through a Jamie Shepherd header before Gas moved two goals clear through Kerry Sharland and another from Taylor.
Sean Bailey was able to grab one back for Fox as time ticked down, but Gas defended heroically in the final few minutes to hold on to secure three points which put them top of the table after the first round of matches.
Gas boss Alan Blake was proud of his players after their opening day display and highlighted the performance of striker Taylor for his brace as well as debutant goalkeeper Wes Clarke.
“It was a very tight game but a great game of football, and we had to hang on towards the end and in the last five minutes we had to dig deep,” he said.
“We are very pleased because they’re a very good side with a very good reputation and to get a win on the opening day is exactly what we wanted.
“Ash Taylor played very well to score his two goals and led the line well, and we had a new goalkeeper in Wes Clarke who played very well indeed on his debut.
“There are lots of positives for us from the game and it was a great start for us.”
Despite suffering an opening day defeat, Fox & Hounds boss Jamie Richards was pleased with the display his team were able to put in with a number of key players missing.
“We had to battle pretty hard because we only had 12 players but it was a good game and I am pleased with my team’s performance,” he said.
“We had a few players missing because they are still away on holiday and ill and one is in Ibiza, and they are key players for us and we missed them.
“I think if we could get a full squad we will be fine and there are some positives for us to take.”
Twenty six goals were scored in only five Division One games on the opening day, with New Century and The Dolphin contributing six in their 3-3 draw.
Castrol and Trak FC, formerly Urban Allstars, managed 3-2 victories over Greyhound and Wheatsheaf to ensure a winning start while Inter Sandgate won 2-1 away at Penhill.
Division Two produced 38 goals in five games, with The Windmill the big winners as they destroyed Dynamo Ashton to triumph 11-1. AC Swindon and The Running Horse managed 7-1 and 6-1 away wins at AFC Tap and Barrel and Deers Leap, while there were also victories for SKS Blyskawica and West Swindon Wanderers.
After Saunders’ first two goals, Steve Norris netted an excellent solo effort to make it 3-0 before Carl Easterbrook netted before half-time to drag Toothill back into the contest.
Saints keeper Chris Daglish made a superb penalty save to preserve his side’s lead at the start of the second period before Saunders completed his hat-trick and Adam Wilkins struck a brace as Easterbrook’s second completed the scoring.
Elsewhere in the division Nationwide Pavilion beat Chiseldon 6-2 and Eldene won 2-1 at Smart Movers, while RJ Aerials got their Division Five season off to the perfect start with a 10-3 win over FC Wedge. Penhill Moonrakers won 6-0 at DH Fitness while DPR FC and Rosier Rovers played out an entertaining 5-5 draw.
There was a full programme in the bottom division where Rug Shack, AFC Freshbrook and Coleshill Youth all recorded big opening-day wins.
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