HELLENIC LEAGUE: Fairford weather the storm to secure a point

Swindon Advertiser: Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite

FAIRFORD boss Paul Braithwaite admitted he only discovered the full extent of the severe weathers conditions his players were facing at half-time of his side’s 0-0 draw at Hook Norton.

The Cinder Lane side were forced to travel to Hook Norton’s isolated ground for Saturday’s Division One West clash and came away with a creditable draw despite creating a host of chances in the second period.

While his players were busy battling the weather, Braithwaite had the luxury of some limited cover in the dugout, but when he made his way back to the dressing room at the interval he discovered just why his side had struggled to move the ball around.

“It was awful because Hook Norton’s ground is right at the top of a hill in a small village and it overlooks everything is very open,” he said. “There are no houses around to protect you and it’s a funny little place to be honest.

“The wind was so strong, although it wasn’t too bad at first, but when we kicked off you could see the corner flags blowing all over the place.

“We were in the dugouts and had a bit of protection so it wasn’t too bad and there were a few frustrations on our part as to why our players couldn’t turn them. But when we walked across the pitch at half-time we got the majority of the way across and we could tell the wind was spoiling it all.”

Ultimately, Braithwaite was happy to take a point from the encounter but believes it would have been three had it not been for the Hook Norton keeper.

“Before the game we said that if we had to defend with the wind in the first-half we wanted to limit their chances and press them so they couldn’t get shots off, because in the wind balls can fly anywhere.

“We did that well and that was something we were looking to improve on anyway which was good. We limit them to a handful of chances but nothing really good. After the break we pushed on to try and win the game and tried to put them under a lot of pressure, which worked because we created a lot of chances, but unfortunately we didn’t score one or two.

“If we had met a different keeper on the day we would probably have won but he made two or three really good stops.

“Overall, though, 0-0 is good because we’ve been looking for a clean sheet for a while.

Elsewhere in the division Blaine Fitzgerald scored Purton’s goal in their 1-1 draw at home to Tytherington while Malmesbury lost 2-0 at Shortwood.a


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