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Downton 1 United Services Portsmouth 1
Wessex League Division 1, Monday 30th August
Downton maintained their position at the top of the Wessex League Division 1 despite only managing to draw with fellow early pacesetters, US Portsmouth.
Matt Redman's second goal of the season put the home team one up after 15 minutes, the scoreline certainly reflecting the chances created by Downton during the half.
On a day when either team could have scored a hatful, Downton had numerous chances to increase the lead. With Danny Western working hard on the flanks and putting in a number of quality balls, only the woodwork and unfortunate finishing prevented the Robins from extending the lead both before and after half time.
Charlie Aldridge had already pulled off a string of fine saves by the time Portsmouth broke once more, in the 77th minute, with Ed Robinson's fine strike putting the visitors back on level terms.
AFC Portchester 1 v Downton 5
Wessex League Division 1, Saturday 28th August
Downton shot to the top of the Wessex League Division 1 following a resounding victory at fellow early fliers, AFC Portsmouth.
Electing to switch to a 4-4-2 formation, Downton dominated from the off, playing a fast and fluid game that left no doubt as to their title credentials.
Danny Western got his first league goal for the club in the early stages of the game, and Downton didn’t look back. Declan McGregor scored from the volley, Paul Gulliver got his first of the season following strong work from Callum Robertson and, following a Portchester goal on the break, Matt Redman chipped home to make it 4-1 before the break.
Ben Smith, who had been outstanding in defence, had to come off with a wrist injury, but even with enforced changes, Downton continued to dominate in the second half and had a number of chances to push on for the fifth. It finally came when Declan McGregor was put through, placing the ball in to the far right corner.
Debutante Lance Cooper had an outstanding game, winning plaudits both on and off the field. Matt Redman and Danny Western both had terrific games, while Nick Turpin, despite not getting on the score sheet, once again showed his value to the team in work-rate and technique. Most impressively, Declan McGregor has now scored 7 goals in 6 league games - another fantastic performance to cap a highly impressive game.
The Robins now lead the table by 2 points, with 6th placed United Services Portsmouth the visitors on Bank Holiday Monday.
Downton 1 v Amesbury 0
Dec McGregor in action (c) Colin Ives
Wessex League Division 1, Tuesday 24th August
Declan McGregor's 5th goal of the season sealed all in the points in Tuesday's local derby against Amesbury.
The Robins had plenty of chances in the first half, not least when Danny Western's clever back heel set up Callum Robertson who shot just over the bar. Despite the various opportunities, the game remained goal-less at half-time.
All was to change in the second half, with McGregor's well taken goal suggesting more was to follow. However, despite the introduction of the effective Paul Gulliver and Amesbury finding themselves down to 10 men, the Robins eventually ran out as 1-0 winners, securing 2nd place in the league, 1 point behind Saturday's opponents, AFC Portchester.
Downton 3 v Whitchurch 2
Hattrick Hero, Nick Turpin
Wessex League Division 1, Saturday 21st August
Downton came from behind twice to take all three points in another thrilling game at Wick Lane.
Despite a bright start, Downton found themselves one down in the middle of the first half. A number of chances fell to the Robins before Nick Turpin grabbed his first goal of the season with a well taken goal in the 44th minute.
Again, Downton came out strongly at the start of the second half but, again, they fell behind against a Whitchurch goal on the break. With bearly 15 minutes remaining, Turpin grabbed his second of the match, bundling in from close range. With Whitchurch down to ten men, the Robins pushed on for the win, with Dan Gain and Matty Redman brought on to strengthen further Downton's attacking ambitions.
The best was left until last, though, following strong work from substitute Matty Redman, putting Turpin through who subsequently lobbed the keeper to grab his hat-trick and take all three points for the Robins.
Warminster Town 2 v 3 Downton FC
Ben Smith, scorer of the 2nd goal
Wessex League Division 1, Wednesday 18th August
Downton survived a comeback from 9 man Warminster Town to wrap up the points and climb into second place during their midweek trip to Weymouth Street.
Showing a great mix of style and passion during the first half, Downton roared into a two goal lead with a superb free kick from Ben Halski and a storming header from man-of-the-match, Ben Smith. With Danny Western dropping in behind Declan McGregor and Nick Turpin, and Matty Holmes calling the shots from the centre of midfield, the Robins dominated the first half and looked odds-on to add to their first half tally.
The second half started badly for the home team, almost instantly going down to 10 men but, despite a hatful of chances, it was Warminster that took advantage, scoring 2 goals in 15 minutes to level the match.
Both teams went out looking for the win but it was Declan McGregor that helped the Robins to all three points, chasing down what appeared to be a lost cause, finding himself past the keeper who could only pull him down, earning the Robins a penalty and the keeper a red card. McGregor slotted home, finding the bottom corner, sending the substitute keeper the wrong way
As 9-man Warminster went seeking an equaliser so further chances opened up for Downton but, in the end, McGregor's goal once again proved decisive.
Downton 0 v 2 Bitton
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, Saturday 14th August
Downton's flirtation with the FA Cup came to an end early following a spirited and entertaining game against high-flyers Bitton AFC.
In a game which brought plenty of chances for both sides, Downton were never found wanting against their higher-league opposition. Strikers Western, Turpin and McGregor came close on a number of occassions, not least when Western's stinging shot was pushed clear in the first half, while McGregor was just off-target early in the second with a well-taken volley. As the weather took a sudden turn for the worse, so did Downton's FA Cup hopes when Bitton managed to get their noses in front with 15 minutes to go. The final nail in the coffin came when, following a foray upfield in the very final seconds by keeper Aldridge for a corner, Bitton broke swiftly and scored from distance.
Edit: An additional report can be found on the nonleaguegrounds blogspot by clicking here.
Downton 3 v 1 Shaftesbury
Wessex League Division 1, Tuesday 10th August
Downton came from a goal down against a spirited Shaftesbury side to take all 3 points on Tuesday night, with Declan McGregor bagging a hat-trickin the process.
Another solid defensive performance from Downton couldn't stop the opener from Shaftesbury's Mark Ford, whose quick feet found the net early on. Downton, enjoying a great deal of pressure throughout, struck twice before half time, initially from Declan McGregor's first penalty and then a sensational strike, again from McGregor after Nick Turpin and Danny Western had combined to create the opportunity.
The second half saw more of the same from Downton, with plenty of opportunities to extend the lead. Another penalty from McGregor sealed his hat-trick and all three points for Downton.
Downton 0 v 0 Verwood Town
Charlie Aldridge in action for the Robins
Wessex League Division 1, Saturday 7th August 2010
Downton drew 0-0 in their opening game with Verwood Town, with chances for both sides to seal a first-day victory.
Downton's man-of-the-match, 'keeper Charlie Aldridge, pulled off a string of excellent saves to ensure that the Robins opened with a clean sheet while, at the other end, the three-pronged attack of Western, Turpin and McGregor created a handful of chances, hitting the crossbar after Turpin found himself in a one-on-one with the Verwood keeper.
Against a spirited and highly organised Verwood side, who finished just below Downton in the league last season, the Robins were certainly a match for their opponents with a draw reflecting both the possession and the number of chances during the game.
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All photos (c) Denis Murphy/Sport4Salisbury unless otherwise stated