Seniors – Veterans

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Manager: Martin Arnold

Mobile: 07789 924253

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Assistant Manager: Malc Walker

Mobile: 07919 397323

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The team play in the Leicester City Football League – Division 2

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Leicester City Football League

 

Date

Time

Opposition

Home/Away

Result

 01/09/2012 14:00  Fleckney Masters Home  D 1-1
 15/09/2012 14:00  Narborough Away   W 1-5
 29/09/2012 14:00  Sharnford Old Boys Away  D 3-3
 13/10/2012 14:00  Park View Home  D 1-1
 27/10/2012 14:00  Birstall Eagle Away  W 0-5
 10/11/2012 14:00  Broughton Astley Old Boys Home  P-P
 24/11/2012 14:00  Fairfield 'M' Old Boys Away  P-P
 08/12/2012 13:30  Fairfield 'M' Old Boys Home   
 05/01/2013 13:30  Fleckney Masters Away  D 1-1
 19/01/2013 13:30   Narborough Home  
 02/02/2013 14:00  Sharnford Old Boys Home   L 0-2
 16/02/2013 14:00  Park View Away   W 0-3
 02/03/2013 14:00  Birstall Eagle Home   W 3-2
 16/03/2013 14:00   Broughton Astley Old Boys Away   D 0-0
         
     Veterans County Cup    
     R1: BYE    
 03/11/2012  13:00  R2: Houghton Rangers  Home  W 4-2
 01/12/2012  13:00  R3: FC Khalsa  Away  W 0-2
 12/01/2013  13:00  R4: Kirklands OB  Away  L 1-1 (lost 2-4 on pens)
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

Fairfield M Old Boys 1 Oadby Owls Veterans 1 - 4th May 2013 (League)

Owls Veterans went into the game knowing a win would secure second place, whilst a draw would more than likely be sufficient with the Owls having a superior goal difference to Sharnford.

Having dispatched Fairfield 2 -1 at home, Owls were looking to complete the double. The game was played on a decent surface in good conditions which  suited Owls passing game. There were a couple of changes from the last game, Ian Scott replaced Lee R in goal, Simon A stepped into Ian's role in central defence and Ian B played in a 3 man attack with Simon L unavailable.

The first 20 minutes was uneventful, both teams battling hard in midfield but little goalmouth action. Fairfield were the first to create a chance breaking free and forcing Scottie into a good save - Simon Andrews sliced the clearance and the ball ricocheted off the post and away to safety.

Jason Braybrooke was playing well in a wide right role and put in a couple of dangerous crosses, one of which Matt Smith headed narrowly over.

Towards the end of the half, Fairfield started to dominate possession and Owls back line defended stoutly. The first substitution was made just before half time with Benny replacing matt Smith and a 4 4 2 formation adopted.

The second half continued to be hard fought, neither team creating clear cut chances, although Ian Scott was forced into one save from a header. Owsl made 2 further changes - manager Arnie replacing Woggi at right back and Glynn coming on for Ed on the LHS of midfield. Arnie tried his luck from long range but hit well over.

Owls made the breakthrough, Ian B latched onto a long pass from defence from Arnie and out muscled the defence before slotting home into the right hand corner of the net. Could Owls hold on?

The lead didn't last long, Fairfield won a corner which was swung in deep, Arnie was out jumped, the header was downward and bounced up against the bar and out where an attacker was on hand to nod in.

Play swung from end to end, Ian B tried to set up Alex Bexon but mis hit the cross and when Fairfield broke Ian S saved the initial effort and Glynn was on hand to clear the rebound off the line.

A draw was a fair result and should secure second place. 

Player of the Day: The Defence battled superbly well against a strong attack

Goals Scorers: Ian Betteridge

Oadby Owls Veterans 1 Narborough Veterans 1 - 21st April 2012 (League)

Following back to back draws with Broughton Astley and with only two games left, it was time to get a win to move closer to the runners up spot in division 2.

There were a few forced changes from the previous week’s team with Matt Smith in for Ian Betteridge up front, Mark Neale in Centre of defence in place of Simon Andrews and Simon Levy for Martin Arnold on the right hand side of midfield.

The game kicked off with Oadby playing up the slope.  Narborough started the brighter and took the game to Oadby having a couple of half chances early on. Then on 17 minutes Narborough played the long ball over the home sides back four and their striker ran on, closing down Oadby’s Keeper who attempted to kick the ball clear but it hit the Narborough forward and ricocheted into the empty net.  1-0 to Narborough.

It took this goal for Oadby to wake up and start playing now that they had a game on their hands.  They began to find their passing and after a few half chances got a corner.  From the corner, the ball came out to Matt Smith who stuck it cleanly from 15 yards into the bottom left hand side of the goal.  Score line now 1-1 with Oadby back in the game.

With only a couple of minutes to go, there were no more chances at either end and the whistle blew for half time.

Oadby started the second half kicking down the slope.  They continued with good possession from the latter stages of the first half.  The Owls had plenty of chances but couldn’t find that illusive pass and goal they wanted for victory.  Chances went to Alex and Matt but neither could convert. 

The opposition were getting frustrated by our possession and began to argue every decision and eventually the referee gave a yellow card to one of the Narborough players who pushed his luck. 

Oadby continued to press forward and Sam Patel latched onto a loose ball, drove forward and was blatantly brought down 25 yards out from goal.  The offending players name was also put into the referee’s book.  With only two minutes left, Alex took the free kick which was fumbled by the keeper and Matt put the ball into the net, but was given off-side.

The free-kick was taken and the final whistle blew bringing the game to a disappointing 1-1 draw.

With the one point for the draw, Oadby moved back into second place in division 2 with one game to go.

In a nutshell – It’s now in our hands to win the final game to secure runners-up 

Player of the Day: Sam Patel

Goals Scorers: Matt Smith

Oadby Owls Veterans 1 Broughton Astley Old Boys 1 - 13th April 2013

Owls Veterans returned to action after a 3 week lay off with a return fixture versus Broughton Astley. The away game was a nil nil draw and Owls were desperate for victory to keep the pressure on league leaders Park View.

Owls brought in Ian Betteridge, Jason Braybrooke and Martin Arnold to replace the injured Vince Harrison, whilst Matt Smith and Mark Neale dropped to the bench.

Owls kicked up the Coombe Park slope in the first half and Broughton had the first real chance when a deep cross from the left was met at the far post but the shot flew past the wrong side of the post. Owls responded when Ian B turned his man and shot across goal, the ball just drifting wide of the far post. An Alex Bexon corner was swinging in until headed off the line by a defender.

The two sides were evenly matched and the midfield battle was fierce with no quarter asked or given. Both sides had half chances but neither keeper was seriously troubled and the half time whistle blew wit the score at nil nil.

Matt Smith and Glynn Siddons came on after the break to bolster the attacking effort - Matt had a clear header from a Sam Patel free kick but failed to make meaningful contact. It was Broughton who took the lead with a break away goal, Lee could only get a finger tip to the shot and despite Simon Andrews desperate attempts the ball finished in the back of the net.

Owls threw on Alex Bexon and switched to a 3 - 4 - 4 formation with 25 minutes to go. The play became more concentrated in the Owls attacking third and there were near misses when Jason Braybrooke broke down the right and crossed invitingly but no-one could apply the finishing touch. Owls had forced a number of corners and these eventually paid off when Ian B looped a header over the keeper and into the net.

Broughton were playing on the break and there were a couple of hairy moments but Lee Rawlings was his usual assured self and playing as a quasi sweeper cleared much of the danger. Broughton did get a free kick on the edge of the box when a bout of 'handbags' involving the Owls keeper and the Broughton forward ended with Lee bouncing the ball of the head of the balding Broughton man. The ensuing shot flew wide.

Alex Bexon then hit the bar with a header but try as they might Oadby could not force a winner.

The game ended with a yellow card for a player from each side following an unseemly brawl after some midfield scrapping.

With Park View winning 2 - 0, Owls now need to win their last 2 games to secure second spot.

Player of the Day: Ian Betteridge - tremendous performance upfront.

Goals Scorers: Ian Betteridge

Broughton Astley Veterans 0 Oadby Owls Veterans 0 - 16th March 2013 ( League)

Owls veterans were away at Broughton in a top of the table clash - First placed Owls vs Second placed Broughton.

After heavy overnight rain, the pitch was heavy but not unplayable and the rain mercifully stopped for the duration of the game.

Owls brought Matt Smith and Yogi Patel into the starting line up in place of the unavailable Ed Burbidge and Ian Betteridge, with Ian Scott and Martin Arnold added to the sub's bench.

The pitch had a distinct slope from one end to the other and was almost as wide as it was long - which took a bit of getting used to. Owls lost the toss and played downhill in the first half.

Broughton turned out to be a strong physical side, not dis-similar to Cambridge under John Beck or the current Stoke team. Owls were able to deal with a succession of long balls comfortably, Mark Neale making a couple of excellent interceptions.

Going forward, Owls played better football and had some good chances - Sam Patel fizzed a shot which clipped the outside of the post, Vince Harrison had an effort turned onto the bar by the keeper and another shot which just floated over. Nil nil at half time.

The second half turned into a battle, with some crude  tackles flying in from Broughton. After one such two footed effort Simon Andrews scuffled with the perpetrator which resulted in the refereee taking firm action to calm things down.

The last 20 minutes turned into a battle of attrition - Lee Rawlings made one excellent save and Owls had a corner and a free kick in the last minute which were both scrambled away and the Owls vets recorded a first goalless draw in their short history.

In a nutshell - a hard earned point keep Owls 2 points clear at the top of the table. 

Player of the Day: Mark Bell - an outstanding defensive performance

Goals Scorers: 

Oadby Owls Veterans 2 Fairfield "M" Old Boys 1 - 9th April 2012 (League)

Owls Vets moved top of the league with this hard fought win. The game was originally scheduled to take place at Fairfield's ground, but when their pitch was waterlogged a late switch was made to Coombe Park.

Owls made 1 change, Simon Leavy coming into the side in replacement for Matt Smith who dropped to the bench.

The game was played on a cold day under overcast skies and Owls made a slow start, having to defend in depth. Fairfield forced a number of corners and Owls cleared off the line to keep the score line goalless.

Gradually Owls started to get into the game; although strong going forward, Fairfield looked vulnerable at the back and a superb Alex Bexon through ball released Ian Betteridge who broke clear and shot from the edge of the penalty area. The keeper saved at full length but 'Betty' was quickest to react and slid the rebound into the empty net.

The game was fairly even, Ed Burbidge shot over after a corner found him unmarked at the far post whilst Lee Rawlings was his normal assured self in  the Owls net dealing with a number of through balls and crosses.

A minute before half time, Owls went 2 up when Vince Harrison broke from midfield, exchanged passes on the edge of the area and dispatched the ball coolly in at the far post. An excellent time to score.

Owls made 3 changes at half time and started the second half in strong fashion, Matt Smith had a couple of good chances but failed to convert, Vince Harrison had a shot turned behind for a corner and Glynn Siddons should have scored when a Simon Andrews free kick found him unmarked 6 yards out but he failed to convert.

Fairfield then broke down the right, the winger releasing a cross along 'the corridor of uncertainty' which was expertly converted by an onrushing striker.

Owls opted to sit deep and defend for the last 20 minutes and succeeded in repelling all that Fairfield could throw at them to emerge winners.

In a nutshell - Owls third consecutive win keeps them in the hunt for the league 2 title! 

Next up - an away trip to second place Broughton Astley; a real top of the table clash.

Players of the Day: Ian Betteridge - lead the line superbly, Vince Harrison - commanding in central midfield

Goals Scorers: Ian Betteridge, Vince Harrison

Oadby Owls Veterans 3 Birstall Eagles Veterans 2 - 2nd March 2013 (League)

Oadby Owls continued their quest for the second division title with a home game vs Birstall Eagle. In the away game, Owls had dispatched Birstall 5 - 0, but Birstall had strengthened their squad since October and recent results had picked up.

Under clear blue skies and on a bobbly pitch, Owls played a 4 3 3 formation with Vince Harrison stepping up into midfield to replace the injured Jason Braybrooke with Simon Andrews returning at centre back.

Birstall started brightly and had the majority of the early play. They forced a number of corners, which were hoisted deep to the far post and which Oadby found difficult to deal with. Sam Patel cleared a shot off the line and Lee Rawlings made a fine catch right on his goal line.

Oadby started to get into the game with Alex Bexon and Ian Betteridge starting to gel up front and a couple of half chances ensued. However, disaster struck when a long through ball from Birstall caused confusion in the Owls rearguard. Rawlings attempted clearance hit Simon Andrews and then rebounded off Lee to give the attacker an open goal to chip the ball into.

This setback galvanised Owls and they drew level with a superb goal. Ed Burbidge found himself in space in left midfield and advanced on goal before firing a 25 yard shot into the top corner - as sweetly struck a shot as you could wish to see.

Better was to come when Alex Bexon turned smartly on the edge of the box and rolled the ball past the Birstall Eagles keeper to put Owls 2 - 1 up with 10 minutes to go before half time.

Birstall dug in and were awarded a penalty when Woggy fouled  - however, Lee Rawlings made a top save, diving full length to his left and tipping the shot round the post. At the break it was 2 -1 Owls.

Oadby reverted to 4 4 2 at the start of the second half, Glynn Siddons replacing Matt Smith. They were soon 3 -1 up when Alex Bexon broke free, coolly rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net.

To their credit, Birstall battled bravely and had a number of half chances before scoring a second - a long free kick was controlled in the area and as Simon Andrews tried to clear he toe poked the ball past his own keeper.

Owls had further chances with Alex Bexon seeing a shot cleared off the line and Matt Smith dispossessed when poised to shoot.

Owls defended solidly with Mark Neale and Mark Bell to the fore and saw out time to complete a deserved victory .

In a Nutshell - 3 points hard won

Player of the Day: Lee Rawlings - Penalty saved and a brilliant tip around the post  

Goals Scorers: Ed Burbidge, Alex Bexon (2)

Park View Vets 0 Oadby Owls Vets 3 - 16th February 2013 (League)

They say the mark of a good team is how they respond to a setback. Last time out Owls Vets lost at home to Sharnford and this was followed by a tricky looking away game at league leaders Park View.

The team lined up 4-3-3 to place the emphasis on attack as goals had dried up in recent games. The front 3 of Matt Smith, Ian Betteridge and Alex Bexon was backed by a midfield of Glynn Siddons, Jason Braybrooke and John Bentham. Vince Harrison returned to centre back after injury, partnered by Mark Neale with Woggy and Mark Bell at full back. Lee Rawlings continued in goal.

The changed formation worked immediately with Matt Smith on target after 2 mins 40 secs. This was a well taken goal to the bottom corner after being put through by Alex Bexon. Owls had 2 further good chances, a John Bentham shot was well saved and a scramble at a corner saw the ball richochet around before nestling in the keepers arms.

Defensively, Owls were solid - Park View sent in a couple of high balls which were well caught by Lee Rawlings and then a more dangerous cross was met with a flying punch which sent the ball to safety. When Park View did break through, Vince Harrison made a marvellous sliding tackle as the striker was about to shoot.

Just before half time Owls reverted to a 4-4-2 as Park View started to get a grip in midfield, Martin Arnold replacing Alex Bexon.

Early in the second half, Owls went 2 up - A Park View through ball was over hit and Lee Rawlings advanced to clear. Meeting the ball as though he was driving off at a long par 5 his clearance sailed into the Park View half where Ian Betteridge was quickest to react, latching on to the loose ball and stroking the ball into the net.

Controversy was to follow when a Park View defender tussled with Jason Braybrooke - as Jason fell to the ground and the ball ran out of play the defender stamped on his leg - an act that was out of character for a game played in good spirit - and duly received a straight red card. 

Owls sat back to defend their lead, content to soak up pressure and hit on the break. They went three nil up when good work down the left between Ian B, sub Yogi Patel and Matt Smith saw player manager Martin Arnold given a clear run on goal from fully 50 yards. He carried the ball to the edge of the box before shooting - his shot was saved but the rebound fell kindly and was dispatched into the Park View Goal.

Malc Walker had a run out as sub - his first game time since the first day of the season - and Owls soaked up pressure until the final whistle. Park View were restricted to a couple of long shots but never really threatened.

This result leaves Owls Vets in 3rd place, only 1 point behind the joint leaders.

IN A NUTSHELL - a great team performance and all to play for over the next 6 games

Player of the Day: Jason Braybrooke

Goals Scorers: Matt Smith, Ian Betteridge, Martin Arnold

Oadby Owls Veterans 0 Sharnford Old Boys 2 - 2nd February 2013 (League)

Owls suffered their first defeat of the season in a disappointing performance at home to Sharnford OB. With 7 league games left to play this was an opportunity to start a surge towards the league title but Owls failed to spark.

There were 2 changes from the team that lost on penalties in the Cup - Lee Rawlings was back in goal & Matt Smith returned up front.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair, possession was conceded too easily and Owls were too often second to the ball. There were several smart saves from Lee in the Owls goal whilst up front Matt Smith was unlucky with a volley which cleared the bar with the keeper beaten, Glynn Siddons had a shot scrambled away and Nigel Mansfield shot wide when well placed.

Owls brought on Simon Leavy and Adam Dovey at half time and the change had a positive effect with Owls dominating the game for a period of 20 minutes without scoring. We had at least 4 good chances but a combination of good keeping and a lack of composure meant the scoreline stayed at nil nil.

Against the run of play Sharnford opened the scoring when Owls lost the ball in Midfield and the ball broke quickly to the Sharnford attacker who shot home from 20 yards. Worse was to follow when Sharnford scored a second on the break. Owls threw on an attacker for a defender to try to rescue the game but were unable to find the net.

In a nutshell - we will need to perform a lot better to make a challenge for promotion.

Player of the Day: Simon Andrews

Goals Scorers: n/a

Kirkland Old Boys FC 1 Oadby Owls Veterans FC 1 (Kirkland win 4 - 2 on pens) - 12th January 2013 (Veterans Cup Quarter Final).

After last weeks 1-1 draw in the league, it was a return to action in the quarter finals of the County Cup. The opponents were Kirkland Old Boys from the Premier Division. This was a good test to see how far Oadby had come since starting up last season.

There were a few forced changes from the previous week’s team as Lee Rawlings and Vince Harrison had both picked up injuries. Matt Smith and Ian Betteridge were also missing due to family commitments.

Therefore Ian Scott put on the keepers jersey and in came John (Benny) and Glynn Siddons into midfield with Simon Leavy taking on the strikers role.

The game started with the home side settling down first and having the majority of the play.  Oadby got going after about 10 minutes and began to find their passes. 

Then on the 20th minute the ball was played up to Simon Leavy who was brought down just outside the box.  Alex Bexon lined up to take the free kick.  From 20 yards out and facing a 5 man wall, he slotted the ball home into the bottom right hand corner.  Oadby one up!

Kirkland looked shell shocked and Oadby took advantage a few minutes later.  A long ball from midfield played Alex through beating their offside line.  He faced a one on one with Kirkland’s keeper but his shot was block and parried away.

Oadby continued to push forward but couldn’t add to the 1-0 score.

Oadby made one change at half time putting Ed Burbidge on for Benny in left midfield.

The game started pretty even for 15 minutes then Kirkland made a couple of substitutions and started to go forward looking for the equaliser. Their main attack was getting the ball out wide and hitting crosses into the box, but Oadby’s defence was stalwart and dealt with everything thrown at them.

As Kirkland’s pushed for the equaliser, Oadby had a couple of breakaway chances, both falling to Simon Leavy. One header and one long range effort, but he couldn’t convert either.

Then 4 minutes from time with victory in sight, Kirkland put another hopeful ball into the box, but unfortunately Oadby did not deal with it and the opposition’s striker found the back of the net.

The game was played out for the 1-1 draw and penalties loomed.

First up was Alex Bexon who had already put his name on the score sheet.  He ran up with confidence, drilled the ball hard and central, but got too much height and smacked it against the cross bar.

Kirkland’s penalty went in making it 0-1

Next up was Sam Patel who got Oadby back level with a coolly taken shot. Kirkland then made it 1-2 with Scotty getting a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

Oadby’s third penalty taker was Glynn Siddons who kept the game alive sending the keeper the wrong way making the score 2-2.  Kirkland’s again didn’t miss, so it was now 2-3.  Next in line was Simon Leavy.  He hit the ball well but the Kirkland keeper made a fine save. Score still 2-3.

Kirkland’s fourth taker could now win the match.  His shot hit the target with Scotty diving the right way but couldn’t prevent it from going into the net making it 2-4 and putting Oadby out of the cup.

In a nutshell – GUTTED!

Player of the Day: The Team

Goals Scorers: Alex Bexon

Fleckney Masters 1 Oadby Owls Veterans 1 - 5th January 2013 (League)

Owls Veterans returned to action after a 4 week lay off with a tricky away game vs Fleckney. Fleckney had been the opposition at Coombe Park on the opening day of the season when a hard fought 1 - 1 draw was contested.

The pitch was boggy in the centre but otherwise in good condition and Owls opted for a 3 - 5 - 2 formation in order to use the drier areas out wide. Simon Andrews came into the back 3, Woggy moved into midfield and Matt Smith and Alex Bexon got the nod up front.

The first 20 minutes was keenly contested, with half chances at either end  but no clear cut opportunities. Owls should have gone ahead when they forced 3 successive corners - the first was headed against the bar by Alex Bexon, the second corner was cleared for a third corner. This was swung in by Matt Smith and after a scramble the ball ricocheted off the keeper's legs and away to safety.

Both teams contiuned to battle hard - both Matt Smith and Alex Bexon had chances but were not able to convert.

Three changes were made at half time, but it was Fleckney who went ahead with a well worked goal - a good pass from wide right was controlled in the centre and played into the penalty area where the Fleckney left winger had cut in and finished with aplomb.

Owls buckled down and drew level with 12 minutes to go, Sam Patel won the ball in midfield, released Matt Smith down the left and his cross was expertly dispatched by Simon Andrews who had sprinted 60 yards from the centre of defence. Excellent work.

The game then became fractious, Sam Patel was penalised for a foul to which the Fleckney player reacted angrily and lashed out - the 2 had to be separated and when the dust settled it was a yellow card for Sam, red for the opposition.

Owls strived hard to find a winner and were unkucky when they forced several corners towards the end, Alex Bexon's shot hitting the bar with the keeper beaten. 

In a nutshell - the unbeaten run is extended but we need to convert draws into victories if we are to top the division.

Player of the Day: Jason Braybrooke

Goals Scorers: Simon Andrews

FC Khalsa Veterans 0 Oadby Owls Veterans 2: 1st December 2012 (County Cup) 

After a prolonged break of 4 weeks, Owls Vets returned to action in the last 16 of the County Cup. They faced a tricky looking tie away to FC Khalsa of Division 4 who they had locked horns with twice last season, drawing the away game and losing at home.

A win was therefore imperative and an unchanged team started the game on a chilly bright day at Judgemeadow College. Owls were slow out of the blocks, perhaps a result of the month of inactivity or possibly complacency. Whatever the cause they spent the first 10 minutes battling to get out of their own half. The defence stayed strong, with Vince Harrison marshaling and excellent work from Mark Neale, James 'Woggy' Watkinson & Ed Burbdige and Lee Rawlings was not called into meaningful action.

As the half developed Owls gained more possession but could not settle into their usual fluid style of pass and move. The ball was given away frequently  and the game could best be described as messy. The breakthrough came on the half hour when Matt Smith slid into convert an excellent cross from Jason Braybrooke and put the Owls 1 up.

Khalsa had a decent chance from a free kick when a meandering dribble by their forward was ended by a clear foul on the edge of the area - the resultant free kick was blocked by a well organised wall.

Gaffer Martin Arnold made 3 changes at half time bringing on Ian Betteridge, Mark Bell and Nigel Mansfield; the changes made little difference with the game bogged down in midfield and few chances at either end. Owls were awarded a penalty after good work down the right by Jason Braybrooke and Nigel Mansfield lead to a cross which took a bad bounce and struck a defender on the arm.

Matt Smith confidently converted the spot kick for his 5th goal in 2 games.

Alex Bexon had a chance to seal the win when clear through on goal but a nasty bobble as pulled the trigger meant the shot went astray. Matt Smith had a 20 yard shot well tipped over by the Khalsa Keeper whilst Bexon had a free header from a corner which he failed to make the most of.

At the other end Owls continued to defend stoutly, the only alarm coming when a cross shot clipped the top of the bar, otherwise Lee 'the cat' Rawlings did not have a save to make.

In a nutshell - into the Cup quarter finals for the first time in Owls Veterans history!

Player of the Day: Matt Smith .

Goals Scorers: Matt Smith (2;1 pen).

Oadby Owls Veterans 4 Houghton Rangers Veterans 2 - 3rd November 2012 (cup)

Owls Vets were in action in Round 2 of the Veterans Cup, having had a bye in Round 1. Houghton Rangers were the visitors to Coombe Park, a new team this season and currently bottom of Division 4. However, they have only played 3 games, drawing 1 and losing the others by the odd goal so were very much an unknown quantity.

Early morning heavy rain had made the pitch very heavy - think Baseball Ground in the 70's - which didn't suit Owls passing style.

Owls kicked down the slope in the first half and dominated possession with Lee Rawlings a virtual spectator between the sticks. There were several good chances (Jason Braybrooke & Alex Bexon) before Owls took the lead - Simon Leavy left with a simple tap in after the Houghton keeper had parried Alex Bexon's shot.

Owls moved 2 ahead when Matt Smith scored after good work by Alex Bexon - in fact Alex could claim an assist for all of Owls goals on the day.

Houghton came into the game more strongly after the break and got a goal back when Owls failed to clear a corner properly, the ball was played back in and the Houghton forward acrobatically placed the ball in the top corner.

Owls struck back and Matt Smith scored twice more to complete his hat trick, the first after a Bexon shot was half stopped by the keeper and the second when Smith drifted past a defender and placed the ball across the keeper and into the far corner.

Houghton refused to lie down and had a good spell of pressure, culminating in a penalty award after Ed Burbidge was adjudged to have fouled. The kick was firmly struck leaving Lee Rawlings with no chance.

Owls stood firm to prevent any further chances and progressed to the next round without further alarm.

In a nutshell - a good day at the office.

Player of the Day: Matt Smith - Hat Trick Hero & Vince Harrison - Masterful at the back.

Goals Scorers: Simon Leavy, Matt Smith (3).

Birstall Eagles Veterans 0 Oadby Owls Veterans 5 - 27th October 2012 (League)

OWLS KEEP FIRST EVER CLEAN SHEET IN CONVINCING WIN OVER  BIRSTALL

After 2 successive draws, Owls Veterans had the chance to go top of the table as Park View had no fixture. The opposition were Birstall Eagles at the Davenport Rd park. It was a bright day, with a strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch and this was in Owls favour in the first half.

Owls played a 4-4-2 formation with Vince Harrison coming in at centre back for the absent Simon Andrews.

Owls looked to play passing football from the off and were rewarded early on when Simon Leavy sent in a cross field ball which Alex Bexon controlled first time and dispatched into the net. Owls continued to be the better team and scored a second when Sam Patel broke the offside trap, rounded the keeper and finished coolly into the empty net.

Simon Leavy then hit the post when the ball broke from a corner but Owls could not capitalise on the loose ball as it rolled across the goal line.

Owls went 3 up when Ed Burbidge got on the end of a rebound from the keeper and guided the ball in with his knee.

The 4th goal, just before half time was a real beauty, several players were involved in a sweet passing move which eventually freed Ian Betteridge on the right who finished confidently across the keeper.

Owls then turned to face the wind with a lead but mindful of letting a 3 goal lead slip against Sharnford were determined not to loosen their grip on the game. Jason Braybrooke scored a 5th goal after breaking free and beating the keeper one on one. Matt Smith had a goal disallowed after good work by Ian betteridge but the effort was disallowed after a very late offside flag.

Lee Rawlings, who had only had a couple of touches in the first half, was kept on his toes and had to react smartly to turn a Birstall shot around the post and deal with a number of through balls.

Owls kept it tight and ran out worthy winners. 

Player of the Day: Sam Patel - Midfield Dynamo.

Goals Scorers: Alex Bexon, Sam Patel, Ed Burbidge, Ian Betteridge & Jason Braybrooke

Oadby Owls Veterans 1 Park View Veterans 1 - 13th October 2012 (League)

A top of the table clash didn't prevent the Owls Vets extending their unbeaten run.

Following the previous games slip up from 3 - 0 in front, the Owls reverted to a flat back 4. Playing up the Coombe Park slope in the first half, Owls had more of the ball and the better chances.Owls even had a penalty shout when Alex Bexon was in possession inside the Park View box, the defender attempting to kick the ball from Alex, kicked him in the ribs! No penalty given though. At the other end, Lee Rawlings in goal for the Owls made a good save and punched away a couple of crosses.

At half time, the Owls made 2 changes bringing on Toke Singh for Woggy and Glynn Siddons for John Bentham. The Owls started the 2nd half  brightly, but the chances went to Park View, Lee again making important saves to keep the scoreline goalless.

After 7 minutes, Matt Smith came on for Ian Betteridge. Following a couple of touches, and only on the pitch for 4 minutes, Matt found himself clear on the right just outside the 18 yard box. Instead of shooting with his right foot, turned inside shooting with his left. The ball was heading for the far corner and Jason got across the defender to head the ball into the net to take the lead one nil.

The Owls kept it tight for about 5 minutes, then Park View gained possession, passed it out to the right winger, who cut inside and was brought down in the box to concede a penalty. Lee dived in vain as the spot kick found the bottom corner.

So at 1 - 1 with 20 minutes left it was anyones game. The opposition gained confidence from the equaliser and took the game to Oadby, having a few corners and a couple of chances all of which were well saved by Lee Rawlings. Owls got beck into the game and Alex Bexon went one on one with the Park View goalie, but was grabbed to the ground before getting his shot in. The referee ignored Owls second penalty shout.

With 10 minutes to go, Park View were awarded a free kick just outside the box, which was well taken and heading for the bottom corner, Lee got across to tip round the post.

The Owls then broke quickly, with the ball falling to Ian Betteridge (who had replaced Alex Bexon under the rolling substitute rule). He turned the defender and hit a 25 yarder whcih was flying towards the roof of the net, the park view keeper rose well to tip over the bar. Nothing came of the corner and the game played out to a 1 all draw.

Report by Malc Walker.

Player of the Day: Lee Rawlings (Outstanding Performance) 

Goals Scorers: Jason Braybrooke

Sharnford Old Boys 3 Oadby Owls Veterans 3 - 29th September 2012 (League) 

Owls let three goal lead slip

Unbeaten Owls Veterans had a second consecutive away fixture - Sharnford Old Boys providing the opposition. The match was played on a good surface in fine weather, although a stiff breeze was blowing which Owls played into in the first half.

Owls had the better of the early exchanges and went one up when Alex Bexon scored his first goal with a cool finish when left one on one with the keeper. Better was to follow when Simon Leavy converted a cross from the right, the ball going in off the underside of the bar. Owls dominated the half and had chances to increase their lead but failed to make the most of a host of chances.

Owls quickly moved 3 up at the start of the second half when Sam Patel's defelected effort looped over the keeper and into the back of the net.

That should have made the 3 points safe but Owls relaxed and Sharnford scored following a free kick, Owls failed to compete for the header and the header fell to the Sharnford striker who slipped the ball past Lee Rawlings in the Owls goal. Sharnford quickly added a second and then a third goal as Owls failed to compete in midfield and made defensive errors. Both teams pushed forward for the winner and Owls had a number of half chances but Sharnford were closest to a goal, hitting the cross bar in the final minute.

In a nutshell - 2 points lost.  

Player of the Day: N/A

Goals Scorers: Alex Bexon, Simon Leavy, Sam Patel

Narborough Old Boys 1 Oadby Owls Veterans 5 - 15th September 2012 (League)

OWLS VETERANS GO TOP OF LEAGUE

Owls Veterans recorded their first win of the season in Leicester City Football League Division 2 and moved top of the league in the process.

The game was played on an excellent surface at Friar Lane Old Boys ground under blue skies and a hot sun. Owls made 5 changes from the team that drew with Fleckney; Yogi Patel, Ian Betteridge, Jason Braybrooke, Simon Andrews and Vince Harrison all making their seasonal debuts.

Owls were 1 up inside 2 minutes - careless play in the Narborough back line conceded possession to Ian Betteridge 18 yards out and he expertly curled the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. Better was to come when Alex Bexon broke down the left and  crossed along the 6 yard line. An initial shot was saved but Betteridge was on hand to place the loose ball convincingly into the back of the net.

Narborough were shocked into action after this disastrous start and scored following a break down the right and excellent cross which eluded the Owls defence and an unmarked striker was on hand to place into the net.

Owls responded, pushing forward and playing good quality passing football. They nearly broke the Narborough offside trap on several occasions and the 3rd goal arrived when Jason Braybrooke broke free and slotted the ball in off the far post.

Alex Bexon nearly opened his a/c for the season a couple of times and was unfortunate to suffer a bloodied and possibly broken nose when he was strongly tackled after nearly breaking free.

Better still was to come when on the stroke of half time Ian Betteridge closed the Narborough keeper down in the penalty area, the attempted clearance hitting the Owls striker on the shins and rebounding into the net!

Early in the second half, Owls were awarded a penalty following a clear Narborough hand ball, the resultant spot kick expertly dispatched by Glynn Siddons.

The tempo slowed as the hot weather took its toll on the players despite full use being made of the rolling substitutions allowed and Owls were content to soak up pressure for the last 20 minutes.

In a nutshell - an excellent team performance topped off by quality finishing.

Player of the Day:  Ian Betteridge - first ever Hat Trick for the Veterans team.

Goals Scorers: Ian Betteridge (3), Jason Braybrooke, Glynn Siddons

Oadby Owls Veterans 1 Fleckney Masters 1 - 1st September 2012 (League)

The veterans team commenced the 2012/13 campaign as winners of the 'Fairplay' trophy from last season but looking for more tangible silverware in 2012/13. The league had moved us up to division 2 and the lads were looking forward to testing themsleves against superior opposition. 

There were debuts for 2 new players - Alex Bexon and Nigel Mansfield and with a squad of around 20 signed on there will be healthy competition for places this seasn.

Fleckney started strongly and Owls were on the back foot for the first 10 minutes with Lee Rawlings, converted from midfield to Goalkeeper having to be alert to collect some dangerous crosses.

Owls fell behind when they failed to defend a free kick to the far post. The ball was headed back across goal and a unmarked attacker had the simplest of tasks to nod in from no more than 2 yards out.

Owls battled hard to get back into the game, with Sam Patel outstanding in midfield. The black and whites started to get a foothold in the game - Alex Bexon had a couple of half chances but the Fleckney Keeper was equal to the challenge.

The equaliser came from a deep cross which Matt Smith headed back across goal, over the keeper and span in at the far post.

The second half was an even affair with both sides having chances - Oadby Owls had the ball in the net after Alex Bexon followed up a Matt Smith effort which was spilt by the keeper. The effort was disallowed for offisde - the flag coming very late!

Lee Rawlings made an excellent save from a hard struck shot at his near post - almost decapitating Sam Patel in the process!

In a nutshell - a solid start, but more to come.

Players of the Day: Sam Patel & Alex Bexon

Goals Scorers: Matt Smith

Team Notices