Bowers came back from a disastrous start to lead 3-2 in this enthralling cup tie only for Kidlington to draw level and force a replay back in Oxford next Saturday.
Kidlington, of the Hellenic Premier Division, had a dream start when after just three minutes, Anaclet Odhiambo was played through and though his shot was well saved by Martyn Guest Kristan Thomas was on hand to slide the loose ball home at the near post. The lead was doubled before the tie was 10 minutes old. A free-kick was swung in and was partially cleared by Luke Wilson but, as Bowers looked to clear from inside the box, the ball only cannoned off Thomas and beyond Guest.
Bowers were being totally out thought, but they got a goal back against the run of play. In their first foray forward, the ball was partially cleared to James Stevens and, although his shot was heading wide, Hilton slid in to half give Bowers a lifeline.
Bowers finished the half the better team. Lewis Manor and Chris Bryan looking a particular threat up front, although it was Kidlington who thought they had got the next goal late in the half as Castle was in the clear and, having rounded Guest the ball got stuck in the mud before the keeper could smother it away, with very strong appeals the ball had crossed the line, however, both officials deemed the ball had not and the score remained the same despite the visitors’ appeals.
The second half didn’t erupt in the same manner as the first, although the first clear-cut chance of the half brought the Home side back on level terms.
Manor won a free-kick 20 yards from goal and James Stevens, bent a delightful kick inside the near post.
Manor and Ross Adams saw drives blocked by Kidlington goalkeeper Sam Warrell, but there was nothing the keeper could do about the fifth goal.
It was all Manor’s own making as he hustled and harried the Kidlington centre-halves, winning the ball in the box and swivelling to fire into the opposite corner.
Vinny Durrant had the ball in the net once again moments later, only for the assistant referee’s flag to curtail celebrations.
And Kidlington made the most of that reprieve, as Odhiambo struck beyond Guest to make it 3-3.
Bower’s nearly won it in normal time as Hilton’s strike was cleared off the line.
With the scores level after 90 minutes, the match went into extra time and Kidlington were looking the more likely. Odhiambo was kept out by Guest from point blank range, while the goalkeeper also tipped a free-kick around the post.
Kidlington were the brighter of the two sides, and Odhiambo had two golden chances to get the winner as Bowers’ legs grew heavy.
But a replay it will be, next Saturday.
Bowers & Pitsea: Guest, Pethers, Durrant (Gardner), Wilson, Waters (Sendall), Adams, Kee, Stevens (Hine), Manor,Bryan, Hilton
Kidlington: Warrell, Brownhill, B Weedon (Flanagan), Owen, Franklin, Gabbidon, Coyle, Willoughby (C Weedon), Adhiambo, Thomas, Castle (Quainton)
Thanks to Darren Scorey/Bowers & Pitsea for the report. The photos are by Gareth Nash. You can find more of his photos here… https://www.flickr.com/photos/garethnash/
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