Game 14: Brimscombe & Thrupp 0.2 Highworth Town (Hellenic Premier) 17.02.18
The original plan for today was to head down to Cornwall to watch Bodmin Town but with their recent postponements Alan opted to leave that until another day. Scanning the fixtures we came up with a trip to the Cotswolds and a ground that’s been on my bucket list for a few years. Brimscombe & Thrupp’s Meadow ground is unusual in that the stand and parking are on the same level as the neighbouring road but the pitch is at a much lower level. We arrived in good time and watched the FA Cup match in the clubhouse while browsing the programme. I was surprised to note that former Salisbury midfield favourite Wayne Turk was playing for Highworth, although in a defensive role today.
Visitors Highworth Town had played 15 away games in the league before today, winning 14 and drawing 1 – a fantastic record at this stage of the season and one that’s helped them to top spot in the league. They took the lead in the second minute when a ball was crossed from the left to an unmarked player on the right of the box. He took aim and fired the ball into the top corner. Brimscombe came straight back from kickoff and had a good shot well saved by the visiting keeper. There were plenty of attacking moves from both teams, Brimscombe seeing most of their shots sail well over the crossbar. Just before halftime Highworth almost added a second goal but the header came back off the crossbar with the home keeper beaten.
Brimscombe found themselves up against it after five minutes off the second half when one of their centre halves got a second yellow card for bringing down a Highworth player near the box. We hadn’t noticed the first card so it was a surprise to see him walk off the pitch. The officials weren’t popular with the Highworth players later in the half when one of their players was flagged for offside when the ball went to one of his team mates. There was only one covering defender so a good chance was missed. The assistant was very vocal about his decision but the players found it difficult to understand how the player was offside when he made no attempt to go for the ball and the player who did receive it ran past the defender before touching the ball. The yellow card made another appearance after the protests.
Both teams had some good chances to score before Highworth wrapped up the win with a goal in the 81st minute. The ball was played into the area and a defender sliced his clearance to a Highworth player who nicked in and placed the ball past the keeper from close range at the near post. In the final minute Brimscombe came really close to pulling a goal back. A fierce shot from distance looked to be going under the bar only for the visiting keeper to make a spectacular save. Another away success for Highworth who moved two points further ahead of nearest rivals Thatcham who are now five points behind after a home draw.