Fairford Town moved up to 2nd in Hellenic Premier table on Tuesday evening with a hard fought 1-0 win at Brimscombe & Thrupp, notching up their fourth win out of four in all competitions this season.
Ben Lodge’s third minute effort was enough to separate the two sides at the Meadow, as both sides lacked composure in the final third during a tough first half.
Lodge’s third goal of the season came when forward Connor Thompson picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and was allowed the time and space to thread a neat through ball into Lodge, who calmly slotted past Ash Gale to give the visitors the lead.
Fairford maintained control of the game throughout the first half and made Brimscombe work hard to regain the initiative. Ollie Pitt went close for the hosts, as his effort was saved by Harrison Ellis in the Fairford goal.
The follow up fell to Henry Birkett, but his effort blocked on it’s way towards goal. Then, Sam Blackie forced Ellis into a smart stop at the back post after a beautiful cross in from the right.
For Fairford, they saw efforts fired wide by Dan Bailey, Connor Thompson and Callum Preece. At the break the visitors lead and the hosts had it all to do.
Brimscombe came out for the second half nearly five minutes before Fairford as it was clear watching the game that manager Sam Prior would not have been happy with what he had seen. Brimscombe were sloppy in possession and in particular in the final third were quite wasteful at times.
The second half continued where the first half left off for the hosts, with the build up superb but the decision making in the final third letting them down.
James Campbell and Ed Major came on for Brimscombe who looked to build up their rhythm going forward, but they were kept in line by a very impressive defensive display from Fairford, in particular Ellis Dunton.
The former Cirencester Town man showed his class throughout the 90 minutes and put in a performance that saw our man Ryan Butler describe on commentary as “a joy to watch.”
Fairford nearly doubled their lead through Mason Thompson, who saw his shot saved by Ash Gale and Dan Bailey who fired over after Brimscombe were caught over-playing the ball around their own box.
Town substitute Danny Gudger then forced Gale into a decent save from a fierce effort, but the second goal didn’t really look like coming.
Brimscombe had two massive chances to salvage a point, but frustratingly both opportunities went begging. First a delightful cross in from the right was curled perfectly onto Sam Blackie’s head, but the forward could only head straight at Harrison Ellis.
Then in the dying moments Ollie Pitt was slipped in down the right side of the box, but with Campbell square and a great chance to level in front of him, Pitt fired over to sum up a poor night for the Lilywhites.
Brimscombe will be looking to get back on the winning trail when they host Aylesbury United in the FA Cup on Saturday, before a trip to local rivals Tuffley Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday.
Fairford host Hanwell Town in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup on Saturday, before travelling to Shrivenham for their Bank Holiday Monday fixture.
Brimscombe & Thrupp: Gale, Simpson, Deakin, Parrott, Pates, Pitts, Birkett (Caldwell), Welch (Major), Smith (Campbell), Blackie, Pitt
Subs Not Used: Bremner, Green
Fairford Town: Ellis, Preece, K Thomas, Dunton, Hawkins, James, M Thompson (Gudger), D Bailey, C Thompson, Scholes (J Thomas), Lodge
Subs Not Used: Masotta, C Bailey, Reid, Watson
Severn Sport Man of The Match – Ellis Dunton (Fairford Town)