A stoppage time header by defender Chris Jackson was enough to earn Wantage a hard fought 2-1 win over Tuffley Rovers this evening.
In a game that looked destined to end all square, Wantage won a corner as the clock ticked into the 93rd minute. As the ball was floated in Jackson rose highest to guide his header into the bottom corner, ending Tuffley’s three game league winning run in the process.
The first half started with challenges flying in. Central midfielders Ashley Davies for Tuffley and Ryan Markham for Wantage competed in a personal battle throughout the first 45 minutes.
Neither side caused the other any real problems in the first half an hour but Tuffley improved as the half wore on. Davies, Kieran Alder and Shayne Bradley all having goalbound efforts blocked.
Wantage created a few chances themselves with Steve Robertson and Jack Dunmall firing straight at Rovers keeper, Dave Evans.
The second half started both fast and furiously and after Mark Flanagan fired wide for Wantage, Tuffley broke down the other end. Ash Bird’s right wing cross evaded the front post but Ashley Davies was on hand to bundle the ball home at the far and Tuffley had the lead.
The lead lasted only three minutes though. Jim Glover, who impressed all night, broke in the middle of the Rovers half and powered towards the edge of the box. His shot was saved by Evans but Robertson was on hand to convert the equaliser.
Ash Bird whipped in a couple of crosses shortly after that were asking to be put away but on both occasions the ball evaded everybody. And from there Wantage pressed harder.
The visitors were frustrated all night by Tuffley, in particular the defensive duo Joel White and Macaulay Herbert who limited the Wantage front line to longer distanced strikes than they would have liked.
In the end as both sides were starting to think about sharing the points a Wantage free kick was headed for a corner by Sam Hill and Jackson did the rest.
Tuffley remain 9th in the league, two points off Longlevens in 8th and with 3 games in hand. Wantage sit 3rd, 6 points ahead of Flackwell Heath and 5 points behind Thatcham Town, having played a game more than both sides.
Rovers are back in action at Glevum Park this Saturday when another one of the big 6 travel west in Bracknell Town. Wantage travel to Windsor.
Tuffley Rovers: Evans, Anson, Davis, White, Herbert, Davies (Hill 82′), Williams (Walker 78′), Alder, Bradley (Emery 69′), Mann, Bird
Subs Not Used: O’Leary, Pritchett
Wantage Town: Meare, Comer, Alder (Thorne 61′), Cox, Devoile (Scholes 71′), Jackson, Markham, Glover (Willoughby 86′), Robertson, Dunmall, Flanagan
Subs Not Used: Cheetham
Severn Sport Man Of The Match: Joel White (Tuffley Rovers)