In-form strikers Steele and Champkins fire Saints to big win

0
172
Pat O’Brien (left) was sent off in the victory over Old Bradwell United Development. Photo: Sarah Rowntree

FOOTBALL

Hellenic League, Division Two (North)
Southam United 5
Old Bradwell United Development 2
Report by David Hucker

SOUTHAM United returned to Hellenic League action with a bang, as in-form strikers Levi Steele and Ethan Champkins saw them run up another big score in an incident-packed encounter against Old Bradwell United Development on Saturday.

And although pleased with the victory, Saints boss Richard Kay was left unhappy with some ill-discipline which crept into the game, with Pat O’Brien getting sent off and Ashley Knights sent for a spell in the sin-bin as the hosts finished the game with nine men.

“It was another action-packed game where we never really hit the heights of previous weeks, but again our attacking pace and play was evident throughout,” said Kay.

“We were more clinical upfront and, on the whole, very solid defensively, bar a couple of scruffy goals conceded through a lack of focus and concentration.

“At four goals up, it was disappointing that some ill-discipline crept into our game, resulting in us going down to ten men for a debatable sending off and then having another player sent to the sin-bin.

“It was a credit to the players that we managed the game well with nine men, but it’s not a situation we can afford to find ourselves in again.”

Steele set himself up for his third hat-trick of the season when opening the scoring in the 15th minute and Champkins’ header nine minutes later gave the Saints a comfortable 2-0 lead to take into the break.

Another goal for Steele seven minutes into the second half stretched the lead further and when Champkins fired home two minutes before the hour mark for his second of the match, it looked all over.

But United clawed one back and when Pat O’Brien was sent off in the 72nd minute, it looked as if the match could get interesting again, but Steele calmed the nerves with his third goal a minute later to make it 5-1.

Still there was more to come as United got a second but, despite finishing with nine men with Knights sitting out time in the sin-bin, Saints wrapped up the three points to move back into third place above Headington Amateurs on goal difference.

Saints go to Moreton Rangers Reserves in a re-arranged fixture tomorrow, Tuesday, night and then visit Risborough Rangers Reserves on Saturday.

SAINTS: Edward Cox, Curtis Green, Ben Tennant, Ashley Knights, Brandon Smith, Pat O’Brien, Ellis Champkins (Ara Rhema 64), Ricky Barby, Chidilim Okolo (Kyle Locklin 74), Levi Steele, Ethan Champkins (Frankie Baigent 64).