FOOTBALL: Butler helps former club to stay up

Witney Town were grateful to former player Tom Butler for keeping them in the Uhlsport Hellenic leaguePremier Division on Saturday.

Butler scored a hat-trick as Wantage Town came from 2-0 down to beat Fairford Town 4-3.

Fairford, who needed just a point to overtake Witney, thus finished in the bottom two on goal difference and are down.

It’s a great escape for Witney, who seemed certain to be be be relegated a month ago.

They were also thankful that Henley Town failed to meet the March 31 deadline to make sufficient ground improvements to be able to stay in tyhe top flight.

So Henley, despite finishing two places above Witney, fill the third relegation position.

In the game at Fairford, the hosts took a 2-0 lead through Nathan Gambling and Jack Williams.

But Wantage stormed back to lead 3-2 thanks to the treble by Butler , which came in the 33rd, 46th and 47th minutes.

Fairford levelled thanks to Williams’s second goal and at that stage, the Gloucestershire side were safe.

But Gavin Jones popped up with Wantage’s winner eight minutes from time to condemn Fairford to the drop.

There was a lengthy hold-up following a back injury suffered by Wantage striker Richie Claydon.

He was eventually taken by ambulance to hospital, where no major damage was detected, and he was allowed home yesterday.

Newly-crowned champions, Oxford City Nomads, lost 1-0 to Wokingham & Embrook, the only goal coming from Adam Cornell.

Thame United’s match at Shortwood United was controversially postponed after to a pre-match downpour and has been rescheduled for tomorrow night.

In Divison 1 East, Letcombe gave one of their best performances of the season to draw 2-2 at Penn & Tylers Green.

Letcombe conceded a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to deny them a double over their Buckinghamshire opponents.

The game came to life with three quick goals in the second half. Liam Ratcliffe gave Penn the lead, but Letcombe were level three minutes later, Lyle Gifford scoring a rare headed goal.

Letcombe were in front two minutes later, Adam Claydon’s attempted left-foot cross sailing over the keeper and going IN via the far post.

Jamie West fired home Penn’s equaliser with the referee looking at his watch.

Milton United lost 2-1 to Rayners Lane, whose goals came from Law-rence Yaku and Harry Henley with Paul Druce replying.

Chinnor and Thatcham Town fought out a 3-3 draw.

Russell Benham, Chris Byrne and Steve Howe were on target for Thatcham, with Ryan Davis, Ryan Chapman and Mark Jones scoring for Chinnor.

Danny Dixon’s goal in the 18th minute gave Clanfield a 1-0 victory over Headington Amateurs as they completed a Division 1 West double over last year’s champions Dixon charged down Amateurs’ keeper Harry Jenkins’s attempted clearance to roll the ball into the empty net.

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