HIGHMOOR Ibis gave Highworth Town an early scare in the Premier Division, but were predictably beaten 3-1 in their bottom-versus-top clash at Rivermoor on Saturday.

The two sides are separated by 19 places and 42 points, and all the pre-match predictions were on how many goals the visitors – the country’s highest scorers at Step Five – would rack up.

However, the Worthians certainly didn’t have things all their own way with Highmoor’s much-changed side battling hard and giving a good account of themselves.

Following the departure of manager Marcus Richardson, they have lost a number of experienced players in recent weeks and mainly replaced them with youngsters.

Seeking their first home league win of the season, Ibis got off to a good start on Saturday with a superb goal after seven minutes. Aaron De Rama raced through from midfield before firing over the keeper into the top corner.

This goal, however, stunned the Worthians into action and within two minutes they were on level terms with Kieron Gleed equalising from a corner.

Soon afterwards, Luke Cox went close to regaining the lead for the hosts, while home keeper Sean Saxby pulled off a couple of smart saves and for much of the half there was little to choose between the sides.

However, Highmoor’s hopes of going in at half time all-square were dashed when they gave away a free-kick which led to Wayne Turk heading the visitors in front with 42 minutes gone.

Now realising it wasn’t going to be an expected walk-over, the league leaders upped the tempo in the second half and it needed several fine saves by Saxby to keep them at bay.

He was relieved to see a penalty blazed high over the bar, but the goalie was left disappointed on 70 minutes when his slip up was punished by Callum McGhee-Parsons, sealing Highworth’s 19th win in 22 league games.

Highmoor, without a victory since September 23, are home to Binfield on Monday (7.45pm ko).

  • WOODLEY United gave one of their best performances in recent weeks, but came away with nothing as they lost their Premier Division game 2-1 at Royal Wootton Bassett.

From the off, the visitors were positive and a Pele Hagger cross field pass found Liam Wilson, who in turn passed to Jaydyn Englefield, who saw his shot pushed away for a corner by home keeper Dan Lawrence.

The goalie was again in action in the 10th minute, punching the ball clear under pressure from Haydon Richardson following a Sam Guze cross.

Alex Reed was called upon to dive full length to concede a corner from Sam Collier in the 12th minute, which was cleared for another corner which saw United counter-attack and the lively Englefield seeing his shot beat Lawrence, only to be cleared off the goal line.

Ashley Ledger was flagged off-side in another United attack before Collier fired over after 18 minutes.

Reed pushed a Harvey Scholes shot over the crossbar before Englefield made another positive run into the hosts' penalty area and shooting.

The opening goal came after 26 minutes when Callum Samuel-Harman broke free of a square back line to beat Lawrence in the home goal, with Idris Kamara then coming close to doubling the lead.

Englefield and Collier both fired free-kicks over the crossbar before Dale Richards was denied an equaliser 10 minutes from half time when Reed made a full-length save.

The home team started the second half stronger, but their first attempt on goal did not come until the 52nd minute when a free-kick was fired straight at Reed with United responding a minute later when a cross was headed wide by substitute Marvin Hinds.

The visitors survived a penalty scare against them after 61 minutes followed by Samuel-Harman’s good run resulting in an over hit cross, before the hosts’ Lewis Waldron shot wide and Kamara made an important block.

The equaliser came on 74 minutes when United lost possession on the half-way line and the resulting attack saw Reed parry a shot, only for Steve Yeardley to poke the loose ball into the net.

Four minutes later a United attack broke down and the resultant counter-attack saw substitute Ryan Withers score the winning goal.

United responded strongly with Lawrence denying Hinds and Englefield seeing another shot cleared off the line, but they could not find an equaliser.

Woodley United’s Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy clash at Thatcham Town was postponed due to a frozen pitch on Tuesday.

  • AFC Aldermaston were knocked out of the Maidenhead Norfolkians Senior Cup following a 2-1 home defeat to East Berkshire League side Old Windsor on Saturday.

The prolific Kai Parton-Edey got the goal for the hosts, but Tom Hartridge and Sean Blandford replied to put Windsor into the next round.

The Atom Men were due to play Virginia Water in Division One East on Tuesday, but the game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Aldermaston – who sit 10th in the table with 11 points from 10 games – host table-toppers Bicester Town this coming Saturday (3pm).