Opening day point
Westfield began life at step 4 in the non-league pyramid with a hard fought – yet deserved point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Uxbridge.
Despite the hot summer the Honeywell pitch was in good condition and the hosts set off at a good tempo with Gary Ross called upon twice in the early stages, routinely dealing with a Warner effort before bravely diving at the feet of Wright to thwart the oncoming striker.
Westfield took the lead with their first meaningful attack in the 7th minute after neatly playing the ball out from a dangerous period deep in their own half the ball was fed out to Watson who cut-inside his marker and after driving into the box – delivered a perfect cross for skipper Karle Carder-Andrews who nodded home from close range.
Uxbridge’s response was immediate with Sinclair next to take aim at Ross from distance which the keeper dealt with well before Pink flicked over from a corner. At the other end Westfield almost doubled their lead when Steer connected with Kirby’s cross but planted his header the wrong side of the upright.
After a couple of goal-mouth scrambles the home side forced their way back into the match in the 35th minute when Matt Sinclair was first to react in the box after Ross had made an excellent save to deny Wright. The ball flying back into the box saw the hosts number 10 tap the ball home.
Westfield restored their lead shortly before the break when the ball was fed out wide to Aaron Watson who not for the first time skipped past Peden and after checking back in and leaving the helpless full back on the floor drove a low effort past McCarthy. There was still time for Dale Burnham to nearly add a third but his side footed volley from a right wing cross flew well wide.
After the interval the home side upped the pressure with Westfield happy to contain and attack themselves on the break. A trio of substitutes were quickly introduced as the hosts opted for a more physical presence but the Westfield back line was equal to the task posed to them.
Midway through the second period Uxbridge drew level as a free kick out wide was flicked on and Joe Wright rose highest to nod home past Ross.
This sparked the contest back into life and the final 20 minutes saw both sides going for the win as the game became stretched. Despite both teams getting into several dangerous positions the only time a keeper was called into serious action was McCarthy as he kept out Burnham’s back post header.
On reflection the right result and early signs are good that Westfield are more than equipped to compete at this level