FOOTBALL: Wantage are champions with a five-star display

Wantage Town celebrate winning the Uhlsport Hellenic League championship

Wantage Town celebrate winning the Uhlsport Hellenic League championship

First published in Headlines

Wantage Town clinched the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division title with a sparkling 5-1 win at Abingdon Town last night to secure promotion to the Calor League.

The final whistle sparked a pitch invasion as Wantage’s fans celebrated reaching the highest level of non-League football in the club’s 122-year history.

Looking ahead to playing in the Calor League next season, chairman Tony Woodward said: “It is huge in terms of the history of the club. We have never been here before.

“It is a huge step, but we are ready for it and have done an enormous amount of work behind the scenes.”

Wantage went into the game knowing they had to win or they could be pipped to the title by Ardley United. And Gary Ackling’s side got off to a dream start when Jimmy Deabill tapped in from an Andy Younie cross in the first minute.

Rich Claydon doubled Wantage’s tally on 25 minutes with a firm header from Ben McCready’s cross.

Oxford Mail:

Top scorer Rich Claydon (right) drills in a shot for Wantage Town

Younie fired in from close range to make it 3-0 on 48 minutes, before Deabill grabbed his second with a cracking half-volley from the edge of the box four minutes later.

Basement boys Abingdon pulled one back in the 55th minute when Michael Hopkins tapped in at the back post.

But Wantage sealed their title triumph two minutes from time when Tom Melledew fired home from the edge of the box.

Ardley, meanwhile, won 2-1 at Bracknell Town, although it ultimately counted for little.

Kevin Brock’s side fell behind to a Shane Cooper-Clark penalty in the third minute following a foul by Ollie Stanbridge.

Stuart Bridges levelled 15 minutes later, and Stanbridge grabbed the winner in the 78th minute.

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