Thame Rangers 1 Penn 3
Early goals seal victory for last seasons league winners and Dan Hatton scores for Thame.
Two early goals for the previous two season’s league winners Penn was the difference in a game where a young Thame side did themselves proud and can hold their heads high as the majority of the game was evenly contested.
As early, as the first minute Penn took the lead with a well directed free kick and soon after made it two using their long ball style of football to catch the home defence unaware. A tactical switch in formation for the home side preventing Penn from executing their game plan got Thame back in the game and they soon began to threaten. Craig Faulconbridge moving from centre half to centre forward had an excellent opportunity to reduce the deficit but his double effort somehow ended up wide. Then Matt Johnston was beaten to the ball by a defender when it looked like he was favourite to tap in from close range. The half was played out with both sides battling hard and the score line remained the same.
The early stages of the second half were pretty even and then a double substitution and fresh legs was the start of a period of play that Thame were on top but failed to take full advantage. Kieron Moreton came on at full back and Joe Brittain making his debut in central midfield. Brittain alongside Christian Deste began to set attacking moves up which allowed Moreton and Charlie Attwell on the other flank to get forward. Crosses came in from both sides within this period and Faulconbridge should have done better with two opportunities. Deste then produced the best out of the visiting keeper with a goal bound effort. Additional shots from Brittain, Abdi Farah and Patrick Buston came before the pressure paid off and Dan Hatton scored. Yet another foul from the visiting side resulted in Hatton beating both wall and keeper from 25 yards. Unfortunately, for Thame the visitors responded within a minute to regain their two goal advantage. Thame never gave in and a spirited effort in the remaining period of the game was not enough as the visitors took all three points.
D Bowker, C Attwell, D Lynn (K Moreton), C Deste, J Davis (N Lang), C Faulconbridge, M Johnston, T Budziszewski (J Brittain), P Buston, D Hatton, A Farah.