Arlesey Town 2 Thame United 3
United got back to winning ways on Saturday, defeating Arlesey Town 3-2 at the New Lamb Meadow.
Manager Mark West made a number of changes to the side that had been beaten at the same venue last week, with new signing Craig Hill in goal, Harry Mepham returning to right back, and Tom Ashworth in midfield, the latter seeing Ben Sturgess move to centre back along side Ellis Hercules.
With storm clouds descending on the New Lamb Meadow just before kick-off, it was United who pressed from the outset and opened the scoring after only three minutes. Good play down the Thame left played in the over-lapping David Lynn who drilled a low centre across the edge of the six yard box that top scorer, Lynton Goss, slid in to finish, giving the home keeper no chance.
Despite the conditions, United were playing some of their most incisive attacking football of the season and, with more fortune in front of goal, could have extended their lead further inside the first 10 minutes. However, it was the home side who got back on level terms on 17 minutes when a cross from the right was met by new signing Adelani at the near post, and he flicked the ball wide of Hill. Two minutes later and a cross in to the Thame box from the left bobbled against a United arm, with the referee pointing to the spot, and Adelani sending Hill the wrong way.
Hill was then forced in to a fine save to keep United in the game, before the visitors again began to impose themselves on the match. With Goss and Dan West causing the home defence problems, the two combined to score the goal of the game on 28 minutes. Intricate passing between the two, starting just inside the Arlesey half, resulted in Goss receiving the ball just outside the box, where he instinctively curled the ball with the outside of the foot beyond the home keeper and in to the top corner of the goal.
By now United were in the ascendancy and, after Adam Morris had seen an effort from 25 yards pushed behind for a corner, the third goal arrived on 39 minutes. Again good play between Goss and West saw the latter hit a powerful strike from just outside the box in to the bottom corner, again giving the keeper no chance.
By the start of the second half the storm had cleared and, even if there were no further goals, it was a half that United controlled comfortably. Indeed, Hill in the Thame gaol was rarely threatened whilst United had their own opportunities to extend the lead, including a goalmouth scramble on 68 minutes, before Luke Ricketts struck the bar from an acute angle with ten minutes to play.
Although, quite naturally, Arlesey pushed forward in the final minutes of the game, the United defence held firm to secure three valuable points.
Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Hercules (Johnston), Sturgess, Ashworth, Connelly, Goss, Morris, West, Ricketts.