Thame United 2 Moneyfields 3
United were defeated by the odd goal in five on Saturday as Moneyfields became the latest side to win at the ASM Stadium.
Going in to the match, Moneyfields remained the only unbeaten side in the league and, in the opening ten minutes, they showed why, as Joseph Briggs twice went close, first with a header that went wide and then a 25-yard shot that was saved by Craig Hill. However, the visitors broke the deadlock on 12 minutes when a deep cross from the left was headed back across goal by Sam Pearce and finished five yards out by Ryan Pennery.
The goal ignited United, and they started to retain some possession in the final third as they searched for a break through, but were indebted to Hill as he saved from Pennery and then Steve Hutchings. In the 26th minute Hill became provider as his long clearance was carefully controlled by Lynton Goss, who then turned his marker before bearing down on goal and driving wide of Matthew Short from 20 yards and in to the bottom corner of the net.
AT 1-1 the visitors went straight back on the attack, and re-took the lead on 29 minutes when a Lewis Fennemore cross from the right was headed home by Hutchings. Dan West then headed a Goss free kick wide for United when well-placed, before the lead was extended on 39 minutes. The referee awarded a somewhat dubious free kick to the visitors 25 yards from goal that Pearce struck powerfully in to the bottom corner of the net.
3-1 down at half time and United needed to make a quick start to the second half if they were to get anything from the game. And they did just that straight from the kick off when a ball in to the box found Dan West whose control took him beyond his marker before being pulled down. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, and Goss stepped up to confidently finish wide of Short.
Moneyfields were then reduced to ten men as a wild lunge from Briggs on the halfway led to an instant dismissal, and also ended the match for David Lynn who was injured in the challenge. United then enjoyed a period of sustained pressure, and were unlucky not be awarded a second penalty when Goss was bundled over in the box on 62 minutes. Adam Morris then saw an effort cleared off the line, before Short saved well from West, and a number of crosses from substitute John Dennis went begging as United could not force the equaliser.
The final few minutes of the match were frustrating for United as the visitors managed the game well and the home side were unable to create an opportunity that would have given them the point that the performance deserved.
Hill, Mepham, Lynn (Dennis), Johnston, Sturgess, Ashworth, Connelly, Goss, Morris (Farah), West, Ricketts