Thame United 3 Bedford Town 1
United secured their first home league win of the season, but did it the hard way having conceded in the opening exchanges.
The only change from the side that were beaten by Beaconsfield Town on Tuesday evening saw Luke Ricketts come in on the left, but with Adam Morris and Matt Johnston on the bench, returning from injury and a period of holiday respectively.
After a Harry Mepham effort cleared the bar in the opening minutes, the visitors took the lead on six minutes when they broke quickly and a long ball found Dylan Gittens on the right, who then struck the ball wide of Hill and in to the far corner from 15 yards. Following the goal, United enjoyed significant possession but were unable to penetrate the visiting defence, albeit a good chance fell to Lynton Goss on 26 minutes but his effort cleared the bar.
The equaliser did, however, arrive on 38 minutes. Ben Connelly put a high cross in to the box from the right that Goss, positioned on the edge of the box, delightfully played through to Dan West who found himself in space 12 yards from goal and calmly placed the ball wide of Forster in the Bedford goal. The lead was almost doubled two minutes later when West played a square-ball across to Luke Ricketts who, in front of goal, could only skew the ball wide. And they were nearly made to pay in the last minute of the half when a header from a corner was pushed over the bar by Hill.
Hill was called on again two minutes in to the second half, diving full length to his left to push a deflected 25-yard shot wide of goal. From the next attack United took the lead when, after a throw-in deep in their own half, the visitors failed to clear the ball and West capitalised on some hesitation in the Bedford defence to force the ball home from close range. Shortly afterwards, West was clean through on goal but, unselfishly and instead of shooting, looked to square the ball for Goss, but the opportunity went begging, before West and Goss combined well with the latter seeing an effort deflect wide for a corner.
The third goal arrived on 58 minutes when Ben Sturgess won the ball in midfield and fed West who turned quickly, and secured his hat-trick with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box that went in off the post. Both sides then cancelled each other out, before Mepham made a goal line clearance on 72 minutes, followed by an effort from Ellis Hercules that was saved by Forster. The final chance fell to Bedford on 78 minutes, but having found space on the edge of the box, Stanley struck his effort wide of the post.
The win moves United up to eleventh in the table.
Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Hercules, Harrison, Ashworth, Connelly (Dennis), Goss, Sturgess, West, Ricketts.