Solid opening to league campaign
By Ian Bottomley
Thame Youth win on first visit to Bure Park
Thame started well, switched off and were pegged back but then recovered their composure to get a first league win of the season and a 4th win in succession. The Youth could have won by more than 2 but for some slightly off-key finishing in the second half. Bure Park had some skilful players and a very accomplished striker and this was a good test.
The players figured out our new 4-2-3-1 formation and generally made it work, particularly down the left hand side in the first half with Scott at his most dynamic and Billy finding space, and with more joy down the right in the second as Chris and Matty worked well behind Ollie and Jordan who both had excellent games all round. The holding midfield worked very well with Charlie, Josh and Felix in their contrasting styles snuffing out the opposition and picking out their passes and carrying the ball intelligently.
Thame opened strongly with early pressure forcing a corner which Josh C met on the volley and drew a good save. Another cross saw a goalmouth scramble where Billy went close before an exceptional move nearly broke the deadlock. Breaking out of defence down the left Scott's whipped cross was met by Jonny and then Jordan on the follow up as the Bure Park keeper produced a superb double save. Another brilliant corner from Brandon saw Jonny head wide before Thame took the lead on 17'. Billy fed the ball into the right hand channel and Brandon broke into the box and finished beautifully with the outside of his right foot.
Bure Park were always dangerous with their twisting and spinning no 10 proving a handful but Jacob was solid, Alfie read the game and swept up well and when Lloyd was introduced he made some well-timed tackles. Robbie was alert to balls over the top and when there was a muddle in our box at a corner Felix cleared off the line.
Eventually Thame added a second as Brandon got on to a Scott through ball and finished via the far post and then-glory be-we actually made one of our routinely exceptional corners pay: this time from Scott the ball went through to the back post where Jordan popped up for a well-deserved goal. 3-0 at half-time Thame finished really strongly with some super interplay between Ollie and Chris and Brandon drawing a great save from wide on the right.
Thame could have stretched their lead at the start of the second half with Brandon just clearing the bar with the keeper well-beaten and Jordan denied from a header from a precise Ollie cross when the keeper got down at his right hand post. But then-we went to sleep-on 45' a long ball and the dangerous no 10 made us pay. Scott's free kick round the left side of the wall was saved and then we concede a slightly baffling penalty and the lead was pulled back to 3-2.
Thame got themselves together with Scott and Matty raiding down the flanks and Charlie, Josh and Jonny getting on the ball in the middle. An incisive series of passes between Jordan and Scott created the opportunity for Brandon and he sealed his hat-trick when one on one with the keeper. 4-2.
We nearly scored 2 absolute screamers: Ollie broke and produced a cross from the left that Jordan drove over the bar; and then a splendid move from the back: a slightly dodgy back pass put Robbie under pressure but his pass out to the right saw the ball transferred with pace through a number of players out wide before Jordan's cross and Ollie also skimmed the top of the bar. Brandon was comprehensively cleared out when through for a potential fourth and Billy went close with his free-kick from the edge of the area.
Overall this was a great team performance from 1-15. Thame will need to close out games better against stronger opposition but a good start to the league campaign. Joint MoM: Brandon for his hat-trick and Scott for his all round game and a couple of assists.