Thame win on day of drama
Bloodied but unbowed: Thame Youth gain famous victory
An afternoon that started with one of our coaches winded in the warm up and collapsing in the dug-out and ended up with two of the crowd in an ambulance under a blue light proved controversial and memorable in equal measure as Thame “manned up” and took a magnificent victory.
Broughton & North Newington were clearly of a different order to our other opponents so far this season: quick and fit, aggressive in the 50-50s and seeking to impose themselves in attack, midfield and defence. For all that they were mainly restricted to long-range shots and Thame dug in: Brandon span away on the left and centred where Ollie was just crowded out on the right, and then Brandon picked up Billy’s through ball, rode a tackle and was narrowly wide from the cross shot.
It was disappointing then that Thame went behind on 13’ when they failed to clear on their left-hand side and the cross was well-headed home. At this point Thame were in a bit of a spin and were grateful to Alfie for sweeping up indecision on more than one occasion and to Robbie who made a point-blank save after a poor Thame throw-in, turned a close range shot onto his post, swept up through balls and closed down the striker before a low save on the stroke of half-time.
In the meantime, Thame were in the wars: Ollie went down heavily to a well-timed tackle when in on goals and was off to A&E…where he was joined later when Brandon was similarly tackled when in on goal and fell awkwardly on his wrist. Charlie pulled up with a calf-strain, Josh P had hurt his foot and Jake also tweaked a muscle.
Half-time came, in the nick of time: but the remaining fit and nearly fit 12 men produced an extraordinary second half performance of guts and skill. They were not distracted when there was an incident between the opposition and the crowd and began to play the ball through and around the Broughton players who seemed to run out of ideas when they couldn’t muscle Thame into submission.
Thame worked the ball well down the flanks and a lovely piece of interplay between Alex, Matty and Jordan created the chance for Jonny playing in a more forward role: 1-1. Felix began to get on the ball and played Jonny in again for 2 more chances; Scott-leading by example-flew in on a loose clearance and headed in virtually from half-way-only for the goal to be struck off as Jonny was adjudged to be interfering with play. Jonny hit the post from a Jake through ball, clipped the ball over from another Felix pass and then got onto a bouncing ball and chipped over the on-rushing keeper. 2-1
In the second half Thame were to a man magnificent: Jonny led the line superbly and tied the opposition up, Billy, Jake, Jordan harried and hassled out wide and turned defence into attack; Felix, Alfie and Ty battled in the centre and did not give any ground; and in defence Matty, Scott, Lloyd and Alex blocked and tackled and covered.
Man of the match though to Robbie: he kept us in the game in the second quarter, was a calm and reassuring presence at the back and summed up the quality and commitment of our performance at the end of the game with a superb take from a corner when Broughton pressed again. It completely took the wind out of the opposition’s sails and gave his team mates the confidence to close out the win.