Thame win in league
By Ian Bottomley
Thame second in table as their 100% league record continues
Thame maintained their 100% record in the league with a deserved win that was nevertheless sometimes a bit of a struggle. Thame never quite clicked but improved when playing with the strengthening wind in the second half and might have won by 3 or 4.
After an early chance for Jordan Thame seemed to go off the boil and Didcot Town got the ball down and played well from the back. In the early exchanges a lot of Thame’s better football came when Jacob got forward from right back and from one determined run a back pass and mix up nearly led to a Didcot own goal. This, together with Chris’s introduction on the right and Billy coming into the game let to a series of crosses, corners and chances.
Thame built the pressure with Charlie and Alfie prompting and covering in the midfield and twice the Didcot saved at point-blank range on his own line, once from a well-worked free kick and once from a Brandon cross with Chris in at the death on both occasions.
For all the pressure Thame were grateful to the poise and anticipation of Lloyd and Alex, and Josh who covered well from right back to prevent a shot and then Ty who cleared off the line after an excellent Didcot corner from the Thame left. Robbie swept up with his usual assurance and was safe under the swirling high balls.
0-0 at half-time and a man down after Lloyd was clattered when going for a header and left with a bloody nose. Thame were struggling to get the ball under control but were competing well and keeping Didcot at bay. The start of the second half was similar to the first with Thame not quite getting the measure of their opponents until we took the lead on 51’ in a way that summed up the game to that point. Two Thame players didn’t quite get the ball under control, but Brandon went and picked up the ball on the left hand of the penalty area, dropped his shoulder and curled his shot inside the right hand upright.
From this point forward Thame stepped up and played some good stuff: Charlie and Chris created the space for Brandon to drive over; Brandon and Charlie combined to slip in Felix who carried the ball into the right-hand side of the area but his shot went wide off the post. Charlie hit a splendid swirling shot from the left-hand channel but struck the bar, Billy anticipated a through ball and his well-placed header played Brandon in who drew a great save low down to the keeper’s right.
Memories of some shaky finishes when we couldn’t close out tight matches came to mind as Didcot’s energetic centre forward seized on a mistake but lobbed just wide. Thame were grateful to Ty who showed a sure touch to pick off through balls, Alfie, Felix and Charlie who stopped Didcot’s momentum in the centre and Billy and Chris who created many of our best moves out wide.
Thame were worth the win and will play better and lose at some point. Robbie had a quiet second half but another solid performance and a deserved clean sheet, but joint men of the match today Chris, Charlie and Billy who were at the heart of our brighter moments. Next game the reverse fixture after the half-term break.