The Colts and visitors Thatcham Town Harriers played out an engaging 1-1 draw in unseasonably warm weather at Meadow View Park. The home side started brightly, passing the ball well and creating early opportunities for Cameron and Curtis. Although Thatcham put together some good build-up play, good communication and defensive solidity meant that clear-cut chances were few and far between for the visitors, and Reuben's duties were mostly fairly routine. The Colts grabbed the initiative when a free-kick taken by the goalkeeper fell straight to Curtis, who controlled the ball and fired it straight back over the 'keeper's head on the half-volley from a good 35 yards for a clever opportunist finish. Further chances were scarce but Reuben was called upon to make a good save low to his left just before the interval.
Thatcham would have levelled shortly after the break but for a handball spotted by the referee. This set the tone for a second period in which the visitors had more of the ball, passed it better that the Colts and hit the bar twice. Despite being the better side though these were the only efforts of note, as our well-organised and vocal backline continued to repel most significant goal threats, though the same could be said of the Harriers who restricted our boys to just occasional attempts. With just a few minutes remaining, Ioan's pace and skill created what looked a certain winner, but having beaten the 'keeper a defender just managed to divert the ball off the line and wide. This seemed to spur Thatcham on and the goal their second half efforts probably deserved came with just three minutes remaining, with Reuben finally beaten by a shot from close range.
Combative midfield displays and really solid defensive performances were the highlight of this fixture, and although all three points seemed cruelly denied in the last minutes of the game, a draw was probably about right. The match was played in really good spirit and well refereed: thanks to Jason for running the line.
Train with the Best - Win a training session with the England 6-a-side squad
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.