Thame U16 Colts 3 Wantage Town Boys U16 0
Classy Colts cruise to victory over league leaders
The U16 Colts returned to league action after the half-term break with a tricky home fixture against league leaders Wantage Town. The home side made a positive start, looking lively but with passing a little wayward. A great ball over the top by Tom E for Curtis to chase set the tone for a half when much of the goalmouth action was in the opposition area, though Curt was just beaten to the ball by the Wantage 'keeper. Our first shot on target was Joe's, firing one in from distance on 22 minutes but without undue concern for the goalie. Tom F's graceful curler from the right hand corner of the area followed shortly after, again though needing only a routine save for the Wantage custodian. Long shots appeared to be the order of the day, Tom E having a go from the opposite corner of the box, but again straight into the goalies gloves. Although much of the action was at the right end of the pitch, credit in particular to Joe, Jonno and George who protected Reuben well and largely gave him only routine duties to perform. Pressure continued to build at the other end as a trademark James G corner fell to Ioan who shot over, then moments later had a further chance from closer in but put it just wide. As the half neared its conclusion the boys had got their passing game together, a lovely move involving Tom E, Finn and Barnaby leading to a great ball into the box for Adam but he almost had too much time, the 'keeper saving well low down to his left. Just before half-time though the home support finally had something tangible to celebrate as another corner was delivered into a dangerous area, the ball was spilled by the away 'keeper and poked just over the line by Joe for a deserved goal just before the break.
The second half began as the first had ended, Tom E shooting just wide after great control and a smart turn and shot from the edge of the box. The second goal was set up by a great jinking run down the right by Barnaby, who crossed to the edge of the 6 yard box for Adam to poke home, the ball dribbling agonisingly past the outstretched arms of the visiting goalie. Soon after it was 3 and pretty much game over, Adam deliberately (!) kneeing the ball home after another fabulous run and cross from Barna. Further efforts from James G twice in quick succession then Ioan (after his run down the left and into the box left the Wantage defenders with 'twisted blood'!) punctuated occasional forays by Wantage as they tried to get back into the game, but as in the first half Reuben and his defence stood firm and by and large made good decisions when under pressure. Final score Colts 3 Wantage Town 0.
The season so far has been a bit of a 'mixed bag', but this was probably the best performance since the first league game at Kidlington. After a scratchy first 20 minutes or so the Colts looked up and passed the ball, gave each other options and played as a unit. The backline was solid (keeping a clean sheet against the league's top scorers before today's game), the midfield were combative and did their jobs going forward and defending, and our strikers gave the Wantage defence problems throughout the game. If there was a criticism perhaps the lads could have been more clinical in front of goal, but that's probably being a bit greedy: this was a very good result and an excellent performance for much of the game. Hopefully we can continue the good form away at East Oxford next week: thanks to Jason for running the line, and well done Mike and the boys!