Thame U16 Colts 2 Kidlington Youth 1
Colts do just enough to secure first league 'double'
Kidlington Youth were the visitors to Meadow View Park as the Colts lined up in their highly visible new 2nd/training strip. The home side got off to a bright start, passing the ball well at times and just shading the first period without creating bundles of chances. Adam's good control and shot wide in the first few minutes and a one-on-one where he should have lobbed the advancing 'keeper but seemed caught in two minds were worthy of note. Thame went in at half time with a narrow first half lead thanks to Ioan's tidy finish after Henry's long ball was taken down by Adam, passed on the half-volley to the eventual scorer who still had plenty to do but kept his composure to slot home. Kidlington had their moments, but credit to Barna, Oscar, Jonno and George W at the back who all did a good job of giving Reuben a largely quiet first 40 minutes with few alarms.
The second period was a different story though: Kidlington were energised after the break and the Colts play became scrappier as they were put under increased pressure and were given less time on the ball. James Grant's free kick into the box which failed to find a yellowy-green shirt and Tom E's shot from 18 yards that the Kidlington goalie saved well were our two efforts of note in the first 20 minutes or so, as in the same period Kidlington hit the bar, forced Reuben into a full-length dive to tip a shot from distance around the post and shot narrowly wide with our valiant keeper beaten. The home support sensed that Kidlington were the most likely scorers and sure enough parity was soon restored, a sweetly-struck curling free kick finding the net and ensuring a lively finish as both sides pressed for maximum points. The Colts found their rhythm again though, and Ioan's effort that dribbled wide after cleverly heading beyond the 'keeper from a long ball forward preceded the eventual winner, a good ball into the the box from the right drifting over the heads of two defenders and falling to Adam who controlled the ball and hit a precise side-footed half-volley high to the goalkeeper's left. This seemed to be the catalyst the boys needed to tighten up as Henry, James, Ash, Tom E and Curtis asserted themselves in midfield and Louis, Morgan, Cameron and Finn contributed fresh legs off the bench. The final ten minutes saw Ioan denied again in the six yard box and Kidlington hitting the post, but it was relief all round on the final whistle as the 'Yellowy-Greens' were confirmed victorious.
Kidlington will probably feel hard-done-by to not have gone away with at least a point from this fixture, while the Colts played some nice football but equally were somewhat 'rough around the edges' at times. They've certainly played better and lost this season. Other results meant that although the boys have closed the gap on the top two, the chasing pack are also edging closer to the leaders: it should be an interesting second half of the league campaign when it resumes in mid-January. Our final fixture before the Christmas break is a home cup tie against Florence Park on Sunday 10th, in what will be a very stiff test looking at the 'C' league table, in which they sit 4th but with two or three games in hand over the two sides immediately above them.