Florence Park U16 5 Thame U16 Colts 2
Plucky Colts floored by Florence Park
The Colts travelled to the outskirts of Oxford for a second cup meeting this season with Florence Park. A bright start saw the neon-clad visitors go ahead after just a few minutes when Ioan's pinpoint cross from the right was headed home confidently by the stooping Cameron, but the lead was about as short-lived as it could be as only a minute or so later the home side broke down the left and the excellent number 9 chipped over Reuben to equalise. The Colts continued to pass the ball thoughtfully and accurately, and nearly re-established a lead courtesy of Tom Fowler's powerful swerving shot from the edge of the box which was well saved, then Oscar's header over from Tom F's corner. The action then switched to the other end, Florence Park hitting the top of the bar from a free kick from just outside the box after Joe's foul, then taking the lead after Jonno was beaten and a cross was expertly chested down to create space for an emphatic finish past Reuben. Almost immediately Ioan was denied an equaliser by a good block when through on goal, but the hosts netted again to make it 3-1 as Barna was dispossessed on the right flank allowing the number 9 to surge into the box and shoot, the ball trickling apologetically over the line after a deflection despite Jonno and Reuben's best efforts to prevent it doing so.
Jonno's departure at half-time saw Adam introduced in an unfamiliar right back role. Reuben was forced off with an unfortunate knock to his troublesome ankle, so while Tom Fowler volunteered to fill in between the sticks the Colts were down to 10 against a pacey, strong attack. 2 further goals for Florence Park made it 5-1 and it looked worryingly like the floodgates could open as the home side exploited the increase in available space and the visitors' understandably tired legs. However Thame kept going and good work by Ioan on the edge of the box set James G up to net from 12 yards. Cameron and Barna started to get a bit of joy down the right but aside from James's speculative lofted 40-yarder there were few other clear-cut opportunities to report. Final score Florence Park U16 5 Thame U16 Colts 2.
After the game the home coach praised the Colts' determination and application despite playing most of the second half a man short. Louis battled on in discomfort after copping a ball in the face, Tom E battled tirelessly in midfield, Oscar and Joe did their level best to repel any threats in the central areas while Jonno was a determined and combative presence in the first half. The Colts can concentrate on their final league games now: a break over the Easter weekend is followed by the rearranged trip to Wantage on Sunday 8th April, a match which really is 'must win' if a challenge for one of the top two places is to be sustained.