This fixture would give both sides a great opportunity to keep themselves in the hunt for promotion come the end of April. Thame United were coming off a sensational 4-1 demolition of Aylesbury FC last week. Previously earlier on in the season between the sides Berkhamstead overcame a 2 goal deficit to win 3-2. The pitch for this time of year looked green and flat and would aid for some good football ahead.
THAME UNITED 2
( Essex 38 and Martin 55 )
( Brooks 77 )
EVO-STIK Southern Division One Central
Saturday 13th April 2019 @ The ASM STADIUM
Attendance – 144
Weather – 10 Celsius, Dry
HT Score – Thame 1 – 0 Berkhamstead
Berkhamstead started the match with a deep back four and were often defending in large numbers to contain the home side and keeping a keen eye on lone striker Thame’s Lynton Goss. Thame found it difficult to break the defence down in the first 10 minutes. The action took hold when a run off the ball by Martin led to him being bumped to the floor resulting in a free kick. The set piece was taken by left footed Peake-Pijnen which could only hit the wall. Berkhamstead remained content with not oushing players forward early on and were nerly in trouble when Goss dribbled past two players before putting in a cross towards Martin who again fell to the floor due to contact but no penalty was awarded. Thame’s Martin continued to cause problems when he fired a cross which met the leaping West 10 yards out whereby the header landed into Comas-Leon’s hands denying an early lead in the match. Thame continued to exert control on the game and the midfield partnership of Ashworth and Sturgess was proving successful with their tackles and marking. Berkhamstead were able to create half a chance when a great run down the right wing by Spaul led to a cross which was unable to find a player inside the box much to Thame’s relief. Thame’s Hill in goal was proving to be solid and was very alert and confident in the air catching all crosses and set pieces which came his way which was putting an end to hopes of a Berkhamstead equaliser. The deadlock was broken from a set piece for the home side when Peake-Pijnen whipped the ball over into the box and Essex facing away from goal flicked his header backwards to make it 1-0 after 38 minutes. The remaining few minutes of the half were scrappy and provided no real chances for either side.
FT Score – Thame 2 – 1 Berkhamstead
Thame continued to look confident early on and maintain possession of the ball. Berkhamstead were leaving Thame space outside the box and resulted in a 30 yard strike from Peake-Pijnen which did sail over the bar. Berkhamstead made the tactical change to push numbers forward including the full backs in search of a goal which did result in open play between the two sides. Thame were still showing to be very strong in defence across the back four and at this time Essex and Jewell were dealing with everything coming their way. A moment of magic then arrived when Goss found space on the wing and produced a weighted pass infield to Martin who from 25 yards out used the outside of his right foot to hit the ball with power and placement into the corner of the net to give Thame a huge 2-0 lead. Berkhamstead followed this by attacking the wings more and in particular the Thame right back. Berkhamstead had a period of creating crosses and winning set pieces which all led to Thame’s Hill either catching or punching the ball away from danger. Thame’s West continued to battle hard winning the ball in midfield and shielding the ball in possession in an attempt to link up play which did lead to Thame putting in a cross from the right again towards Martin who this time scuffed his shot inside the box. The game changed quickly when a simply, through ball down the centre found Brooks. He was able to calmly control the ball to bring it down, go right of the defender before putting his shot past Hill to give Berkhamstead real hope with just thirteen minutes remaining. The following play was a real balance between the sides with the ball going end to end more for the first time in the entire game. The body language and verbal communication from Berkhamstead had improved and Thame did begin to drop deeper. Berkhamstead nearly clinched the equaliser late on when Ashworth missed his header from a crossed free kick, the attacking header towards goal which rattled the bar before Thame could clear it away. For the first time Thame were showing signs of weakness in the air and were beginning to lose control inside their own penalty box. The manager Mark West brought on triple substitutions to try and secure the 3 points. Gledhill came on up front and proved an impact instantly with a knock down and later on a shot which narrowly went wide of the post. Thame were able to slow play down as on multiple occasions as the ball went out of play. The final whistle was met with joyful scenes by the home side on the pitch.
*** STARTING LINE-UPS ***
Thame United FC – Hill (GK), Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Ashworth, Martin, Sturgess (Capt), Goss, West and Tack
Subs used – Mepham, Gledhill and Tutton
Berkhamstead FC – Comas-Leon (GK), Towell, Murphy (Capt), Spaul, Kinnane, Farrelly, Collier, Rodridge, Bateman, Lacey and Box
Subs used – Jones and Brooks
Today’s result meant back to back to wins for Thame United who now are only 1 point behind Bedford and Didcot who are 4th and 5th position. Thame sitting 7th with 3 games remaining must be a great feeling for all at Thame United.
*** MAN OF THE MATCH sponsored by Figaro’s Barber in Thame ***
The Thame United Man of the Match selected by our sponsor ASM Auto Recycling today was Duran Martin who continues to flourish playing as an attacking midfielder and scored a goal that Pele would be proud of.
*** NEXT GAME ***
AWAY @ In2itive Park, Leading Drove, Yaxey, PE7 3NA
Kick Off 15:00 –
Yaxley FC v Thame United
EVO-STIK Southern Division One Central