Thame United 5 – 2 Barton Rovers
For the second week in succession, United scored five goals with another strong and dominant second half performance.
There was little to suggest that would be the case in the opening quarter of the game as the visitors – sitting second bottom in the table – took the game to United. And they were rewarded for a bright opening by taking the lead on 7 minutes. United were unable to clear their lines and after Craig Hill had pulled off a fine save, the ball fell to Andrew Phillips ten yards from goal and he finished clinically. The visitors remained in the ascendancy and but for some wayward finishing may well have opened-up more of a lead.
However, United gradually started to get themselves in to the game and after both Ben Sturgess and Dan West had gone close, the equaliser came on 30 minutes. Good build-up play through the centre saw West slip the ball to Lynton Goss who, from just inside the box, drilled the ball low and wide of Finlay. For the remainder of the half both sides pushed forward without either keeper being troubled.
The second half opened with United on the front foot and it took only three minutes for the second goal to arrive. Lynton Goss went on a strong run in to the opposition penalty area and, maintaining his composure, placed the ball beyond Finlay. Two minutes later he had a great chance to complete his hat-trick, racing clear with only Finlay to beat, but whilst his effort from the edge of the box beat Finlay it bounced back off the inside of the post before being cleared.
The third goal was not long in coming. A foul on the edge of the box gave free-kick specialist West an opportunity, and he dutifully stepped-up and placed his shot over the wall and in off the underside of the bar, despite protestations from the visitors that the ball had not crossed the line. It was four on 58 minutes when a Goss corner from the left was headed towards goal by Jamie Essex. Whilst his header was blocked, West was on hand to poke the rebound home from close range.
Whilst 4-1 may have appeared comfortable, the visitors reduced the arrears on 62 minutes when the impressive Michael Gyasi went on a run from the left, cutting inside before drilling a 20-yard effort wide of Hill, giving the keeper no chance. The three goal led was restored on 68 minutes when a ball in to the box was hit goal wards only to clip the hand of a retreating defender. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Lynton Goss stepped-up to place his spot kick high in to the roof of the net, giving Finlay no chance.
By now the game was over as a contest, and chances came and went as United looked for a sixth goal, but they were unable to add to the score line. The result moves United up to tenth in the table with four games to play.
Hill, Mepham (Evans), A Goss, Essex, Johnston (Murray), Ashworth, Tack (Morris), L.Goss, Sturgess, West, Ricketts