United progress in the FA trophy

Making their first appearance in the FA trophy for twelve seasons, United progressed to the next round following a hard fought win at Mangotsfield.

Playing with the breeze to their backs in the first half, Thame could easily have had the game sown-up inside the first ten minutes as, quite literally, the home side did not get out of their half. The first chance arrived on two minutes when a Harry Mepham cross was headed just wide by Dan West. Five minutes later and it was West who was the provider, when his cross was headed wide by a well-placed Ben Connelly. Thame continued to press and next to go close was Luke Ricketts on 9 minutes, who hit a 25-yard effort just wide.

Gradually the home side started to get a foothold in the game, enjoying more possession but rarely threatening Craig Hill in the Thame goal. Another opportunity came for the visitors on 22 minutes when a long throw from David Lynn was flicked-on by Ellis Hercules, but Connelly could only poke the ball over the bar. Mangotsfield created their first – and probably best – opportunity on 24 minutes when a cross fell at the feet of Robert Hobbs but he blazed over from 8 yards.


The final chance of the half fell to Ricketts whose volley from a Connelly cross was saved by Dorrington in the home goal.

The second half started with the home side in the ascendancy, and they went close to breaking the deadlock on 55 minutes when Davis-Wilson found space on the left and hit a cross-shot that just went wide of the far post. Thame responded with top scorer Lynton Goss seeing a goal-bound effort blocked, before Peare hit a 25 yard free kick for the home side on 69 minutes that just cleared the bar. Two minutes later and Ricketts was presented with an opportunity on the edge of the box but his powerful shot was well-saved by Dorrington.

Going in to the final ten minutes, the long throw from Peare became an increasingly used tactic and, on occasions, it caused panic in the Thame back-line, but the defence held firm. Indeed, Thame continued to look the more likely to score and after a fine Mepham cross on 83 minutes was missed by everyone, the winning goal eventually arrived two minutes from time. Goss drilled a corner that evaded Dorrington and West, under pressure from a home defender, forced the ball home from four yards, to the elation of the visiting supporters.

The final few moments saw the home side press, but United saw out the game to secure, on the balance of chances, a deserved win.

Thame will now face Wimborne Town at home in the next round on 28 October.

Thame United:

Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Hercules, Harrison (Johnston), Ashworth, Connelly (Gledhill), Goss, Sturgess, West, Ricketts.

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