Uxbridge 1 – 5 Thame United
If ever evidence was required of the value of a half-time team talk then this was it, as United scored five goals in a superb second half display.
With six players returning to the squad having been unavailable for the heavy defeat at Aylesbury United on Bank Holiday Monday, manager Mark West changed the side in the hope of a positive reaction. However, United seemed to be suffering something of a hangover in the first half, as the home side dominated possession with the visitors sluggish and, on occasions, unable to get out of their own half. Indeed, after Thame keeper Craig Hill had made a couple of fine saves it was perhaps no surprise when the home side opened the scoring on 21 minutes. United failed to clear a corner and when the ball came back in to the box no one had tracked the run of Uxbridge skipper Kevin Warner, who headed the ball wide of Hill in to the far corner.
For the remainder of the half the home side were the dominant force, with the best chances for United being a deflected Dan West shot and, in the final minute, a Lynton Goss effort from the edge of the box that was comfortably held by McCarthy in the home goal.
Whatever the management team said at half time worked, as United were straight of the blocks and produced a stunning 45 minutes that left the hosts bewildered. Ten minutes in to the second period, during which time United had created a couple of half-chances, the home side attacked down the left and a cross in to the box was put just wide of the far post. The alert Hill took a quick goal kick with the home defenders on the halfway line and West ten yards in the Uxbridge half. Whilst the home defenders failed to realise West could not be off-side from a goal kick, the striker collected the ball and, once inside the box, rounded McCarthy before rolling the ball in to an empty net.
Five minutes later and United had the lead. Hill was again the provider as Lynton Goss chased a long kick and from the left hand edge of the box, and after the second bounce of the ball, hit a left foot volley across his body that flew in to the opposite roof of the net, giving McCarthy no chance. Barely had the United supporters sat back down and it was 3-1. This time United won a free-kick on the left had edge of the box. Goss delivered an inch perfect cross for West who, towards the far post, headed back across McCarthy and in to the far corner.
On 71 minutes the lead was extended again. This time a free kick was awarded 25 yards from goal, again on the left hand edge of the box. West stepped-up and, despite a six man wall, curled the free kick around the wall and in to the top corner of the net leaving McCarthy rooted to the spot. It was the culmination of a blistering 15 minute spell from United that had seen four goals scored, including a hat-trick for Dan West.
That was the last action for West as he was substituted by Morris, but United continued to press and, after half chances came and went, they scored a deserved fifth on 81 minutes when left back David Lynn made a run to the byeline before crossing for Luke Ricketts to powerfully head home from five yards.
It was a truly stunning second half display as United responded in style to the Bank Holiday defeat.
Hill, Mepham, Lynn, Essex, McGowan, Ashworth, Tack (A.Goss), L.Goss, Sturgess, West (Morris), Ricketts (Evans)