THAME UTD 3 HANWELL TOWN 1
By Clive Cooke
Thame United completed a league winning double over us as they followed up their 2-0 win at Hanwell earlier in the season with a 3-1 score line that might well have been different had they taken a number of their chances, particularly in the final stages of the second half when at 2-1 down we were pressing forward leaving large gaps at the back.
Our side showed several changes from our previous game against Hayes & Yeading. Chris Mills and Joe Chandiram came in to play in the full back positions with both Mason Welch-Carter and Nick Turner dropping to the bench. New signing Imedo Kartita, Peter Dean and Luke Alfano were also in the starting line up replacing the suspended Anthony O'Connor whilst Jarmal Joseph and Harvey Killeen were on the bench.
On an surprisingly good playing surface following all the recent snow, Thame dominated the opening ten minutes of the game and we were indebted to Sam Bunting for two excellent saves to prevent the home side from taking the lead. The first came when he blocked a near post shot from Dan West after a marauding run down the left flank by the Thame full back Harry Mepham. From the resultant corner he blocked another shot from West and we were then thankful when Aston Goss shot well over from a good shooting position.
It was, therefore, somewhat against the run of play when we took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Mepham mishit an intended back pass to his keeper, Craig Hill. Dan Fleming won the race to the ball with the keeper and was hauled down as he tried to round the keeper. Referee Alex Rayment had no hesitation in pointing to the spot from which Joe Chandiram notched his sixth goal of the season driving the ball past Hill's despairing drive.
Thame bounced back immediately and Calvin Evans was unfortunate to see his shot hit the cross bar with Sam beaten. Sam then made a tremendous save to block the follow up shot although the goal would not have counted as the Thame player concerned was in an offside position.
Thame continued to press forward and deservedly equalised on the half hour mark when a corner from the left went right across to the far side where the ball was chipped back into the middle and West scored with an excellent overhead kick that left Sam stranded. Three minutes later and Thame were ahead. An attempted throw in by Chris Mills saw the ball almost bounce at his feet but play was allowed to continue and West from deep inside his own half, embarked on a mazy run that took him right through into deep inside our penalty area.
With only one defender between himself and the goal he played the ball into the path of Aston Goss who drove it firmly into the roof of our net giving Sam no chance. Before the interval, we breathed as sigh of relief when firstly Liam Tack for the home side fired wide and then from a free kick by Tack, West sent a header just over the bar.
To our great credit we came out for the second half in determined fashion and almost equalised when a great ball forward by Wayne Carter straight into the path of Peter Dean, saw Peter fire a first time effort that brought Hill into the action for almost the first time in the game. Dan Fleming then turned quickly in the box before driving the ball just wide of the near post with Hill beaten. At the other end, Lynton Goss scuffed a shot wide from close range and then Adam Morris right through with only Sam to beat sent his shot tamely wide. In the 63rd minute we made a double substitution, Nick Turner and Harvey Killeen coming on to replace Chris and Wayne. Nick's first involvement was to get himself booked with his very first tackle.
Charlie Mitchell who had put in several strong runs down the left flank then played a neat one two with Dan which send his through on the left hand side of the penalty area, he rounded the onrushing Hill but his momentum had narrowed his angle of shooting and he was only able to send his shot into the side netting. Joe then sent a free kick from a good shooting position wide before we made out third and final substitution with Chris Moore coming on to replace the debutante Imedo Karita. With us throwing caution to the wind at the back, both Lynton Goss and Dan West missed glorious opportunities to score, on each occasion ignoring better placed colleagues to try to score individual goals. However, when the third and final goal came from Tack it was from a speculative effort. Racing through down the right and with Sam racing out of his goal to try to clear, Tack rounded the keeper but then tried to square the ball into the box but somehow from the narrow angle, the ball found the far corner of our net. Overall on the night, the better side won but there was much to admire about our second half performance.
Side: Sam Bunting, Chris Mills, Joe Chandiram, Oliver Duffy (capt), Calum Duffy, Wayne Carter, Imedo Kartita, Peter Dean, Dan Fleming, Luke Alfano and Charlie Mitchell.
Substitutes: Nick Turner and Harvey Killeen for Mills and Carter (63) and Chris Moore for Kartita (78) Unused subs Mason Welch-Turner and