THAME United’s players returned from Tuesday night’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final clash with North Leigh with their heads held high despite losing 2-1.
Every player had given it their all and, despite the fact they had spent almost an hour of the game with only 10 men, it was a very close run thing.
The side from the Southern League took the lead on 10 minutes when striker John Mills found enough space to hit a strong 15-yard shot pass Nick Bennion, giving him no chance.
But in the 18th minute, Luke Rickets collected the ball in the middle of the pitch and made run on the left before hitting a perfect cross which Lewis Cordice calmly headed in at the near post.
Mitchell Meredith was scythed down in the box but the referee ignored Thame’s penalty appeals as the game got physical.
And it was too physical on 30 minutes when Connor Hayes received a blatant elbow in the face, and the offender was booked. Alex Stewart then mistimed a tackle and was dismissed.
North Leigh’s second goal came just before the break when Bennion blocked a fierce shot but Ben Reardon knocked in the loose ball.
The plucky Thame side fought to the final whistle but it is North Leigh who will play to the final.
The defeat came off the back of another loss at home to Reading Town on Saturday where striker James Faulkner picked up a hamstring injury which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
United travel to Fairford Town on Saturday and entertain Ardley United in the last home game of the season at the ASM on Easter Monday.