Ardley United 2 Thame United 1
Thame United met with their first defeat of the season on Tuesday evening when they lost 2-1 at Ardley United, writes correspondent Bob Dixon.
It was a fast, entertaining game between two evenly matched sides which either could have won. Thame won the toss and chose to play uphill with the low sun behind them in the first half.
After a few minutes play Thame defender Ian Pykett played a glorious 40-yard ball along the right to Dan West, who hit a dangerous cross close to goal, but a defender knocked the ball into touch milliseconds before Cameron Lagan met it. Thame scored from the resulting corner.
Luke Ricketts hit a well placed kick and the unmarked Nik Rhodes met it with a strong 15-yard header into the top right corner. Ardley recovered quickly and equalised in the 25th minute when a passing move created the space for striker George Rednap to hit an 18-yard shot pass Thame keeper Lee Farrow.
Play was even, and fairly uneventful until, a few minutes before the break, Luke Ricketts hit quality 25-yard shot which had goal written all over it, until the home keeper somehow managed to get fingertips to the ball and deflect it onto the post.
Shortly after the restart an Ardley player handled in the box but, despite loud protests from the Thame bench, the referee ignored the incident. Play was end to end with the home side looking dangerous ‘on the break’.
Farrow was busy, and made a particularly notable save. The Ardley winner game with 5 minutes left to play. They took a free kick, just inside the Thame half which defender Ben Thomas met with a glancing header close to goal giving Farrow no chance. During the final minutes Thame laid siege to the home goalmouth and another penalty appeal for hand ball was ignored.