Thame United drew 1-1 with Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division leaders Ardley United in a tale of two set pieces at the ASM Stadium on Boxing Day.
In a match where defences dominated and both teams struggled to create goal scoring chances, Thame had slightly more first half possession than their opponents, and forced three corners before the break to Ardley’s nil.
Luke Ricketts was a constant threat with his speedy runs on the left wing and arguably Thame’s best chance of the half fell to him, but his shot went narrowly wide.
Ardley came out fired up for the second half and went ahead in the 54th minute from their first corner when Troy Bryan found the space to head home at the near post, giving Lee Farrow no chance.
About 10 minutes later Thame keeper Farrow was injured when he came out of his area and collided with a visiting striker.
It looked as if he might have to limp off the pitch but after a few minutes he was able to continue, albeit with reduced mobility.
The game was getting increasingly bad tempered and, with about 15 minutes remaining, Ardley were reduced to ten men when Ryan Brooks received a straight red card for a bad tackle on Ian Pykett.
Thame were pressing hard and both Ricketts and Niall Hodgkins forced good saves.
The equaliser finally arrived for the hosts with three minutes of normal time left when Ricketts took a well placed free kick about 40 yards from goal on the right, and Dan West got his head to the ball to beat the keeper at the far post.
The result leaves Thame seventh in the table ahead of their next home match against Highworth Town tomorrow (Saturday).