Thame United returned from Reading on Saturday with three points, having defeated Highmoor Ibis 3-1.
It was the first time the two clubs have met; as Highmoor are recently promoted, having finished runners up in Division 1 East last season, writes Bob Dixon.
The game was played on a hot afternoon in Palmer Park Stadium, on a large pitch surrounded by both an athletics and a cycling track. Thame were without several first team regulars including goalkeeper Lee Farrow but his stand in, Josh Cockrell, had a good game.
Thame took the lead in the 6th minute, when after a foul on Luke Ricketts, Meredith Mitchell met a low Dan West free kick with a left footed 6-yard strike into the corner of the goal.
The home side had a good chance to equalise a few minutes later when a striker rounded the advancing keeper, leaving the goal undefended, but he inexplicably missed the target. United increased their lead on 34 minutes when a pass from newcomer Charlie Conner found Stuart Barr on the edge on the area in enough space to pick his spot and hit a strong shot into the corner. The home side went down to ten men just before the break when a midfield player was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Highmore scored shortly after the restart when a defensive slip allowed striker Devontae Romeo to fire home from 15-yards, giving Cockrell no chance. Spurred on by the goal, the home side pressurised the Thame goal for a while and Cockrell was busy. United’s third came with 25 minutes remaining when West hit a great free kick into the box and Ellis Hercules did well to head home from 8-yards. Both managers brought on subs and midfielder Darren Peverill, recently signed from Chinnor, replaced Barr ‘up front’, but the remainder of the game was uneventful as both sides tired in the heat.
Thame United: Cockrell, Willett, Hall, Meredith, Hercules, Hayes, Connelly, West, Barr (Peverill), Conner (N Rhodes), Ricketts.
Thame are at home in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase when they meet Buckingham Athletic at the ASM Stadium on Saturday.