Thame United in surprise defeat on travels to Holyport

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AT kick off, Thame were five league places higher than their hosts, having played three fewer games, so, on paper, a defeat looked unlikely.

Games are not played on paper, though, and United did not play well.

Mark West’s men seemed unable to develop their normal flowing game. The match saw the debut of Josh Cockrell in goal for Thame.

Thame started brightly, and within two minutes a Stuart Barr lob forced a good save from the home keeper. United took the lead in the seventh minute when James Faulkner hit a speculative 40-yard lobbed shot from the left, over the keeper’s head, the ball bouncing as it crossed the line.

Against the run of play, the home side equalised four minutes later when a ball from the right was knocked home from 12-yards. Louis Cordice went close before a few minutes later; Luke Ricketts was badly fouled as he ran at goal. Even the home supporters expected a red card to be shown but inexplicably, the offender received a friendly warning.

Thame were on the back foot for the remainder of the first half but it was still 1-1 at half-time.

Possession was fairly even in the second half although chances were few. Twenty minutes after the restart Dan West forced an excellent save from the home keeper. Holyport increased their lead from a corner with a simple far post header in the 70th minute.

With about 15 minutes to play, Thame were reduced to 10 men when Mitchell Meredith was dismissed for a tackle which was not as severe as the one on Connelly.

The home side increased their lead with a minute remaining when a 15-yard shot took a deflection, giving Cockrell no chance.

Thame United: Cockrell, I Pykett, Hall, Barr (Meredith), N Rhodes, Willett, Connelly, West (Wakelin), Cordice (Grey), Faulkner, Ricketts.

Thame do not have a game scheduled for Saturday (March 24). Their next home game is on Saturday March 31 when Reading Town are the visitors.