Thame United punished by missed chances

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AN understrength Thame United side lost 2-1 to Cheltenham Saracens on Saturday despite leading at the half way point.

Having dominated the first half and expecting their goal scoring to continue Thame were disappointed when their opponents Cheltenham Saracens had other ideas and scored two goals after the break to take the points.

United were without Alex Stuart, Luke Ricketts, and Matt Willet. New signing Matt Hall made his debut on the left wing.

The game started fairly evenly but United started to gain control and took the lead after 11 minutes.

The in form Ben Connolly collected the ball on the right near the half way line, ran, and hit a perfect high cross which Both Aaron Rogers and Dan West went for, but it was West who finished with a strong six yard header.

United were playing attractive, flowing, football to feet and created several good chances. A Rogers shot was just wide, a Lewis Dean goal was ruled offside, and both Sam Cowan and Connor Hayes forced good saves from the visiting keeper.

In contrast, Nick Bennion, in the Thame goal was hardly tested.

After the break, Cheltenham brought on three substitutes and were far more dangerous.

The visitors equalised in the 50th minute when, for the second consecutive match, Thame were caught on the break.

A long ball was played through the Thame defence to visiting striker Jamie Hammond, who ran at goal and finished well from 15 yards.

A very heavy shower then caused the pitch to become treacherous and the ball slippery.

Thame continued to attack as Hayes saw his shot blocked and West beat two men and ran into the box only to slip as he was about to finish.

His halfhearted penalty appeal was turned down.

The visitors took the lead in the 85th minute from a corner. The ball was hit close to the goal line and both a visiting striker and Bennion went to meet it. Bennion may have been impeded as the greasy ball slipped from his grasp and crossed the line.

Thame laid siege to the visitor’s goal for the remainder of the game and Martin Brown had a good heading chance, which was just wide.