Thame survive late scare to see off league leaders Holyport

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Thame United made it four games without defeat when they beat early league leaders Holyport in a five-goal thriller.

It was an entertaining game which was won more comfortably than the score suggests, writes Thame United correspondent Bob Dixon.

The game saw the welcome return of last season’s leading goal scorer, Alex Stewart. The win sees Thame move into seventh league place.

The game was five minutes old when United went ahead via a slick passing move which split open the visitor’s defence. Luke Rickets hit pass a from the left to the feet of Stewart on the edge of the box which was laid off to Connor Hayes who ran at goal, played a 1-2 with Dan West and then, unmarked at the edge of the 6-yard box, finished coolly by placing the ball low into the corner of the goal.

Thame were in control, and a few minutes later Stewart was unlucky to see his side footed flick, from a free kick, tipped over by the keeper.

Ten minutes before half time Thame left sided defender Matt Hall was carried off the pitch with suspected concussion after a clash of heads. Cameron Lagan came on as right winger, allowing Matt Willet to adopt his normal right back position, and Mitchell Meredith to replace Hall on the left. Holyport missed a good chance a few minutes before half time, and it was 1-0 at the break.

Manager Mark West reshuffled his players for the second half with Lagan partnering Stewart ‘up front’ and Dan West adopting a more defensive role.

The move paid off when, eight minutes after the restart, Lagan made a good run on the left before pulling to ball back to Stewart who hit a strong, first time, shot over the keeper from 15-yards. The visitors pulled a goal back on 59 minutes when Thame keeper Lee Farrow parried a shot from the left, which was probably going wide, onto the path of visiting striker Jamie West, allowing him a simple tap in.

United increased their lead two minutes later when Ricketts hit a 30-yard cross cum shot from the left which the keeper misjudged and the ball found the net. It could have been four a few minutes later when Lagan ran at goal, rounded the keeper, and hit a goal bound shot which a defender just manage to block.

In the final minute Holyport were awarded a penalty for an offence which only the referee saw. Justice was done however when Farrow made a great save from the well-taken spot kick. Additional time seemed endless and, seconds before the final whistle, United conceded a soft goal when Jamie Wright bundled the ball over the line.