BARTON ROVERS 2 (Clayton 14, Osobu 57)
THAME UNITED 4 (Goss 23, Gledhill 36, West 51, Tack 65)
Sharpenhoe Road, Barton
Weather – 13 Celsius, Windy
Report & images by Carl Catling
*** STARTING LINE UPS ***
Barton Rovers – Malone (gk), Goodman, Jones, Bailey, Andrews (cpt), Close, Osobu, Spence, Clayton, Phillips, Williams
Subs used – Hartley, Gibson
Thame United – Hill (gk), Peake-Pijnen, Lynn, Essex, Gledhill, Tutton, Tack, Sturgess (cpt), Goss, West, Fasanmade
Subs used – Martin, Carter
*** MATCH STATS ***-
Shots on Target – Barton Rovers 5 – 8 Thame United
Corners – Barton Rovers 2 – 4 Thame United
Yellow cards – Barton Rovers 0 – 1 Thame United
Today saw a return to the starting line up for Thame’s Dan West. Also due to injury Peake-Pijnen was handed a starting position at right back showing his versatility within the side. Both sides were surprised by the strong winds at Sharpenhoe Road and knew they would face a difficult day ahead.
In the first 6 minutes of the game both sides had equal amounts of possession. Ten minutes into the match West held the ball up before passing wide to Fasanmade who was able to put in a left footed cross with venom which was neither attacked or defended which went out of play. At this time Barton appeared nervous at the back and unsure how to cope with the runs and pace of Fasanmade.
It took a while but Barton did create a move when a long ball towards Osobu on the left allowed him to run at the defence before squaring a pass towards Clayton which did deflect up into the air. Thame’s Hill was grounded which resulted in an easy tap in for Barton’s number nine Clayton. Barton then shortly after had a goal disallowed for offside in a period of play when Thame were dropping deeper even with Goss having to support defensively in midfield. Thame continued to search for a way back into the game, and Peake-Pijnen nearly brought the away side back level when a left footed strike from distance went over the bar.
Thame were nearly awarded a penalty but the appeal was rejected when it appeared Andrews had handballed inside his own penalty box. Despite no penalty Thame got hold of possession from a clearance and passed towards Goss inside the box, who turned with the ball and fired a shot away quickly which went underneath Malone to make it 1-1. Barton followed this by Clayton being one on one with Essex. Clayton managed to go past Essex before Hill forced Clayton to dribble the ball wide of him before getting a shot away which hit the outside of the post and wide. Barton had began to try and play on the counter and break forward in numbers when possible to put pressure on the Thame defence. Towards the end of the half Tack put in a dangerous corner which was not dealt with resulting in the ball bouncing up into the air and a firm header by Gledhill hit a defender but crossed the line to give Thame the lead for the first time in the game. It should be noted that Thame’s Peake-Pijnen had a great first half at right back with his positional play and decisions made. Barton ended the half playing at a higher tempo and finding space off the ball. West nearly extended the lead when his run off the ball meant he was one on one with the goalkeeper and attempted to lift the ball over Malone but failed to do so. The first half was a story of equal chances but Thame being more efficient with their end product inside the box.
HT Score – Barton Rovers 1 – 2 Thame United
It was a slow start for the first five minutes, before West had another opportunity to loft the ball over Malone but was unable to score. Although West missed chances with his feet, he was able to head the ball onto the bar and in by leaping above the defender from Fasanmade’s corner from the right to make it 1-3. It took a decision from the linesman to award the goal. The Thame side were jubilant on the pitch. Thame nearly extended their lead when a superbly weighted long ball by Lynn up the left flank reached West who dribbled infield before passing square to a running Tutton who hit the ball wide before it was eventually cleared. Barton then had a period of putting in multiple crosses but time and time again no one could get on the end of them much to the Dugouts frustration. An excellent run on the right by Williams led to him switching play left to Osobu who hit the ball firmly past Hill to give Barton hope in the game. Thame’s captain Sturgess could be heard passing on words to his players to ‘concentrate and relax’. Barton’s Clayton found space on the right and a diagonal ball to him was hit wide of the post with Thame’s Hill watching the ball go wide. The match was sealed for Thame when Tack’s sublime second half display led to his shot from 30 years being deflected and lobbing the goal keeper to make it 2-4 on the day to Thame. The goal gave the Thame side confidence and an increase in their work rate off the ball in order to see off Barton Rovers. There was a late scare for Thame when West went into a 50/50 challenge and came off worse. This led to a large stoppage in play but West appeared to run it off and continue. In the last 15 minutes Barton were attempting to play the ball behind the defenders but with not much joy following Clayton being substituted. Thame were able to slow play down in the final few minutes and manage the game until the final whistle.
FT Score – Barton Rovers 2 – 4 Thame United
The result ended a brilliant week for Thame United. As three points proved invaluable in the playoff picture. Thame move up to fifth in the table due to results elsewhere in the division going in Thame’s favour. It has to be said that Thame showed great determination and team work for this away win. Barton will be disappointed to not have taken early chances in the first half which made the defeat a tough one to take.
*** NEXT GAME ***
Thame United v Coleshill Town
ASM Stadium, Thame
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