Archive for Thame United Football Club

SL D1C; Thame duo insist they are not yet Dun in search of play-off place

Saturday 23rd February 2019

Thame United v Dunstable Town

Southern League Division One Central

ASM Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Thame United host Dunstable Town on Saturday at the ASM Stadium looking for their first win in seven but amazingly they are still only a single place and point off the play-off places despite the recent poor run of form. The realistic aim is one of the bottom two play-off positions as the top three look to be too far away to catch now, thirteen points separate Thame and third placed Corby and with just twelve league games left to play there are still a number of teams below United who will feel they can put together a late run to make those end of season promotion battle raffles. Four losses in their last six in all competition is hardly the form required going into the season finale, and this week they face a side who have only suffered one defeat in their last five games which include wins over high flying Bromsgrove Sporting & Corby Town but they were brought back to earth with a bump last week as they conceded seven without reply at home to top of the league Peterborough Sports. A tough battle lies ahead…..

Ben Sturgess

This week Sports Shots caught up with goalkeeper Craig Hill but first of all asked midfielder Ben Sturgess how long he’s been at the club, what attracted him and how it’s been in his time here:

I joined the club at the start of the 2017/18 season, I’d been speaking to the gaffer Mark West all summer but was torn between a few other options that I had but arrived here late during pre-season. Obviously the facilities are always a massive factor at the club and the people behind the scenes do an amazing job keeping them up for the standards that they are at. It was tough to start as I’d had many battles with the lads over the years when they were in the Hellenic League but soon won them round and it is a pleasure being captain of the side now

Craig also took the facilities at The ASM into consideration:

I’ve been at the club now for a season and a half, I was told to have a chat with the management team after I left Oxford City and it went from there, I really liked the management and the lads, as well as the facilities. The team had just been promoted so it was a really good time to join. I settled in really well, everyone was very welcoming and the lads are great

How does Craig feel his own personal season has been so far?

I feel that I’ve performed well this season. I’ve been picked to start most games throughout the season apart from the short time I had out due to a back injury. Getting to play as much as I have, has been great as it’s given me lots of experience and helped me keep consistent. I feel like I’ve played a valuable part in the team, making some key saves in important games, and being a contender for the playoffs at this stage in the season is amazing. I think my highlight of the season so far was the match against Corby where we won three-one away

Ben also feels he has been performing well especially as he’s had a couple of awards this season:

I feel I have contributed to certain aspects well within the season, to get the accolades of two player of the months is always good recognition to what level you’ve been playing at. Saturday wasn’t good enough from all of us, we look forward to putting it right in the coming weeks, I work hard within the fitness side of the game as it’s my big asset. My highlight has to be Corby away as that was the best performance from this side I’ve seen in the two years I’ve been here

Craig Hill

How strong is this Thame squad this season and have any players stood out for Ben?

The squad is the strongest I’ve seen it here, we have players that are capable in every position and having players that can play in more than one position always helps. I don’t like to single individuals out as it’s a squad vibe at Thame and everyone contributes in every area, it’s been more about team ethic this year than individuals. We relied heavily on Westy (Dan West) and Lynton (Goss) last year and that’s something we need to address going forward with goals from other areas. It’s not a shock to me we’ve done well this year, problem being it’s only February though and we need to kick on now. It’s a tough league and make no doubt about it we are punching above our weight, let’s see what the next 10 weeks bring but we will do everything we can to stay where we are

Craig agrees that it has been a squad effort this season:

The team’s performance as a whole has definitely improved on last season, where we are sitting in the league proves we are a good side and everyone has played their part in where we are. I think we have worked hard as a team and we are worthy of being where we are as we have strong team with talented players. It’s a competitive league; there are no easy games. Everyone will give you a good game

Has Craig always played in career during his football career?

Yes I have always played in goal, ever since my dad put me in goal when was five or six and he would kick balls at me in the garden. I loved it and it went from there and I started progressing into academy football

So what is Ben’s favoured position?

My favoured position is centre midfield and my only position. I’m more of a defensive player but have got it in me to get forward when I put my mind to it

We asked Ben to detail his football career path from junior level to now:

My football career started early as my dad took me to football on a Saturday morning at the age of five and I’ve played the whole way really to now, still going strong at thirty-two. The highlight was wining the English schools cup at twelve at the old Wembley Stadium, a few of the boys will like that as I’ve told them enough about it! Also winning a non-league title and captaining the side was a big achievement, it was an incredible side at Flackwell that year and winning it with mates was even better. Also winning every competition at that level was a big achievement, having played many games within the Vase and Trophy had many highlights but those stick out in my mind

Craig has been at a couple of professional clubs along the way:

I started off at Swindon Town, from there I played for the Chelsea Academy and then went on to Aston Villa as a scholar. I gained a further two year professional contract with Villa and I left when I was twenty. Since then I have played for Kettering Town, Oxford City and now Thame

How does Craig feel the recent poor run has affected the squad?

I think all teams end up having a bad run at some stage during the season, it’s about how you react to it as a team. It’s not easy going a lot of games without positive results but we will keep working hard for each other and stay positive. I think we are more than capable of getting to the playoffs by the end of the season

Ben admits the squad have talked about the run of form but believes last week could be a turning point:

It’s something we have talked about and something that needs to be sorted quickly. The result at Kempston was a big one for us having ten men for seventy-five minutes, and probably deserving not just a point but all three! Last Saturday was poor from all of us and only us as players can sort this, the buck stops with us; individual mistakes for all three goals and that’s simply not good enough. I feel looking that far ahead is always difficult but have said to all the lads just win your next match and the rest will look after itself. To even think about us being in the play offs as the size of the club would be probably one of my best achievements. That’s a long way off for me though I feel

Looking ahead to Dunstable this weekend who beat Thame in the reverse fixture, what does Ben remember of that day?

Dunstable were very good on the day, there were young and willing to play football the right way. I felt we weren’t at it at the time and something that this Saturday won’t happen again. We will be hopefully at the races as three points is vital for us

Craig admits Town were the better team last time out:

It was a disappointing game last time round, they gave us a great game and they were the better side on the day. We just need to approach the game this time with the right frame of mind, be positive and work hard as a unit. Hopefully we can get back on a winning run

Finally, we asked both players to pick any team mate and a TV programme they’d like to see them on, Craig went for management:

I’d put Blaiky (Stuart Blaik) on The Chase

Ben picked the same show but a different contestant:

Westy would be my choice. The amount of battles we’ve had over the years is laughable but when I came to the club we just clicked & he’s one of my good pals now. I think we would have a good go at The Chase, Dans surprisingly intelligent. We could bounce of each other and prob end up winning the thing

Sports Shots would like to thank both Craig & Ben for their time this week

ESS D1C: Thame head to Welwyn looking to keep up play-off hopes

Thame United head to Welwyn Garden City looking to continue their push for a play-off spot in the Evo Stik South, Division 1 Central this weekend.

Stuart Blaik

United’s assistant manager Stuart Blaik spoke to Sports Shots ahead of the game after his side’s 1-1 draw last Saturday at Kempston Rovers and a midweek 3-3 friendly draw with Chesham United.

Blaik told Sports Shots:

The midweek friendly was a good run out for the lads who have not played so much lately and we must thank our groundsman Geordie for getting the game on. It was really appreciated by the management team and the players.

Last week at Kempston we had a decision to send our player off early on go against us, I felt. I didn’t feel it was a red card.

After going a goal down we battled well and were at it all over the pitch. We got our equaliser and with the strong wind behind us we just could not go on in the second half and get the winner.

It goes to show that when we are putting a shift in all round we can match anyone in this league. We did not do that against Ardley and it highlights that you need to be giving it everything to get results.

This weekend, Tom Carter is suspended and we have a slight doubt over Harry Mepham, but we have to match the standards we can set.

ESS D1C: West strike earns 10-man Thame a point at Kempston

Dan West

( Joseph pen 16 )
( West 23 )

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 9th February 2019 @ Hillgrounds Leisure
Attendance – 89
Weather – 9 Celsius and Dry

By Carl Catling

Following 3 defeats in all competitions Thame were on the hunt to get out of a bad run and continue pushing for the playoffs. Kempston start the weekend in 15th place and wanting not to get dragged into a relegation battle come March and April.

Kempston Rovers – Martin (GK), Akubuine, Hyde, Wright, Powell, Boland, Joseph, Shepherd, Crawley, Bush (Cpt), Tshikuna
Subs Used – Riley, McLeod and Sambu

Thame United FC – Hill (GK), Tack, Lynn, Essex, Carter, Ashworth, Fasanmade, Sturgess (Cpt), Goss, West and Peake-Pijnen
Subs used –

*** FIRST HALF ***

In the early five minutes both teams were attempting to play long balls forward was intercepted by the defence of both sides. Kempston began to look threatening from set pieces with Thame unable to head the ball away in corners. Kempston created half a chance from Hyde’s throw in towards the forward which was then hit over the bar for a goal kick.
Kempston continued this style of play for the first quarter of a hour which led to key moment in the match. Whereby along ball down the middle towards Crawley led to a misjudged header by Carter which allowed Crawley to gain possession and run towards goal. Carter sprinted back but was deemed to have pulled Crawley back. Therefore, a penalty awarded and Carter was given a straight red card. After a quick pause in play Joseph stepped up and powered the penalty kick to Hill’s right which was parried and only just went over the line to give Kempston an early lead. Thame would now face an uphill struggle to get anything from the game.
Thame then produced one of their best period’s of the game due to their pressing and work rate. It took until the 23rd minute for Thame to be awarded their first corner. Whereby Goss put it into the box and it was cleared out. Tack was able to get on the ball and put an excellently weighted through ball towards the running West who calmly controlled the ball before putting it past Martin along the ground. For the rest of the half the game proved to be more open and possession became evenly matched. Thame resorted to counter and when in possession breaking quickly with both Goss and Fasanmade out wide. This pressure perhaps did result in Kempston then giving the ball away for the rest of the first half.
A threatening attack down the left by Kempston resulted in a full stretch challenge by Tack to win the ball. He was then able to pass up the wing to Fasanmade who would travel with the ball 20 yards before being fouled. The free kick was put into the box with pace by Goss when unmarked Essex lept up to head the ball narrowly wide of goal. The first half ended as a real physical battle with multiple fouls by both sides in midfield with very little created.


Both side’s started the second half at a slower pace perhaps easing their way into the game and there was very little long periods of possession to begin with. The first chance of the second half fell to Thame when Martin saved the first shot which resulted in the ball coming out to West who scuffed the follow up but still managed to find the target until Kempston could get back and clear the ball off the line. Thame’s West continued to hold the line and ball when possible to encourage Goss and Fasanmade to attack the wings. This was similar to Kempston’s approach having McLeod as a lone striker for much of the second half with very little coming here his way.
Kempston nearly took the lead again when a cross by Shepherd into a dangerous area had to be cleared away by Lynn which proved to be Kempston’s best chance in the second half. This did enhance the team’s confidence and did encourage them to get forward more. One example when along run up the left by Hyde led to him getting the ball on the touch line and crossing the ball across the face of goal but Hill was able to collect the ball and stop the attack. One of Thame’s final attacks was a cross by Peake-Pijnen with his left foot which did find the timed jump of West who could only head it towards Martin. Thame’s players were extremely tired in the last 15 minutes, both Thame’s Ashworth and Sturgess in midfield were still closing down and trying to make tackles to break up play which was a great defensive partnership by the two. In the final five minutes the ref decided to not award Thame a penalty when Fasanmade appealed for being brought down in the box when he was running towards goal. Both teams seemed content with the draw at the final whistle and both teams were warmly applauded by sets of fans.

Following the result both teams will be satisfied with a point. Thame remain in 5th place following results elsewhere in the league and Kempston drop to 16th place but are now 11 points above relegation. Thame’s Fasanmade had a great debut with his defensive work rate and attacking runs and positional play.

As awarded by Kempston Rovers – #3 Cameron Hyde

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target – Kempston 2 – 6 Thame
Corners – Kempston 2 – 4 Thame
Yellow Cards – Kempston 1 – 0 Thame
Red Cards – Kempston 0 – 1 Thame
Penalties – Kempston 1 – 0 Thame

*** NEXT GAME ***
Saturday 16/2/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Welwyn Garden City V Thame United

Website –
Sports Shots – @sports_shots

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium ***
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1
There is ample free parking at the ASM Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

OSC, SF: Blaik eyes Oxon Senior last 4 berth + West celebrates 12 years at Thame

Stuart Blaik is eyeing a last four berth in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup.

Stuart Blaik

The Thame United assistant manager has spoken to Sports Shots as his side entertain Ardley United in the quarter-final of the county’s premier competition.

Blaik told Sports Shots;

It is a good opportunity for us to progress.

We were called off on Saturday so we trained ahead of this game and we are approaching this as we do all our games.

We expect to be at full-strength with Harry Mepham (groin) our only doubt.

Mark West

“The Ardley United game brings a break from the league on Tuesday evening 7:45pm kick off at the ASM STADIUM. Then at the weekend we are on the road again as we travel to Bedford to face Kempston Rovers, a side now managed by former Thame United Player and Manager, Tony Joyce.

With the Peterborough Sports game cancelled due to adverse weather, the weekend represented the 12th anniversary since Mark West took over as manager of Thame United Football Club – and that in his second spell as manager. Mark arrived at a time when we sat at the bottom of the Hellenic League Premier Division, without a home in Thame and ground sharing at AFC Wallingford. Whilst we were too far adrift that season to avoid relegation, it is a credit to Mark that despite relegation to step 6 and a continued spell of ground sharing at AFC Wallingford, he stuck with us in the knowledge that we were working hard to deliver a new ground in Thame.

Prior to that return he duly won the Hellenic League Division 1 East title in 2009/10, before the start of the current successful partnership with Stuart Blaik and the lifting of the Hellenic Premier Division title – and a return to Southern League football in 2016/17.

It does not get recognised enough the contribution that Mark has now made to Thame United, both as a player and manager over nearly two decades. I, for one, am very thankful for all that he has done, and continues to do, and the fun we have had whilst on that journey”.

Jake Colligne
Thame United FC Chairman

SL D1C; Bromsgrove Sporting 5-0 Thame United

( Gregory 3 and 77, Cowley 9, 22 and 90)

Report: Carl Catling

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 26th January 2019 @ The Victoria Ground
Attendance – 916
Weather – 9 celsius, wind and rain

Following defeats in the last week for both sides this was one of the big games of the weekend in the division. In which Thame United (5th) would travel 70 miles up the motorway to play Bromsgrove Sporting (2nd). Bromsgrove were undefeated at home going into this game and have two of the best forwards in the division in Cowley and Gregory.

Bromsgrove Sporting FC – Brown, Spink, McGrath, Hayward, Taylor, Morris, Dowd, Quaynor, Cowley, Gregory and Westwood
Subs Used – Hall and Mayuba

Thame United FC – Hill (GK), Mepham, Lynn, Essex, Jewell, Tutton, Martin, Sturgess (C), Goss, West and Peake-Pijnen
Subs used – Tack, Murray and Ashworth

*** FIRST HALF ***
There was a real sense of atmosphere before kick off and there was surge of large numbers of fans coming through the turnstiles. Literally straight from kick off Bromsgrove were awarded the first corner, which found Taylor unmarked who narrowly headed the ball wide. It did not take long for the first goal whereby Jewell misjudged jumping for a header which lead to a shot on goal which was brilliantly by Hill saved but rebounded to Gregory for a tap in. There was a continuation of relentless pressure and attacking runs by Bromsgrove. This had Thame trying to contain play and drop players back in their own half. On 7 minutes Bromsgrove had another corner which somehow managed to drop to Cowley’s feet inside the six yard box for a simple pass into the net.

Bromsgrove were spreading the ball wide namely to both Dowd and Westwood who looked threatening every time they had the ball, often needing Mepham and Lynn to block crosses or to make a tackle. Thame’s Goss was working extremely hard trying to get his side into the match pressing all over the field and when possibly trying to attack the right wing with runs of his own. Then from a goal kick by Brown the ball found it’s way to Cowley who dummied Hill and shot the ball to his left to make it 3-0 on 22 minutes. One of Thame’s best moments was when Lynn stepped out of 2 tackles at left back and dribbled the ball forward and was able to make a pass behind the defence which lead to a Thame corner. At the end of the half possession became more even with the pace of play slowing down. Bromsgrove managed dominate in the air and 50-50s for most of the first half. Due to excellent defending by the two centre backs of Taylor and Morris it was a difficult task for Thame’s West to create many chances of his own.

Following the break Thame started the brighter with Thame’s captain Ben Sturgess leading by example and winning countless tackles in order to get the ball forward. The first chance in the half again fell to Bromsgrove’s Gregory, when a long ball in his direction was volleyed at Hill. There was more disappointing news for Thame when injury forced Mepham to be substituted by Tack.
Thame’s Goss produced multiple excellent set pieces in the second half. One of which was a corner which found Jewell’s feet at the back post and narrowly missed the post. The combination of Sturgess and Tutton was proving crucial to Thame’s battle in midfield. Due to the pressure of Thame playing at a higher tempo Bromsgrove were losing possession and misplacing passes all over the field. It was a surprise that Thame’s first shot on goal was actually from a goal kick by Hill which had to be tipped over the bar by Brown on 60 minutes. Thame followed this up by a cross from the left by Lynn which somehow bounced over the fullback’s head and Goss fired a half volley onto the top of the net which had Brown unmoved.

In Thame’s search of a goal this lead to a break down the left which was crossed along the ground towards the running Gregory who passed the pass the ball into the net to make it 4-0 to Bromsgrove. Thame still continued to attack with multiple runs by Goss which needed sometimes multiple players to tackle or block him off the ball. Thame produced a further attack on goal when West shielded a ball for Goss to shoot towards goal which had to be saved by a diving Brown. The final goal of the game came in the 90th minute when Cowley dribbled right of Hill and then came back towards the left and fired the shot onto the crossbar and in.

Following the result Bromsgrove end the week in 2nd position and Richard Gregory leads the chase for the golden boot on 21 league goals. Despite the biggest defeat of the season for Thame they remain in 5th position and 3 points clear of Berkhamstead due to other teams not securing victories this Saturday.

As awarded by Bromsgrove – #3 McGrath
He produced a solid display at full back both defensively and going forward.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target –  Bromsgrove 12 – 2 Thame
Corners – Bromsgrove 2 –  6 Thame
Yellow Cards – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame
Red Cards – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame
Penalties – Bromsgrove 0 – 0 Thame

*** NEXT GAME ***
Saturday 2/2/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Thame United V Peterborough Sports

Website –
Sports Shots – @sports_shots

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium ***
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1
There is ample free parking at the ASM Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

SL D1C; Thame United 0-1 Didcot Town

Thame United 0
Didcot Town 1

Report: Carl Catling

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One
Saturday 19th January 2019@ The ASM
Attendance – 129
Weather – 4 Celsius and Dry

The big Oxfordshire clash
between Thame United FC (4th) against Didcot Town (5th)
kicked off in Thame on Saturday and had vital points for
both sides up for grabs in the race for making the playoffs.
Even in winter the pitch at The ASM Stadium continues to
impress and provides a feast of entertaining foootball.
Thame were aware before kick off that a draw or win would
keep them above Didcot in the league. Thame entered the
match with 3 wins in a row where as Didcot were coming off
an away defeat to Bromsgrove.

Thame United FC – Craig Hill (GK),
Harry Mepham, David Lynn, Jamie Essex, Andy Gledhill, Jack
Tutton, Liam Tack, Ben Sturgess (C), Lynton Goss, Dan West
and Matt Peake-Pijnen
Subs used – Duran Martin
Didcot Town FC – Leigh Bedwell (GK),
Sam Bardell (C), Morgan Williams, Lewis Hayden, Cameron
McNeil, Luke Carnell, John Dennis, Callum McNish, Lance
Williams, David Murphy and Greg Hackett
Subs used – Ollie Thomas

*** FIRST HALF ***
It was a tentative start for both sides
with very little chances created. Didcot had control of the
game in terms of possession and were awarded multiple throw
ins and freekicks in midfield. Thame played sensible at the
start trying to avoid any early mistakes. It became evident
early on that Didcot’s approach was to attack the flanks.
Didcot in attack were pushing numbers of players forward and
Thame were trying to close down early.
The deadlock was broken when a
controversial throw in was awarded to Didcot on the left
wing. From the throw in Hackett made a run into the box and
was able to pass the ball back across goal to an unmarked
Murphy who was able to pass it into the net. Murphy nearly
made it 2-0 when a cross directed towards him was headed
over the bar and at this point Thame were losing the
midfield battle. Thame had to rely on Gledhill at the back
numerous times to clear the ball with strong headers away
from the box. During the first 25 minutes neither goal
keeper had much to deal with and Thame’s West had to drop
deeper to try and influence the game in Thame’s favour.
Thame’s winger Peake-Pijnen did manage
to create half a chance when his chipped cross towards Goss
was unable to be guided into the net. The last 15 minutes
proved to be a positive period of play by Thame. There was a
change in tactics whereby the defence had pushed higher up
to try and maintain that play was in Didcot’s half. Thame
were awarded a free kick upon 31 minutes which was treated
as shoot on goal by Peake-Pijnen which found the middle of
the goal and comfortably saved by Bedwell. tham continued to
be knocking on the door and put multiple chances wide of
goal. Both teams continued to show a high work rate
throughout the first half until the 45 minutes were up. This
half had a strong flow to the game with very little
stoppages in play.

This half began at a slower pace due to
a few stoppages in play. Didcot were awarded a freekick from
a long distance which when taken took a nasty deflection and
only just went over the crossbar. Didcot created another
positive run in the game on the left side which was taken
inside before a 25 yard attempt found both hands of Thame’s
Hill. Not long after this Mepham made a surging run up the
right wing and was able to fire a dangerous cross but
players were too far away to capitalise. Thame had upped
their tempo of play and were attempting to get behind the
Didcot back line which was proving a difficult challenge. As
Thame were then attempting for the next few minutes shots
from distance whereby one example West attempted a 30 yard
strike highlighting his side’s frustration. Despite this
Didcot still were on the back foot and a further chance came
to Tutton on a difficult half volley which again could only
find the goalkeeper. Didcot were determined to have men
behind the ball and counter when possible and this led to a
threatening attack which was anticipated by Mepham before he
made a switching pass to Peake-Pijnen on the run which was
fired along the ground shaking the post. Thame manager could
be heard from the Dug Out saying to his players that the
goal will come. Thame brought on Martin with 15 minutes left
and he was able to find space on the right and fire a cross
which took a huge deflection that went out just pass the
Didcot post. A dramatic few minutes then followed whereby a
penalty was awarded to thame following West being held by
the Didcot goal keeper who was booked for the offence. There
was a delay in play before Goss was able to take the penalty
which did find the target but was saved by Bedwell to his
right side which was tipped wide for a corner.
Thame finished the game with some more
late chances such as Essex’s half volley which went straight
down the middle to Bedwell. A final chance to save a point
was when Goss was able to push forward and put in a cross
towards his team mate West who couldn’t get the right angle
to avoid it going wide. After 4 minutes of injury time the
whistle blew and Didcot were joyful in their celebrations.

Today’s game highlighted that literally
one chance can win a game. This was an entertaining game for
a neutral but a nervous affair for fans of either side.
Thame gave everything in the second half but no equaliser
found the net. Didcot dug in deep in the second half and
Carnell provided some great leadership in the back line.
Didcot will be pleased to leave the ASM Stadium getting back
to winning ways and climbing to 4th positon. Thame Utd have
dropped to 5th place but results elsewhere were favourable
and Thame remain 4 points clear of 6th placed team
Berkhamstead FC. Thame Utd should be proud of their
performance and on balance a draw would have been a fair

*** INTERVIEW –  Comments following
today’s game by Thame United’s # 9 Captain Ben Sturgess ***
We knew Didcot are a very good team and
they were on top the first 15 minutes before we got into
the game. In the second half we dominated in possession and
the chances created. It’s important not to get too downbeat
over the result as last week we came from behind to win.
Also, we don’t have the time to dwell on the result as we
have a big week ahead back in training Tuesday/Thursday and
the next game comes around quickly. Next week we are away to
Bromsgrove and it is a massive game for us as In this
division any one can beat any one.

*** MAN OF THE MATCH – sponsored by
Figaro’s Barber in Thame ***
The Thame United man of the match today
was Harry Mepham. Thame’s right back displayed a high work
rate throughout full of energy. Harry made numerous
attacking runs and dribbles, not to mention putting in some
dangerous crosses. In regards to his defensive duties Harry
had a touch opponent to deal with and Harry more often than
not won the battle.
Despite the defeat Harry’s performance
has earned him a wash and cut at the our sponsor’s new
Figaro’s Barber shop on Park Street in Thame.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target –  Thame 4 – 3 Didcot
Corners – Thame 7 – 3 Didcot
Yellow Cards – Thame 2 – 2 Didcot
Red Cards – Thame 0 – 0 Didcot
Penalties – Thame 1 – 0 Didcot

*** NEXT GAME ***
AWAY @ The Victoria Ground,
Saturday 26/1/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Bromsgrove Sporting V
Thame United

Website –
Sports Shots –

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1
There is ample free parking at the
Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

SL D1C; Thame striker reveals squad will be United in search of play off place

Saturday 19th January 2019

Thame United v Didcot Town

Southern League Division One Central

ASM Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Thame United host Didcot Town on Saturday at the ASM Stadium and look to gain revenge for two defeats to their guests already this season, losing by five goals to three in September in the cup and then by the odd goal in three at the beginning of October in Southern League Division One Central action. Going into the fixture the home side sit in fourth place whilst Didcot are a place and a point below and a win for either side would then put the pressure on third place Corby who sit five points ahead of United albeit with a game in hand, the top eight or nine sides are starting to pull away from the rest as the season nears its final third and the race for promotion and play-off places hots up. The visitors were eight unbeaten before Tuesday night’s defeat at Bromsgrove, whilst Thame are unbeaten this year and have only lost three times in their last fourteen fixtures, this is quite possibly the game of the weekend in this division!

Lynton Goss

This week Sports Shots caught up with United striker Lynton Goss to ask how long he’s been at the club & how he joined:

I’ve been at Thame United for nearly three years now and loved every second of it. I was young and wanted to get game time, Westy (Mark West) rang me and we had a good chat, which was when he told me that was exactly what I would get at this club

What position and formation gets the best out of Lynton?

Well I player striker obviously, playing four-four-two with a strike partner has been the most successful for me so far since being here

How is the season going so far?

I feel like it’s going really well this season, I was injured for the whole of pre-season and some of the games at the beginning of the league campaign so my fitness levels are not one hundred percent yet. Personally, I think my performances so far have been good but I still need to score more goals, I’ll always work my hardest and give it my all no matter who we are playing

Didcot this week who’ve beaten Thame twice this season already, how will the squad adjust for this one?

I wasn’t available for either of those two games at their place so can’t really answer that, but I am looking forward to this one, if everyone works hard then I am positive we can come away with the three points

We asked Lynton if he thinks they can still win the league or are the play-offs all they are concentrating on now:

As a team we are happy to be playing for something and to be in this position makes all the boys work even harder and want to win even more, I don’t feel like we can win the league as the gap is too big. I’m happy to play anyone in the play-offs, it doesn’t bother me as on our day we know we can beat anyone in this division

Rounding up, we asked Lynton how Thame have fared in their last three games that have seen wins at Kidlington & North Leigh sandwiched by a home draw with Cambridge City:

We could have won all three of those games, it’s nice to win but we do need to start controlling games more and be more positive straight from kick off, it seems to take us too long to get going in most of our games

Sports Shots would like to thank Lynton for his time this week

SL D1C; North Leigh 1-2 Thame United

(Peake-Pijnen and Martin)

Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 12th January 2019 @ Eynsham Park
Attendance – 82
Weather – Dry and Cloudy, 10 Celsius

It is Saturday which can only mean more  football.Today’s big match saw Thame United FC (4th) travel to North Leigh (19th) to play in the scenic Eynsham area. Thame were on the hunt for a vital away win to remain in the playoff picture where as North Leigh were attempting back to back wins to fight off relegation. Today also saw the return of Thame number 1 Craig Hill between the posts.

*** Starting Line Ups ***
North Leigh FC – Eddie Cavanagh, Jordy Ngathe, Declan Peart, Rory Linford-Pill, Andy Gunn, Alfie Grant, Roger James, Harry Grant (Cpt), George Seacole, Henry Landers, Noah Alabi
Subs Used – Alfie Saunders, Kyreece Martic

Thame United FC – Craig Hill, Harry Mepham, Jamie Essex, Andy Gledhill, David Lynn, Tom Ashworth, Liam Tack, Lynton Goss, Ben Sturgess (Cpt), Dan West, Matthew Peake-Pijnen
Subs Used – Duran Martin, Jack Tutton

*** FIRST HALF ***  HT SCORE 0-0
North Leigh dominated the first half in possession, set pieces and shots on target. Thame went into half time fortunate to be 0-0.
Some of the key highlights included on 2 minutes Craig Hill having to make a save with his legs. There was a relentless number of runs/dribbles down the left by North Leigh’s Noah Alabi in the first 10 minutes to put the Thame defence under real pressure. North Leigh were also unfortunate to take an early lead when Seacole fired a shot straight at Hill which then fell back to the forward who did manage to contact the follow up but over the bar. Not long after this Thame created a chance against the run of play. Whereby Goss’ pressing led to him getting the ball in the box and poking it between the GK’s legs. The shot was cleared off the line by North Leigh’s centre back much to the crowd’s amazement. On 23 minutes Thame were awarded a free kick which was hit with power towards Gledhill he got up above the defender and hit a firm header which went wide of the goal. On 34 minutes Goss played a corner outward which caught North Leigh by surprise and the shot by Thame did not hit the target but went over the crossbar. A final chance this time fell to Peake-Pijnen in the box when he received a diagonal ball which was only stopped a tremendous last ditch tackle which stopped him from getting the shot away.

*** SECOND HALF ***  FT SCORE – 1 – 2
Following the half time break Thame showed an increase in tempo and work rate. Thame also began the half closing North Leigh down all over the pitch trying to force errors including a higher defensive line early on. The first real chance in the second half fell to Thame from a free kick which was hit over the bar by West.One of the greatest plays of the game was when Alabi was standing on the shoulder of Mepham and got behind him before dribbling 25 yards down the left wing and putting in a sublime cross for Seacole which he chested the ball towards goal resulting in Hill having to make a split second save to top it over the bar for a corner. North Leigh continued to push for a goal and it took a long diagonal ball towards Seacole which was headed firmly across goal given Hill at full stretch no chance. Thame manager Mark West made a double substitution late on in the second half bringing on Jack Tutton and Duran Martin. The two subs were crucial to Thame’s turnaround.
In the 82nd minute Thame were awared a free kick 28 yards out which was taken by left footed Peake-Pijnen. It was hit perfectly so much so that the GK in an attempt to save it could only parry it onto the post and in. this goal sparked a continued drive and desire by all players. As late in the 87 minute 5 Thame players were running towards North leigh’s goal and a ball from the middle was passed wife left to an unmarked Martin who on his weaker foot slotted the ball across goal onto the post and in. It was a nervy last few minutes but Thame were able to see the final spell of pressure off and manage the game by keeping the goal in North Leigh’s half. At the full time whilst the Thame players congratulated eachother before walking off the field.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target –  North Leigh 7 – 5 Thame
Corners – North Leigh 6 – 5 Thame
Yellow Cards – North Leigh 0 – 0 Thame
Red Cards – North Leigh 0 – 0 Thame

*** MAN OF THE MATCH – Craig Hill (Thame United) ***
Thame’s comeback victory changed this decision. Craig made countless top draw saves from start to finish, yet again proving he is one of the elite goal keepers in the division.

Overall this was a thoroughly entertaining match. North Leigh will feel disappointed to not get anything from the game not to mention remain in 19th place. Credit must be given to the Thame coaching staff for making key substitutions and installing the belief in the players for yet another memorable comeback. Thame will leave Eynsham Park on cloud nine and no doubt relishing the big encounter against Didcot next Saturday.

*** NEXT GAME *** @ The ASM Stadium,  Thame
Saturday 19/1/2019
Kick Off 15:00 – Thame United V Didcot Town

*** Admission Prices *** @ The ASM Stadium
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1

There is ample free parking at the Stadium
Club has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park
Thame, Oxfordshire

Report: Carlos Liam Vieira

ESS D1C: Thame battle through to take maximum points

Reported by Carl Catling

Dan West

Thame United FC V Cambridge City FC
Attendance – 78
Weather – 4 Celsius and Dry

Today’s encounter saw Mark West’s Thame United FC (4th place) host Cambridge City FC (12th place).

Thame were in search of back to back wins following their 1-0 away win on New Year’s Day @ Kidlington FC.

Thame knew another 3 points would keep them flying in 4th place and firmly in hunt for a play-off spot.

The Red Kites didn’t disappoint and grinded out a 1-0 victory to secure back to back league wins and remain 4th in the league table.

It should be noted that Thame’s GK Craig Hill was unavailable for selection and a late signing of David Lyons proved invaluable for today’s fixture.

*** Starting Line Ups ***
Thame United FC – David Lyons, Harry Mepham, David Lynn, Jamie Essex, Andy Gledhill, Tom Ashworth, Liam Tack, Lynton Goss, Ben Sturgess (C), Dan West, Matt Peake-Pijnen

Cambridge City FC – Jamie Head, Ben Robinson, Sebastian Simpson, Ross Paterson (C), Adam Capel, Jordan Odofin, Nathan Olukanmi, Adam Watkins, Josh Dyinsan, Lewis Whitehead, Michael Davis

*** FIRST HALF ***

0 to 15 mins – The first 5 minutes was very stop / start with neither team maintaining possession or creating chances.

Cambridge then began to exert control on the game and had the first shot on target by Josh Dyinsan. Also in this period of time Cambridge put in multiple crosses which was dealt with by the Thame defence.

Thame, against the run of play, had a goal disallowed when a cross was headed home but it was deemed a foul on goalkeeper Jamie Head.

Cambridge then created two moments of worry when they had one shot from outside the box followed by a cross which landed on the top of the net.

16 to 30 mins – Thame got back on top when a long throw by David Lynn was headed towards goal but easily saved.

Cambridge were awarded a corner which proved dangerous when it took multiple attempts to be cleared out of the box.

City also followed up by having two crosses blocked by Thame’s robust defence.

Cambridge continued to attack and had an offside decision following a run behind the Thame defence.

Thame were awared a free kick near the corner flag which was taken by Lynton Goss and headed into the back of the net by ‘Mr Golden Boot’ Dan West on 27 minutes.

31-45 mins – The goal gave the Thame side confidence and it showed with them maintaining possession and the ball was continuously being crossed in or around the Cambridge box. In this time Cambridge struggled to pass the ball and there were multiple offsides for both sides with direct passing.

Before the end of the half West took a free kick which was a direct strike at goal and ended up straight into Jamie Head’s hands in the middle of the goal.

Following this Cambridge right back Ben Robinson had to be taken off due to injury.

Cambridge ended the half by pumping the ball into the box and Thame having to resort to tight marking to absorb the pressure.

HT Score
Thame United FC 1 – 0 Cambridge City FC


45-60 mins – Early in the second half the ball fell to Thame’s Tom Ashworth, who had shot blocked by Cambridge’s defence.

Cambridge upped their tempo and pushed for an equaliser with faster direct passing.

Thame responded by getting the ball to Lynton Goss as much as possible whereby he made a few runs and multiple dribbles towards the Cambridge goal.

David Lyons made a goal saving stop 7 yards out when Cambridge were through on goal.

Thame were able to create a half chance when Lyton Goss attacked the right wing and put in a  cross towards the head of Dan West who was unable to connect with it.

61 – 75 mins – During this period Cambridge were in control of possession and Thame were only pressing when Cambridge had the ball in Thame’s half.

When Thame did get the ball back, Lynton Goss made a great 20 yard run with the ball up the right wing into the box before hitting the side netting when one on one with Jamie Head.

Then there were a few minutes when both teams were passing long balls straight to the other teams GK or out of play. Thame’s Captain Ben Sturgess could be heard telling his side to calm down.

76 – 90 mins – Both teams began to show their nerves near the end of this match. When Cambridge did put in a cross next time round it was deflected and Thame were fortunate it again found the safe hands of David Lyons. Up the other end Thame had a half chance which was put wide when a ball bounced on the edge of the Cambridge box and Jamie head committed to the ball.

Thame had another free kick attempt to score which was again taken by Dan West and despite finding the target was saved by Jamie Head.

There was some end of game drama when Cambridge had the ball cleared off the line and yet another dangerous shot that was deflected and Thame required fast reactions from David Lyons to deal with it.

After four minutes of injury time today’s referee D. O’Shea blew the final whistle.

FT Score
Thame United FC 1 – 0 Cambridge City FC

This was a well balanced game in which the Thame goalkeeper and defence must take huge credit. The volume of blocks and crosses dealt with, not to mention last ditch tackles, was appreciated by the home fans.

As when the referee blow the final whistle the players were given a standing ovation.

Cambridge will feel very unfortunate as despite numerous runs at goal, set pieces and crosses the key chance was not taken to score. Cambridge should feel proud as they players did put pressure on Thame until the final whistle.

*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target – Thame 5 – 6 Cambridge
Corners – Thame 1 – 6 Cambridge
Yellow Cards – Thame 0 – 0 Cambridge
Red Cards – Thame 0 – 0 Cambridge
Penalties – Thame 0 – 0 Cambridge

This was a tough one but put into context…. a late signing, no experience with the team, excellent positioning and multiple key saves/catches/blocks. He continued playing despite limping in the first half. David also proved key with his distribution and can be very proud of his performance today.

*** NEXT GAME ***
Saturday 12/1/2019, Kick Off 15:00 – Away @ North Leigh FC

@ The ASM Stadium,  Thame
Saturday 19/1/2019, Kick Off 15:00 – V Didcot Town FC

*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium ***
Adult £8
Concession £5
Child £1

There is ample free parking at the Stadium.
Club has a fully licensed bar on site.

The ASM Stadium
Meadow View Park

Sports Shots delighted to announce Carl Catling joining our team!

Sports Shots is absolutely delighted to announce that Carl Catling has joined us as a reporter.

Carl Catling

Carl is an avid Thame United fan and will be writing match reports from The ASM Stadium, starting officially with tomorrow’s game with Cambridge City.

We are delighted to have Carl join us!