Diddy Comeback Earns Point
Yate Town 2-2 Didcot Town - Report by Ian East
Didcot Town picked up a hard earned point on Saturday at fellow playoff hopefuls Yate Town as the Railwaymen had to yet again come back from a 2 goal deficit to save themselves a point.
The Railwaymen came into this game making just the one change from Tuesday’s Berks and Bucks Cup defeat to Chesham as Ollie Thomas didn’t shake off his ankle injury and was replaced by Lewis Hayden, despite completing his suspension captain Adam Learoyd was only named as a substitute as Didcot kept with the back 4 that performed admirably on Tuesday.
Didcot then served up one of their poorest halves of football that they’ve produced all season, sloppy in possession, failing to create a single chance of real note and looking shaky in defence it wasn’t a good cocktail recipe for success and the hosts took full advantage carving Didcot up at will and only a miraculous clearance by Cameron McNeil saved the visitors as not for the first time Leigh Bedwell was left exposed by those in front of him. Yate breaking away and Steve Davies rounded Bedwell but with the goal at his mercy McNeil somehow got back to block it on the line. Davies then out a good chance just wide before the same man found himself clear with Bedwell again but this time the Didcot goalkeeper bailed his team out.
Yate finally got their deserved lead on 30 minutes when a long ball forward was won by Davies and his flick on fell to Adam Price who took a nice touch away from his marker and as the goal opened up for him he slotted the ball home with his left foot and Didcot’s luck had run out.
Lewis Hayden then had one half chance for Didcot as a through ball by Agyakwa gave the onrushing Didcot midfielder a sight of goal but Harvey Ricers was out bravely to meet him collecting the ball and the full force of Hayden’s lunge to try and score.
It looked as though Didcot despite their poor display would get to half time at 1-0 down and a chance to regroup instead they hit the self-destruct button when an aimless ball down the flank should have been comfortably dealt with by McNeil, the clock had ticked into 46minutes with the half time whistle due any moment but rather than just hack the ball clear McNeil decided to try and see the ball out for a goal kick, Ross Langworthy who had been excellent for ths hosts in the first half chased the seeming lost cause and managed to nick the ball away from McNeill who then in a moment of panic bundled the forward over in the box and Yate had a penalty. Davies duly converted sending Bedwell the wrong way and Yate had a 2 goal lead as the referee immediately blew for half time. A disastrous half from Didcot and a salvage job required again.
Half time Yate 2-0 Didcot
In fairness to the Railwaymen they have rarely served up 45minutes as poor as this and they haven’t served up a full 90minutes where they have been clearly second best, not only that 2-0 deficits haven’t been the nail in the coffin that they are for most sides either as the Didcot spirit isn’t in question.
As such Didcot came out 2nd half a different team and David Murphy was desperately unlucky not to score when brilliant play by Agyakwa down the left hand side teed up Murphy for an acrobatic volley which he did superbly well to keep down but Rivers made an even better one handed save to his left to keep it out.
Didcot didn’t have to wait long however for their way back into the game as on 47minutes the ball was played up to Barcelos with his back to goal just inside the box where he was stupidly hacked
down from behind for a blatant penalty. Yate protested that it was outside the box but the foul was committed in the area and the referee correctly awarded the spot kick. George Jeacock stepped up and sent Rivers the wrong way and Didcot had a lifeline.
That lifeline became a level game almost immediately as from the Railwaymen’s next attack Callum McNish picked up the ball from 25 yards turning away from his defender nicely and unleashing an unstoppable right foot shot that arrowed away from Rivers and into the far corner and all of a sudden it was 2-2 and Didcot had their tails up.
Stuart Cattell went close to putting Didcot ahead as his header was blocked on the line and then excellent play by Barcelos and Elkins down the right hand side saw the ball fizzed across goal to the back post where Mayson Evans the Yate full back completely sliced his clearance and it went just wide of the post.
Agyakwa was starting to have success down the flank for Didcot and more tricky wing play from the winger created space for a shot which he caught sweetly but it went just wide of the post with Rivers stranded.
Didcot were dominating proceedings but Yate nearly found a late winner as a ball in from the right hand side was half cleared by Bedwell and the defence with the ball looping up to Brooks whose looping header seemed destined for the net before it was booted clear by the desperate Didcot defence.
Felipe Barcelos then had the final chance of the game to win it for Didcot as the Didcot striker was sent clear, Rivers raced from his goal to meet him and as the angle got worse for Barcelos he tried to clip it over the goal keeper but the ball hit the wrong side of the net and went out for a goal kick.
The full time whistle went on the proverbial game of two halves as one team clearly dominated each half meaning the score draw was ultimately the correct result for both sides.
Didcot Bedwell, Elkins ©, Woodley, Hayden, McNeil, Cattell, Jeacock (Reid), McNish, Barcelos, Murphy (Barder), Agyakwa (Williams)
Subs Reid, Barder, Williams.
Unused Ballard, Learoyd
Didcot are next in action with a double header against Larkhall Athletic this week, firstly on Tuesday in the BigFreeBet Challenge Cup semi-final 7:45pm kick off at the Loop Meadow Stadium and then again on Saturday the same opposition travel to the Loop for a league encounter 3pm kick off. Both of these games will be weather permitting so keep an eye on social media outlets for information on these fixtures.