Diddy Victorious On Long Trip
Barnstaple Town 0-4 Didcot Town - Report by Ian East
Didcot Town made it 3 away wins in a row with a convincing 4-0 victory at struggling Barnstaple Town yesterday. Didcot made the nigh on 4 hour journey without a number of key players including Adam Learoyd, Callum McNish, Sam Elkins, Felipe Barcelos and David Murphy which meant Sam Barder was named as captain for the first time. Thankfully Stuart Cattell was available following a toe injury which meant he partnered Cameron McNeill at centre back, Didcot were also able to recall Morgan Williams to the starting XI which meant George Reid dropped down to the bench.
The Railwaymen couldn’t have wished for a better start as they took the lead inside the first minute. Marlon Agyakwa won a corner down the right hand side which Williams trotted across to take. His delivery to the near post was inviting and George Jeacock rose highest to head home. Barnstaple rocked by the early goal couldn’t handle the Didcot forwards and it was 2-0 shortly after as Matt Woodley chipped the ball over the top for the onrushing Sam Barder, the stand in skipper took the ball around the advancing Barnstaple goalkeeper Rob Holmes and then from a narrow angle with his left foot Barder found the far bottom corner to double Didcot’s lead.
Agyakwa and Jeacock were combining nicely down the flank and the duo did the same again to create Didcot’s 3rd as Jeacock got away from Jordan Walton and stood up the perfect cross for Morgan Williams to head in despite Holmes getting a hand to it and Didcot were 3 up after just 27minutes gone. Agyakwa nearly made it 4 as he twisted and turned away from defenders but his low shot lacked power and Holmes could save to his left and the follow up just didn’t quite fall for the tireless Louis Joyce.
Half time Barnstaple 0-3 Didcot Town
After such a dominant first half performance Didcot’s only real concern would have been one of complacency this never materialised in fact Didcot scored again on 55mins when excellent work again by Agyakwa down the right this time combining with Barder who's low fizzed cross fell to Joyce who was brilliantly denied by Holmes who was desperately unlucky to see the ball fall back to Joyce who could tap into an open goal.
Didcot rang the changes with the excellent Ollie Thomas and Agyakwa being replaced by George Reid and Seth Humphries in the Didcot midfield. Barnstaple kept on going to their credit and hit the bar with a shot from distance before Leigh Bedwell did well to push the rebound over the bar. Didcot cleared the resultant corner and broke with pace as George Reid led the charge but he put his left foot shot over the bar.
It could have got worse for the hosts as Didcot again surged forward this time Woodley finding Barder in the box and as the midfielder turned to try and shoot towards goal he had his legs taken away from him from behind for what should have been a penalty but the referee waved it away.
Moments later Barnstaple thought they had a penalty as Mitchell hit the floor following pressure from Cattell with the referee pointing to the spot, the linesman had his flag up way in advance however and following a quick chat a goal kick was given as the ball had already gone out of play. Reid again went close for Didcot as his effort was blocked out for a corner and then Cattell had a header easily saved.
Didcot saw out the remainder of the game very comfortably to seal a crucial 3 points on the road which takes the Railwaymen back into the playoff places. It was a very good all round performance from Didcot who had struck the telling blows early on the contest and then controlled the game very well for the remainder of the game.
Next up is a home game with fellow playoff chasers AFC Totton next Saturday. 3pm kick off.
Didcot; Bedwell, Jeacock, Woodley, Cattell, McNeil, Agyakwa (Reid), Barder, Joyce, Thomas (Humphries), Williams.
Subs not used. Ballard