Hanwell Town 0 Thame United 2
Our desperately disappointing start to our league season continued as we suffered our sixth consecutive defeat against newly promoted Thame United who we were meeting for the first ever time.
Our side showed a couple of changes from that which had been beaten 5-0 by Enfield Town in the FA Cup earlier in the week, with Glen Yala and Ruddock Yala both unavailable whilst Harvey Killeen dropped down to the bench.
As has so often been the case in games this season we made an excellent start and in the sixth minute an excellent individual run by Callum Wright put him through into a good shooting position but he somewhat scuffed his shot and the ball was turned aside by Thame's keeper Craig Hill into the side netting. Callum had a further opportunity when a great ball by Peter Dean set up a shooting opportunity but Callum blasted the ball over the bar and the roles were reversed minutes later when Callum played Peter in but he delayed his shot and the opportunity was wasted. At the other end, Thame's Luke Ricketts was giving Georges Ehui a hard time and twice in quick succession it needed well timed tackles by Oliver Duffy for the danger to be averted.
Thame were forced into a substitution in just the twelth minute when Adam Morris limped off to be replaced by Ellis Hercules who immediately took up a central position in defence where he was to play a significant part in the game. Having survived our period of early pressure, Thame came more and more into the game and from a free kick by Ben Sturgess, Lyndon Goss in a good position headed over our crossbar. On Thame's opposite flank, Ben Connelly was also causing Karl Stevenson problems and we were fortunate when he drilled a low ball right across our goal area with Ricketts just unable to apply the finishing touch on the far post. Xavi was then quickly off his goal line to clear the ball to safety after Goss had outpaced Nick Turner in the race for a long through ball. Thame took the lead in the twenty fourth minute when we failed to clear a nondescript cross into our box and Dan West scrambled the ball home from close range, perhaps just reward for Thame's period of ascendancy at this stage of the game. As the half progressed so did Thame get more and more on top and we had to be very thankful that we went into the interval just one goal down. A good move set Ricketts free again but we were saved by the assistant referee's flag and then Goss turning sharply in our box drove the ball just wide of the far post with Xavi stranded.
It was clear that changes had to be made at the interval and they were immediately forthcoming with Tom Hunt replacing Lewis Ochoa whilst David Sangolo came on for Georges Ehui, enabling Oliver Duffy to drop back into central defence with brother Calum switching to right back.
The changes should have had an immediate reward when five minutes into the half, a long ball down the right was met by Tom Hunt who rounded his marking defender before sending the perfect cross onto the head of Callum right now inside the six yard box but somehow Callum managed to head the ball wide and the golden opportunity was missed. Shortly after, now operating on the left flank Tom cut inside before sending a curling shot which had Hill beaten but the ball hit the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
At the other end, Xavi made a fine save from a free kick by Goss, diving low to his left to turn the ball onto the post and then wide.
With Tom Hunt prominent throughout we looked by far the more likely side to score and but for Hercules we would have done after a fine chipped pass by Calum Duffy found the head of Wright but Hercules somehow got back onto his goal line to head the ball to safety with his keeper Hill nowhere in sight.
We made our third substitution with Harvey Killeen replacing Peter Dean in the sixty fifth minute. We continued to look the more likely side to score with Thame now rarely seen as an attacking force. David Sangola sent a fierce shot just over the bar, Harvey headed the ball over after yet another excellent cross by Tom and we then had what seemed to be a legitimate claim for a penalty turned down when Harvey was bundled over from behind in the penalty area but our claims were waved away by referee Matthew Russell. Thame were now playing for time with keeper Hill taking an eternity to clear his lines when the ball was in his possession while Hercules was organizing his defence around him.
With seven minutes remaining the almost inevitable happened, a long clearance from defence was seized upon by Goss who holding off the challenge of Sangolo raced away to beat Xavi to virtually assure the visitors of the three points. There still remained time for Xavi to turn a free kick by West over the bar and then Ricketts right though on goal shot wide with only Xavi to beat.
Side: Xavi Comes, Georges Ehui, Karl Stevenson, Nick Turner, Calum Duffy, Oliver Duffy (capt), Lewis Ochoa,Jesse Kewley-Graham, Callum Wright, Peter Dean and Charlie Mitchell. Substitures used Tom Hunt and David Sangolo for Ochoa and Ehui (46) and Harvey Killeen for Dean (65). Unused substitutes Ricky Pither and Rasheet Lal.