THAME UNITED 1 NEWBURY 0
REPORT BY GEOFF RYAN
Newbury went out of this seasons FA Cup at the first hurdle when they produced a lacklustre performance at Meadow View Park on Saturday in front of a sparse crowd.
The team showed just one change from the opening day victory over Highworth,
Jamie Green unavailable,so Coach Craig Adey shuffled his squad allowing a starting place to Chris Collins.
Mark James passed a late fitness test and skipper Darren Jones was struggling with a virus.
Thame enjoyed the early pattern of play with the speedy Cameron Lagan a constant threat down the middle,and after Ray Spence fired wide on 15 minutes, the home side took the lead.
A free kick on the left was propelled into the box and the ball entered a ruck of players before the long legs of defender Ellis Hercules stabbed the ball past Andy Bayliss on 18 minutes.
Spence saw his lob from distance clear the bar on 25 minutes before Newbury produced a fine move which should have brought the equaliser.
Callum Willmoth split the home defence allowing Spence to race down the right and his head high cross to the far post saw the diving Jones just fail to connect with the ball on 37 minutes.
60 seconds later and a let off for Newbury as Adam Rhodes shot wide with just Bayliss to beat.
As the half drew to a close, Jones cut in from the right and his drive from 18 yards grazed the upright.
After the break James had to leave the field struggling with his injury on 48 minutes,to be replaced by George Holland and Robbie Sadler moved into the back four from midfield.
Two efforts from Jones on the hour before the first cautions of the game as Collins and his opposite number Matt Hall went into referee Stuart Paters notebook.
On 66 minutes a great diving save by Bayliss from Dan West kept Newbury in the match, as Adey replaced Jones with Chris Lavisher and Collins with Rob Panting.
In the closing minutes Newbury were desparate for the equaliser but the resolute home defenders held on to collcct the £1000 from the sponsors and an away tie at North Leigh in two weeks.
Its back to league action for Newbury on Tuesday at home to Cheltenham Saracens 7.45 kick off.
with thanks to the "Newbury Weekly News"