All square at Thame Rangers
By Mark Rozzier
Max Laschok's first half equaliser secures point at third place Thame Rangers.
Against promotion chasing Thame Rangers, United returned with a deserved point in a match that was constantly interrupted with free kicks and saw the visitors having to play into rain during the second half.
Rangers started quicker putting Woodley under pressure which saw a header over the cross bar and Adam Barnard block a shot before the opening goal came in the fifteenth minute. Thame took a short corner from which George Ashworth fired home through a mass of bodies from the edge of the penalty area.
The lead was nearly doubled two minutes later when Thame were allowed an unchallenged header, following a free kick, that went over the cross bar.
With United’s struggling to get into Thame’s half, a chance to equalise arose in the eighteenth minute when Max Laschok was fouled for a penalty kick. However, an inordinate delay before the kick was taken appeared to unsettle the forward who put the kick over the cross bar.
However, the miss saw a change in Woodley’s performance as they sought to take the initiative. Pablo Fernandez was unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty following a challenge while the same player hit the side netting from a free kick.
Rangers’ Tom Hutton fired a shot from distance at Tom Bryant but the visitors remained buoyed and equalised three minutes from half time when Laschok robbed Matt Johnston of the ball on the edge of the home penalty area to slot past Dan Bowker in the Thame goal.
Early in the second half Barnard saw a free kick blocked and Jon Malone headed straight to Bowker.
Thame followed with a good spell of pressure, winning several corners in quick succession and Pele Hagger making an excellent block when Ashworth only had Bryant to beat.
With conditions worsening Harry Hawkins went down under a challenge in the hosts’ penalty area but play was allowed to continue while Bowker parried a Fernandez free kick but with no United players following up the ball was cleared to safety.
Free kicks continued to be awarded with Jake Desouza firing straight at Bryant while Luke Axton-Hall blocked another free kick and the rebound before Bryant was called upon to tip a shot over his cross bar. In stoppage time Liam Wilson and Harry Swabey both saw shots blocked to ensure the scores remained level.
Bryant, Malone, Hagger, R Thomas, Axton-Hall, Barnard, E Thomas (Swabey), Fernandez, Hawkins (Wood), Laschok, Jewell (Wilson)