Woodley go down to consecutive 2-1 defeats
By Chris Burnett
Result harsh on United who hit woodwork three times
Woodley’s penultimate home match of the season ended in a narrow defeat to a Thame Rangers side chasing promotion. On the balance of play a draw would have been a fair result.
The away side had the game’s first chance when Calvin Evans forced a routine save from Tom Bryant. At the other end, a Sam Guze free kick picked out Joe Sissons who tested Dan Bowker. The Thame goalie then pulled off an excellent diving stop to thwart Guze.
Ten minutes gone saw a free kick out on the left wing for Rangers. Evans beat Bryant only to see the ball crash against the crossbar. The same player then had a shot from the right deflect narrowly wide of the left post after cutting in from the wing.
United lined up 4-3-3 and it was two of the front three that combined in the next attack. A pinpoint Freddie Barron cross was missed by Ben Clark allowing a defender to turn behind for a corner. The first Pablo Fernandez delivery was put out of play by a defender; the second corner went directly in despite Bowker getting a hand to it.
More Woodley pressure followed. A Fernandez free kick was headed over by Richard Thomas before Max Laschok hit the left post after a Barron pass.
The visitors levelled the score on twenty six minutes from the spot. Craig Faulconbridge fired into the left corner from twelve yards. Evans then had two quick fire chances. The first was beaten out whilst the second, in the same passage of play, saw Bryant tip over.
Both teams were creating plenty of chances. A United counter ended with a Clark cross from the right picking out Laschok; surrounded by defenders the shot was blocked.
An entertaining half saw both teams hit the woodwork for a second time. A deep cross from the left resulted in Patrick Buston striking the post from a tight angle before a Fernandez free kick three minutes before the break cannoned back off the bar.
HT Woodley United 1-1 Thame Rangers
The second period started evenly with neither keeper tested. Nine minutes in Woodley made a change when Adam Barnard replaced Guze who was making his first start after a long-term injury.
United were playing well; a good spell of possession ended with Barron shooting over after a Harry Hawkins pass. Thomas then came within inches of his first Woodley goal when his header from a Fernandez free kick hit the bar.
Barnard had the pass of the match just past the hour, splitting the Thame defence and putting Laschok through on Bowker. The United forward got his shot off but couldn’t hit the target.
A second change was made on sixty five minutes when Sissons came off with an injury. Harry Swabey was the man to come on.
Fernandez was being persistently fouled. After being bought down again, a Chace Jewell free kick found Laschok who shot well wide.
With the game into the final ten minutes, Rangers had two chances the second of which was the winner. After right back Adie Smith had missed to the left, Faulconbridge got his second when he headed a deep free kick into the left corner with six minutes to go.
During a long stoppage in play that saw a Thame defender collide with Bowker, Woodley made a final change. Barron made way for Hagger who took over on the right flank.
The final two chances went to the hosts as they chased an equaliser. Hagger had a shot blocked whilst Jon Malone’s header was caught by Bowker after a Fernandez free kick.
FT Woodley United 1-2 Thame Rangers