MATCH REPORT: Thame United 2-3 Bristol Manor Farm (FA Cup)

Manor Farm make an incredible start to the season as they come from two down to beat Thame United in the FA Cup, writes Jack Davies.

Farm had had an impressive pre-season and optimism was high but the harsh reality of a return to competitive football came just a few minutes in. Eitel Goueth did well out wide and his cross was headed in by Ben Kakombo, who gave Thame the lead. Just as Farm were growing into the game, the tie looked to be all but done after 20 minutes. Winger Harry Williams heavily involved in the build-up before Captain Ollie Hogg sent a rocket in to the top corner, to double the home lead. Farm weren’t deterred and ended the half firmly on the front foot. Captain Jamie Adams headed just wide from a Ben Bament cross before the latter forced a save from home keeper Fred Chapman. The Thame stopper did well on that occasion, but his next involvement would prove a costly one. A long throw from new signing Ollie Woodhouse came into the area and Chapman’s failure to hold onto the bouncing ball allowed Farm fullback Aron Robbins to steal in and halve the lead. The Thame keeper’s hot and cold first half continued before the break. Farm had a golden chance to equalise from the penalty spot, but Chapman denied Bament’s well-placed spot-kick.

Former Roman Glass skipper Woodhouse was brought in for his defensive acumen but proved his attacking prowess in the summer and almost did again early in the second half. A Nielsen delivery dropped to the defender, but his powerful header was too close to Chapman. The Portwaymen had brought in a lot of quality this summer, however, it was a longstanding Farmer who drew them level. Josh Ford made a nuisance of himself from a corner and his centre back partner Steve Kingdon lashed the loose ball in for parity in Oxfordshire. An end-to-end period ensued as both sides went for the win, but it was a magic moment for a debutant that secured the tie for Farm. Forward Owen Brain had only signed a couple of days prior, but he announced his intent in style, sweeping home from just inside the area to complete a wonderful turnaround and put his new side in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup.