Thatcham Town 1 Bristol Manor Farm 2

Farm returned to winning ways with a gritty and dogged performance as they held firm to see off ten man Thatcham Town.

Farm started brightly and broke the deadlock with their first real surge on the Thatcham box, a short corner was worked back to Marcus Day who drew a clumsy challenge and the referee had no hesitation. Jamie Adams, fresh from his penalty last time out, converted with a straight forward drill down the middle. Farm kept coming, a recycled set piece was crossed in and Kingdon headed just wide. Their next chance came from another cross, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist shaping for Mike Bryant who was denied by a flying save from home stopper George Legg. Thatcham finally woke themselves up and should have levelled after 20 minutes, Jamal Branker put it across and Conor Lynch somehow contrived to turn the ball wide. The home side would equalise a few minutes later, Lynch eventually flicking home following a long lofted cross. Farm gained back control of the game at the latter end of the half, Leigh-Gilchrist with a beautiful backheel flick that Legg had to tip over. The games crucial decision came on half time, a farm shot was judged to be blocked by a Thatcham hand and Legg was given his marching orders for what appeared to be dissent. Adams stepped up again and converted his second spot kick of the evening.

Farm went searching for the killer blow early in the half but found substitute keeper Yashwa Romeu a capable replacement. He made 2 early saves in the second half, first from Aron Robbins who was cleverely worked through on his overlap and then from Spencer who slalomed through 4 challenges but could only stab a tame shot goalwards. Thatcham were still carrying a threat despite the player disadvantage, Jordan Alves let fly from 25 yards which debutant Farm keeper Chris Humphries tipped wide. Farm were holding firm, a superb defensive clearance from Kingdon preserved the lead and then Bird was denied brilliantly by Romeu after he picked a defenders pocket and ran through. Farm looked nervous as the game ticked on, a few hairy moments sliced clearances nearly dropped to the home side but they kept finding a way to clear, even when they were breached, Humphries was on hand to make a smart save down low before the referee blew for a big three points.