So after not completing a game since the 9th October, the Vets were finally back in action on Wednesday 22nd January, with a trip to the Loop Meadow Stadium to face Didcot Town Vets.
The two sides met very early in the season, when Diddy took their chances and won 4-0 at Radcot Road.
It was plainly obvious from the early stages that Town were going to be very rusty and in only the second minute of the game, Town keeper Lee Ruddle had to be alert to save smartly, high at the far post. Town were feeding off scraps as Didcot were in control and in the 12thminute, striker Dave Rendle had a good chance to open the scoring, but failed to hit the target on the angle.
From the resulting goal-kick, a quick diagonal ball was played to the Didcot diminutive left-winger, who went through on goal and slotted past the on-rushing Ruddle for the lead. Town were now getting into their stride, gaining momentum in the midfield area’s and on 25 minutes Chris Roche had a shot saved by the home keeper’s feet at the near post. Shortly afterwards and a great move involving Chris ‘Doggo’ Hughes released Rendle through on goal.
Rendle’s effort was well saved and as Doggo pounced for the rebound, his attempt to chip the stricken keeper was also saved, before Rochey fell over on the 2nd rebound! Just after the half-hour and from a corner the ball was blocked on the line by the Didcot full-back and as the half came to a close, Rendle had another goal-bound effort deflected over the Didcot goal.
The Town Vets were full of confidence going into the second half with the chances created and a small tweak in formation, would see the lads more secure at the back. However, Didcot doubled their lead with the first meaningful attack of the half on 52 minutes when another direct ball, saw the right-winger chase the hopefully, beating Ruddle who had left his penalty area and the score was 2-0.
To Town’s credit, their heads could have dropped, however, five minutes later we had pulled a goal back when Roche crossed from the left to find Hughes at the far post, unmarked and able to side-foot volley the ball home into the opposite corner of the goal. Town immediately won the ball back from kick-off and it was another Roche cross, this time on the right, where he found Rendle at the far post and his volley bounced into the surface and skid over the stranded Diddy number 1 and it was 2-2.
Town had the momentum, but tiring legs was effecting both sides and the game became stretched. Rendle had another half-chance, but his half volley went over from Derren Harrington’s cross before Ruddle had to pull of a good save at the other end.
However, with eight minutes remaining another hopeful clearance from the Didcot backline was misjudged by Harrington, to find the left-winger. He jinked and turned his way into the penalty area before sliding the ball home Didcot were back in front. Town continued to press and with the final kick of the game and nothing more than a half-chance, Rendle fired over.
The final whistle blew and the lads came off dejected that one player could make such a big difference, but also missed chances also put paid to us gaining a positive result.
Final Score: Didcot Town Vets 3-2 Faringdon Town Vets
Squad: L Ruddle, D Harrington, D Legg, B Eltham, G Sutton, A McCusker (sub I Lawson), P Hulme, C Roche, B Spencer, C Hughes (sub J Moore), D Rendle; subs not used: T Redman, M Harries, J Lovegrove
MOTM: B Eltham & G Sutton (Both formed a great centre back partnership)
DOTD: C Hughes (nicked the oppositions training balls, before performing a penguin routine after scoring)