Thame Rangers vs VWFC
09/09/2017 Thame Rangers 1 - 1 Virginia Water
Hellenic League Division One East
Report by Ceri Jones
Virginia Water were left to rue so many missed opportunities, as they surrendered their 100% winning start to the season against a resolute and courageous defensive display by the home team.
Whilst Waters were disappointed not to have taken all three points, Thame Rangers too would have been disappointed not to get a draw that their effort deserved.
A great game for the neutral, Waters had so many chances on goal, with at least 20 or so shots, a disallowed goal, hitting the post and missing a late penalty. The away side started slowly, clearly missing the 8 players who were not available for a variety of reasons (but it is a squad game so that is not an excuse), but soon got into their rhythm.
Paul Burrows, Jake Baker and Adam McNamara all had a few efforts on goal, as well as forcing a number of corners.
At the other end, the defence stood firm with Matt Jones in goal only having one terrific save at the feet of their striker to make.
Waters went ahead from a short corner, which was controlled and smashed in by Burrows on 30 minutes. A couple more half chances followed, but Waters failed to capitalise.Early in the second half, Thame got their equaliser, when a long throw was not dealt with by the defence, and scrambled home, despite the protestations that Adam Mills (MoM) was upended in the box.
Jones then did not have another shot to deal with the whole second half, as Waters pressed for a winner.
Liam Hill, Steve Williams and Joe McBride dominated the midfield, but as hard as they tried, they could not find that all important second goal. Mills hit a post and had a goal bound shot deflected wide. Louis Sanders, Burrows, Baker, McNamara, Liam Hill and Williams all had further efforts, but found the home goalkeeper in good form and Waters also lacked some of their usual composure.
Waters introduced young Jack Deabill for his debut, and he too almost scored. In the 80th minute Waters were awarded a penalty, which they failed to convert, albeit some will say it was a little harsh. Further chances came and went, and whilst it was a good point for the improving home side, it was seen as two points dropped by Waters.
Nevertheless, Waters remain unbeaten and, for the moment, proudly sit top of the league at this early stage.