Hard fought win at high flying Thame

Thame United 0 Barton Rovers 2 (Andrews 53, Phillips 80)

A fruitful away day at Thame for this Rovers side culminating in a win and three valuable league points in the bag.

Thame started this match on a good winning run and their expectations would have been to extend this run further but Rovers had other ideas. Thame started the match on the front foot and their passing and possession were much more convincing whilst Rovers were being forced into a mainly long-ball offensive. Up front Thame's Marcus Mealing and Liam Tack were looking lively and Paul Andrews and his fellow defenders definitely had their hands full containing Thame's front two. Charlie Jones in the Rovers goal was in early action from shots by Mealing and Tack but, aside from an effort by Mealing that Jones tipped round the post at full stretch none of the shooting carried any real threat on goal. Rovers fought their way into that action and the ever-willing Drew Phillips, Jimmy Hartley and Victor Osubu were doing their best to take the game to Thame. Best of the first half efforts for Rovers were via a Phillips run and shot that was comfortably held by Thame keeper Craig Hall and an Osubu free-kick that flew just over the bar.

Rovers began the second half brightly with Phillips continually in the action as both provider and finisher including an assist when a Sam Gibson effort after 49 minutes scraped the post. Rovers had found their feet and were continually counter-attacking with purpose with some great work in midfield by Steph Bailey and Gibson beginning to find their mark. Rovers were the better side now and forced their way into the lead when skipper Andrews headed home from a corner after 53 minutes - Drew Phillips did attempt to get the last touch as the ball crossed the line but goal deservedly credited to Andrews. Thame stepped up their efforts and applied pressure in search of an equaliser but the Rovers defence and midfield were able to confine the danger to long-range shots comfortable dealt with by Jones and helped also by some wayward finishing from Thame. Rovers made the game safe when a wonderful passing movement after 80 minutes down the right involving Bailey and sub James Verney who supplied the perfect cross for Phillips to smash home and seal the victory and the points for Rovers.

Dave Wyllie

Barton Rovers FC

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