Diddy Defeat Larks
Larkhall Athletic 0-1 Didcot Town - Report by Stewart Unsworth
Didcot leap-frogged opponents Larkhall Athletic in the league standings after a 1-0 success at Plain Ham on Saturday. The victory was the Railwaymen’s third in four games as they continue to finish the season well after an indifferent 2017. Ben Whitehead crashed in the only goal early in the contest and thereafter resolute defending punctuated by efficient counter-attacking earned the result that on balance, was deserved.
The contest got off to an innocuous start with Larkhall having the territorial advantage without creating goalscoring chances. Didcot had not threatened at all until Whitehead picked up possession 25 yards out from goal. The Railwaymen’s leading goalscorer made it nineteen in the league this season by letting fly with an absolute howitzer that screamed into the top corner past flummoxed Larks shot-stopper Shaun Semmens.
The strike was out of keeping with the rest of the half, as the game settled back to Larkhall probing and Didcot holding firm. Greg Peel wasted the hosts’ best opening by chipping narrowly over the crossbar when put through on goal.
Diddy were dealt a blow when midfielder Callum McNish failed to come out for the second half but they started the period strongly. George Reid was denied by Semmens and from the resulting corner, the Larkhall custodian managed to paw away James Organ’s goal-bound header before the ball crossed the line.
Larkhall’s Jamie Lyons and Didcot’s Taylor Janes both spurned half chances before a more obvious opening fell to Alex Lambert. Cutting in from the right, the Larks’ winger had only Leigh Bedwell to beat but the sliding finish was blocked by the keeper’s legs. Shortly afterwards, a corner led to Jay Adams getting to the ball ahead of Bedwell, but he planted his header wide of the post.
Didcot were causing enough problems at the other end as a well orchestrated move culminated in Whitehead curling an effort just past the far post and the Diddy striker then embarked on a slalom run through the Larkhall defence before prodding a shot narrowly off-target.
Time was winding down for Larkhall and the clock pressure led to Adams snatching a shot into the side-netting following good link-up play with Joe Tumelty. The final chance of the game also fell to the Larks number seven, but his shot that blasted through a ruck of players flew wide of the mark.
The victory enables Didcot to climb up to thirteenth in the table and the Railwaymen know that six points from their final two games could propel them to a top half finish. Their Easter Monday fixture is a spicy one, at home to local rivals North Leigh.
Didcot: Bedwell; Jeacock (Thorne 84); Tanner; Thomas; Cattell; Learoyd; Barder; McNish (Janes 46); Reid; B.Whitehead; Organ.
Subs not used: Ballard; Lovegrove; H. Whitehead.