Diddy Earn First Victory
Report by Ian East
Didcot Town opened up their home season campaign with an enthralling 4-2 victory over Wimborne Town tonight thanks to 2 goals from George Reid, an own goal and a sublime late free kick from Matty Woodley.
Didcot named an unchanged team in fact an unchanged squad from Saturday’s hard fought loss at Bideford whereas Wimborne arrived in town in confident mood after a good 3-1 win over Bishops Cleeve at the weekend.
It was the hosts who started the brighter and were playing some eye catching football to which at times the Wimborne backline had little answer to, as with Saturday the final finish was just lacking in those opening exchanges. The closest Diddy got was when a Reid free kick was spilled by goalkeeper Gerard Benfield but he was able to recover before the ball creeped over the line. A dangerous corner by Woodley was headed wide by Adam Learoyd and then Sam Elkins tried his luck from fully 40 yards but an out of position Benfield was able to scamper back and pluck it out of the air.
More fluent play from the excellent Didcot midfield saw the ball worked superbly to the menacing Seth Humphries but the Diddy midfielder’s long range effort was just about turned over the bar by Benfield. Disaster almost struck then for Diddy as Wimborne with one of their first attacks then got in behind the Diddy defence and bundled the ball home only to see the linesman’s flag up for offside.
This scare re-invigorated the hosts and Diddy were to take the lead when a long ball by Sam Elkins evaded the Wimborne defence and the tireless Reid worked an opening, he sped away from the flailing defenders and with just Benfield to beat he smashed it passed him to open Didcot’s account for the season.
Barely a minute later and it was 2-0 when a teasing ball from the right hand side looked to find Elkins or Reid in the middle and as Wimborne bodies tried to recover an unlucky defender slotted the ball passed his own ‘keeper to put Didcot in total control.
It seemed almost game over for a time but right on the stroke of half time a careless pass by George Jeacock was intercepted by the outstanding Luke Holmes and his through ball set Dan Cann away on goal, he slotted the ball beyond Leigh Bedwell to give the visitors hope and then they were very nearly level when a superb cross from the left evaded everyone apart from the onrushing Wimborne winger who headed it against the post.
Half time Didcot 2-1 Wimborne and it set up the 2nd half perfectly.
Just like on Saturday Diddy made a slow start to the 2nd half and Wimborne with the wind in their sails from the late first half goal should have taken advantage, they couldn’t have come any closer!
Firstly an excellent move from the visitors saw Holmes beat 3 players before laying it seemingly on a plate for Toby Holmes but the striker dragged his shot wide. Then following a Wimborne corner, Bedwell failed to catch the ball cleanly, Elkins dwelled on the ball then his attempted clearance hit a Wimborne player it hit the bar and came out before being put back in the box only for Holmes to
head over when for the 2nd time he seemed certain to score. They really were too incredible let offs for the hosts.
Wimborne then got their deserved equaliser when captain James Stokoe bundled in from close range off the post as the visitors seemingly gained control of this ebb and flow encounter. However it was Didcot who were to land the fatal blows in the contest.
A long range strike from Humphries wasn’t dealt with particularly well by Benfield and as the ball squirmed away from the keeper it landed at the feet of George Reid who with the goal at his mercy blasted it off the cross bar and down, the linesman’s flag went up immediately and the goal was given. If Didcot had no luck on Saturday then this was the piece they wanted in return!
The match was sealed late on when man of the match Reid was hacked down on the edge of the box in prime Matty Woodley territory. He didn’t disappoint as he stepped up and whipped the ball over the wall and into the top corner with his left foot to seal the points for Didcot. A stunning goal to end a stunning contest.
There was still one more moment of quality to come when substitute Lewis Hayden was seemingly in an improbable position by the corner flag, he twisted and jinked his way beyond 2 Wimborne defenders with consummate class before picking out other sub Sam Barder but his low shot was matched by Benfield who kept it out brilliantly.
The final whistle went to home celebrations and the close of a truly excellent game of football between 2 sides playing some very easy to watch attacking football.
Didcot now move on to Saturday’s big FA Cup game away to Flackwell Heath in great spirits.