Humphries Seals Comeback Win
Cirencester 1-2 Didcot - Report by Ian East
Didcot Town continued their impressive start to the season with a hard earned excellent victory at Cirencester Town.
The score line barely tells the story of a very watchable closely contested game of football with lots of chances for both sides before Seth Humphries dramatically won it for Didcot in stoppage time.
The Corinium Stadium has had a face lift this summer with a brand new 3G plastic pitch, the surface actually played very well as both teams adapted to conditions quickly.
Didcot arrived on the back of a good FA Cup win last time out and made 2 slightly unexpected changes to the starting XI with Lewis Hayden replacing Seth Humphries in midfield for his first competitive start for Didcot and Sam Barder replaced George Reid and played as the 2nd striker slightly behind Louis Joyce in the Didcot attack.
Didcot started the game in slightly passive mood, despite a thorough warm up Diddy used the opening exchanges to try and acclimatise to the plastic surface. Cirencester with powerful striker Alan Griffin and former Diddy forward Ben Whitehead in their ranks were causing some early problems and following a low cross which Leigh Bedwell smothered Whitehead and Adam Learoyd had a bit of a coming together which set the tone for a niggly and boisterous first half.
Cirencester were looking the better of the two teams and took the lead on 19minutes when a long ball forward found the head of former Bishops Cleeve forward Jack Watts who cleverly flicked the ball onto Griffin who volleyed home from the edge of the area for an excellent goal.
Diddy were rattled and should have gone two down when a clever one two set a Cirencester midfielder clear with Bedwell but with just the goalkeeper to beat the shot was tamely put wide.
It was the wake-up call Diddy needed and they were improving into the contest with the midfield trio starting to get more of a foothold into the game, Didcot were to equalise with their first real opportunity when Sam Elkins put a free kick into a dangerous area, the ball wasn’t headed clear properly and the ball fell to Louis Joyce who volleyed home from close range to level the scores.
A flowing move involving just about everyone which was superb on the eye then fell to Barder who forced a smart save from Matt Wieczorek in the home goal.
Half time and although the home side had probably shaded it, Didcot had got back into the game and 1-1 was probably about right.
Into the 2nd half and Didcot from the first minute started on the front foot, Joyce creating space for himself and as the goal seemed to open up in front of him he surprisingly chose to try and pass it and the chance went.
Barder was linking play nicely and creating opportunities for the visitors and Callum McNish really should have put Didcot ahead when Joyce played a lovely reverse ball through the defender legs to set the midfielder in on the Cirencester goal and as the ‘keeper came out to meet him McNish could only put it wide of the post when seemingly certain to score.
Goerge Reid was then introduced for Lewis Hayden with Barder reverting to a more familiar midfield berth and Reid nearly immediately scored as George Jeacock played the ball into McNish who released Reid, the forward burst into the box but his shot was turned aside by Wieczorek. Diddy were well on top but disaster nearly struck when the otherwise faultless Stuart Cattell played a terrible square ball across his own box which Whitehead picked up and as he shifted it to his left foot Diddy were indebted to Bedwell for making a brilliant close range save.
Seth Humphries then replaced Joyce and Ethan Lamptey just signed on loan from Northampton town replaced Woodley as Didcot required fresh legs on the sapping new surface but again it was BEdwell to the rescue when a long shot seemed destined for the top corner but Bedwell flew to his right and turned it behind for a corner.
Again Didcot responded well and the fresh legs of Reid and Humphries were causing the hosts problems, Reid pulling a shot wide then forcing another good save. Sam Elkins should have done better when he was released in on goal but panicked and sliced his attempt way wide. Then a corner was well saved by Wieczorek with the ball falling not once but twice to Cattell but the Diddy centre back couldn’t force it towards goal.
It looked as though despite the overall second half dominance that the goal wasn’t going to come but in the 90th minute smart wing play from Lamptey released Humphries and as the diddy man ran towards goal with others waiting for a tap in he correctly decided to do it himself and he slotted the ball high and beyond the goalkeeper and into the top corner for the winning goal.
Diddy still had a minute or so to see the game out and only a brilliant last ditch piece of defending by Elkins kept Cirencester out as Didcot held on for a just about deserved 3 points in another excellent game of southern league football.
Didcot now host Kidlington on Monday in the 2nd game of their Bank Holiday double header.
1. Leigh Bedwell
2. George Jeacock
3. Cam McNeil
4. Sam Elkins
5. Stuart Cattell
6. Adam Learoyd ©
7. Lewis Hayden (Reid)
8. Callum McNish
9. Louis Joyce (Humphries)
10. Sam Barder
11. Matty Woodley (Lamptey)
12. Seth Humphries
14. George Reid
15. Ethan Lamptey
16. Sam Parish
17. Andy Ballard