1 Bank Holiday Weekend, 6 Points
Didcot 1-0 Kidlington - Report by Ian East
Didcot Town’s encouraging start to the season continued as they made it 2 wins out of 2 over the Bank Holiday weekend with a hard fought 1-0 win over local rivals Kidlington.
Didcot lined up unchanged from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Cirencester with match winner Seth Humphries and striker George Reid named once again on a strong looking Didcot bench.
Kidlington arrived in town after a gut wrenching last minute collapse on Saturday to somehow lose from 2-1 up going into stoppage time but nevertheless named a strong looking XI including former Diddy players Sam Warrell, James Organ, Elliot Osborne-Ricketts and Mark Janes.
The visitors started the better on a glorious day with winger Darius Browne in particular catching the eye with some quality wing play, quick feet and trickery which the Diddy defence were really struggling to deal with. However Kidlington failed to turn their early dominance into any real chances or decent attempts on goal. At times this season we’ve seen the Didcot defence look a bit edgy or vulnerable but they were on their game all afternoon, superbly marshalled by captain Adam Learoyd along with Stuart Cattell and Cameron McNeil these players in particular putting in their best performance of the season so far to keep a decent attack fairly quiet. Cattell was forced into a superb last ditch block to deny Browne when the winger looked certain to score but after this and a couple of speculative efforts which either harmlessly went through to Leigh Bedwell or went way wide Didcot were comfortable. Didcot were however struggling to get their passing game going as both teams cancelled each other out in a very cagey and tight first half, the closest Didcot came to a goal was from a Matty Woodley free kick which drifted harmlessly over the bar.
Into the 2nd half and Didcot were as they have been in the early season much better, it coincided with the early introduction of Reid who not only gave the outstanding Louis Joyce some help but Didcot more pace and more threat going forward. Sam Elkins and Callum McNish started to get more of a handle of things in the midfield area and McNish nearly put Diddy ahead when he powered through the Kidlington backline but his shot was straight at Warrell who rather unconvincingly parried the ball out and it was cleared. The closest Kidlington came was when a nice ball found Anaclet Odhiambo who as he ran in on Bedwell’s goal but the goalkeeper was out smartly and took it perfectly from the strikers’ feet.
Didcot made 2 more changes introducing Humphries for Joyce and young Ethan Lamptey for Sam Barder and these 2 changes really opened the game up. Humphries almost immediately had the perfect impact when he picked the ball up just inside the Kidlington half, he produced a lovely piece of skill to beat 2 defenders and as he ran in on goal with the angle narrowing he shot with his left foot forcing Warrell to save to his left but again he could only parry it this time straight into Reid’s path and he made no mistake from close range to put Didcot in front.
Kidlington rang the changes but it as Didcot who should have put the game safe when good play down the right hand side saw the ball squared to Lamptey but to be fair to the youngster the ball bobbled at the crucial moment and he put his shot horribly over the bar from 12 yards. Lamptey
should have made the game safe straight after when excellent play be Reid down the left hand side culminated in the striker putting across the perfect ball along the floor to the onrushing Lamptey in the box but the winger completely miscued his finish and the ball limply drifted wide.
Didcot saw the game out really well keeping possession well and other than a late corner which was headed away imperiously by the superb Learoyd Kidlington rarely threatened to ruin Diddy’s day, the last action was when as this ball was cleared Reid never gave the ball up and as Warrell cleared it under pressure the goalkeeper reacted to Reid’s challenge on him, the referee blew for full time as he booked Warrell for the reaction and Didcot had got 3 more excellent points.
Kidlington got a dressing down on the pitch from their manager clearly unhappy with his team’s showing on the day whereas Didcot while not at their best were still good value for the win and will be very happy with the defensive performance if nothing else, something they will certainly need to do next week as they travel to Billericay Town in the FA Cup.