Didcot 4-2 Yate
Report by Stewart Unsworth
Didcot ended a barren spell that had seen them take one point from their previous four league games with an ultimately comfortable 4-2 win over Yate Town at the Loop Meadow on Saturday. Both teams looked a threat going forward and vulnerable defensively, but the Railwaymen were slightly superior in both aspects.
George Reid had a shot deflected onto the crossbar and Diddy keeper Leigh Bedwell kept out a Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist effort with his legs as each side sought the early breakthrough; however it was Didcot that built up an early lead with two goals in quick succession. Crisp, incisive passing involving Callum McNish and Seth Humphries culminated in Reid receiving possession, cutting in from the right and rifling a shot across keeper Harvey Rivers and into the bottom left corner. The Bluebells had not drawn breath when Louis Joyce and Reid created an opportunity for Sam Barder. Afforded time to pick his spot, the Diddy winger thumped a twenty-five yard strike past the helpless Rivers to double the lead.
Bedwell and Rivers produced spectacular blocks to deny Leigh-Gilchrist and Barder respectively as defences buckled and another goal was not long in coming. Ben Brooks found space on the right side of the six-yard box as the Diddy defence got into a muddle and crashed an acute-angled drive high into the top corner.
Rivers denied Joyce twice and Bedwell thwarted Cameron Ebbutt as the keepers managed to keep the score down to 2-1 at half time. However, the Railwaymen started the second period with more purpose and shortly after Joyce fizzed a shot narrowly wide, the hosts did restore their two goal advantage. Yate can count themselves unfortunate as it appeared Leigh-Gilchrist was chopped down by Lewis Hayden just inside his own half. The expected whistle for the free-kick was not forthcoming, instead the ball broke to Humphries, who ran through unimpeded before bending a delightful finish around Rivers and into the bottom corner.
Just as in the first half, the goal visibly knocked Yate off their stride and Didcot put the game out of their reach with a fourth goal two minutes later. Josh Pin worked an opening on the left and via a few passes Joyce was left in space on the edge of the area to hammer a shot that, via a deflection, flew into the corner beyond Rivers’ dive.
Ebbutt was one of Yate’s better players and after good work from substitute Luke Bryan the Bluebell winger swept the ball in from close range. However, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as the Railwaymen saw the game out without any further alarms.
The result propels Diddy up to tenth place in the table and now they can concentrate on two cup competitions; a league cup first round game at home to Banbury on Tuesday followed by a trip to Shortwood in the FA Trophy preliminary round on Saturday.
Didcot: Bedwell; Elkins; Woodley; Hayden; Parish; Learoyd; Reid; McNish (Pin 56); Joyce (Murphy 70); Humphries (Jeacock 80); Barder.
Subs not used: Ballard; Cattell.