Larkhall 2-3 Didcot
Report by Stewart Unsworth
Didcot registered their fourth successive league win in a come from behind victory at the Plain Ham on Wednesday evening. The Railwaymen were still on the sleeping car for the first few minutes of the game as Larkhall effortlessly built up a two goal advantage. However, Diddy pulled one back quite quickly and thereafter were the better side, deserving of their 3-2 success.
The Larks quickly swooped on Didcot’s early lethargy and after the visitors failed to respond to Cory Simpson’s early warning shot that just fizzed wide of the post, the Bath based outfit struck in the second minute. Joe Tumelty sprang clear on the Didcot right and his centre could have been converted by any one of a number of players, but it was Simpson that prodded the ball home.
Didcot were still all over the gaff defensively and the Larks swiftly added a second goal. Tumelty made use of the yawning gap presented to him by a dithering backline and his path to goal was only scuppered by keeper Leigh Bedwell sending him flying. Tumelty picked himself up and netted the penalty easily.
Few debuts can have started so impressively as Diddy’s Marlon Agyakwa. Eight minutes on the clock, Didcot’s first attack and the winger took sole responsibility, evading several would-be tackles before slotting a cool finish past stranded keeper Shaun Semmens that halved the deficit.
The Larkhall shot-stopper was kept busy in denying Felipe Barcelos and George Reid but the equaliser had looked on the cards for some time before it arrived in the 31st minute. Reid engineered the space that Agyakwa exploited, but the chance still needed converting and a precise eighteen-yard drive into the far corner was an excellent finish.
Didcot were fancying their chances of being in front by half time and if it was not for a brilliant reaction save by Semmens to deny Barcelos from six yards the Railwaymen would have achieved this target. As it was, the interval gave Larkhall the opportunity to regroup and the first fifteen minutes of the second half were relatively pedestrian.
The Larks were benefiting from the decrease in tempo and Matt Britton was unfortunate with a free-kick that cannoned off the crossbar. The let off seemed to stir Didcot into action and they began to apply pressure that paid off with a goal twenty minutes from time. Matt Woodley was due to be substituted but thankfully he was on the field long enough to play a defence-splitting pass to Barcelos. Diddy’s Brazilian-born striker made the task look easy, controlling the ball and firing past Semmens in one movement.
Bedwell denied Tumelty the opportunity of levelling matters with a fine save but that effort apart, Didcot kept Larkhall at arms length in securing the victory. The result means that the Railwaymen are up to third place in the table heading into their next match, a rearranged fixture at AFC Totton on Saturday.
Didcot: Bedwell; Jeacock; McNeil; Elkins; Cattell; Learoyd; Reid (Pin 78); Hayden; Barcelos; Woodley (Murphy 71); Agyakwa (Joyce 81).
Subs not used: Ballard.