Diddy Derailed By Mangos
Mangotsfield United 2-0 Didcot Town - Report by Ian East
Didcot Town slumped to a bitterly disappointing 2-0 defeat at struggling Mangotsfield United on Saturday thanks to goals from Jordan Ricketts and Kane Simpson for the home side.
Didcot arrived in town seemingly in confident mood after a 3 game unbeaten run and a 4-0 home win last weekend, they unsurprisingly kept the same XI that started against Slimbridge although there were welcome returns to the bench for Stuart Cattell and Sam Barder after injury lay-offs. The hosts meanwhile started this game 2nd bottom in the table and although have improved slightly of late they also had a couple of new signings in their starting XI, they were however forced into a late change with a start in goal for Ray Johnston playing his first game at this level in over 3 years.
The stage seemed to be set for Diddy who started the game in positive mood, dominating proceedings on a terrible playing surface desperate for an early goal. Mangotsfield had setup almost in survival mode defending resolutely trying desperately to protect their make shift goalkeeper. Johnston was called into early action however turning aside an Adam Learoyd header from a Seth Humphries corner. Moments later George Reid twisted and found himself in space but as the goal opened up for him the Didcot winger panicked and dragged a rushed shot wide. Johnston then dropped a routine cross and panicked as he booted the ball into a Mangotsfield defender’s raised arm but the referee didn’t award a spot kick, it would have been harsh.
Didcot continued to pile forward but couldn’t get enough or any attempts on target, Barcelos, Humphries, Reid and Agyakwa all tried their luck but put shots either high or wide, then typically Didcot self-destructed. Although for once not 2 down in 15 minutes, although that would have been nigh on impossible in this game as Mangotsfield barely crossed the Didcot half for the first half an hour, Lewis Hayden played an unnecessary back pass to Leigh Bedwell and as the ball bobbled horribly towards the Diddy keeper he cleared it as far as Cam McNeill who again with a bobbling ball couldn’t deal with it and as he fell to the floor Mangotsfield broke squaring the ball to Jordan Ricketts who slotted underneath Bedwell and somehow Didcot were behind.
Sam Elkins then nearly got Didcot level when a rare foray forward and a nice 1-2 with Barcelos allowed Elkins a run in on goal but as he looked to get the ball in the perfect position Johnston was able to meet him and save with his legs.
Half Time Mangotsfield 1-0 Didcot
Into the 2nd half and it has to be said it was Didcot’s worst half of the season arguably, whatever good football was played in the first half quickly disappeared in the 2nd as Mangotsfield with their unlikely lead started to grow in confidence and only a smart save by Bedwell and the Didcot crossbar stopped the hosts from adding to their goal tally. Didcot did force Johnston into another save with his legs when George Jeacock’s run down the right and cross was met by Barcelos but the home keeper did well to save it.
Disaster then struck as Didcot conceded the game killing 2nd when a move down the Mangotsfield right forced Bedwell into a save but the ball fell to Kane Simpson a yard out and he couldn’t miss. Game over and Didcot were left scratching their heads at this out of character terrible performance. It then got even worse when Jeacock was given a straight red card for a late challenge on Ricketts.
The home side probably didn’t do Jeacock any favours for a tackle born out of frustration that was late and clumsy but not really malicious but it summed up a quite frankly pitiful day for Didcot.
Elkins had one last chance for Didcot when another late foray forward was rewarded with a big chance but as he tried to shift the ball onto his right foot Johnston again saved well at his feet and the stand in goalkeeper had got himself an extremely unlikely clean sheet.
Didcot will look back on this game as a massive opportunity to get 3 points blown, the hosts seemingly setting up in this game for damage limitation to begin with and coming away with a 2-0 victory was mainly down to Didcot’s own doing. Failing to get the all-important first goal from numerous opportunities which almost certainly would have swung this game a totally different way and then gifting a struggling side something to protect which they did very well. The only positive Didcot could take from this game was that Sam Barder played the final 10minutes of the game following his knee injury and Cattell will also be available for next week’s game.
Didcot must improve next Saturday with a very difficult looking trip to high flying Wimborne Town before the Christmas period begins the following Saturday with 3 games in 7 days