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First Team - Match centre

Didcot Town
Sat 23 Dec 15:00 - The Evo-Stik South - West Full time Attendance 115

Diddy And Biddy Share Points

Didcot 1-1 Bideford - Report by Ian East

Didcot and Bideford played out an entertaining and hard fought goalless draw on Saturday with both goalkeepers excelling at different times to keep both teams in and around the playoff picture.

The hosts were forced into 1 change from last weekend’s victory over Wimborne as Seth Humphries couldn’t shake off the nasty looking ankle injury he sustained late on and was replaced in midfield by the fit again Sam Barder. Didcot still with a long list of midfield casualties which include Callum McNish, Lewis Hayden, Seth Humphries and Michael Alexis coupled with George Jeacock being suspended meant a call up from the reserve team for Siji Akinlusi on the Didcot bench.

Didcot started the game brightly and Agyakwa tricked his way into the box but paused when the shooting opportunity seemed to arise and enabled a covering defender to block his eventual effort, Felipe Barcelos then dragged a shot wide as Didcot seized the early initiative.

Bideford bounced back however following these early let offs and Leigh Bedwell had to be at his brilliant best as nice play down the Didcot left enabled a cross to come in which Ben Seymour met from close range, it seemed certain to find the net but Bedwell somehow clawed the ball out low to his right, an amazing save.

The Didcot keeper was called upon again shortly after as a Bideford corner was headed towards goal by Sean Downing, the ball was looping towards goal but Bedwell got back at the last second to excellently tip it over the bar.

The game then swung back in Didcot’s favour as Barcelos was put through by Barder but Steve Oliver was out sharply to meet the Didcot striker and smother his shot with his legs, George Reid was being his usual menacing self on the right flank and had the ball in the net shortly after but the referee had correctly adjudged Reid had used his arm to initally control the ball.

Reid then should have put Didcot ahead when more good play by Barcelos teed Reid up for a free shot at goal from 8 yards out but the winger blazed his shot over the bar for the final bit of 1st half action.

Half Time Didcot 0-0 Bideford

Into the 2nd half and it was a half which Didcot played predominantly on the front foot desperately trying to find a winning goal against a stubborn Bideford side and arguably the best defensive side Didcot have played this season as in both games Bideford have been very well organised.

Chances were at a premium for most of the 2nd half and despite mainly Didcot dominance it was the visitors who had the first big chance as Matt Woodley miss-controlled a ball on the half way line which sent Seymour clear, as defenders tried to recover the striker got his shot away but Bedwell again stood firm and saved with his feet comfortably.

Didcot were having a flurry of set pieces which were excellently delivered in by Woodley but the ball just wasn’t falling for a Didcot player, some good goalkeeping from Oliver and the bounce of ball coming to Bideford’s rescue. Barcelos then raced clear again set through by David Murphy but again

Oliver kept him out turning it around the post although the officials gave it as a goal kick. Didcot brought on Akinlusi for his debut for the tiring Barder and the young midfielder made his presence felt with a late challenge and instant booking! It did get better for him after that!

Then the big chance as on 84 minutes Reid picked the ball up and drove into the Bideford penalty area, he shifted it onto his left foot and as he was about to pull the trigger he was clattered from the side for a clear penalty and the referee unlike last week pointed to the spot. Barcelos took responsibility as Didcot’s leading marksman but unfortunately just like his last spot kick against Slimbridge it was a good height for the goalkeeper and Oliver dived to his right and fairly easily kept it out. It turned out to be Barcelos last contribution and he was replaced immediately by Louis Joyce. Akinlusi then neatly made space for himself on the right hand side and fired a cross with pace right along the Bideford 6 yard box but somehow no Didcot forward had chanced his arm to try and turn it in as Bideford were hanging on.

David Murphy very nearly still won it for Didcot late on when he cut inside onto his right foot and tried to curl it into the far corner but yet again Oliver this time diving to his left clawed it away and Bideford had just about hung on for a share of the spoils in a very enthralling contest.

Didcot will be disappointed not to have taken 3 points but put in another strong performance, claimed another clean sheet and are still in the chasing pack as they head into Christmas with Kidlington on Boxing Day and then North Leigh at home next Saturday.

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other West results

Barnstaple Town
AFC Totton
Wimborne Town
Bristol Manor Farm
Evesham United
Swindon Supermarine
Taunton Town
Cirencester Town
Winchester City

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Taunton Town 23 58
2. Salisbury 24 50
3. Bristol Manor Farm 25 45
4. Evesham United 25 43
5. Didcot Town 25 42
6. Bideford 22 41
7. Winchester City 25 41

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