Late Double Earns Point
Kidlington 3-3 Didcot - Report by Ian East
A last gasp salvation job with 2 goals in stoppage time rescued an unlikely point for Didcot at neighbours Kidlington today.
Unsurprisingly Didcot named the same starting XI as what played against Bideford on Saturday although there was a welcome surprise on the bench as Michael Alexis was available if needed to help Didcot’s midfield injury situation.
From the start the game burst into life as Didcot won a free kick for a foul on Reid, Woodley swung it in dangerously but the hosts cleared their lines, from this Kidlington broke away down the Didcot left and Adam Learoyd had to put the ball behind for a corner. The corner was put into the box and former Didcot midfielder Lance Williams was given time and freedom to plant a looping header over Leigh Bedwell and give Kidlington the early lead.
Didcot to their credit responded well and should have levelled when Agyakwa was presented with a chance from no more than 6 yards out but from a tight angle he hesitated and shot straight at Warrell in the hosts goal who stopped the initial effort and the rebound as well.
A cross into the box then wasn’t dealt with by the home defence, it ricocheted to Reid who turned and shot low but smacked his shot into the post and away before Sam Barder then drilled a long shot wide as Didcot cranked up the pressure.
The sustained pressure was then rewarded as Agyakwa and Reid combined to put the ball into the box towards Felipe Barcelos who got ahead of his marker to prod the ball goalwards, Warrell got a piece of it but it trickled over the line and Didcot were deservedly level.
While these chances were coming the game had the feeling that it could boil over, 2 Kidlington players were booked following late reckless challenges and Didcot were getting frustrated by some inconsistent refereeing, they were shortly left raging at the officials as from another corner Bedwell was seemingly pushed as he tried to deal with the ball, the referee didn’t give the foul and after a few bobbles Anaclet Odhiambo put Kidlington ahead to Didcot protests falling on deaf ears.
Into the second half and the game swung towards the hosts, as the rain thudded down and the pitch taking a beating from it making passing football very difficult for both sides Didcot struggled to get to grips with the game and Kidlington were the better of the sides.
The hosts were very unlucky as Duran Martin’s free kick rattled off the post and whereas they got the bounce of the ball in the first half for the 2nd goal the ball evaded Kidlington forwards this time and Didcot just managed to scramble clear. Didcot looked to their bench introducing Louis Joyce, Josh Pin and Michael Alexis but still found chances at a premium; the closest the visitors came to a goal was from the excellent Agyakwa who managed to avoid challenges but planted his shot way over the bar.
Didcot were getting desperate and went close when Sam Elkins run down the right hand side created space for the full back to shoot but he drilled his shot wide. The hosts then made Didcot pay when on 84 minutes Matt Woodley couldn’t stop a cross in from the left and former Didcot forward
Mark Janes was left with a free header from 6 yards which he couldn’t miss sparking wild celebrations from the hosts as the game seemed to be over.
Janes and substitute Harry Whitehead then both had chances for Kidlington to make the game even safer but blazed their chances over the bar before the board went up for 4minutes of what would be dramatic injury time.
Firstly Louis Joyce got down the left hand side and fizzed a low cross into the box where fellow sub Josh Pin was waiting to convert from close range to give Didcot seemingly a consolation goal after 91minutes.
Following a Kidlington attack Didcot won the ball back, Woodley passed to Agyakwa who for the umpteenth time in the game was fouled by full back Eddie Odhaimbo who received a second yellow card and the following red card for the challenge, it was then time for Kidlington to be the ones moaning at the officiating which was poor throughout. Ironically the second booking was probably the most innocuous of the 50 fouls on Agyakwa in the game. Even so as the clock ticked over into the 94th minute Didcot had one last chance to put the ball in the box which they did from Woodley’s left foot, captain Adam Learoyd met the free kick at the back post and headed towards the penalty spot where Sam Elkins acrobatically met it with an incredible overhead kick which flew into the top corner to somehow rescue a draw for Didcot and give the sizeable away support something unlikely to cheer.
On the balance of play it was probably the right score line, Didcot had been the better of the sides in the first half and were desperately unlucky to be behind especially to such a controversial goal and in the 2nd half Kidlington played the conditions much better and had seemingly done enough but as we’ve seen this season this Didcot team never quits and had yet again rescued something from a desperate situation.
Didcot are next in action on Saturday when North Leigh are the visitors to the Loop Meadow Stadium, 3pm kick off.