Battling Point For Ten Man Diddy
Didcot Town 0-0 Swindon Supermarine - Report by Stewart Unsworth
Play-off contenders Didcot and Swindon Supermarine fought out a goalless stalemate in a hard fought, bordering on tetchy contest at the Loop Meadow on Saturday. Arguably, this was a point gained for the Railwaymen who had to play the last half hour of the game with ten men after captain Adam Learoyd’s dismissal. However, the result meant that both teams dropped out of the top six places.
The first half offered few goalscoring opportunities as the teams cancelled one another out; instead the period was blighted by continual fouling that interrupted the flow of the game. Diddy keeper Leigh Bedwell was alert to make decent saves from Marine’s Brad Gray and Josh Parsons at either end of the half, while a George Reid free-kick that only needed a touch but evaded everybody was the best chance the hosts could muster.
The interval could not come soon enough for the 144 spectators, but on the resumption it was the Railwaymen that seized the initiative. Reid drove clear but Marine keeper Josh Hill was out smartly to snuff out the danger and minutes later the Didcot forward wriggled through a gap and fed the ball out to Josh Pin. The opportunity was a good one but Pin’s effort curled over the crossbar.
Swindon were looking pacy on the break and Callum Parsons had Didcot’s defence at full stretch as he raced towards the penalty area. Learoyd had to make a challenge but it was a poor one leaving both players down injured. The Diddy captain came off worse and was forced to hobble off but not before the referee brandished a red card.
The incident spurred Marine on and they rattled off a series of chances that somehow Didcot survived. Gray shot tamely at Bedwell when it seemed easier to score, Brad Hooper hit the outside of a post, Joe Selman was twice denied by the Diddy custodian closing down the angle as he bore down on goal and Callum Parsons crashed a drive over the bar when well placed.
The Railwaymen seemed to gain confidence by Swindon’s inability to find the net and in the final stages of the match it was the ten men that poured forward. However, Marine’s defence also held firm with Hill only called upon to snuff out a George Jeacock shot and deal with Sam Elkins’ header from Sam Barder’s free-kick.
The draw keeps both teams firmly in the play-off ruck with the visitors a mere one goal better off in the league standings. Didcot have now gone six successive home games without conceding a goal but that record will surely be put to the test when high-riding Salisbury visit the Loop Meadow on Tuesday night.
Didcot: Bedwell; Elkins; McNeill; Hayden; Cattell; Learoyd; Reid (Jeacock 74); Murphy (Woodley 60); Barcelos; Barder; Pin (Agyakwa 67).
Subs not used: Joyce, Thomas.