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Town lose vital title showdown

Kidlington hold the aces as they trump Thatcham's hopes

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Town lose vital title showdown

Shane Cooper-Clark - early chance

Thatcham Town 0 Kidlington 2

THATCHAM are clinging on to top spot in the Hellenic Legaue, but for how long is now out of their hands after their leading title rivals were full value for the points they took away from Waterside Park on Tuesday night.

Thatcham’s biggest crowd of the season of 196 saw them unable to penetrate a solid visitors’ defence in which captain Tom Franklin was outstanding.

Thatcham lost the midfield battle in a first half that produced few chances, although Callum Willmoth’s early cross reached Shane Cooper-Clark at the far post but he was unable to make a clean contact and Adam Morris saw his free kick cannon off the head of a defender into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Sam Warrell.

At the other end, Chris Rackley had to race from his line to thwart Eric Odhiambo, the same player shooting wide five minutes later.

Jon Bennett and Morris went through to miss the mark and just before the break, Wilmoth supplied another good cross but Josh Helmore could not cash in.

Kdlington should have opened the scoring after the break when Ryan Brooks was left one-on-one with Rackley but lobbed wide, but they eventually got the reward they deserved when Anaclet Odihiambo was left clear in the area to beat Rackley.

Thatcham’s heads dropped and three substitutions failed to gain much momentum and the visitors were always odds on to score again, which they did in the 89th minute when Brooks was left free to beat Rackley from 15 yards and two glaring misses in the closing seconds by Lewis Coyle spared Thatcham further punishment as they were beaten on the night by the better side.

Kidlington are now two points behind Town and gave three matches in hand, although two of those are against third-placed reigning champions Flackwell Heath.

Thatcham Town: Rackley; Hughes, Moran, James, Browne; Willmoth, Lachacz, Morris, Helmore; Cooper-Clark, Bennett. Subs: R.Gerrrard, C. Gerrard, Baines, Seward, Thomas.

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