Thatcham Town FC Res 2 Finchampstead FC 3By Adam Lee
September 05, 2011
Finchampstead survived throwing away a two-goal lead, as well as an injury-time penalty, as they became the first team to defeat Thatcham Town Res in Hellenic Division 1 East this season.
Graham Pickersgill finished off a fine team move, slotting into the far corner to make it 1-0 at half-time.
With 30 minutes to go, Finchampstead boss Jon Laugharne introduced new signing Alex Gibson, and the striker had an immediate impact.
Gibson fired a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the top corner to give Finchampstead a 2-0 lead, and they seemed to be cruising.
But Finch inexplicably hit the self-destruct button, and undid all their hard work when first Russell Benham and then centre-half Tom Willoughby, albeit rather fortuitously, scored to draw Thatcham level.
With time running out, though, Sam Humphries crossed for Kylo Atkinson to slot home and give Finch the lead again.
However, that was not to be the end of the drama as there was one last twist in the tale.
Deep into stoppage time Thatcham threw men forward looking to salvage a point and were awarded a penalty after Ben Winship clipped the heels of their striker in the box.
However, goalkeeper Neil Griffith came to his side’s rescue, pulling off a dramatic save to his left to push to the spot kick away and earn his side all three points.
And manager Laugharne, despite the victory, admits he could probably do without all the drama.
“We’re only five games into the season, and I already feel like I’m 55, not 30,” he said.
“But all the players are heroes after a win like that and I’m delighted to get the three points.
“We’re playing okay, we’re looking fitter and stronger and now we move onto the next one.”
And the next one is against league leaders Chalfont Wasps in what will be Finch’s first home game of the season.
Laugharne will welcome back midfielders Matt Jones and Sam Green, striker Dan Willis and centre-back Richard Evans for Saturday’s game (3pm kick-off).
And the boss is hoping that game will herald the first of many victories on home soil this season.
“The surface at home should suit us because we like to pass the ball around,” he said.
“We need to improve our home from massively on last season.
“If we want to achieve anything our home form must be a million times better.”