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FOOTBALL: Didcot roar back in dramatic clash
9:50am Monday 28th January 2013 in Football
Didcot Town won a thrilling Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West encounter against Winchester City in a game that had almost everything with seven goals, two red cards and a penalty.
However, Didcot started sluggishly and it was the visitors who were the better side for the opening half hour.
It took Winchester just six minutes to go in front when the impressive Andrew White slotted home at the second attempt past Didcot keeper Mauro Pereira.
But the Railwaymen were level three minutes later.
Good work from Joel Meade and then Morgan Williams set-up Elliott Osborne-Ricketts, who volleyed home from the edge of the box.
But it was only a brief respite for the home side and they looked to have a mountain to climb when Ricky Allaway was sent off for bringing down White as he burst clear on goal in the 17th minute.
It was no great surprise when Winchester regained the lead on 31 minutes with a calm finish from Liam Robinson.
But Didcot gradually started to exert control in midfield and were only denied parity on the stroke of half-time by Ross Casey’s stunning low save from Osborne-Ricketts.
After the break, it was impossible to see who had the man advantage as Didcot were on the front foot for long periods.
But there was a touch of good fortune about Didcot’s equaliser as Mark Janes’s shot took a wicked deflection past Casey in the 61st minute.
Pablo Haysham could have put Didcot ahead shortly afterwards, but shot inches wide of the far post.
The key moment of the second half came with 20 minutes to go and it resulted in Winchester going down to ten men.
Casey was adjudged to have brought down Haysham in the penalty box.
It was a clear penalty, but the keeper was unlucky to be red-carded since the striker was heading away from goal.
Osborne-Ricketts duly slotted home the spot-kick, and with Didcot leading for the first time in the game there only looked like one winner from that moment.
Didcot thought they had sealed things in the 78th minute when Alex Stanley headed home a Williams corner. But the celebrations were cut short by the referee who claimed to have seen a push on a defender – a decision that looked harsh on Stanley.
The home side weren’t to be denied though, and two late goals rounded things off in some style. Williams fired home following a flowing move, and a neat one-two with Haysham, to make it 4-2 on 84 minutes.
And moments later Williams crashed the ball high into the roof of the net from 20 yards to score Didcot’s fifth and cap a fine second half fightback.
Didcot Tn: Pereira, Elkins, Casson (Hepburn 60), Osborne-Ricketts, Allaway, Stanley, Meade, Heapy, Haysham (Harris 87), Janes, M Williams (Hepburn 90). Subs not used: C Williams, Bernasconi, Griffiths.
Didcot are due to visit Mangotsfield United tonight.