Thatcham Town 3 - 1 Larkhall Athletic
By Andy Morris
Tooze brace earns Kingfishers the points
Thatcham were quick out of the blocks taking the lead inside 2 minutes. The lively Zidan Akers beat his man down the right before crossing into the box for Kyle Tooze to sweep home low past Larkhall keeper Shuan Winters.
Larkhall slowly worked their way into the game forcing a string of corners that were well dealt with by the Thatcham defence, Jon Beeden making several key headers.
Larkhall continued to be the better side and deservedly levelled after 26 minutes. Harry Hope picked up the ball on the left wing, cut inside and unleashed a dipping effort from 25 yards that crept just under the crossbar.
Thatcham suffered a further blow when goalkeeper Calum Ward was forced off injured. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench midfielder George Jeacock took the gloves.
Shortly before half time Thatcham left back Curtis Angell headed a back pass past his own keeper but Jeacock was able to recover and slide in to clear the ball off his line. The two sides went in level at the break but with Larkhall on top.
Thatcham again started brightly in the second half with substitute Scott Rees busy in the midfield. On 67 minutes Zidan Akers once again provided the pass for Kyle Tooze to restore Thatcham's lead from the edge of the box - his low strike going just inside the post.
The Kingfishers continued to press forward and increased their lead on 77 minutes with Zidan Akers blasting home from inside the box to finish off a flowing move involving Kyle Tooze and Scott Rees.
With time running out Larkhall were reduced to 10 men, Mitchell Page saw red for his reaction to being held on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was saved and Thatcham saw out the rest of the game to seal the points.
Team : Ward, Angell, Williams, Alexander (c), Miller, Beeden, Kelly, Stanley, Tooze, Jeacock, Akers.
Subs on : Rees (for Ward), Tennant (for Kelly). Subs unused : Thomas, Melledew