‘Crazy’ final ten nearly undoes all Saints’ hard work

Brandon Smith heads home to put Southam 2-1 up.
Brandon Smith heads home to put Southam 2-1 up.
  • Hellenic League Division Two North
  • Headington Amateurs 3 Southam United 4

A goal down after just five minutes, Saints bounced back to grab all three points at Barton Park Pavilion to move up to third place in the table, writes David Hucker.

Still smarting from manager Richard Kay’s criticisms following the loss of their 100 per cent record the previous week, Saints looked to be in trouble again, conceding an early goal to Connor Foley but pulled the game back in the 33rd minute when Ricky Barby’s long-range shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Captain Brandon Smith put them ahead five minutes before half-time, heading home a corner.

Saints looked to be on for a comfortable win when substitute Chidilim Okolo scored his first goal for the club after neat work from Levi Steele in the 70th minute and Ricky Barby got his second with only eight minutes remaining to make it 4-1.

However, in a dramatic finish, a Yannick Nkwanyuo free-kick and a late Ryan Traill penalty made for an anxious finish.

“I was really pleased with the reaction of the players after last week’s disappointing performance,” said Kay.

“Headington will be a very tough place to go to for away teams. It was a very dominant display apart from a crazy last ten minutes where we didn’t manage the game properly at 4-1 up.

“Our attacking play all afternoon was again excellent and we have scored another four away from home but our game management needs to improve.

“We move onto another away game Tuesday night at Long Crendon in the cup when we play another team from the league above so it’s a great chance for us to approach the game with no pressure and have a go.”

On Saturday, Saints host Heyford Athletic but, with their 3G pitch still being installed, the match will take place on the junior pitches.