Hellenic League, Division Two North
Easington Sports Development 3-1 Southam United
Report by David Hucker
SOUTHAM United’s dream start to the season came to an end at Addison Road on Saturday, as Richard Kay’s side never really recovered from an early set-back to lose their 100 per cent record.
Kay, who had made one change from the side that had beaten Buckingham Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday, with Daniel Long replacing Chidilim Okolo, called the result a “wake-up call” and accepted that his team were second-best throughout,
“We put up a really poor peformance where our attitude, desire, mindset and mentality cost us, especially in the first half,” he said.
“Easington treated the game as their cup final and we never matched their work rate to earn the right to play.
“To a man, we were lethargic and lacklustre and, in hindsight, changing the dynamic of our front players contributed to a performance that lacked any spark and cutting edge.”
In a frantic opening period, Saints found themselves a goal down when George Coombes scored after only five minutes.
They took the game to the hosts in search of an equaliser, with Ben Tennant sending a shot over the bar in the 14th minute.
Saints went further behind, however, in the 28th minute when goalkeeper Edward Cox failed to gather the ball on the edge of the penalty area and Daniel Lydon doubled the lead.
It was looking a long way back for Saints now and, with Levi Steele shooting wide, another effort landing on top of the net and a Brandon Smith header from a corner going over the bar, they couldn’t reduce the arrears, going in at the break two goals down.
Chidilim Okolo replaced Daniel Long at the start of the second half and, within two minutes of the restart, they gave themselves a chance of getting back into the match when Steele scored from the penalty spot for his fifth goal of the season.
Sports’ Elliot Barton and Harry Dunham were both booked within two minutes of each other as the home side tried to stem the Saints wave of attacks, but the impressive Coombes scored again to kill off the game off and maintain the home side’s own perfect start to the campaign.
Saints are away to Headington Amateurs on Saturday and then visit Long Crendon on Tuesday.