Kay pleased with Saints reaction despite ‘crazy’ final moments

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Brandon Smith heads home from a corner to put Southam United 2-1 up.

FOOTBALL

Hellenic League, Division Two North
Headlington Amateurs 3
Southam United 4
Report by David Hucker

A GOAL down after just five minutes, Southam United bounced back to grab all three points at Barton Park Pavilion and move up to third place in the Hellenic League Division Two North table.

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 scored by Connor Foley, but pulled the game back in the 33rd minute, as Ricky Barby’s long-range shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Academy player Chidilim Okolo scores his first goal for the Saints.

Captain Brandon Smith put them ahead five minutes before half-time, heading home a corner and, after their uncertain start, 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 penalty by Ryan Traill brought Amateurs back into contention, but Saints held on to move into third place behind unbeaten leaders Adderbury Park.

“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 tonight, Tuesday, 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 (3pm kick-off).