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Boss Richard Kay laments "poor" first 20 minutes as Southam United bow out of Oxfordshire Senior League Presidents Cup at the hands of Summertown Stars

SOUTHAM United were knocked out of the Oxfordshire Senior League Presidents Cup by high-scoring Summertown Stars, who came out on top in a seven-goal thriller at Bobby Hancocks Park, writes David Hucker.

Melvin Mauritson bagged his first goal for Southam United in the defeat to Summertown Stars. Photo: Marie Price
Melvin Mauritson bagged his first goal for Southam United in the defeat to Summertown Stars. Photo: Marie Price

In difficult conditions, the match was effectively won in the opening 45 minutes when the visitors took a 3-2 lead and, with the second half even, that proved a decisive advantage.

Stars went ahead after just six minutes and were 2-0 up in the 20th. The Saints pulled one back through Melvin Mauritson, his first for the club, two minutes later, but a free-kick from Stars restored their two-goal advantage in the 26th minute.

The dependable Ricky Barby was on the mark again six minutes before the break with his eighth goal of the season and the returning Shane Osborne brought the Saints level on the hour with a shot from outside the box to set up an exciting final 30 minutes.

But it was Stars who got the winner with ten minutes remaining to inflict a third successive defeat on Richard Kay’s side, leaving the Saints with just one cup to aim at in the remainder of the season.

“Overall, it was a thoroughly entertaining cup tie, which I knew it would be,” said Kay. “Summertown, home or away, always play to win and are the league’s top goalscorers for a reason.

“On chances created on the day, Summertown deserved to progress and the game could, and should, have finished with both teams scoring more goals.”

He added: “We paid the price for a very poor 20 minutes at the start of the game. On reflection, I got our initial set up wrong and, once we changed back to our tried and tested formation, we dominated the final 15 minutes of the first half and the entire second half.

“At 2-1 and having gone back to basics with our set up, we were pushing hard to get level and then kick on, but the third and fourth goals are poor individual errors.

“We’re going through a period where individual mistakes are simply costing us cup ties or points in the league.

“It’s something that has crept into our game after being very solid.

“Teams are not having to do much to score goals against us.”

Southam return to Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division action on Saturday when they visit Charlton United and Kay will be hoping for the return of those players missing through Covid-19.

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