Southam United promotion hopes dealt a blow

Southam United 2 Copredy 3

Football news. Photo: Getty Images

Southam United’s promotion hopes were a dealt a blow by local rivals Cropredy who came out on top in a closely contested Oxfordshire Senior League encounter at Bobby Hancocks Park, writes David Hucker.

Melvin Mauritson made his Southam debut in a side that saw a number of changes from the previous week and Saints got off to the perfect start when, after some good work by Jay Lawes, Luca Lenihan picked up the ball inside the penalty area to slot home for his first goal since the opening day of the season and give them a seventh minute lead.

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They didn’t hold the advantage for long, however, as just six minutes later, Cropredy’s Aaron Dineen rounded two Southam defenders and placed the ball past Lewis Hudson to make it 1-1.

Ricky Barby went close from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area which was smothered by keeper James Cutts and Mauritson set up Barby again, but his overhead effort lacked power.

Mauritson, himself, put a chance wide before Saints fell as a Ruben Torego free kick into the box was carried by the wind and, with Hudson failing to hold it, the ball rolled over the line.

With three minutes of the half remaining, it was all square again, however, as Ricky Barby’s looping header went just under the bar.

Wendel Moyo replaced scorer Lenihan at the break as Saints looked to regain the dvantage, but they were indebted to Hudson who kept them in the game with a finger-tip save onto the crossbar.

Cropredy took the lead again from a Jack Welch penalty on the hour mark and Harry Dunham went close to getting another, being denied by another fine save by Hudson.

More good saves by Hudson were needed to keep Cropredy at bay as they finshed the stronger to inflict a third league defeat of the season on Richard Kay’s side.

Apologising to supporters after the match, Kay conceded: “It was not the performance of a team that is going for promotion.”

This Saturday, Southam are at home to Kenilworth Sporting in the Coventry Charity Cup (KO 2.15pm).