Longlevens pay the penalty as Thatcham run riot in second half

Longlevens conceded eight goals, including three Shane Cooper-Clark penalties, in a wet and windy afternoon in West Berkshire.

The game kicked off at Waterside Park with a heavy pitch after a pre-match rainfall and Longlevens struggled to keep their footing, both physically and metaphorically.

Thatcham took the lead in the 9th minute when Curtis Angell was brought down in the box but the back tracking Myron Turner. Cooper-Clark, who had failed to find the net in his two previous appearances against Longlevens this season, stepped up to send Ash Wintle the wrong way.

Winger Ekow Elliott went close for the Kingfishers twice in the space of five minutes as Thatcham tried to assert their dominance. His first effort was saved by Wintle and his second was blocked by Luke Kavanagh as he seemed to the be the spare man every time the hosts went forward.

Elliott found himself in on the right again for a third time and as Wintle charged out he dinked the ball over the stopper and forward Liam Ferdinand was left to chest the ball into the net from two yards out.

Dave Rich, Myron Turner and Craig Martin were all booked in the first half an hour for Longlevens and it got worse when they overplayed in their own third. Adam Phillips was disposed and once again Ekow Elliott was the man over on the right, this time he made no mistake.

With just over five minutes left of the first half Longlevens chalked up their brightest moment of the game. Craig Martin, who worked tirelessly up top on his own throughout, tried his luck from 20 yards on his weaker side. The ball trickled across Chris Rackley in goal for Thatcham and Longlevens were only two behind at the break.

Longlevens conceded three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half as the game got away from the visitors. First, Cooper-Clark took advantage of a still Longlevens defence to head the ball past Wintle before Ryan Dunn brought down Liam Ferdinand for the second spot kick of the game. Cooper-Clark duly obliged to claim a hattrick.

The third of the second half once again came from the spot. Cooper-Clark netted his 50th goal of a remarkable campaign for Thatcham after Luke Kavanagh was adjudged to have brought down Liam Ferdinand. In reality, Ferdinand appeared to clip his own heels.

Curtis Angell scored a free kick from the left corner of the box with 15 minutes to go before assisting for Liam Ferdinand to fire in an eight for the FA Vase finalists.

Longlevens remain 8th in the Hellenic Premier with just five games left. They are due to be in action on Bank Holiday Monday away at Woodley United in Reading, but with the bad weather the country has seen in the last week it is weather permitting. 

Thatcham Town: Rackley, Brownhill, Angell, Melledew (A James 67′), Jarra, Moran, Elliott (Rapley 54′), Bayley, Cooper-Clark (G James 61′), Ferdinand, Grant

Subs Not Used: Miller, Johnson

Longlevens: Wintle, Kavanagh, Sausman, Merrick, Phillips, Welch, C Martin (Barnard 61′), Rich, O’Connor (McCabe 75′), Turner, Dunn (Smyllie 75′)

Subs Not Used: B Martin

Severn Sport Man Of The Match: Craig Martin (Longlevens)