On a very difficult playing surface both teams struggled to keep their feet. The Villagers attacked from the off, Matt Liddiard had a low drive tipped around the post by a full stretch Marcos Belloli-Periera and they had the ball in the net after 4 minutes but the referee denied Matt Rose as he headed in a Mike Davis corner. But it was Didcot who took the lead on 11 minutes; Josh Webb out-paced Rose and put in a cross to Ryan Tappin who volleyed home from close range. Cleeve maintained their offensive, Lee Davis had a shot from 25 yards go inches wide and Tambling, with only the ‘keeper to beat, was forced wide of the goal. James Clark had an opportunity to double Didcot’s lead when he beat the off-side trap but he was denied by James Nortei.
In the opening minutes of the second half the Villagers were denied a penalty when Jake Lee appeared to be brought down by Gareth Thomas as he made his way towards the goal and in reply Pablo Haysham fired wide with only Nortei to beat. The Villagers got into their stride, Michael Tambling raced from his own half chased by Thomas and Alex Stanley, when Belloli-Periera came out he passed to Liddiard whose effort was stopped on the line. In the 51st minute the scores were level, Michael Jackson crossed to Jake Lee who was charged in the back by Sam Elkins before he could head the ball; Jackson scored from the penalty mark. The Villagers took the lead in the 58th minute, Tambling put Lee clear and he placed the ball under the advancing ‘keeper. Michael Davis increased the lead after Lee Davis, running at the Didcot defence, was blocked by three defenders, the ball broke to him and calmly rounded the ‘keeper and curled the ball round the defender on the line. Stuart Midwinter completed the scoring, when Jackson put the ball between two defenders for him to run onto, he rounded the ‘keeper and deftly chipped the ball over the defender on the line.
Cleeve; Nortei, Crowford, Hoyle, L. Davis, Avery, Rose, Tambling (Midwinter 82), Jackson, Lee, Liddiard, M. Davis (Gayton 78).
Subs not used; Sykes, Jones, Ackland.
The Villagers entertain Paulton Rovers on Wednesday 12th December, and Abingdon United on Wednesday 19th December, both kick off 7.30 p.m.