Thames played their first game after Lockdown 2 and faced experienced side Brays Athletic at Passmores.
Thames had set themselves up well after putting in some extra work during lockdown and again on Friday with some extra training.
It seemed to have paid off, as we saw a bright start to the home side and Dylan Woods saw his misplaced pass go wide for a throw in to Brays..
Brays took the lead after an Ezra Folan foul just outside the area. The ball was played over and the initial cross was intercepted, Brays managed to still hold the ball and a header put them ahead.
Thames form dipped slightly and this allowed Brays to have some freedom, with Smith giving away a free kick just outside the area and earning himself a yellow card in the process.
Macauley Harrington did well to block Brays attempt but in the process captain Dan Pardoe received a blow to the back of the head, clearly stunned, he was replaced by Jeffrey Agyeman.
Thames discipline slightly gave in with Holt, giving away a foul but this was followed up with Smith who, already on a yellow, looked like he was gonna get his marching orders after a late challenge. But, to everyone’s surprise, managed to receive just a ticking off by the referee.
Smith took himself off and was replaced by Matt Robson, to help Thames keep 11 men on the park, a noble gesture considering the atmosphere on the pitch.
This game seemed to change from the move especially with Pardoe coming back on after Robson had to limp off. Thames started to gain possession and when Folans pass found Miller, his cross found Woods, who levelled the game with a well placed effort, game on!
Joe Holt was denied a goal after a well placed corner from Beldam, the lofty no.41 leapt up and his head connected well with the ball to power into the back of the net but, the referee got swindled into believing Brays protest of climbing on their player.
Thames soaked up Brays pressure with Harrington denying them,making the game all square at half time.
The second half underway, Beldam redeemed himself after giving Brays a free kick, the same player then cleared their effort with a header.
Sam Emmerson, replaced Gino Miller and helped Thame get a free kick, just outside of the area. Beldam, stepped up and put Thames ahead, he’s dipping effort beating the Brays keepers outstretched hand, it was well deserved for the amount of possession that Thames had.
Beldam had hunger and saw another effort cleared along with Emmerson, Thames were actually enjoying themselves, something we haven’t seen for awhile.
Joe Holt and Michael Pardoe, both got themselves into the book after an altercation with Brays no.15 and 3. Thames had a lapse in concentration and Brays levelled the game with a shot that just managed to hit in off the post, it wasn’t deserved, to be honest.
Thames again, lost their heads and fouls were given away by Harrington M Pardoe.
Smith came back on for Agyeman and Mils replaced by Thomson after giving away another foul..
Brays started to gain more possession as Thames energy levels had started to drop, with Thomson, D Pardoe, Miller and Harrington remaining resolute and denying Brays, what was more satisfying, was seeing players supporting each other off the ball, this looked a completely different Thames before Lockdown!
In the 85th minute, Brays took the lead after some suspect defending, Thames weren’t going to let it deny them and found the energy to claw something out of the match.
Leftwich denied Brays with a point blank reaction and M Pardoe followed up with a second clearance..
Thames were buzzing, Harringtons assist saw Emmerson grab the equaliser as he just nicked in from of Holt, thanks to the extra time played due to injury’s.
Thomson added to the tally of yellow cards with unsporting behaviour but, this wasn’t gonna stop Thames grabbing a well deserved equaliser, although, in truth, the points belonged to Thames.